i am cheating with my blog post today. i have decided to simply cut and paste an email i sent to my friend last year around this time. i was turning forty and the only thing i wanted for my birthday was a weekend away - alone - for the first time EVER in my life. the place i chose to spend my weekend was the omega institute in upstate new york. the experience for me was powerful and amazing and everything i had hoped it would be. i have saved this email in my draft folder for a whole year - all the while afraid that one day it would be lost. i am happy that now it won't be lost.
original email written sept 8th, 2008.
ok - this was a truly amazing weekend.......i will give you the info in painstaken detail......
basically i had workshops friday nite - sat and sunday morning. when i didn't have class i was free to do whatever i wanted - and take any of the optional classes like yoga, tai chi or dance/movement. so when i got there friday i was having the hardest time relaxing - i thought that once i drove away from home - and had all this time to myself - i would just melt into this state of bliss....but i just didn't get that sense at all. in fact it was the opposite. i wasn't feeling guilty about leaving or anything like that - i don't know what i was feeling. so then i was mad about that - and anxious - like i had wasted all this money and it wasn't what i had hoped it would be b/c why wasn't i feeling light and stressfree???......
i had time before dinner on the first night so i went down to the lake and walked around (you can take out boats or lie on the hammocks or swim....whatever you want to do) nothing - still tense - i felt stagnant and i decided i needed to get some energy work done - there was nothing available all weekend. i wrote a bit in my journal but even that was hard - it was choppy and angry. i tried "meditating" so i sat quietly and still nothing...i realized that all the times i was home and thought i was "relaxing" in fact i really wasn't...i was just not doing the housework or thinking ab0ut doing the housework.......it was just a state of "not doing" the chores i "had" to do...kwim? i thought i was relaxed simply b/c i wasn't annoyed or overwelmed with some chore!! it wasn't until i got there and had absolutely no agenda - no housework - no chores - no planning.......did i realize i don't truly relax........then i got all tense again b/c i made this realization (probably just the emotions bubbling up about it LOL)
so i go to dinner and just wanted to be alone - not talk to anyone.......but of course people talk to you so i was polite but i just wanted to be alone. i was getting annoyed - like shut the fuck up....i was even writing and looking purposefully unavailable.....but nope they still talked LOL...i didn't linger long at the tables......lol
there was orientation at 7:30 then class started at 8-10. we were all sitting in a half circle - in these chairs.. ...and i felt so confined - being so close to these people. now i'm not shy but i felt trapped........told the guy next to me and we both asked the leaders if we could just sit on the floor.......and we all did. anyway - they start class and i realize it is all about living green and helping the environment.........now i am REALLY annoyed and tense b/c had i known that was what this weekend was all about i would not have signed up for it!!!........it was pretty basic stuff too.......like using cloth instead of paper towels and not using plastic bottles.....meanwhile i have my KK bottle in hand (and a huge part of the "info" was about using klean kanteens! .......so my stress was getting higher!!! i mean i was really pissed b/c this was granola 101 and i've graduated from that program years ago!!!!!! but i decided that i would just be open and maybe i'd learn something new......oh and it is HOT - every building is stifling - my room was hot - i was just sweating and sweating....it was so stuffy.........after class i walk around a bit - go to the cafe and bookstore - library...stuff like that. then go to bed and that's that.
oh - i had this bloated - full feeling in my stomach.....just felt soooooo stuck....like a boulder was in my gut.....it wasn't food so much - just a huge knot of tension..............i guess
saturday - i get up early to take a tai chi class. i don't know what was wrong with me but we start and the god awful heat of the day (even though it was only 7am!) - plus the stifling room - i almost faint and have to leave............so i'm pissed........i go to breakfast - again get stuck with people who want to talk.......go to class.....things start to look up - besides being taught MORE info i already know plus a plug from both leaders about other workshops/lectures/cds they have (roll eyes)......we do an hour of yoga and relaxation - that was great and finally started to loosen me up.....i go to lunch - start actually talking a bit - then decide to go exploring more.
i hit the sanctuary (which is a beautiful place up a steep hill...there are stone steps and different levels of ponds and water features and buddha statues......the inside of the sanctuary is filled with different cushions and chairs and an alter in the front....this is where you go to just sit and meditate) i am tense in the sanctuary b/c i just don't know how to meditate and i am frustrated! i kinda sit and just slump - pretending to know what i am doing. i am also mad at myself b/c i am sitting there thinking "i wonder if anyone will walk in and see me meditating! i am sooo cool!!".......and that side of me is soooo frustrating......i then go to the lake and lie on a hammock to read and write and draw.......and it starts to rain..........and it doesnt stop the whole day and nite LOL.......i just walked and walked in the rain. i really enjoyed that b/c i never get to just walk in the rain.....usually i have the boys and they are running for cover - or everyone is just running to avoid getting wet......i just let myself walk slowly in the rain.......and let me tell you i was literally soaked. i mean it was HOURS of walking outside in the rain (the place is set up like a college campus) i would get into a building to dry off for a second - just to walk out and be drenced again - it was pouring!!!
