The spring retreat is over. I laughed until my sides ached. My heart overflowed. Now I want to share some of the things I learned from spring retreat with you because I believe in sharing the wealth.
Experience is the Best Teacher
Tisha Michelle just did a video about how she taught people to make space for what they want. When she did it herself by cleaning out her cabinets, the meaning of that went deeper. A mental understanding of something is a great start, but to really know something, it has to be more than skin deep. Experience does that. We exposed to millions of inspiring pithy statements, motivational speeches, and great advice. Until you have an experience, you’re only glimpsing its meaning.
The Way to the Inner Child is Through the Fool
I designed the retreat agenda, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that allowing yourself to be foolish opens up the heart to innocence and self discovery. But, experience it the best teacher. I brought a bunch of imaginative toys and musical instruments to entice people to play. From the time we are babies we are told to behave and grow up, so who wants to do that in front of strangers? You’ve got to be willing to be seen as a Fool to do that, yet we did it. It was a roaring good time that went heart deep. The child sees things that adults have been trained to dismiss and invalidate. Thanks to this reintroduction to the Child, I left the retreat brimming with new ideas.
The Fool (Archetype) Is a Wise Teacher
Okay, this isn’t a news flash either intellectually, but experiencing this brought the understanding to a whole new level. We all were willing to be foolish, but one guest embodies that energy in a beautiful way. She’s so funny. She snuck harsh truths and deep wisdom into conversation in a way that got past the defenses and sunk deep. Her way of shining in the world left me with a deep appreciation of this energy. I can get too serious, so it’s a fabulous reminder to lighten up. I’m so glad she was there. Her presence is always a blessing.
Doing No Thing Creates Balance
When you retreat, there is nothing to do and nothing to want. The alarm clock doesn’t say, “It’s time to move!” You have no agenda. So you can just be and do no thing. This creates balance to the go, go, go, run, run, run pace of the mainstream world. For me doing no thing is a form of playing. Playing is doing something with no agenda. Doing no thing is about being with no agenda. Maybe I am mindfully walking or watching the bonfire, but I’m not there for exercise or relaxation. I am just there. And that feels incredible.
The Soul Wants to Sing
Air is the element of spring. Singing is one of the ways that people express Air, and there was a lot of singing. The soul wants to sing, doesn’t it? It’s a very unself-conscious way to say, “I am here. I am a feeling, creative being. See me.” Sitting by the fire under the stars is the best incentive to burst free with all that innocent wonder. If our agenda was to tap into the Inner Child and get out of a rut, I’d say we succeeded. I’m still singing!
People Need People
This knowledge came to me late in life. I was an introverted, small clique, lone wolf kind of girl. When you are in the company of people who see you and accept you as you are, you realize how much we need community. We need to see our beauty reflected back to us in someone else’s eyes. Other people show us our rough spots and how we still need to grow. They give us outlets for our expression. They are witnesses to our experience. The heart wants to share. Without other people, what is the point of having an experience?
This is another no brainer, but Nature rejuvenates. I live in the woods, but I am not out in it every day. Life gets busy. There are deadlines and obligations. I don’t want to let people down, so I can go days without breathing outside for more than ten minutes. Holy days and retreats are necessary time outs to indulge in the rejuvenating properties of Nature. It’s a way of saying, “It’s time to get back to the Mother. I need to do this for me and Her.” It’s a way to reconnect to center. She’s always there – winter, spring, summer, and fall. Every time I take a few days out in Nature, I feel younger, lighter, fresher.
Pan Society has a retreat every season. Spring retreat was about the element of Air. We always flow with the energy around us, so each one has a different focus and different feel. If you feel called to join us, you’d be most welcome.