Common talk describes the inner voice as being a quiet, barely audible sound, maybe even just a feeling. I guess I’m not surprised that when mine decided to talk, it’s loud. Really loud! Megaphone loud. hahah. We must be related ;)
This last stretch of time here at PVS has been transformative and quite pivotal for me. I will even go so far as to say this last week/two/month has been one of the most clear and positive periods of my life (and that’s saying a lot!). I’ve been waking up alive and giddy and positive and motivated...the cherry on top being, I’m also waking up calm, peaceful, and most amazingly: unhurried.
It more/less started with our plans here for a silent retreat. I was excited because I felt I needed it, but nervous. Not because of the literal sense of being silent (I know it’s hard for people to believe, but I oh so do looooove my alone/quiet time), but nervous because you are not supposed to do anything. nothing. zippo. nada. zilch. No writing, no art projects, no phone, no internet, no to-do list. You’re not even supposed to read!!! Luckily you can walk, but nothing that will distract you from just being you. Even your thoughts should try to be avoided, the intent is just to feel. You’re basically meditating all day. Whoa. Whoa. whoa.
So what’s the point you may wonder? Ahhhh... the point, the grand point. The point is to clear all the noise out of your world for a while. All the outside commotion of emails and facebook and chores and worry and stress and small talk and niceties. When all that is gone, all you have space to hear, is you. The you that’s way down deep. The you that knows whats best for you and what you really want and who you really are, without the fears and worries and doubt that have been burdening you, building up in you, since the first time you got teased, were told you couldn’t do it, or mocked for doing something wrong or badly. The you that pays no heed to all the social rules and fads and trends and protocol for being ‘cool’, and does only what feels right. A silent retreat is all about feeling. Trying to stop your thoughts and just feel.
During silent retreats (or silent day or week or whatever), it’s very common to have emotions run high. Anger, frustration, tears... stuff tends to come up in you that you have no option but to deal with, since you can’t avoid it by doing something else: Turning on the boob tube, playing a game, reading a novel, busying yourself with chores or social media. It is so commonplace for us to distract ourselves from that negative emotion that is coming up! Not so fast in a silent retreat!!! You can’t (well, not supposed to) distract yourself from it, so you just feel it, and look at it. What’s that emotion about?!
WELL, in my case, I had a fabulous self discovery and realization when I started looking at my irritation!!!! Back to Naomi (my blackberry bush!). She was originally going to be involved in the Silent retreat, but not only backed out last minute, but left a note that we were basically ‘banished’ to the outdoor kitchen! I was soooooo cranky about this at first! I have no proof, but it seemed as if we were getting ‘punished’ because she didn’t get to be as involved as she had wanted to be during the planning phase. I could see that this was actually a good thing, being out there and not having to deal, but I just couldnt drop the crabbiness over it, so I starting just looking at it. Then it hit me, like a ton of bricks:
“Whenever you see wrong in others, remember, it is wrong in you”.
I alluded to this in my first PVS blog, about how life is a mirror and the troublesome things I see in Naomi are some of the things I do myself, not even realizing how HUGE of a lesson it would become for me. The day I got back from my roadtrip, someone had put a calendar in my room, and the February quote just happened to be that one! At that moment, when it hit me, the prior hints all seemed like huge bright flashing signs preparing me: You.Do.That.Too. Good lord, I thought!! I’m irritated at Naomi for ‘punishing’ us all because she didn’t get her way, but how many times have I done the same thing?
Ouch!!! That’s the word for this realization! The vast majority of days, I am exuberant and animated and sharing joy; everybody knows when Becky’s having a happy day because everything I am feeling radiates out of my pores, almost as if were an actual scent. I think this happens with all of us, whatever we are full of- love, happiness, optimism- it overflows out of our bodies... even if we are full of shit! ha :) In my case, it also overflows when I’m full of bitterness :(. I was so frustrated that evening, and the problem is not so much that I experienced a negative emotion (they can help you grow and learn depending how you deal with it- case in point), but moreso the awful trouble is that I withhold the flow of the good stuff too. All the love and glee that was still in me, stayed in me. With that being in such vast contrast to my everyday energy, everybody notices and it creates an uneasy aura.
This is an awesome lesson, for me and everybody. If I, if we, get upset about something or are dealing with an issue, we do not need to stop letting the positive qualities emanate. A pea under the mattress should not effect the whole being... and especially not have it effect everybody around as well! Wheewww! That feels so good, to have an understanding of that and be able to look out for it in the future!!! Yaaayyyyyy Naomi for being such a wonderful teacher (although surely not in the way she hoped!!!)
The first two days of the silent retreat went like this: Wake up. Meditate. Yoga. Tea. Sit and enjoy the view. Brunch. Walk down to the river. Explore, Hike. Jump in the freezing river. Sun-bathe. Run back home. Shower. Dinner. Tea. Watch the sunset. Read (both times were growth books, so I considered that only 1/2 cheating ;) Meditation. Sleep.
