Last weekend brought a series of intricately connected, unplanned events that completely changed the direction of my week…and possibly my life. And I’m all the better for it. I love life…I love the twists and turns, and the opportunities that present themselves when you absolutely least expect it.
I was sitting at Easton enjoying a tasty libation with someone close to me on Saturday night when I found out that my mom and traveling companion for the next four days had to cancel on me at the zero hour. Our flight to NYC was supposed to leave in less than 12 hours. But a work emergency came up, preventing her from being able to go with me. She literally had to decide between going on this trip with me or keeping her job. And so I was left with a decision to make- do I still go on this trip by myself? Do I not go anywhere and just go home? I couldn’t imagine going to NY alone; it seemed like a completely overwhelming prospect. But I didn’t want to just throw in the proverbial towel and go home after I had made all the arrangements necessary to being away for a few days. I was struggling to comprehend that our plans had just suddenly changed and I was left spinning around in my head, wondering what I was going to do with this mess.
It was then that my dear friend looked at me, smiled and said, “Opportunity knocks, doesn’t it…” and then set about quieting my panic, hugging out my tears, and helping me discover what was in my heart. He helped me see what I needed to do for me. His advice to me was this: ask yourself before you close your eyes tonight, where you’re supposed to go. Then dream about it, and wake up knowing where you are meant to go. Slightly skeptically, I did just that. And in my sleep, amazingly enough, the answer came to me, “Go on a retreat… find a spa and go be with yourself…Figure out how to get out of your own way.”
It was then that I knew it was time to purge the inner turmoil that has been stuck in my heart these past few months. I didn’t realize how cloudy I’d become until several things happened all at once last week. I met up with someone I had lost touch with, someone I had no idea why I felt so compelled to contact. But I did, and we met up and engaged in some pretty intense conversations about life, purpose, and discovering the light within our hearts. We talked about how to tune out the monkey mind, and really listen to what our hearts are trying to tell us. Talking with him in depth led me into a pretty intense couple of days, which I spent essentially waking up from the dream I had been wandering through in my waking life. Throughout those few days, I realized there was a lot of muck in my heart. When my trip fell apart at the last minute, it forced me to really ask myself what I needed to do for ME. The universe was providing me with a huge opportunity, and the previous few days of introspection had prepared me to make the decision I needed to make. The next day I made reservations for myself at my own personal Walden. It’s a place called Glenlaurel. And it’s quiet. Tranquil. Beautiful. I set out on my journey, outwardly and inwardly.
Since I’ve been here, I have experienced a range of emotions. Fear at being alone in a new place. Discomfort at wondering what people are thinking when they see me at dinner by myself every night. Then slowly, feelings of tranquility, contentment, empowerment, and peace came over me. I started to feel like I could do anything. Literally. If I wanted to sit and watch it rain, I could sit in my cozy chair by the fireplace, with the breeze coming in the screen door, and listen to it rain. If I wanted to write, I could write. I went and had a massage today and then had my chakras balanced. I can’t even describe the positive energy I felt leaving the spa today…I came back to my room afterward and spent 2 hours writing. Purging. Getting the turmoil out. Crying intermittently when I realized what was pouring out of my heart. Things that needed to come out a long time ago. Things I had been holding onto I was finally able to release. Through my words, through my fingertips tapping the keys, through my tears. And I reminded myself today how to let go- how to make the choice to let go of things that hurt. Why hold onto them? Why let them continue to choke me up, and prevent me from expressing my true self? That’s what had been happening. And I also let go of the people I have been holding onto. I forgave them, forgave myself, and let them go. Wishing them love and light in the future, but releasing them from the hold they have had over me in various ways, some for quite some time. It’s freeing.
I have been challenged to do things differently than I normally would. To create a new paradigm for myself…even in small ways. I have tried several new foods here, but to me it represents opening myself up to new possibilities, new experiences….mussels, mushrooms, duck….symbolic of the newness I feel inside simply by making the decision to come here and change the way I’ve been feeling. Someone said to me it’s as simple as deciding to live differently. But to live differently I needed to be willing to let go of the fear. He reminded me to have a little faith- just a small kernel of faith. I actually have a reminder of that faith hanging around my neck in a necklace…it consists of a small silver disk, inscribed with the word “faith” and a tiny mustard seed hangs from it. “Faith is not blind hope. Faith is the cessation of fear.” Only when we let go of our fear are we truly open to the endless positive opportunities that await us. The opportunities to invite light into our lives are boundless- they are everywhere- if only we are open enough to see them.