My love of Mexico and my work with Family Constellations has inspired me to celebrate The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) at home tomorrow. This holiday originates from Mexico to honor our ancestors. It’s believed that at this time, the “veil” between the realm of ancestors and the living is thin, allowing precious moments to connect with them by receiving their blessings and/or any messages they have for us. It’s a festive day with parades, dancing, food, decorating altars and visits to the cemetery. (The movies Coco and The Book of Life both beautifully capture the Mexican culture and tradition.)
Fortunately, it’s also possible to connect with your ancestors through the work of Family Constellations. Either way, your ancestors yearn to be remembered and seen. When we lack this relationship with our ancestors, it makes it difficult for them to pass on their ancient wisdom and the gifts from your lineage onto you. When you think about it, it’s pretty remarkable. Your ancestors have survived starvation, poverty, wars, loss, heartache and many other tragedies and traumas to carry on a life force to bring you here to this present day. Sometimes I think, “That’s a lot my ancestors went through so I can sit outside on a beautiful day in California drinking my four dollar latte.” :P However, it is not unlike many parents who work tirelessly and make sacrifices because they want the best for their child— wishing them a good life, happiness, and/or resources to survive despite external circumstances.
As young children, we take what our parents give. We take it all in. As adults, we can humbly take the gifts that have been handed down from our lineage and use them for our highest good— to be in service to humanity, which will be in service to our future generation (including our planet). Various studies have shown that trauma can be passed down three to seven generations. But so can healing.
Sometimes we carry unnecessary burdens of our ancestors out of loyalty or duty (in the name of love). We might notice this in our lives, such as an issue / problem that does not go away. We and members of our family may get inflicted or “haunted” by it in the form of a recurring trauma over many generations (ie. addiction, relationship issues, medical conditions, financial difficulties, childhood trauma, victim/perpetrator dynamic). When we forget our ancestors, they often find a way to try to "be remembered" and "seen" by showing up in our lives in this way. Ancestral work allows generational trauma to be released with dignity.
If you'd like to start connecting with your ancestors, try creating a home altar. Here's a simple way. (Scroll to the bottom of the page to see my home altar.)
1. Find photos of your ancestors. If you don’t have any; you were adopted; or you are unsure about who your ancestors are, find representations of your ancestors. It could be a drawing that depicts people from your country (ie. from a children's book); an artifact from your ancestors; or something from nature. You'll want to choose something that you can connect with.
2. Find a place in your home to create your altar. Take time to clean and purify the space and make it special.
3. You now have these honored guests in your home! Just as you would greet the people and pets in your home, greet your ancestors. Create a relationship with them by placing offerings of flowers, fruit, meditating with them, etc. As needed, ask for their guidance and support. The answer may show up in your dreams, as a thought, or through other signs and channels (ie. the store clerk saying something "random" to you that turns out to be meaningful).
4. Thank and bless your ancestors. Treat them with respect, and humility.
HAPPY DAY OF THE DEAD!
I’m coming up on my 8th annual New Year’s Yoga Retreat in Mexico. In numerology and spirituality, the number eight holds much significance. It symbolizes infinity (with the same shape rotated from the number 8); a completion of a cycle; and the kundalini spiral.
What an 8 year journey it has been with Hanuman Yoga Retreat! I have learned so much, and at times not in an easy way. My job might look ideal on the outside— teaching yoga at beautiful locations arounds the world. But I’d say that 80% of the work comes before the retreat even happens. The success of any retreat is not how spiritual I am, how many manifestation rituals I do, or even how good of a teacher I am.
For all the spiritual people out there, let me just say a word on manifestation. How things work on the 5D / energy/ astral plane / ether world is on a different timeline than the 3D human world. Work needs to be done on both levels, and they sync up at some point. If you’re asking the universe for the perfect job, partner, income, home, or basically anything— hey, it'll be handed to you. BUT if you’re not sure what you want or bypass working on yourself, then it’s not going to go well...no matter how much you try.