The amazing thing about these days was having absolutely NO rush. Normally I’d want to get back and check some things off my to-do list... but why would I go back just to not do those things? Both days my river excursions lasted close to 5 hours. It was blissful (minus the poison oak! ha). It became clear how many things I make priorities, that are really not priorities at all. Did anyone notice I was off-grid for 3 days? Of course not (well, maybe my mom ;) and it wouldn’t matter if anyone did anyways!
Since then I’ve experienced a wonderful shift. A non-rush shift. A cup of tea and a chat? Sure, why not. Do I want to stay up and watch a movie with Naomi? Let’s do it. An I’m-just-going-to-sit-here-and-be-quiet-and-not-do-anything-because-it-feels-good moment? Yep yep yep!!!!
Ohhhh so good!!! AND THERE’S MORE!!!
On the third day, we did our yoga in the afternoon. It was nice out, so we did it on the deck. It was peaceful and calm and just nice. With most yoga classes, you end in what’s called corpse pose (shavasana) where you just lay on your back completely relaxed. Since there was no rush, no where to go, or nothing to do, I just stayed there for a while, no intention but to stay as long as it felt right. I was breathing very deeply, paying attention to my breath go in and go out (a good tool for beginner meditators). The next thing I knew, I felt my body just renew. It was tingly all over from head to toe and I was acutely aware of every part of me. I started to question it but just kicked that thought out, I wanted to enjoy it! My hands started an odd curl and my mouth got really pursed. For the next hour or so I was gripped by this great feeling. I moved to whatever felt right, a few stretches, always slow-motion pace, wanting to hold onto as long as I could. Finally I got up, took about 5 minutes to walk 30 yards to the kitchen to make some tea. On the table someone had left a book called Living with Joy. It seemed serendipitous, so I started reading. That book just spoke to me like I was having a conversation with the author!!! FANTASTIC read if you want a book reco :).
I don’t know what happened in my meditation, nor does it matter, I just know it was fantastic. The deepest meditation I’ve EVER had, and it makes me understand how some people decide to make it such a huge part of their life. Jamie has been explaining it to me, and although I mentioned before there is a lot of God talk here that doesn’t sit so well with me, some parts are starting to ease in. ‘God’ is a term that has been convoluted in my mind, kind of like ‘hitchhiker’ maybe is in yours?! ;). It's gotten muddied up because I've subconsciously associated it with religion (that I wrote about here before), but when I take it away from that, it's pretty nice actually :). God doesn’t have to mean a big man in the sky unless that’s what you want it to mean. God is everything. A fly, a bird, a whale, a tree, you, me. It can be a dude if you want, a lady, an aura, a feeling, a song, a breeze, a warm cup of tea. Sometimes you have to have faith without facts... and I think that’s what God is to me. It’s mother nature, its love, it’s learning, it’s serendipity, it’s trust, it’s positivity, it’s getting what you want when you ask for it. It’s knowing you are right where you are supposed to be, and that’s what I felt, to the umpteenth degree!!
So, do I think I had a moment with God? Hmm... maybe? I don’t know, it doesn’t matter, but what I do know, is that this week has been flipping ridiculously great!! Just day after day of incredible things happening, inside and outside of me.
Meditation compels not thinking... but unless you are some devoted master, you’re going to think! A lot actually!!! You work to push these frivolous thoughts away, and get to a peaceful silent state. In my humble opinion, the most aweeeesssommmest part of meditation is that somehow, when you get there, the thoughts that then do sneak thru are blatantly direct, clear, incontestable, outstanding thoughts!!! I really do think, when you allow yourself to get quiet and still, that your inner voice is the one that starts talking!!! Mine was loud and clear, telling me some goooooooddd stuff :)
I thought about how the merging of my two business ideas makes perfect sense, logistically and ideally! I thought about how I’m ready to move to the next phase of life and make my dreams a reality. I thought of all the long difficult steps it’ll take to get there and it electrified me with anticipation! I thought about how the end of my last relationship was such a godsend, me not being ready for it at all, and how his being so young and so eager to conquer the world is what allowed that end to come, inspiring me all the while. I thought about how I want my mother involved in everything I do because she’s the most incredible person I’ve ever met. I thought about how I want nothing more than to do something significant in this world even if takes 70 more years. I thought about how all my passions are coming together with my strengths and opening incredible doors. I thought about the path of life I’ve taken and how every step of it has been critical in getting me where I am. I thought about how I used to be scared of what people would think, but now I can just say, ‘This is who i am’. I thought about how every single person I know has something amazing in them, and has come into my life for some crucial purpose, even the blackberry bushes and the people that don’t agree or even like me, especially then even. I thought about how I’d rather be no where other than where I am, here and now, always :)
Holy cajole people!!! This life is precious and wonderful and you can have all that you want in it!! I am no one special, just a girl like any other, but I get everything that I want. I make wishes all day long, and I can tell you what they are because I have no fear that they won’t come true. Every one of them is some form of asking for peace and joy and love and health and happiness and that everything will turn out exactly as it’s supposed to for myself and all those I love and I have contact with, and that I will have the wisdom and courage to understand when that is happening. Change your attitude, change your life!!!!
