Yesterday was a day filled with inspired conversations. Today was a day filled with precious gifts and places. My heart is so full, it may soon spill over.
The people you you meet at retreats like this are the best kind of people. They are kind. They are open. They are wild and free and full of spirit. They are inspired and inspiring. They are exciting and energetic and they take risks and therefore, have great stories. They are emotional, and they are raw. They share and they accept. The world is full of opportunity for connection and most of us don’t capitalize on this enough. I’m a perfect example. After all of the people I get to/have to meet in my life (consequences of job and travel), I sometimes use the excuse that I’ve met enough people. But that’s just me being lazy and introspective. And sometimes it’s okay to be like that. So long as it doesn’t last forever, or everyday. And if there is ever a time to open up and connect, now is the time, and here is the place. These are the people.
We are only halfway through this retreat, and already I am in awe of the new humans I’ve been privileged to interact with. They’ve left me bubbling with joy and inspiration and I’m enjoying the crap out of that feeling.
I’ve also gotten to see and experience some of the most precious places today. There is a water temple near Ubud in Bali, and today we packed up four vans full of people and herded ourselves off to find it.
In draping sarongs, we lined up to enter the fresh spring water pool. As I took a step down into the cold, waist-deep water (trying desperately hard to ignore the fact that there were colorful fish swimming in the water I stood in), Miss Guenevere Rodriguez, an Energy Goddess and jewellery designer, who was co-hosting this retreat with Kate, stepped in next to me and presented me with a gift. She rolled a beautiful gold chain-link ring onto the fourth finger of my left hand and told me that the links of the ring represented the people in my life and the less dominant hand (in this case, my left) was meant for receiving, and therefore this ring was to serve as a reminder to me to be open to receiving from the people in my life, in ways in which I was more accustomed to giving. With that, she smiled, and all-knowing and sort of enlightened smile, and moved toward the first fountain.
We all shuffled, one by one, fountain to fountain and took turns dunking our heads underneath each, three times. We cleansed ourselves of past experiences and prayed for great blessings for our futures and came out, sopping wet and feeling renewed and centred. I could barely feel my new ring on my left hand, but I knew it was there, and it sort of made me feel peaceful.
Tonight, in our quiet (and yet wildly painful) practice full of openings and laughter and slow, luxurious breathing, our teacher, Kate W. Mak, spoke to us:
Allow gratitude to bloom within you. How lucky are we to have the friends we have, the partners we have, and the experiences we encounter, of the “once-in-a-lifetime” kind.
I couldn’t help but smile.
Featured Image photo cred: Jelena Aleksich