Having my own business is a 360 degree reflection of my strengths and weaknesses; my patterns that I need to work through; maintaining a balance of the heart and head space; tracking intuition and logic; being able to take full responsibility for everything; resilience; and having total freedom.
Over the years, I’ve led 32 retreats at 16 different venues, and was the resident yoga teacher at three retreat centers. I’ve lost USD $4K on a retreat, $2K on another, $700, and $600. On three occasions, I’ve only had one guest on a retreat (and each of these were enriching experiences). I also had a streak of selling out my retreats, which led to the false thinking that “I finally made it” and could expect that each time. Alas, it is not a linear process. AT ALL.
I automatically assumed that all retreat centers acted consciously, but this is a great illusion. Fortunately, I have had wonderful experiences at many retreat centers. I am much more clear with my criteria; thoroughly research the venue; and feel into the relationship I create with the managers. Now it’s easier to know when I’m choosing what I want.
In Fred Kofman’s book Conscious Business, he writes: “Integrity is immediate and unconditional. Every time we act, we are either in alignment with our values or we are not. We choose whether or not we are aligned.” It's an excellent business model and benchmark for life!
For me, it applies to:
-Being drawn towards immediate gratification vs. taking time to see if a choice is right for me
-Being realistic with how much am I willing to invest and lose
-Knowing when I am giving too much and people are taking too much
I’m also practicing to:
-not feel that everything is urgent (Gotta pace myself!)
-walk the walk with consistent self-care and unconditional self-love (More self-kindness!)
-to keep joy in my work (even admin tasks!)
I am truly grateful to do what I love in service and teaching; to connect to magical places through travel; to share a special experience with so many people; and to humbly keep growing mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Now, whose going to join me in celebrating 8 years of Hanuman Yoga Retreat? I'm offering 3 Mexico retreats in the Riviera Nayarit! See below to see what each retreat offers.
Hanuman Yoga Retreat
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I was led to Sayulita a week ago due to the Santa Cruz, California wildfires. I evacuated from my apartment, where I had only moved-in two weeks before and was now displaced. In my discombobulated state, I remembered that I had flight and lodging credit from a cancelled Mexico retreat/trip in April. Incidentally, there were no quarantine restrictions or COVID testing required to enter Mexico; the Nayarit region has one of the least COVID cases out of the whole country; and the international travel ban from the US had recently been lifted. Needing an affordable place to recover (with clean air), I booked my flight and flew out 36 hours later.
It was only a couple of days after I arrived here did I realize that my journey had come to full circle. I was in Sayulita exactly 8 months ago to the date. At that time, I was facilitating a New Year’s retreat, unaware that I had a kundalini awakening (and another one would follow in February). I had already experienced my first kundalini awakening about five years ago in Thailand. I attributed it to a consistent practice of yoga, meditation, TRE, QiGong and being exposed to energy work and spirituality. I was staying at New Life Foundation, an intentional community, and there was an inner nudge to look a bit deeper at myself. Although I was in a safe space, I was afraid to let go of the illusion (to myself and others) that I was “perfect.” In fact, I had built up my perfect image so much that people were initially shocked to learn that I had trauma, addictions, anger, or even problems.
For me, a kundalini awakening is the soul pushing to emerge from underneath all the layers that we cover and protect ourselves in. Physically, it feels like energy coursing through my veins, with strong kicks coming from the inside out. This time around, all seven chakras were activated with intense sensations. With these chakra points open, it unlocked what had been suppressed, to deal with or not. It also brought to the surface my beliefs, fears, attachments, ego, and understandings about love. A full dismantling process happened. On the “other side”, I was now tuned into a frequency that allowed access to channeling, automatic writing, heightened intuition, noticing synchronicities, past life connections, feeling the vibration of nature’s elements, and stepping into different realms. Yes, the experience was intense, overwhelming, fascinating, extraordinary, and exhausting. And it lasted for eight months.
