This past weekend I went to a beautiful yoga and health resort in the Berkshires of Massachusetts called Kripalu. I went to see ~ing diva Gabrielle Bernstein. I had applied for a scholarship earlier this summer, and low and behold, they selected me! My seminar and room and board were paid in full, and Gabby even helped with the flight. Now, if you've been following along, just two weeks ago I was told to prepare for hospice care, I could barely move, my body was shutting down, etc. So how on earth did I have the energy to maneuver my way through four airports and a large resort? Willpower baby! Since my Cancer Update post, I've started a new program (which I describe here) that has given me energy, more strength, and better breathing ability. I also knew that I NEEDED this experience. Part of my challenge with healing myself is that there has always been this little piece (ok, so it was GIANT in the beginning) that wants to die. I needed this experience to help motivate me and eliminate that piece. Right before I left, my Mom and her friend Kelly brought over a beautiful shaman named Rainbow Moon who helped me shift that piece. I resisted like crazy at first, but we did some powerful work, learning to connect and identify with the inner spirit self (a major theme to this workshop) and to silence the ego. The persona I created for my Spirit is a cross between Xena Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She's a kick ass courageous warrior goddess who loves life and is a powerful healer. My Ego, computer dork. Who do you think is going to win in a showdown? Shanna Warrior Princess that's who!
So I had this understanding of my ~ing and Ego before going to the workshop. The workshop was called "Spirit Junkie" partially in honor of Gabby's new book out next month. She also recently released a Spirit Junkie meditation album, which has some great, and short, meditations. You can download from her site here. Anyway, I had an amazing weekend. We had orientation with a Q&A on Friday night, workshop most of Saturday, with time for other activities such as yoga, swimming, hiking (none of which I did) for those that could. I spent my free time journaling. Sunday morning we did a lot of group prayer, danced things out, and learned how to pass the lessons on to others. I met so many beautiful people who I hope to develop even stronger relationships with.
Some of the lessons I took from this experience:
- The ~Ing and the Ego. Learn to recognize when your Ego is giving you shit, feel it, then let your ~ing guide you to a better place. Your Ego is the one that tells you that you can't do something, you are ugly, things are not going to work out, etc. Your ~ing supports your decisions, lets you know what a beautiful person you are. Which voice would you rather listen to? Remember, the computer dork is never going to be stronger than the Warrior Goddess.
- De-Special Relationships. Sometimes we make someone more important than us. It could be a boyfriend, your kids, a celebrity. Remember, we are all one, all equal. No one is better than you, and you are not better than anyone else. If you are making someone more special than you, sit down and find out why? Then find that strength in yourself. And realize that we are all human, with human limitations, even the most perfect seeming people have their issues and imperfections. You are a beautiful spirit; don't forget that.
- The F-Word. Forgiveness is such an important topic. I blogged about it previously here. I learned this weekend though that forgiveness is an ongoing process. There are always new issues that come up. Gabby has a great forgiveness meditation. I recommend writing a letter to the person or situation you need to forgive. Get nasty, let it all out. Then, finish the letter by forgiving the person/situation. I would then do the Forgiveness meditation from Gabby's Spirit Junkie Meditation CD, and then the Cord-Cutting Meditation. I suggest cord-cutting, because even after forgiving, we can still be "attached" to that person. This cuts any negative binds. Then, I would burn the letter and send the ashes off into the Universe. Forgiveness is the first step in any form of healing and growth.
Overall, an incredible experience. I am re-motivated to work on my Ego and ~Ing, and now I have a posse of Spirit Junkie ladies to aid me with this. I am grateful to have had this experience and look forward to my continued growth and emotional, physical, and spiritual healing.