Monday, December 31, 2012

Running away to find Home...

Beware, I'm in a bit of a writing mood.

The end of year always brings out my inner writer, so be prepared for a lot of posts this week.  After the silence of the past month or so,  I did not want to overwhelm you or have you go into shock, so there's my public service announcement.  POSTS ARE COMING... Lots of them..

Like the this one...
Running away to find home.

I got an invitation about a year ago to join Ann, my Bonus (a nicer term than stepmom),  at a week long yoga retreat in Mexico.   She had attended in 2011 and the day she got home, she called and said they were doing it again in 2012 and she thought I would love it.  I looked at the website; I looked at my finances; I looked and the calendar; and then I decided yes!!!

I made the decision to go in February and paid my first deposit.
Life went crazy.

I made my second deposit in June..
Life went beserk.

I made my final payments in August and October...
Heaven help me....

I booked my airfare....
I lost all confidence about going.

I started to prepare for the trip...
I trip and end up leaving for the retreat with a swollen wounded ankle and a skinned up knee.

Why do I bring all of this up?  You need a clear understanding of my mental, physical and emotional state when I boarded my flight that left at 5:55 am on December 8th to understand the transformation that occurred.   I've come to the realization that I needed to be at a low point to be open to what happened.

What did happen, you ask?
I found home.

I'll explain that in detail later, but first some details about the trip....

December 8th, I flew from SLC to LA to Puerta Vallerta, Mexico.  I made all of my connections and my luggage made my flights.  Off to a good start.  :)  I left Salt Lake in below freezing temps, landed in LA in fog (could not see more than 50 feet out the plane's window), and at my final destination....
85 degrees...  my idea of perfection.

Haramara Retreat the resort where I was heading, is about 30 miles north of Puerta Vallerta, so I waited for a few of my fellow yogis, including Ann to fly in.  We loaded up our shuttle and headed out.  A little information about the retreat.  It was planned and organized by a yoga studio, Flow Yoga, in Hood River Oregon and attended by yogis from all over the country.   On my shuttle, Utah, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin were represented with Oregon, Washington, California, Ohio and Alaska joining in later.

Just a glimpse of the resort...
a walkway thru the resort
Haramara was built without any heavy machinery and is designed to get you back to nature.  There are no phones in your casitas.  No power either... you use candles and kerosene lamps.  Cell phones don't really work there.  The quiet is stunning and powerful.  By the end of the week, you are waking with the sun and going to bed following the rhythm of light and dark.

my room, notice the mosquito netting you would pull around your bed at night

The schedule for the week went like this...
7am wakeup...
throw on yoga clothes and head to breakfast
8:30  Chanting and meditation
9-10:30  morning yoga
break time (for non yoga teachers like me)
12-1 AMAZING LUNCH (3 courses)
break time (for non yoga teachers like me)
4:45-6 afternoon yoga
6-7 Oh, my heavens yummy dinner (I could write a whole post about the food)
7-9 Satsang..... Eastern Philosphy, Meditation and discussion
9 bedtime...

As you can tell, yoga would be one of the major focuses of my week.  Were you paying attention at the beginning when I told you that my ankle was wounded?  Well, it was.. a nice shade of technicolor with some swelling to boot.  No strength for balancing poses at all... Great! strength, pun intended, in yoga has always been my strength....flexibility is an ongoing challenge and goal.  For two times a day, I was going to have to accept my limitation and let my yoga practice be exactly as it was for the day.  AAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!  Not my greatest strength, I'll tell you.  If I've done a pose before, I will do it again.  My competitive nature just doesn't let me back up in progress without some grief.  Learning and acceptance would have to occur for my sanity to remain intact.

During my freetime, I would read (The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle), hang out on the the beach and dip my toes in the warm waters of the ocean, or go into the town of Sayulita, a 2 mile walk from the resort.  On one of my adventures into town, I did an item off my bucket list..I attempted to learn to surf.  :)

Haramara's beach
Surfing lesson, pre water...tip of the day..if you learn to surf, try and do it when you don't have a hurt right ankle and a skinned left knee.. (it really gets in the way)

Evening Satsang proved to be exclamation mark on the day.  It would reinforce all of the things that had happened during the day.  The main focus of the talks would was the idea of 'being in the moment'.  Sometimes, Adi, our discussion leader, would say something that was almost a direct quote from the book was I reading.  It was like the universe making sure I got it.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I turned inward.  I spent a lot of time alone during freetime reading, journaling and thinking about the patterns and behaviors of my life.  It wasn't anti social, it was just a quiet space I desperately needed.  I worked thru some things, I had not dared to do before and some other stuff that I thought I had....  I'm not sure that I would of done the work without the peace and quiet of Haramara.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I found my bliss.  I started to spend my free time with the other retreaters.  Conversations varied; some deep, some light...  My yoga practice started to turn around, not physically, my ankle was still giving me grief, but the true reason of yoga..the mental side.  My mind began to quite down.

Friday night at Satsang, we started talking about going to home and the hustle and noise of life, when Adi simply stated, 'You are home'.

Alarm bells ringing, fireworks going off, and the deep realization that he was right.

I was home.

I was no where near anything familiar, but I was home.

Not a physical address...
but that place deep inside of you that knows without question that you are all that you need.

I was home....

Saturday afternoon, I left Haramara and returned to Salt Lake.  My ankle was still a little swollen and my knee still a little banged up, but my mind and soul were in such a better place.

I was home.


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