My inner state and outer world triggered each other, and there was no shortage of events— the COVID crisis; Black Lives Matter; the state of my business; financial anxiety; not having "a real home" for five months; evacuating from the California wildfires; and a twin flame encounter.
My biggest lesson through all these situations was whether I chose to stay “a victim” or if I was ready for change. There’s a fine line between acknowledging our (perceived) limitations yet fully embracing new options VS. reinforcing our perceived limitations and staying stuck. We can see this in choosing whether to engage in the same unhealthy relationship patterns, the same unfulfilling career, as well as if we unconsciously resist abundance, freedom, or love.
I learned to let go of what I didn’t want, even if it had been my story or identity for years. I then took time to become clear with what I did want and commit to it. That was actually harder. Oftentimes distractions, excuses, self-doubt, and temptations would try to throw me off track, and I had to be firm with my boundaries. Once I navigated past that, the universe guided me to the next step. This transition was a noticeable shift with many acknowledgements, blessings, signs, and synchronicities.
As I sit on the beach, I feel that I have reached one of many destinations in my soul journey, a bit like a checkpoint on the spiritual path. A deep sense of peace and stillness fills me, and I know that I have arrived.
To the ocean of all things that carried me over the waves-- thank you.
I didn’t think I was going to write a newsletter this month. I felt that nothing had changed. We’re still in this stupid pandemic. I don’t have anything inspiring or thoughtful to say. My energy had hit a major low the past couple of weeks, and I was spending most of my time lying in bed in exhaustion, heavy emotions, and wondering where the heck my life was going.
But today I started to feel lighter.
I thought I’d share my Tao oracle cards from this year. They were messages specifically for me, but it can probably apply to most of us in our experiences the past several months.
During my New Year’s retreat in Mexico, each of us had a chance to choose an oracle card that would offer a personal message for 2020. I love oracle cards. It has an uncanny way of showing synchronicities that I’m experiencing or a truth that I already know or will be revealed. Much to my surprise, I pulled the card with the message STANDSTILL. The very depressing picture and words held absolutely no positivity and stopped me cold. Stalemate, stagnation, withholding, grinding to a halt, insensitivity, mistrust. I thought there must have been some mistake. I was angry and confused. How could I be celebrating the end of 2019 with so much joy and gratitude and have it all come to a halt? Of course, the message is quite clear now. Time stood still for many of us with the pandemic— closing doors to our freedom, plans, community, work, finances, and human connections.
The next card that I pulled was during a February retreat in Thailand. I asked for a message for what was next as I prepared to leave Chiang Mai, my home for 3.5 years. I pulled card #29, ABYSMAL with an image symbolizing everything crashing down and more foreboding words. Again, I was in disbelief. I never get “bad cards.” And it’s so embarrassing choosing such negative cards in front of a group that I was leading. But the cards don’t worry about whether I am saving face or not. They just deliver the message that is asked.
Incidentally, I landed in San Francisco on 2/29, was going to spend a few weeks in California to visit my family before traveling to Mexico for a few months, and then relocate to Kyoto, Japan by June. I. HAD. IT. ALL. PLANNED. However, quarantine soon went into effect in California, followed by the international travel advisory ban. Yes, things got abysmal. I was stuck in the US— a country that I grew up in but had not lived in for over 15 years. I was more in my element being nomadic, traveling, and living abroad. Over these past 4.5 months, I have moved eight times within the San Francisco area based on places that were available, within my budget, and that had my own room. Just as the card stated, I experienced insecurity, overwhelm, unpredictability, dark emotions, facing fear, and finally courage.
Next, we come across card #23, which I pulled in late May. If we add those digits together, it’s 5— the month that George Floyd was killed, and 2, 2+3 makes 25, the date of his death. On the global level, but particularly in the US, here’s where we start to see things SPLITTING APART. Impermanence. Deterioration. Eliminate the old. Collapse. Death. Separation. Let go. Surrender. On the personal level and for the collective, my view is: In order for transformation to happen, we cannot hold onto what is not working. Yet, there can be much resistance to change— fear, uncertainty, and the work it takes to build something new.