Whewww! Life is good!
Then more awesomeness was just happening everywhere. I still haven’t come down from my high and it’s like two weeks later!!!! Talks with Jamie are always so inspiring because you can say ANYTHING to him. This is def something I want to manifest in my own life, for SURE! Test me people... did you send me your suggestions yet??! haha. We had a campfire circle one night and everyone went around and shared one great thing about each other, and one thing the other could improve on. I’d been sharing my self-realizations that day, and BOTH girls (Julie and Aliyah) agreed, the withholding happiness when upset was my thing to improve upon!! That was amazing and appreciated. It’s one thing for me to see a flaw, but knowing it is also felt by others puts a fire under my ass to fix it :). We finished the outhouse building and plumbed in a whole new bathroom, and it felt so good to be a significant help to aid toward this place’s mission. I had a super awesome river adventure. I’ve been making lots of art. My relationship with Naomi has been beautiful and loving. I’ve been overflowing with ideas for Follow No Crowd and Barefoot Village. An adorable excited dog we named Agnes even showed up for 2 days and made me so happy!!! There was a moment of sadness when the cost for the concrete truck (for which we’d been preparing for days) was going to be too expensive and we’d have to put it off (meaning I wouldn’t be able to help) until Jamie sold his Vitamix. I just blurted out from no where I would buy it so we could do the pour (sooo... I have a vitamix for sale if anybody wants it!) and it felt so good and right to be able to make that happen, despite my recent $ issues.
AND THEN, right after that, I went over to the neighbors house for a ZYTO test. I had done a bunch of architectural drawings and ideas for them during my first stay, and she, Amrita, offered to do this test for me as payment. It’s a neat test, going through all of your nutrition and checking your organs and internal health. I was a bit skeptical about how a tiny little machine (that you just put your hand on) could tell all that... but WHOA... it came back indicating EVERY single part of me that I’ve been nervous about or ever felt was out of balance (of which I mentioned nothing about beforehand). I’m a new believer. For instance, remember how I had all sorts of stomach issues in India? When I got back to America I really felt something wasn’t right and did a gazillion dollars worth of standard MD tests that all came back as nothing and it was an awful experience with the doctor since I have no insurance. Well, this ZYTO test showed that my stomach and large intestine are WAYY out of whack; a colon cleanse and lots of supplements were suggested. Amrita said she’d never seen a recommended dosage so high for the cleanse. That was just one thing that made me trust it, there were many. We get to the end and it’s hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of stuff (they have a nutrition business) and I've got to sleep on it. We end up working on her house plans a little more, and she gives me a couple free bottles in trade!!!!! THEN, next morning she calls. She really likes working with me, and is preparing ALL of the supplements and cleanse items for me, she would like to give them to me in exchange for the ideas I’ve given and to pitch in architectural advice along the way! Woohoooooo!!! I LOVE TRADING SERVICES! I am a socialist at heart!! Who else wants to trade stuff?? I need some house work done and some website building and some graphic design and some videographyyyy... oh and possibly a colonoscopy ;) !!! hah! Call me :)
|Amrita's business is called Radiant Light Nutrition, check them out|
if you are interested in Quantum State Nutrition!! ;)
Joking aside, its really just been like bam-bam-bam one thing after another of goodness! I can’t hardly contain myself! I came here open for anything to happen, to learn, and holy wow did I get that!!!! I loveeeeee how much I am learning and realizing and accepting and forgiving and understanding and I looooove how much more there is out there still to learn and realize and accept and forgive and understand!! I love this roller coaster we call life sooooo much!!!!
And guess what else?!??! My mom is here!!! My wonderful amazing mother Debbie Jo! I picked her up on Wednesday, we checked out the area, and then she helped out with the concrete pour on Thursday! Not surprisingly, she was a hit at PVS!!! We just left yesterday... heading out to start our "West-Coast-Where-Should-We-Settle-Roadtrip of Discovery" :). Woohoo!
AND...the last amazing thing???! I’m super skinnnnyyy!! Not skinny by any skinny skinny standards, but skinny by my standards and that’s all that matters! I can’t believe how easy it is to eat right when someone cooks healthy for me;)!! haha! We were eating big delicious vegetarian meals, keeping me totally full all the time, and I'd get my sweet fix with an apple or a caffeine free chai tea (and okay.. the occasional chocolate too;)! Yayyy! I really have to learn to do this for myself.. or better yet, I’m sending out vibes to the universe that my future better half will love to cook ;)