In early 2016 I was going through a major change in my life; up until this point I had owned and operated an Employment, HR & Private Training Company that I built alongside amazing team members over 10 years. In late 2015 discussions started with a local friend and now business partner to take over the company on its next leg of its journey and by early 2016 the deal was done and after post handover obligations, I was FREE!!!!
I had dreamed of this for so long, that when it happened the feeling associated was already activated within that I felt no different; a manifestation of what I so desired over a long period of time. It didn't take long before I felt myself letting go. Wanting to be free of all past conditioning, emotional stress, financial stress, control and having to play the different roles of a business owner, friend, daughter, sister, etc. I was absolutely spent. Exhausted to the point whereby I couldn't focus and understand what my truth was, nor hear the quiet inner voice that usually guided me and feel what my heart truly desired. I felt the tower falling slowly, so to speak but I knew it was a process I had to endure.
This lead me on a long spiritual and self exploration journey (over time I will share my journey in different blogs & pics) and one of my first life changing experiences was at my first silent meditation retreat over 6 days in Bali. The thought of not having to speak, play any roles, remove all facets of my identity I'd built over time was liberating at the thought! It excited me beyond belief. It was a typical beautiful Balinese space up in the hills of Ubud, conducive to disconnecting from the world I knew to be.
There is so many layers I could share about my time in silence and I will over time, but in summary it is a gift and key to 'coming home' to your natural true state.
The people that facilitated the retreat were beyond amazing. Accommodating, informative and showed us genuine care and shared their love and passion for silence, yoga, meditation and the yogi philosophy. The facilitators were in a constant state of zen; the way they gracefully moved step by step, talked slowly and depicted a stereotypical western view of a zen master! There's huge merit to being in a zen space; it helped immensely with maintaining a state of calm and therefore the mind quietened and it enhanced my meditation practice which I'll be forever grateful for!
The overall experience had me desiring to bring more zen into my reality back home and how I functioned, however the desire created some internal conflict...
'But that isn't reality' I kept thinking to myself....and isn't that setting unrealistic expectations on myself to no matter what situation arises, always be in a state of zen? I wanted and craved authenticity. I wanted personality from the facilitators, their layers, baggage they have to contend with and stories I could relate to. Guidance and examples of how to maintain a connection to oneself, my truth and honour my authentic self through the craziness that life sometimes brings us.
As I said, it triggered an internal conflict of desire v's authenticity.
When the retreat came to a close, I didn't want to speak. I loved not speaking and wanted more...(I returned only 3 months later to do another one!)
After the retreat I found myself at the embassy, accompanying a friend about a passport issue and found ourselves in the waiting room trying to work out their customer service system- no clue!! When we were waiting, the 2 facilitators of the silent meditation retreat had also arrived wanting to attend to a passport concern. We sat for a while and engaged in conversation with them and before too long, one of the facilitators impatiently got up and walked over to a customer service consultant and interrupted his consult with his customer! She demanded he see to her straight away. Ha! I couldn't believe it! To be honest I was relieved. 'Now this is reality' I thought to myself. I believe in balance of the masculine and feminine energies, yin and yang and honouring the contrast within all of us of light and dark. Knowing that I wanted to step into the wellness space in the future, it helped bring clarity to how I want to lead and facilitate in sacred spaces; that's to honour my own and the groups desires of internal and external zen with authenticity and the right intentions!
I think no matter the industry of work, no matter the context of how you lead or are being led, reflecting on your experiences; wouldn't you say that authenticity brings about better engagement, connection with oneself and others and a sense of self empowerment and acceptance? FREEDOM to simply BE is bliss...
I'm bringing silence to YOU! Connect with me to hear more about my intro to Silence Bells Beach Day Retreat Series if time in silence has you curious! Kicking off in Sep 2018 x