so i have our afternoon session and suddenly things started to get better - we had the same lame info - but we did a movement/dance part and i was blown away. literally it is just putting music on and letting yourself go - close your eyes and who cares what others think...just feeling the music and moving to it. i loved it so much that when the workshop ended for the nite i stayed to take an actual dance/movement class and THAT was an unbelievable experience. the music was LOUD - the lights were off - it was HOT in the building - the windows were open with the sound of rain pounding - i was sweating - my hair was soaked.....and i was moving - it was not a "taught" class - it was just a loosely "guided" class - the music was eclectic - from all around the world and different speeds and there was tribal music and we were yelling and stomping and pounding and the energy was out of this world........that class really made me realize how important music and feeling the music is to me - and how i have totally stifled myself over the years - always holding back b/c i felt fat and heavy and awkward......but this was freeing!!! i remember thinking that i was soo glad i was alone b/c i don't know if i could have been that free with friends around....kwim? noone knew me and they only saw the passion and the freedom.......they didn't care that i didn't look or move like a "trained" dancer - they only saw and felt the energy of my dancing.
then i went to dinner - and this time i talked to people too!! i didn't leave early or look unavailable.....i was open!! and i was drenched from the rain !!! and i met some pretty incredible people.
that nite there was a concert at 8pm.... www.soulfege.com ...they call themselves afropolitan - they are reggae, hip-hop, rap.......but they rocked the place! i was still on my high from the movement class and just danced without any inhibition!!! but i had to leave at 8:30 to have my aura photographed but thank god it only took 25 minutes and i was back to rocking at the concert. oh - the aura thing was so neat - she analyzed it and a bunch of stuff really stood out as being true or being things i had heard about myself before...but one was my need to be acknowledged and be paid attention too...and it wasn't a positive thing...and how when meditating i wanted to be noticed meditating........kwim?? i knew that side of me before and i knew i wanted to work on it but then to see it in my aura floored me......but the good thing was that my aura also showed my currently trying to heal myself and how it was a positive experience.....again that fits totally with my needing to soul search and my going to omega etc........afterwards i went to the cafe-bookstore again - had an icecream and went to bed......again - i was so absolutely soaked to my core that i just wanted a shower and dry clothes and that was it
sunday morning i took a yoga class down by the river.........the leader was amazing. it was a very moving experience - it just reminded me of how much i loved taking yoga before i had kids.....i've done videos here and there since then and tried other stuff like pilates........but nothing compares to yoga....b/c its just not the physical part of it...it was like my entire spirit and soul was reminded of how young and free i am (or can be!) regardless of what my age and body say........i need to do it more - but where? when? ugh......
by this time the heaviness in the pit of my stomach is gone - i am much looser and relaxed and am finally enjoying conversations with people again.........so i go to breakfast - the thought that i wasted all this money on workshops telling me shit i already know is still lingering in the back of my mind........i was loving the extra non-workshop stuff - like the yoga and dance/movement etc....but the workshop info....no.......and of course i talk to someone at breakfast that said i could have switched to another workshop (i didn't know that!!) and that i should just go to another class that day (my last day) but i felt compelled to go to my last class.........and thank god i did b/c it was all about meditation! we meditated all morning - trying new techniques and finding what was the best way for me - we talked about setting up a meditation space - we did a walking meditation up the sanctuary - meditated in there just for a few minutes - then did a different ki nd walking back.......we learned breathing techniques to relax us and to rejuvenate and wake us up........i was sooo thankful i stuck it out..........i literally floated out of there to lunch - and then went home. i had music blaring (soulfege cd i bought and angelique kidjo who is amazing) - i was floating from the weekend and the experience! i didn't even care that my gps led me through new york city to come home! LOL
it was just the experience i wanted!!! i went through this type of soul searching when i turned 30. i thought i still was at the place i was then - when i felt so light and free afterwards. i was so wrong. this place/experience just reminded me of how wonderful i felt before and how its a life long process that needs to be nurtured all the time.......i am just not waiting 10 years again to do it.............
and there it is. this past weekend i found myself driving in the car to our mountain home and had soulfege playing in the car - and immediately i was transported back to omega. that is when i decided to write this post...i needed to remember - to be transported back to this place.
i turn 41 on thursday. i told my husband this past weekend that i want to make omega an every 5 year experience. i need that experience to remind me that growing and soul searching is not something that is done once in a lifetime - but that it is on-going and important and needs to be made a priority in my life....i am grateful that i had that experience a year ago...and that the lessons i've learned that weekend - i am still learning from today...........