These days I waiver between being inspired and disoriented.
I am not sure what is coming or going.
I wonder if I am in denial.
The Awareness School is all about transformation, the work of the mystic, creating our own “conscious shocks” so life doesn’t serve those up for us, and…
We are in an unprecedented situation.
Looks like life has provided a pretty big conscious shock.
The Awareness School is also about people connection and group work. We gather in retreats to be a part of something that cannot happen otherwise. It allows a quickening to occur within us when we work in specific conditions…together. Higher energies are available to be taken advantage of, and so, it is like being in a special container we cannot have on our own.
The fact that we are together makes it happen.
It can catapult someone to the next level if their work has been consistent. It can catapult someone to another level even if they haven’t.
To quote from my book, “It is an immersion in what regular life could look like when we make right efforts. It is a gathering in which one learns how to live in presence.”
And so, these gatherings are an integral component of what we do together. They are integral because our work is focused around being out in the world amongst the chaos, the people, and the messy interactions. We learn how blame, shame, guilt, and self-justification are components of our conditioned responses as we recognize it in action. We discover the mechanical in us by studying what is going on when we get “triggered.”
By being with each other, someone is going to get triggered by something. Alone in our own private Idaho, we can avoid a lot of work on oneself. We can gain traction through meditation, being still, inner reflection, learning to accept slow life and all of the other true benefits of shelter in place, but…
Learning to truly connect, love, and care for each other is our raison d’etre.
So we can still connect online, have conversations, work if we are lucky, however we as a population are getting more and more isolated. We risk having this become normalized. People will choose “safety” out of fear, even when it becomes safe to physically gather. Inequity and racism risk becoming more and more cemented in our social fabric, and the need to change our healthcare system grows more and more apparent.
Life will take a huge turn for the long haul, making in person gatherings all the more special and meaningful. We may gather less in a boardroom, a courtroom, or a classroom, unnecessary flying and driving is a plus, but oh boy. a birthday party, a dinner date with friends, a family reunion, a live concert or a retreat sound luscious right about now.
The environmental advantages of the slow down could turn climate change around. Building community, having family nearby, and local food sourcing has a real chance if the large scale operations break down.
But back to that essential physical contact…
We lose a large swath of impressions by not being in the room with each other. We lose the important factor of socialization and learning to function in a group, especially for children.
Not only does being physically together bring about certain stimuli, connection between those who gather together lights up our hearts. We solidify our community and ride the magic carpet of belonging, inclusion, and acceptance. We learn consideration and the alchemy of working together. We feel each other energetically in a way that is different than remote contact. The sum of our unique parts creates something new every time we gather. Even sitting in silence in a physical group of people forms bonds like no other.
Our school is about building something together. Sean and I have delighted in preparing glamping sites and erecting tents on our own, but it is meant for us to build together with others. We want to make it comfortable, hospitable and so in this time, we have taken advantage of the isolation to do just that.
We continue one foot in front of another with a vision that has been in my heart for about 22 years, and I’m not stopping now. Gathering will take on a new meaning because it has been so restricted, and I trust that restrictions will be lifted.
I am forging ahead as if nothing will stop us from gathering. I’m excited. I’m fired up. I want you to join us.
So… are we working furiously, (well we have time on our hands), with no knowledge of whether gathering is possible? YES.
Will we stay in compliance with whatever the safety suggestions are? YES
Will we gather as the roll out allows? YES
Are the retreats happening? YES
This is gonna make them better than ever!
Please register as soon as you have heard the call in your heart. We have open weekends in the Summer and Fall, and a weeklong retreat August 8 – 16. We may have to limit attendance. We are honoring full reimbursement if it all goes awry!!!
See you soon.
GET MY WEEKLY INSIGHTS, MINDFULNESS PRACTICES & MORE