Part 2) Choosing the Last Day
The week went by so fast! Each day was as rich and dense as a week’s worth of experience. Thursday would be our last full day. We would travel to Guatemala City Friday after breakfast. On Wednesday, Kim sent this announcement and reminder:
Happy Super Full, Blood, Blue Moon yogi’s! Here’s the yoga schedule for today and tomorrow:
Nothing today! We’ll have a fire after dinner at Gaia. If there is rain tonight the fire will be tomorrow night.
Thursday- 8am Gaia -Yoga talk/ workshop. Bring any yoga questions you have.
Thursday 5:30pm Gaia- Pranayama (instruction of Ashtanga specific sitting and breathing)
6pm-candle light yoga, led half Primary class. Arrive at either 5:30 or 6pm.
Today at the full moon is a time to check in with the intention of this retreat, with yourself. Hopefully you’ve been doing this each moment since leaving your home, but in case you’ve dropped into routine or unconscious behavior patterns take this morning to remind yourself of this intention we all gathered here for: knowing ourselves more.
Have you been focusing on yourself and choosing each drink, each meal, each quite hour or each busy hour with your awareness on yourself? Are you too busy? Are you bored? Are you hungry? Are you too full? Are you cold? Are you anxious? Are you satisfied? Are you at ease? Are you happy?
Any answers to these questions have been because you chose it and made it your experience.
Does this give you any insights into yourself? Any old beliefs or patterns you’re tired of being? Ready to let go of? Or perhaps, are you seeing yourself and ready to accept yourself as you are?
This was a time and place of healing, and her reminder helped us to pause. At least it did me. I created this image during one of my “alone times” at the Hacienda. It is a representation of the feeling that I am standing between Heaven and Earth. I was thinking how the pattern of the Lord’s prayer. I can be a better instrument of “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” when I clear things that block energy in and through me.
Kim’s teacher, Marci, once said
“you are the flow that connects the events of your life”.
I had been looking forward to Thursday when a group of us were planning to go to the bird sanctuary. There was a zip line canopy tour available there and some, including Eric and Nikki, were pumped for that adventure. I was not really wanting an adrenalin-filled experience, but I also did not want to be left behind. I had made up my mind to be brave and go with them.
Thursday morning arrived. I was in a funk emotionally. I headed out early to my beloved Gaia spot where I could be with my thoughts. People would come at 8 am when Kim would answer yoga questions. Before they arrived, I had an internal tug-of-war and tears were at the surface.
In the 8:00 am hour, a small, dedicated group of yogis sat in a circle in the middle of the shala. Kim invited questions. The discussion was short. Then Kim asked what each of our plans were for the last day. When it got to me, I explained my plan to go to the bird sanctuary, but I wasn’t sure because, at the moment, I felt like crying. Quiet tears began to fall.
As the group was dispersing, Matt moved toward me. “Can I give you a hug?” he asked. “Yes” I said, wanting comfort yet feeling guarded. This was a very old internal pattern surfacing for me. Kindly, Matt sat next to me on the left intuitively touching a spot on my back behind my heart, his hand creating circles like opening a vortex for the emotions to escape. Matt does energy healing and he was offering it to me in that moment of opportunity for me to heal something deep and old.
He helped me explore “victim” thoughts that revealed themselves through words I spoke. These kinds of thoughts spring from beliefs of unworthiness. They are circular in the mind like a hamster’s wheel. It can be hard to figure out how to stop the circular thinking. “The answer is to love and forgive yourself.” I repeated outloud Matt’s words to help my mind take hold of them.
We spoke of the tendency to try to rescue people—to be their hero—and how that keeps them in victim mode. Being someone else’s hero creates an obstacle, like a boulder in the flow of a stream. We need to be our own heroes and support others without disempowering them.
I so appreciated Matt’s time, energy and teaching. I needed time to process it, but I was feeling pressure that I “needed” to go with the group. Did I really want to zip line? No. What I really wanted was to sit quietly alone and, if possible, spend some time talking to Kim. I was not hungry for breakfast and as everyone was rushing around to leave I had a full-on stomach ache. “Thank you, body, for helping me know what to do.” I thought. But I was still sad to not go to the bird sanctuary and see Paola in her element.
I asked Matt to look for a feather for me. I told him of a quote I loved by 12th century nun, Hildegard von Bingen, “I am but a feather on the breath of God.” If I could have a small feather from the sanctuary, that would be my way of being there.
I sipped on some hot cocoa for breakfast and took in the spirit of the Hacienda that last morning before our busy departure morning that would be the next day. Soon I settled in with my doodle journal trying to remember my conversation with Matt.
“Beware the hero. Being one is an abuse of power. We stand in the way of others’ learning– like a boulder in a river. We become a block to progress” —Matt Turner
Ultimately, unconditional love is the key. Knowing that and practicing it are two different things. It requires trusting and forgiving myself just as I am—no matter what. When I fall into victim thinking I can return to trust, forgiveness, acceptance of the learning process I am in. I can meet myself where I am, how I am in that moment, knowing that this moment will grow into another and I will be changed. In other words, I Hold Space for myself and then, if I do, I will be able to do the same for others without creating a hero-victim relationship and getting in the way of their own unconditional love.
“Choose ye this day” is the essence of healing. With Kim’s encouragement and the spirit of Hacienda San Lucas (including the Mayan Sapo clinic!), healing happened. At least it did for me!
My main desire that day was to spend time with Kim (which I did) and be there for pranayama and asana starting at 5:30. If I had gone on the excursion, I would have
a) been wondering if I was going to make it back on time
b) probably been eating food that would have made it hard to do asana
c) been tired which would have made it harder to practice asana
At the end of the day, I knew I had made the right choice for me: spending the day drawing, contemplating, processing, healing old emotions and practicing asana (yoga) by candle light. It fit the purpose and intention I had come with and I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity. Others chose to fly through trees like the feathered friends they met, and that was just right for them.