2018 was a year of difficult learning. It felt like the Universe had a tight grip on me. At times I was contracted and restricted, and I could feel the squeeze physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. I found myself in the middle of the happiest and the most challenging moments, all at the same time.
There were all sorts of forces at work–astrological events, weather patterns, births and deaths, successes and failures. As each lesson or teacher arrived, I could feel the polarity of the experience in front of me. This is life. We never quite know what will be in front of us next, but rather than subscribing to the uncertainty, securing an inner sanctuary of hope, faith, and courage always feels like the better alternative.
While last year was really uncomfortable, I stayed afloat and found my inner compass even when I was deep in the woods of despair. My personal practice of inner inquiry wrapped me in awareness.
The gift of awareness allows you the chance to understand and accept that life will be difficult. With this knowledge, your job becomes simple: bring your focus inward and accept what is, so you can thrive in all environments.
As teachers, we hold space for growth and healing in our own lives and in the lives of people in our communities. Siri Bani and I treasure our time together because the creative faucet always flows. We laugh, cook, take walks in nature, and dream about what we can teach next. It’s a blast!
This year’s retreat will be a call to action to take a stand, understand that you have suffered far too long, and decide to live a conscious life. There is no more time to waste–it is your turn to loosen the grip of suffering and let the cool waters of forgiveness heal your wounds.
As I resurface from the muddy waters of 2018, I feel a lightness and clarity emerging. Last year’s challenges cleansed me. My personal practice held and protected me, and now I feel a clearing of awareness that would not have been possible without the contracted learning of the year before. My heart is filled with a humble appreciation for the life I live.