Before we start to feel too hopeless, I did pull two cards for the remainder of 2020. Again, this was a message I asked for myself but could apply to many of us. #13 COMPANIONSHIP: friendliness, mutual respect, shared goals, interdependence, agreement, strengthening bonds. To me this speaks about the call for unity and working with each other instead of against. If you are tempted to first (or only) see how you are different from another person, try to see where there is common ground. Click here for a beautiful guided meditation based on Ram Dass’ “Just Like Me” narrated by Sean Fargo.
Companionship is also about the importance of having community. During these times of isolation, I am grateful to have regular practice groups and peer sessions that I meet with every week online. It's different from having a friend to talk to since it is based on a common interest/focus and has structure. This can be a meditation group, a yoga class, a writer's club, or a support meeting such as 12 Steps. If/when lockdown starts to ease, volunteering is a great way to contribute your energy to a community and take the focus off of yourself.
As for "inner" companionship, notice if you are working with your emotions, body, mind, and spirit in a respectful way. Is there interdependence in supporting and nourishing these parts of ourselves instead of seeing it as disconnected or isolated? This was a fascinating constellation exercise that I participated in recently. For some people, the body hid emotions from being seen. For others, the mind was exhausted from trying to control the other aspects of the self.
And last, we have #32 DURATION: constancy, continuity, endurance, perseverance, maturity, strengthening, stability, a deep commitment. Since the word “strengthening” came up twice for both cards, my message is to stay strong as we weather through the rest of the year. Do what makes you feel grounded— a morning ritual, taking time for gratitude, and/or connecting to nature. The seasons will change, and like Mother Nature, we learn to adapt, be resilient, and show up as we are.
Trust that there will be better times ahead.
A few days ago, a friend of mine softly admitted that she’s never suffered racism. I was stunned, even though this shouldn’t have surprised me. She’s white, and I’m Asian. However, it was a moment of stark realization that having racist experiences was part of my life being a person of color—despite whatever similarities we may share in our education, field of work, travels, age, and income.
Many years ago, I went to a country-that-shall-not-be-named* and ended up traveling with a girl that I met at my hostel. Like me, she was American. Unlike me, she was white. More than once, we would be walking together when a local would approach us. He’d start shouting racist remarks at me, ridiculing me for my physical (Asian) features, and follow us around. Meanwhile, the same local would be friendly, smiling, and polite to my friend, promoting his restaurant where they had a "wonderful menu with good prices." It was bizarre seeing this man alternate his behavior so quickly, depending on whether he was talking to me or my friend. The first time this happened, my friend was completely shaken up, disturbed by such a raw display of hate, and confused why anyone would do such a thing. It was her first racist experience, secondhand. I remember her gently asking me, “Does that happen to you a lot?” I felt embarrassed. Not ashamed that I was Asian, but embarrassed that she saw something that I managed to keep hidden. She was seen as superior because she was white.
With Black Lives Matter being at our global attention, this has been one of several upsetting memories that has re-surfaced for me. When the racism was by people that I knew (close friends and my own students as a former elementary school teacher), I felt betrayed. When it was by complete strangers, there was fear and uneasiness in how far the racism would go. As the suppressed wounds come up from 5, 10, 20 years ago, my hurt, anger, and confusion are still all there.
It’s an odd feeling being somewhere in the middle of blind white privilege and racism at its cruelest level. My racist incidents have been on a much, much smaller scale than blacks, and never to the point of brutality. Yet, I know what it’s like when that racist moment happens on a particular level. I also know what it’s like to have my race or ethnic background be treated as superior compared to other races or Asian ethnicities.
