I’m going to start out by congratulating MYSELF because one week ago today I completed my Tantra Facilitator month long intensenive at Gaia-Oasis with the Eugene Hedlund, Rachel Rickards..and Buster (can’t remember his last name and that feels appropriate haha). What a wild ride that was. Many of you were following my Facebook Live feed via my FB (my name is Hannah Marie) and for those of you that weren’t; well, it was a wild ride full of ups, downs, all arounds, and I feel as though I have completely turned myself inside out. The retreat itself included 13 other participants and we all became family after living with each other for a whole month, divining <– I noticed this word while proof reading and I rather like it so instead of retyping diving I’ll keep it as is 🙂 into the “dark and dirty bits/ the patterns that hold us back – all while holding space and seeing each other as the divine sparks of creator we truly are. I had never been surrounded by such a raw and authentic group of people willing to “do the work” for such an extended period of time! I was (and still am) continually WOW-ed by the sheer strength and courage it takes to show up in front of people and be so transparent, so real, so trusting that it is safe to express FULLY. I realize what unconditional love really means. I love myself unconditionally and that means that I can actually love others unconditinally. Woohoo!
Anyways, it’s been over a week since I graduated and getting back in “real” life is absolutely amazing. Taking 30 days to dive into a practice other than yoga was a bit challening. Classes started at 8 am so to get in my morning writing and yoga practice meant I was up at 6 sometimes. By the end of the course I had completely resigned my practice so that I could catch up on sleep.. but in letting my practice go I really learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t.
What works for me:
Dancing. We did an hour of ecstatic dance every morning. Wahoo. I have never felt more free and fierce in my body. My emotions are being expressed in themoment and I am feeling so confident with my own unique expression of the divine here on planet earth.
Writing. I love to write gratitudes in the morning. I love to write about what I am looking forward to and what I want to call in for the day. Writing is a great way to get my brain into a positive space right away.
Music. This is something new I started doing..! I wake up and choose a really beautiful healing song or mantra and listen to it while I brush my teeth. That way my mind is catapulted to the divine and I am in the flow with a good tune stuck in my head.
Fasting. One day a week I fast and just drink water or juice. It helped my body remember when *actual* hunger feels like rather than emotional or stress eating.
Community Forum. This was my favorite new tool. We would dance every morning we would have an hour of ecstatic dance, right, and then after brekafast we would all meet in a circle for shares. Everyone is invited to share for either 1 minute or 5 minutes and the shares are as real as it gets! The idea is that we are all connected so anything happening is within everyones energetic field — so instead of hiding it or ignoring it — we just let it out during a share. No one can ask about anyone elses shares for at least 24 hours so it’s a safe way to express the truth of what’s going on within you, without fear of having to “go deep” with anyone about it.
What doesn’t work for me:
Too much talking in the morning. I like peaceful mornings with a good chunk of time first dedicated to presence and peace. When I get up and look at my phone too quickly or start to check in with others right away it actually shakes me up far too much instead of making me feel clear and ready for life.
Caffeine. Ew. I was fiending at the retreat because the coffee was good (when ordered – not the powder kind) and the mornings were early. Near the end though I finally stopped drinking coffee and was having more tea.. Now I only drink juice! and if I choose a caffeinated beverage it’s because I’m up for the adventure — not because I need it as a life line.
Hmm.. Rigidity doesn’t work for me. I was getting really bent up about not getting my yoga or my running in because there really wasn’t enough time and the stress I was putting myself under was worse than the actual missing of the practice. The month helped me realize all of life is the practice, from how we chew our food to how we wash our hands. If I can take my emphasis off the idea that once I get my hour of meditation in I’m done with the work for the day– I realize that my whole life is an opportunity to deepen my communion with the Master within.
Wow. That really hit me there. The morning just gets me ready for the work of the whole day..! How relaxed can I move through my day?? How peaceful can I walk upon the Earth. How many times can I check my thoughts and instead of getting attached to the stories in my head — let them go and feel freedom of the infinite?
I will continue to do the work until I am a floating ball of bliss, obviously. 😉
Hmm.. so, this blog really got all over the place. I went from telling you about how happy I am that I completed the 30 day tantra retreat, to what I like and dont like, ended up getting really “spiritually woo” for a minute.. and NOW I’ll finish with what life has been like since I have actually started being on vacation rather than just learning all the time.
Ya see, I took a Kundalini Workshop, Agama Complete Femininty Tantra Retreat, Tantra Retreat, one Ceremony, another Ceremony coming up.. Spent one day at Bali Spirit Fest, another day at Ancient Futures Festival..
I’m living the dream. Scratch that —
THE DREAM IS LIVING ME! I heard a friend say that once and it always stuck with me — cause my dreams did dream little miss me up so that they could fully express through this particular vessel of ecstasy. hehehe
In this moment I order ice cream and vegan raw chocolates with spirulina. In the next few moments I’ll make my way back to the homestay to give a client a masage and then have a few Skype phone calls before I relax from the long week. Tomorrow I’ll go to another ecstatic dance with Shaman’s Dream and then move into the fantastic Bali Flow Temple.
I’ve met a number of new friends whom I consider the cream of the proverbial friend crop, danced, motorbiked, and giggled my way all around the island and even across the sea to Lombok. I applied to teach a workshop and I’ve been musing about what my own yoga retreats will look like soon.
It’s all happening – for me – with me!
Thinking back to Bali a year ago I was a total different woman. I was just stepping into my power, still nervous about teaching yoga.. not really open to making new friends even though I desperatly wanted playmates.. Fastforward and I am dancing ecstatically, have made friends on multiple islands in southeast Asia, have a fully booked schedule so much so that I have changed my return flight home. I’m contact improv dancing, playing with people, cuddling, communicating AND the best part.. is that I feel so at home in my body. ((And honestly that’s the only home I have since my apartment back in Chicago is empty and gone)).
Basically: Life is sweet. I am living in the vibration of infinite gratitude. I love me. I love you.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free. WOOHOO.