On Feb 8th, Anne and I hosted a retreat called, Awaken Joy. (watch the video on our YouTube channel) With a room filled with courageous people, we sang, shared stories and wrote about Joy in our lives and how we can support ourselves and each other in allowing Joy more access in our daily lives. Personally, it was very moving and I shared the following with the retreat participants. Perhaps it might be of interest to others, so here it is for you to read over and comment on.
It's a privilege to be able to share our songs and ourselves with you all!
I’m curious to see how you all did on Monday. Did you feel there was a new perspective on things or that you felt alright with how the day unfolded? Did you find yourself reflecting on your weekend?
Or did any of you feel the old momentum try to remind you it was there on Monday like I did? Sometimes when new shifts or deep experiences happen, the old patterns attempt to assert themselves as to not loose their hold on us and our thinking. If this happened to you, I recommend to first simply allow it be and then using the “deep listening” approach, see if there’s something inside you that is ready for change or ready to be heard. This takes tremendous courage and can even be scary. It could be you felt tired yesterday, maybe things felt lackluster or perhaps you wanted to just disappear under the covers. For me, it was the feeling of there’s too much to get to and I don’t have enough time. Anxiety coupled with the fear of failure. When I finally allowed it be, rather than trying to use sleep, the internet or reading to avoid the feeling, I saw it was an old story, an old fear. Oddly enough it was fear of an exciting and bright future. Fear that somehow I would mess up all the good in my life if I didn’t use worry and anxiety to keep myself motivated. I then remembered to apply this quote from the author Eckhart Tolle, “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” This created more space for me to enter a place of deep listening and respect for this old, familiar fear/ feeling. Because of our time together the day before I saw that this was my chance to EXPERIENCE my desire to allow JOY to come through me, even at this seemingly impossible time. As I accepted this fear by silently witnessing it, I felt the hint of peace underneath the fear. Like our conversation the day before, I realized again that Joy is always there, but we tend to cover it up with blocks. I noticed there was nothing for me to DO to get to the Joy, I just asked it to come through me. Some people might call this, “Let go and let God” others say it’s accepting the present moment. However you name it, I thank you all for helping me touch Joy on Sunday so I could more easily find my way back. Like tasting honey, I have again experienced Joy. This happened shortly before I went to bed and I soon fell into a deep sleep and woke up this morning feeling refreshed and amazed. How did this happen? Through knowing that life continues to give me opportunities to EXPERIENCE joy awakening within me.
So let the river flow, allow yourself to fill in the statement, “I’ve always wanted to…” Let yourself want more good, more joy, more love. Be okay with letting go of things that aren’t working, no mater how familiar they might be. We all want you to succeed and we’re all wiling to help you do so. Remember, even those voices in your head aren’t always true, like my father’s voice that turned out to be less true than his actual deep love and support for me and my dreams!