Whatever identity we come with, Black Lives Matter is giving ALL OF US an opportunity to WAKE UP, or in softer spiritual terms, to awaken. For the past few weeks, I’ve read and listened to various articles, talks, and videos to educate myself more on systemic racism and white privilege in the US. I’ve donated money to the black rights movement, attended a memorial for George Floyd in San Francisco, and bought a BLM t-shirt. Maybe you have done similar, and I’m sure it’s been appreciated by those on the receiving end.
However, awakening is deeper than awareness or being supportive. It’s the inner process of dismantling the ego, the excuses, and the divide. It can feel like a lot of work— self-examining, questioning, taking responsibility, being vulnerable, admitting to guilt or feeling shame. It may disrupt your beliefs, emotions, your lifestyle, and your relationships. To add to "the Awakening Challenge," there’s so much shaming in our society that it often stops us from even admitting to truths. That we have stereotypes. That we have biases. That we didn’t stop racism when it was happening to others. That maybe we have had a thought, feeling or acted out of superiority based on our race.
We can’t awaken, atone, heal, or move forward if we don’t do the work. Keep the mind and heart open. May we all find our freedom.
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*I didn't name the country in my story since racism exists all over the world, whether it's done by locals, tourists, expats, or residents.
I'm currently subletting at a 3 bedroom apartment in San Francisco. Our day-to-day quarantine life resembles something out of a sci-fi movie, a post-Apocalypse-lite, if you will. One housemate logs into Zoom meetings all day with her co-workers, discussing various projects with her non-profit organization. Behind a closed door in another room, my other housemate teaches a dance class. I hear his cheerful voice boom over the music, "Ready, five, six, seven, eight!" Meanwhile, I am in my room facilitating family constellations or TRE, gently saying to a participant on my screen, "We're going to bring in your ancestors now as a resource." Or, "If you notice sadness coming up, see if you can be with it." In some ways, my life seems to be getting smaller. In other ways, I’m amazed how many I've gathered together with in a single moment of time online. Dozens of friends whom I have not heard from in years suddenly show up on a Zoom event, across different time zones, and we’re connecting into an energy field. It’s a magical moment, and I forget that we’re in a pandemic.
Outside our walls, Mother Natures carries on. The trees sway; the sun shines; the mountains stand tall. It’s calming and warm to feel their friendly presence on my solitary walk, and I forget that we’re in a pandemic.
When I scan the news headlines, hop on social media, or engage in real interactions with people, that’s when I’m acutely aware of what is happening and the differences in how people are responding. Living in fear vs. trust. Creating unity vs. divide. The need for freedom vs. control. Acts of generosity vs. scarcity.
I think about what dictates our beliefs and the impact of our actions on various levels-- from the inner (our own mind, body, and energy) to the outer (how we relate to others and engage with life). Some food for thought.
Wishing you ease during this time.
I don't think I have any new words or insights in response to this pan-experience. I've been down the rabbit hole of political conspiracy theories; intrigued by 5D ascension-starseed-awakening prophecies; and placed my bets on scientific and psychic predictions. The news has brought up guilt for the privileges I have in my life, while social media photos stir up quarantine envy when I feel that others 'have it better'. When I am outside, I sense the awkwardness of people trying to balance social distancing as etiquette while holding the fear of contamination. I've sunk into the grief of collective suffering while trying to raise the vibration for hope and healing. In any given week, I've been participating in online live drum workshops, kirtan sing-a-longs, family constellations, and oracle card readings. Yet, within the same day, my mood and productivity can suddenly spiral into feeling depressed, overwhelmed, irritated, frustrated, lonely, and unmotivated.
For me, acceptance has helped me acknowledge what I can do instead of being up against what is out of my control. On my best days, I've been using this time as a catalyst. What do I want to create, purge, look at, or work towards? What is an achievable goal that I can commit to and practice in chunk-size? I'll share what's been working for me.
I absolutely love "Yoga with Adriene" on YouTube. She has various themes, 10-60 minute FREE classes, and sprinkles her teachings with wisdom and humor. I'm currently on Day 18 of the 30 Day Home Challenge. (And on that, I've said to myself, "Ack, we've been in quarantine more than 18 days!')
