Sunday, November 24, 2013

55 Day 2: Outing to the beach

We took a short trip to Ventura Beach on the 2nd day.

Although in mid January, and supposed to be the record-breakingly cold winter, it was very nice and sunny, and warm enough to hang out on the beach.

What a luxury! We were told to spend time in silence for a couple of hours, do whatever we feel like.

When I lived in Redondo Beach back in the late '90s, I wanted to enjoy "beach life", but it didn't turn out the way I expected. There was always this limitation where I felt not open enough to spend much time there alone, always afraid of time or too much UV, or even feeling awkward of being alone out of my self-consciousness, etc. 

I had to have reasons to hang out at the beach, i.e. to do something fun or good for me, and I felt like I had to act certain way, to look someone with certain attitude, etc. I wonder if I ever had pure fun in my life without reasons or guilt at all.

The day I visited the beach in silence, I was officially on duty to do anything I wanted to or nothing at all without any conditions.

So for the first time, I allowed myself to just "be" on the beach.

It was just me in perfect harmony with the presence, observing and hearing the restless waves, appreciating the warmth of the winter sun, enjoying the oneness.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

54 Silent Retreat Day 1

As my heart was opening up in high energy accumulated by the group and beautiful train of music to match the vibration, I got into "feeling my feelings" mode, and it broke free by crying.

First, I remembered my families and pets I lost to grieve for, since I was so controlled that I couldn't grieve properly when I lost them. I remembered how I loved them and miss them, and felt sad that I could not face the feelings completely then. I was sobbing, for the first time in so long.

Next, my focus shifted to several people who I had grudges against in the past, felt not loved by, mistreated....and I realized it's vice versa, that all are stories and I didn't love them or I didn't give them a chance to love me.

Tears came gushing out again.
It was me, me, ME who didn't allow love to flow. It's always been me. 
How I wanted to be loved by my own mother as a child!
(I always had hard times with female authority figures at work as a result.)
How I treated my daughter coldly and blaming all to how I was treated by mother and not knowing true maternal love. 
It was all me, and now I can change it finally, after so many times I thought I had "forgiven my mother", which came from a wrong concept that she was separate from me and inferior.

As Lola said "be there for yourself", I was mothering myself instead of blaming, saying "it's OK, it's OK. It was very sad, I know, and it hurt a lot. Now everything is OK."

No fixing.
No figuring out.
Just be.

Monday, November 11, 2013

53 5 Day Silent Retreat

This was such a pivotal event I ever experienced in my life.
I had never given such luxury exclusively to myself for that long; paying attention to, nurturing, forgiving, mothering myself for 5 days straight!

5 Day Silent Retreat took place at our teacher Lola's lovely and secluded house near Ojai, California, looking out to the mountains from the living room and the wide shady terrace, and about 30 participants in variety of ages, nationalities, and occupations gathered for variety of reasons. The classes took place from morning to night, and we all stayed at the nearest hotels commuting by car-pool arrangement.

We were supposed not to take sugar, alcohol, caffeine, or anything addictive for 16 days prior to the event, so we could start clean, and healthy meals were served during the retreat. To avoid caffeine and sugar at continental breakfast, I prepared a bag of avocados, a loaf of organic bread and herb teas in my room.

The first day started out with orientation and introduction, then after lunch, all participants went silent except for necessary communication. We were supposed to focus within since it was a rendezvous with our (large) selves. Therefore no outside contact such as Internet, TV, e-mailing and talking was allowed  during the period.

After a while, it became so comfortable being silent among people, only feeling their affectionate presence, respecting each other's privacy, not interacting but just being there for ourselves as well as for the group.

Lola was the only person who'd speak to us and instruct activity accordingly. We chanted together, meditated, walked around the house, lay around in the sun, feeling our feelings or just sitting on boredom. Laughing, crying and singing was OK anytime as long as we respected other participants' silence. Actually Lola intentionally made us laugh a lot.

I had to give myself a permission to set myself free from dropping how I should look, act, react like in front of people. That was such a relief!

Sometimes we exchanged healings and written messages if we wanted.