Yesterday amongst the picturesque Adelaide Hills I attended a yoga retreat with Sacred women’s soul retreats and for seven hours my world and my mind stopped, allowing me to connect more fully with the true and beautiful ME.
I had been looking forward to this day for weeks with high expectations of being able to finally relax after a hectic six months and it lived up to my expectations in every way possible.
After a successful book launch event last week and my beautiful father passing away four months ago my life has been consumed with massive to do lists, busyness and overwhelming pen pushing activity and I had conveniently forgotten to remember to connect with my heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with my to do lists and I adore achieving tasks, but the scales had tipped and in an effort to keep up with everything on my plate, the one thing I let slide was my connection with me.
So I packed up my pink yoga mat, my fluffy pink rug, my warmest cardigan, my pink water bottle and then chose a blue pillow as I felt a little in pink overload.
I headed up to the Hills and despite getting a little lost and caught amongst the cyclists riding up the hill, I still managed to arrive on time ready and open for a new experience.
I did not really know what to expect, I walked in registered and was offered a Bindi, I chose pink of course and they placed it carefully in the middle of my forehead.
Little did I understand the full significance of a Bindi at that time. I did however feel a slight honouring to me but thought of it more like a cute accessory.
Reading about it more today I now understand it has a special significance in the Indian tradition and there are different colours for different occasions and stages of life. Red signifies a married women representing true love and prosperity and black is never worn by a married woman as this is considered inauspicious.
Young girls are allowed to wear any colour, pink was likely the best choice for me than being a young single woman. (Well I still consider myself a young 48)
True meaning of the Bindi
Every morning a hindu takes a bath and afterwards sits in prayer seeking their truth. As they cannot reside in prayer all day after their bath they put a mark on their forehead to remind themselves during the day about the purpose of life.
When they meet others with a mark on their forehead it also reminds them to recall the purpose of their life. They live with a constant reminder that the overall goal is to seek self actualisation.
The position of the Bindi also signifies the third eye (The minds eye) and is the site where one can lose the ego and reach a higher level of spirituality and again self actualisation.
Understanding the true meaning I have fallen in love with their tradition. I love that they reflect daily on the purpose of their life, because by reflecting and contemplating we can move further towards decisions and actions that help us grow and live our purpose and our best Life (In the Pink), heading towards self actualisation.
Walking quietly with respect into the room, appeared a beautiful alter laden in a deep green Indian style cloth, adorned with items, pictures, symbols and artifacts that gave me a sense of a timeless tradition.
We were asked to put our own items and photos on the alter alongside our very own candles that remained lit the entire day.
The opening ceremony
The day commenced with an opening ceremony honouring each and every individual by name. It was such an intense honouring, inclusive of chanting, candles, ringing of a bell, spraying essential oils and this all created a strong sense of tradition and connection to each other.
It almost made some of the attendees squirm, we are just so not used to honouring ourselves at such a deep level in our modern society.
It gave us an indication of what was to come during the day and created a safe space to reconnect, trust and let go.
Included in the day were Sound bath mediation, Kundalini Yoga and Wu Tao dance.
I had tried Kundalini yoga before and found it a gentle relaxing yoga that quickly reconnects you to yourself so I knew that this would be a good starting point to get the most out of the day. Read more about Kundalini Yoga in Adelaide here..
Sound bath mediation was next and for an hour I laid under my pink fluffy rug, with my head on my blue pillow, warm as toast while my physical and emotional presence soaked up the sounds that were echoing through the room.
The meditation teacher had a beautiful array of sound instruments that strummed out everything from gongs to water and wind. The meditation took me completely away from my monkey mind and allowed me to connect more fully with my heart and my true essence.
The experience was hard to explain in words but it took me to a place of peace, contentment and calm, leaving me forever hooked on the experience. WOW is a great way to describe it. Read more about Sound Bath Therapy in Adelaide here…
Wu Tao dance was the last modality on the agenda for the day and gave us a chance to move our body while silencing our mind. Moving the energy around allows release and a change of perspective from the normal “talking about things”.
During the dance we stopped and one question that resonated in my mind today was “What does your spirit yearn for…”.
This presented me with a few epiphanies that were quietly resting in the back of my mind, ones that I haven’t been able to shake for a few months. Good epiphanies but ones that made me go..Oh no, time for some new changes, again…
Time to leave
Five pm came and as I walked out to the carpark, feeling full with good food and a huge sense of calm, life quickly raced back in, I had to gently held on tight to the experience and as I drove down the hill back to reality I contemplated how I could hold onto this feeling more in my everyday life.
The day and the experiences in its entirety are now stamped on my heart and gave me a chance to explore, reconnect and go a little deeper again into myself. It will take me upwards and onwards to more new experiences and deep knowledge about my life purpose, who I am and what I have to offer in this world.
I left knowing that after connecting to my true self and essence I am in a good place. Often when we silence the mind and go deep into our selves we touch on hurt or sadness and for a long time this is what I have found in these moments.
This time I found peace and a stillness that kind of echoed you are ok, you are in a good place. I was happy.
PLUS I had honoured myself…
Other ways to connect
Not everyone has the time or inclination to go to a yoga retreat for a day or an ashram for three months (A dream of mine) but we all have the ability to slow down, reduce the daily anxieties and reconnect to ourselves and see what resides at the essence of our true self.
It is in that place that we will find our true selves and what we are feeling, it can be scary to delve into that place in fear of what you may find, but the gift ready to unwrap beyond the fear is an abundance of love.
One thing to remember is that once you feel any sorrow or loss, and walk directly through your heartbreaks you give a change for more love and joy to surface and once this has happened you open up your heart and soul to dive deeper into your passions and life purpose.
Try some of these activities and try being fully present and create mindfulness around them
· Take the dog for a walk
· Sit and watch the rain
· Walk on the beach
· Sit and listen to the birds
· Put in your earphones and take in your favourite music
· Lie still and just feel your breathes inhale and exhale
· Take a bath and be still
· Close your eyes and rest
· Slow down
It can be confusing and arduous to be the greatest version of ourselves, living our passions and life purpose, showering love on our self and others and creating our dream lives.
But the tiny footsteps we take today move us forward to that person and that place if we let it.
Trust in life, let go and have faith in your journey. Open yourself up to new experiences. Don’t give up.
Remember that at the deep innerness of your beautiful being is a exquisite, pure happy soul waiting to flourish and burst forth into this chaotic world.
Thank you with much love to the retreat organisers for a magnificent day of reconnection. My heart and soul are in your debt.
Read more about my new book – Heartbreak, Healing and Happiness. Visit Book Depository here.
Click here to get a copy of my free “Flower garden of Love” ebook that shares more on loving ourselves and healing.
Leave a comment below if you believe your experience can help others or you would just like to share.
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