Also, my Chiang Mai yoga teacher Gernot Huber is teaching 8 Livestream classes per week. The subscription is only USD $8/month, and you have access to all the class recordings from the past 7 days. He has a ton of anatomy knowledge, emphasizes a mindful practice, and is one of the most down-to-earth people I know.
I use the free Insight Timer app on my phone for a daily 15 minute practice. You can do your own meditation or choose from hundreds of teachers to guide you.
I've recently discovered Jason Chang's YouTube channel Change Your Frequency. He talks about manifestation (creating what you want) instead of focusing on fear (creating what you don't want). My added two cents is: Be grounded, use a combination of your intuition and logic mind, connect to your resources, and be willing to do the work.
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
Most people are finding themselves in unique situations. Too much free time. Trying to balance working from home and childcare. Isolation. Loss of income or job. New baby. Separation from loved ones. Missing an important event. Being displaced. Scarcity.
Sometimes when I am feeling stuck, I realize that it's my attachment to my expectations. I've gotten used to "how things are done" or how I have been living my life. If we think of this as an opportunity for change and creativity, it might just be the shift that is needed.
For me, I've been building on new ideas for Hanuman Yoga Retreat. My weekly TRE classes are now on-line via Zoom on Fridays. I'll soon be adding oracle card readings, individual and group family constellations, and innerdance energy work over Zoom. To stay updated, please check back regularly on my website and/or my Facebook page.
May you continue to nourish yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sending you grace and love as we all work through this.
I often hear people speaking of their desire for a "spiritual experience." I get it. It's pretty intriguing and can step into something blissful, magical, profound, or completely wild. Something that defies the logic mind, with the notion that there is more to our existence than what we see or know in 3D. Nowadays, it's quite accessible to explore such experiences in the form of energy work, Ayahuasca, breathwork journeys, or meditation. Oftentimes, it induces physical, mental, emotional, and/or an energetic release that can be mild or intense. In fact, you can book this kind of experience as an all-inclusive holiday package or just a weeknight event at Chiang Mai Holistic for 90 baht! But what happens when these spiritual "occasions" arrive in the middle of the night when you'd rather be sleeping? Or on a busy morning when you have deadlines to complete? I definitely have said, "I really don't have time for this right now," or "Oh please, not before my morning coffee."
That's the funny-but-not-funny thing about stepping into spirituality, which is basically (a seemingly endless) healing journey. We don't get to choose or have control over the experiences that best suits us or our schedule. Part of the spiritual path is coming across the vulnerable aspects of ourselves... completely off-guard! I guess it's like anything that we are committed to— our passion, purpose, relationships with people that we care about, and even concepts (ie. trust, honesty, etc). It's about being there for it all despite wanting to run away (flight), suppress it (freeze), pretend it's not happening (dissociation), or pushing it away (fight). We are meant to face the discomfort; choose a way to break the old pattern; and create change within ourselves.
What am I learning from my own experience? Mostly I try to observe my reactions, triggers, and pain as just a moment. Sometimes that moment is an hour, a day, or a week. It can be excruciating at times, and sometimes I am not showing the best version of myself (gasp!). But I am committed to my purpose— to lift myself up and out of negative cycles instead of being pulled back into them by default. The lower and heavy vibrations (ie. fear, anger, guilt, shame) tend to grab our attention more easily due to our past hurt and conditioning.
And even when I ABSOLUTELY do not want to. When I REALLY, TRULY don't feel like it. When the circumstances seem IMPOSSIBLE, I take a pause and try to let love in. Tapping into this heart space isn't necessarily about what good I hope for immediately afterwards, but sometimes it's about preventing harm from happening. That unkind word to myself or another, or an action that I'll regret— that will only reinforce the suffering I'm stuck in. Instead, I am trying to choose unconditional love. Even if it's just a drop in the vastness of my being, it's towards the change that I want.
