"Get to know what's going on in your space." This is what I've encouraged others to do so many times. After spending an intense handful of days in Costa Rica co-leading a yoga & meditation retreat, I've navigated these last few days in a partial fog.
I've managed to teach a few classes, all of which were great, but that's not the issue. It's the time outside of the studio that's in question. Simply put, I've been a bit out of sorts since coming back.
It just occurred to me that what I thought I was dealing with, may not be the case after all. I've thought about, explained away, and justified exactly what I think is going on that I feel so differently. "It's the travel- it takes a toll." "It's the (1 hour) time difference." "It's the drain of mental and emotional outpouring." None of these explanations have sufficed. So here's what I think.
I, having never taken on an endeavor such as this, was very excited. Huge energy swirl surrounded the anticipation of not just getting away from a harsh winter, but also, doing something really special, in service. When we got there, both me and Katie Hill pledged to give everything we had to facilitate, support, and nurture a transformative experience. Word is bond, if someone asks me if I left it all out there, the answer, without hesitation is yes. I found that being so fully emersed in loving presence was overwhelming at times and exhausting at times. But whatever, right? It's so not about me. I was all in, start to finish.
So, I've now had a few days to get back in the swing, and I, like anybody else would be, I have been dealing with the weight of my own expectations. I expected to miss pretty much everything about the retreat, but that it'd be cool. I gotta say, it's not feeling so cool in this moment. I expected to have detailed conversations about about how it went, and not feel like I had to purposefully scratch the surface of the experience. People are still wondering. I expected to reminisce on my own without completely falling into a state of dysfunction. I expected to put all sorts of energy into action related to how I was going to live my life and offer myself up once I returned. It's just not happening (yet).
Funny how that conscious awareness thing goes. Before I could turn away from a self-deprecating thought about what's wrong with me, I experienced a moment of true personal wisdom. I have come to realize that I'm in a state of expanded and extended open-heartedness. I thought I was there before, but humbly, I admit that I didn't know anything.
Basically, what I've realized is this: since coming back, I've been profoundly exhausted. But, when I close my eyes and shut out the distractions of the external, I feel energized. Most everything else seems like a waste. Being drawn in by my own heart, and then enraptured, I realize that there's no place I'd rather be. This is a state of being that gives me comfort and simultaneously spurs the flow of tears. (Not so awesome in line at the co-op.) Sometimes I feel like I have to place my hand on my heart to keep it from overflowing.
If a new level of connection is what I'm experiencing, then I guess I'd better just get used to it. Having learned my lesson (again) about expectations, I'll just remain open. And as I continue to dedicate my time and energy to those around me, the hope is that I can share this energy freely, and continually. In this way, let's hope that what happens in Costa Rica doesn't stay in Costa Rica.