Well, the virtual retreat that I've been building and promoting the last few months FLOPPED!
Those of you who have been reading these blogs and newsletters know that I had been launching my first virtual retreat and putting my whole self in. Those who are new to this newsletter will find out the story now. Here's what happened. In the past two weeks, every time we tried to work with the technology to support the retreat, something broke down. First the video was a problem, then later this newsletter itself wouldn't fit centered on the page no matter what we did to fix it. Few people were signing up – another sign that something was “off center”. For a while I doubled my efforts.
Maybe you have had this kind of experience when you are trying to bring forward a cherished dream or project. It's expected when bringing out something new, that challenges will emerge that are part of the learning curve. Maybe you have felt like giving up hundreds of times, but pursued your goal anyway. Maybe you have given up. There is a difference between “giving up” and “letting go.” The difference is whether or not you are listening to the deepest voice inside or just the voice of fear. The difference is whether or not you can open your heart to God's plan even if it turns out to be the opposite of what you had in mind.
In my career, hundreds of babies have been born and a few have not made it out into the world. My babies are workshops, seminars and retreats. As I began to take stock of the situation, I could see that if I wanted to try “to make the baby pop out”, I could use some of the old style marketing tools – like making personal phone calls maybe convincing students to join me, continuing to picture the way I WANTED IT TO TURN OUT! The “don't spare the torpedoes, full speed ahead” approach. Or, I could let go. While partnering with my web master and social media man, PAUL ZELIZER OF PAUL ZELIZER CONSULTING, we agreed to let go. The process of birthing the retreat was also taking countless extra hours and raising his stress level right along side mine. We listened to our inner voices.
We partnered beautifully. There was no blame and no shame on either part. We looked at what the spiritual messages behind the technical and enrollment challenges might be. I learned SO MUCH. I could see that when the newsletter WOULD NOT CENTER on the page, that I have been a bit off center myself. This virtual retreat was a wonderful idea, but it wasn't coming from the bottom of my soul. I could also see that I'm between the old world way of offering seminars and the more millenial new world way. I'm in the middle, and can't move myself any faster to the new way. Don't really want to “push” myself out into the world either.
We came up with a wonderful way that I could continue my newsletter, blogs and social media presence at a more moderate pace. When I finally made the decision to let go, I had a few days of grief, despair, frustration, etc., These feelings, while they haven't remained with me, were so necessary for my growth – falling apart is ALWAYS key to my transformation. I am so grateful for all the support I received as I walked through this particular dark night.
I'm encouraging each one of you who may be facing a difficult challenge in your personal or professional lives, as you attempt to bring something forth into the world – to attend to yourself with great care and awareness. Whether you decide to keep on going, or to let go, know that you are and beautiful just as you are. A loving God says “hey, I have room on my lap for you. Come on up, sit close, while I hold you, sweet child of my heart.”
Now, this is a few days later and I am truly relieved. I am so grateful for every part of the journey. The title of the retreat was “Coming Home to Your Sweet Old Soul.” That's what happened for me – I CAME HOME on a whole new level. I discovered I don't want to go out in the world, at least not now in the virtual retreat type way. It's my inner world that I am most being called towards. Even if that changes in 2016, I trust the letting go message now. My private practice remains deeply satisfying.
Since the retreat “flopped” in terms of worldly results, my soul has risen. I'm quieter and I'm doing more sits each day and even in the night. Somewhere while preparing the retreat in the last few weeks, I started giving my body daily deep tissue massage. I can actually reach most parts of my body due to my years of yoga. This is another true COMING HOME as I have spent decades learning to love my body. So, the shift from self loathing to self soothing is incredible. Preparing for the retreat sent me there.
I thought I would be working with larger numbers of students once again and I could see that I didn't really have the internal emotional, spiritual boundary structure to do that without wearing myself out. So, for the past few months, I've been studying Cindi Dale's book called “Energetic Boundaries.” This book is nothing less than a revelation. My boundaries are now improving in all areas of my life. The transformation I hoped to offer was made inside me. The virtual retreat caused me to pick up the boundary book.
The Midwestern part of me has had plenty to say about the financial investment I made without the financial result. Her basic message is you failed and it cost you a whole lot of money. My sweet, old soul says, “no way, what we have gained in our inner life is priceless.”
Those of you who signed up for the retreat and those of you who have supported my work for so many years, I thank you. And, those of you who did not sign up for the retreat, I thank you.
All honor to you,
“You wander from room to room, hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around your neck!” Rumi