These words below were originally written through a spurt of automatic writing that came through during an incredible 3 day TRE® workshop that I attended with facilitators Fiona Leibowitz and Jeremy de Tolly (and assisted by Dave Millang and Katherine at The Sanctuary Thailand).
How to Love the Heart
Say, "I'm sorry"
For the past few weeks, Ganesha has appeared every day in my morning meditation, my TRE® practice, or simply when I close my eyes. This Hindu deity, worshipped throughout India, represents the remover of obstacles, in particular to new endeavors. Ganesha is also the deva of intellect and wisdom.
I'm not quite sure if Ganesha is removing one big obstacle on my path, or hundreds; whether he's about to remove obstacles, or currently chipping away at an obstacle. What comes up for me is anticipation, confusion, gratitude, and anxiety. I'm reminded of the saying, "Truth unfolds like a flower." I can't force or hurry up these messages from the universe just because I want things to happen on my schedule. The ripeness of the moment decides, with other unseen elements coming into place.
It's also the same with another recurring image that has shown up when I drop into a meditative space. My hands move to type out a message, read a message, or give a message. Sometimes it's on a sheet of paper, other times on a scroll or book. My eyes scan for meaning, but the page is blank. There's only a hint that there is a message waiting to be revealed. Afterwards, I'm confused by it all— Why all the messages that I'm about to receive a message? It's like online notifications constantly alerting me and over-reminding me—an overzealous tracking service that updates you until delivery has been made.
This, along with my other enigmatic experiences helps me understand that there is a lot happening on the subconscious level and the energy that we connect to within us, around us, and with others. The logic mind loves to analyze, control, and sometimes resist these messages and experiences. However, it's trust and gentle curiosity that guides the process.
When I started Hanuman Yoga Retreat seven years ago, I was as fearless as I was naive. I had no business model or marketing plan; had been teaching for less than a year; didn't work at a yoga studio. A friend unkindly remarked that I needed to build my client base over several years before offering retreats. A few others told me that no one is going to book a retreat with a teacher they don’t know.
I started having a lot of self-doubt. I’m doing it wrong. I need to stick to the rules. I won’t meet people’s expectations. I don’t know what exactly kept me going. Perhaps I didn’t think of it as a big deal. That it was an exciting adventure, much like traveling was for me.
I still remember the day I got my first-ever booking. It was for a Bali retreat that I had organized. My reaction went from excitement to surprise, to throwing up and crying in panic. “What have I done?!” I asked myself. Then the “What If’s” started lunging at me. I was in completely uncharted waters.
Somehow, I managed to stay focused and stepped into this new space. My 14 years of being a classroom teacher embraced the role of retreat facilitator and organizer with joy. Over the next seven years of my business, I failed hard, succeeded sometimes, and learned a lot. I trialed and erred, consulted oracle cards and pendulums, and Googled thousands of questions. I let go of control, battled with my ego, and placed boundaries. I started practicing a middle path approach-- balancing logic and intuition, self-warmth and self-care, receiving and giving.
During the recent New Year's retreat in Mexico, our group also delved into new territory, individually and as a collective, sometimes going deep within the inner self to the outer. The strong container and trust that we built naturally allowed us to be more: more open, brave, playful, heart-centered, and insightful. We were wrapped in such a beautiful connection that we rode the wave of whatever presented itself-- the power outage, a rainstorm, a visiting spirit, and intense spiritual awakenings. I was unprepared in facing my own unresolved trauma that came up, yet it arose because of and within a space of safety, trust, and unconditional support. I made it through and already feel significant shifts.
For 2020, I invite you to let go of fear and doubt. Find your ground and take a step. Whatever you may be moving towards-- freedom, forgiveness, your dream, or perhaps loving yourself-- let it in. And then keep letting it in
Happy New Year. May it bless you with more than you ever imagined.
Tammy is a location independent yogi.