I was on a retreat a month ago that changed my life forever.
It was called ‘Seduction of Spirit’ and is put on by the Chopra Center, which was founded by Deepak Chopra.
I’ve been a HUGE fan of Deepak Chopra for over 20 years – I still vividly remember the first book I ever read of his, it was called How to Know God, and while it blew my mind at the time, it also rung so deeply true to me. Like when your soul knows it to be true, it resonates.
And ever since, I’ve kept reading his books when they interest me and I’ve seen him speak a few times when he’s come to Ottawa.
I have a Civil Engineering degree, so I’ve got a naturally scientific mind and I’ve always loved the way he blends science with spirit & mind/body concepts.
ANYWAYS, this retreat was primarily a meditation retreat – with lots of doses of yoga and talks with different mind/body teachers and researchers. It was also in Sunny California, which will sooth your soul all on its own merit :)
Now that it’s been over a month since I’ve been back into my normal life, I have the perspective to put into words exactly what this retreat has done for me and my life. Cause like I said from the start, it has profoundly changed my life forever.
Up until the retreat, I’d been searching for something unexplainable.
Something I could never quite put into words. Or feel for long enough to be sure what it was. Even now, the best I can do is by saying it’s some sort of deep satisfaction or feeling of contentment, I was longing for. Something unchanging in the midst of the chaotic adventure of life.
I’ve searched for this feeling, through the approval of others.
I’ve searched for it through food.
I’ve searched for it through the love of others.
I’ve searched for it trying to control others. By judging others.
I’ve searched for it through anger and through happiness.
I’ve searched for it through money and all external metrics of success.
To no avail.
Going into this retreat – I was excited to try this totally new thing and see what parts of it would work for me and my life. BUT I also had my usual rationalizations – I’m no yogi, I’ve tried lots of yoga before and it’s just not my thing, I do meditations in emergencies – like when I’m feeling at a complete loss for what to do otherwise – but I’m too busy, how much more do I have time to do? and so on..
But I was also at a point in my life, where I needed to get something different moving in my life. I knew I didn’t have the tools and habits in my life that would serve me for the next 60 years – I hope to live to 100 ;)
So, I’m at the retreat, and I’m excited about the potential but I’m still skeptical.
But I told myself I was going to do it all and just be open to how it unfolded.
And it’s been over a month now and here’s what I’ve found.
My searching has stopped. I’ve found what I’ve been looking for.
I crave meditation, like I used to crave snacking on food. Like I used to crave external validation.
I crave meditating when I can no longer hear my quiet inner knowing, because it’s too buried under the responsibilities and drama in my daily life.
I am inspired to more physically active, whether it be through yoga or walking or rollerblading or anything that literally gets my heart rate up a bit or makes me feel strong. Because it's finally sunk in just how closely tied the mind and body are.
I crave meditation when I feel myself reacting with impatience, instead of responding with patience and love, to my kids or anyone else for that matter.
I’ve also found that when I don’t meditate for a stretch – like a week or so, I miss it. Like the company of an old friend, or like the warm comfort of a fire on a winters night.
It’s incredible, the magic that meditation holds. It is now my first defense against stress, anxiety, chaos, and on and on.
I have literally come home to myself. Without realizing - before I’d arrived back - that I’d traveled so far afield.
It feels like I’m in a zone of magic and serendipity and synchronicity when I’ve been regularly meditating. And I’m more focused because my mind is not in the past or the future. I’m enjoying my life so much more.
And NOTHING external has changed in my life. Just me meditating.
I am more effectively impacting my life because I am more engaged as I move through my day. I feel more focused with where I want to put my time and energy, and its impacting outcomes even better than doing more did beforehand.
It’s like a secret zone of genius, I never knew about before.
Now, I still go to MacDonalds for lunch some days, I’m no vegan, and I haven’t done yoga since that retreat – although I’m scoping out a few Ottawa yoga studios on facebook to find one that I really connect with - and I don’t meditate every day – which is my longer term aim (by the time the kids move out for sure!).
I am entirely certain that my internal personal/spiritual life is on such firm footing that over the course of the next several months and years, my external life will continue to align more and more with my internal foundation.
Like a pebble being dropped in a still lake, the ripples will stretch to places I’ve never imagined.
I’m really excited for what the future holds. It feels more alive. I even feel younger, with a lightness of heart I intend to keep :) I feel more connected to the ones I love. More connected to the universe, more connected to myself and my inner compass.
I can’t think of a better place to co-parent from, to be in a romantic relationship from, and to do anything else from. I feel so in tune with myself and dare I say it - powerful in my own skin.
It’s more than I could have hoped and exactly what I had hoped.
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