Every year I visit a retreat center in southern Pennsylvania in the beginning of June for a transformative change program. This is done through three nights of drumming, dancing, and chanting in a meditative state. While this is not everyone’s cup of tea, every year I make great strides in my own personal mental wellness. Take six months of counseling sessions and throw them into three nights with others also working on their own yuck and real change happens quickly.
This year I had a different kind of focus for my own personal work. Over the past four to five years I have noticed my joy in life and my radically high energy levels have been dropping. Where did it go? I spent the first night talking with a variety of close friends and together I was able to see were my fears were closing me down, backing me into myself so I couldn’t let my joy out.
Following the event structure, I wrote my fears onto a wooden stick and broke it! Getting ride of my fears. I broke the stick into a number of pieces and asked my allies to throw the pieces into the fire so I knew that there were others who would be there to hold me up even when there were new fears that would come up.
After the second night I still had not really found how I was going to get that energy of mine back but I saw others with the energy I was looking for, running and dancing around the fire. I spent much of the second night watching them and relearning my passion from their joy.
The following day, I took time for my own quiet meditation. My process led me to remember a significant event that took away a large chunk of my safety five years ago. Individuals who I had previously trusted began to threaten me. I became jumpy and began always looking behind me to try to keep myself safe rather than enjoying the festival of my life.
This lead, of not trusting others, no longer serves me and I am able to transform it into something amazing. The third night I took the first steps towards that. I was able to approach a number of people who I had previously been cautious around. With a combination of talking with them and mantra chanting I was able to begin to step out and show the energy that was bottled up inside. One of these individuals joined me in dancing and it was exuberant to open up again.
While working on my own personal fears is still a process I was able to make great improvements and I have already felt a significant amount of joy open up in me since the event ended less than a week ago. I no longer need to close myself off. My trust is only able to grow.
Thank you everyone who helped support me this year and every year at Fires. I hope I have been able to return the favor. You are my family. Being a wellness practitioner I often support individuals with the more physical end of the spectrum but there is always mental and spiritual support that we can all offer each other as we walk the circle of life together. If you would like to join The Dancing Herbalist’s support community, consider joining our Facebook group.