Opening to Life
I am sitting by the beach in Amed, a quiet fishing village in the east of Bali, watching the sun glide up over the beautiful, glowing Flores Sea. Roosters are crowing and motorbikes throbbing in the distance and I am feeling intensely satisfied after our week long retreat, Opening to Life in Ubud.
Ten lovely souls trusted themselves to me for a week of Gestalt growth and transformation, for which I feel amazingly grateful. This delicate, intimate process of growth is like watching a flower unfurling. As I reflect on the week I am touched by the depth of each persons sharing and the changes they have achieved through bringing themselves to group. This process is a magical one!
Expansion and contraction
This has been the second retreat where we have utilised the practice of yoga postures to Support the work of group. With its opening and closing of the body, and especially the Heart space, Yoga echoes physically what we are doing in group. The heart yearns to open, and also needs to safely and consciously withdraw at times. During this week of renewing, restoring and nurturing in the quiet gardens of Melati, there was opportunity to reflect, expand and bring more of ourselves into the equation. We became fluent in the language of our hearts. And the prize is more connection with self, increased confidence, a stronger sense of being ok in the world, and a more lively, vibrant ability to connect. We become more available, both to ourselves and to the outside world, while life becomes more colourful and energised.
The mind is a good servant…
…and a terrible master! In Anahata Asana we place our heads below our hearts, to remind us of this. We have spent a week quieting the mind and opening the heart. The reason I am so delighted to offer this opportunity is that the Heart knows so much more than the head, which is bombarded by shoulds all the time. “I should be like this, or like that, I should be kinder, gentler, always say yes to others.” etc. It is almost impossible to know our own good from this confused monkey mind. However the Heart, vibrating much more slowly and deeply, knows how it is moved and what it wishes. It is like an elephant, plodding slowly and surely towards its goal. We have uncaged the elephant! Think of the strength we have unleashed!
As we open our hearts the opportunity for true intimacy presents itself, life lived more deeply, more connected, with more warmth and presence than before. This is exciting and alive! Relationships glow, family life becomes more satisfying, new paths appear before us with more heart. This group developed a lively communication, from Heart to Heart. Each person learned how it feels to communicate from heartfelt experience in the immediate moment. We are all changed as a result, and go back to our worlds more clear headed, with a new experience of self in the present moment. We have developed our capacity to reflect and also to resonate with others.
Resonance, a new super power!
The first magical invitation in group is to be with yourself more deeply and to speak from this place. The second enchanted step is learning how to tune your delicate instrument to the vibration of others. We are relational beings! Our good is tied to the good of the group, so that caring for and nurturing the group feeds back to our own wellbeing. We see this in our family groups, when families work well (enough), they can be a powerful source of support, love and protection. For one week, this group supported each other. We practised how to resonate and respond to others, from a generous place, allowing them to see how they have impacted us. We fulfilled an important relational need, to know that we have impacted others and are received. Learning this second step gives us a profound super power! We take this back to our loved ones and become more present, warm and alive in relationship. We bring them a gift!
I am so grafetul for this opportunity to touch others and be touched as we work with the profound places in our hearts. I am grateful to all my teachers along the way who have shown me the path and kept shining a light forward when my own became dim. My Gestalt teachers, yoga teachers, mantra teachers and of course, my family.
I can’t wait to sit with you in group and share this amazing abundance!
Next Opening to Life retreat is October 6-13, 2018. Places are limited, to read more and apply, click here