“The thing about meditation is you become more and more you.”
~ David Lynch
For those of you that have been in this community awhile I have talked about my failed attempts at meditation and how my true form of it was on my tractor mowing my pastures. All of that changed this past month when I attended a meditation retreat and truly learned what I had been missing.
First you have to know that the big “lure” of this retreat was, (a) to get away with a good friend and have some girl time and (b) to get my continuing education credits for my licensure as a massage therapist. The rest was going to be some much needed R&R.
But what I received from the retreat far exceeded my expectations and allowed me to move into a deeper level of understanding of myself and my life.
A little backstory first; coming into this retreat I had just lost my Mom after 6 months in hospice care, spending my weekends with her so as I like to say I was still trying to “find my footing” again. My life up to this point had been my work and my Mom with everything else taking a backseat. That time was precious to me and I was blessed to have it right up to the time of her passing on from this world.
Coming from all of that I was going into this retreat still exhausted both mentally and physically which proved to be the best thing I could have done. All of my defenses were down so I was able to be open and ready for anything.
Arriving at the retreat center was an experience unto itself, the place was nestled in my mountains, the beautiful Blue Ridge with a breathtaking view every morning from the window of our room. And it was so quiet, the absence of “city noises” along with the sounds of nature immediately brought you into a more peaceful space.
Walking everywhere, eating only vegetarian food, smiles and true southern hospitality put both of us into another world.
Then there were our amazing teachers, Sharon and Tracey, who quickly dispelled my thoughts of meditating one way….sitting cross legged, breathing deeply and emptying your mind. Don’t get me wrong we did a lot of just that but it was intermixed with movement meditation, walking meditation, coloring mandalas, drumming and chanting meditation that sent you on a magic journey and learning the art of deep listening.
What started to happen to me was an amazing transformation of seeing what was really important in my life, what needed to be given up and truly appreciating the gift my Mom had given me which was a new found freedom, the freedom to regain a different balance in my life.
That gift of freedom meant letting go of so much control which had been heightened in those 6 months with my Mom which I fought all weekend. The fear of just being instead of controlling was scary and intriguing at the same time.
Two things happened that changed it all for me, a mantra that came up while I was walking the labyrinth (“All is not lost”) and on a separate walking meditation feeling the presence of someone walking so close behind me I could hear footsteps crunching the gravel.
Letting go and dropping the control thing for me translated into a feeling of not being supported since I always needed to be “in charge.” The mantra and the presence during my walking meditation (which I know was my Mom) showed me was that I would have so much more support if I just showed up, trusted and let go.
Now here I sit, 6 weeks out from the retreat, doing my 5 or 10 minutes of meditation every morning and working very hard at dropping all control.
What have I learned? That meditating just 5 minutes every day does make a wonderful difference in how I start my day and when I feel stressed the “control issue” comes flying back full force. And when it does I breathe deeply, forgive myself and move forward, knowing that once I recognize the triggers I will be able to let go even more.
And that is a very good feeling!