"It took me a long time not to judge myself
through someone else's eyes."
Okay, so my 21-day Letting LOose Challenge has gone on longer than 21 days, but as I've realized, people just have to do what works for themselves! As I learned from a recent interview with a Oneness Meditator, "There are 4 billion people on this planet, which means there are 4 billion ways towards enlightenment. Everyone is different." I'm not going to beat myself up about staying on the 21-day path, because hey, that's what this challenge was all about in the first place!
This past weekend, I did a Paddle Board Yoga Teacher Training and it was profoundly changing in the way that it inspired me to give myself permission to be exactly who I am and P-L-A-Y. I realize that I've spent a lot of time and energy and hard work on becoming a better person, digging in deep to old thought patterns and behaviors in order to change them, and simply grow in my potential for contributing to this planet, but all of that has made life a lot of work.
My soul needs to play.
Perhaps the most beautiful and unexpected part about this retreat were the people I met. The moment I met the owner, Taylor, I knew I wanted to go to Morro Bay and be part of this bliss/Bliss. Something in my heart called out and I answered.
I love solo road trips. They give me an opportunity to be with myself, to get lost with my connection to Source as my brain is focused on moving forward in a gentle monotony. The scenery is gorgeous, the vistas filled with expanses of land that remind me to breathe. I hadn't been to Morro Bay since I was young and stopping by the quaint town of Los Olivos on the way back (I actually passed it, wondered if I should stop, thought "Life is short!" and turned back around) was worth every moment. I heart little towns.
Yet, I also get anxious in group situations, especially when I know I'll be spending the night (or more). This is why I wake up very early, before everyone else around is up, so that I can get quiet time to regroup. It's exhausting to feel like I have to be "on" all the time, but there was something about the group dynamic of the people on this retreat that was perfect. Every person there had gone through their own version of shit to get to a point where they were comfortable expressing their truths.
I've also been in group dynamics, where people's idea of "fun" is to drink a ton and then get stupid. Then, when I didn't want to participate, I'd get ridiculed for it. This group was different. We had fun making dinner together and having wine, some with the puff-puff-give, playing with live music and Acroyoga, and simply sharing ourselves in what we were passionate about.
From being around the creator of the company and her team, I realized there's a way to do business where you can simply be yourself and the Universe responds in kind. She was building her business based on her passion, and her passion inspired enthusiasm within other people, and that continued to ripple outwards. It wasn't this hard-edged approach that I'd taken to virtually every endeavor I've ever done — and I've done a lot.
I suddenly felt like I had permission to be myself. That all the things that I struggled with, I wasn't alone on. That play is such an important part of living and something my soul has been craving, but I've made every playtime session in surfing and climbing and anything else into work. "How can I get better at this?" I continued to challenge myself, rather than, "How can I simple revel in this joyful moment more?"
The best part about it is that I love the sea. I love, love, love the ocean so very much and every time I play in it for awhile and come out, I don't care how tousled my hair looks or whether my clothes look presentable, I just feel so amazingly good for bathing in the replenish salt and sun. This is the feeling I had coming out of every paddle board session, this so-dang-happy-for-being-alive-and-relaxed kind of effect.
This is what I need more of. I feel this deep desire to become more yin, to be more receptive, to stop pushing and begin fully trusting and receiving. I want to be around women I love, women who I'm not competing with, not trying to gain hierarchy amongst. I want to be around play, people who love their play. I want to play.
And that's what I'm going for.