5 Lessons I Learned At My Own Retreat!
A few weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of facilitating my first local retreat, right in my own hometown of Brooklyn, NY. I was thrilled because it really is one of my dreams to be able to bring live events either local or abroad to support the healing themes of the coaching work that I do with women. This retreat was built on the theme "Positioning yourself to Receive". My intention for the women attending was to be in a state or relaxation so that they were fluid and could surrender anything that was blocking their way to receive. I know no better way to do that than with yoga. Our Yoga Instructor was the absolutely fabulous Dineen White who lead the Ladies through a series of gentle poses that promoted relaxation. Dineen turned the lights out and in combination with her music selection, the relaxation was deep and on tap. I could not fully participate as I needed to move the chairs and turn on the oven.
Lesson #1 - No matter, no matter, no matter how simple it seems, when having something as big as a retreat have an assistant. On this day, I did not. I always have support at the healing circles which is less labor intensive than anything that I do and this time I just thought it would be a day of ease and simple. Besides what could go wrong? Well we ran out of toilet paper and could not find a back supply. Nor could we find more paper towels and the oven didn't work. Although I wanted hot catered food for us that did not happen and the food needed to be warmed up. This is specific to me but what do you need help with? Do you keep saying no, it's ok, I got it. Well, ask your back is it ok and maybe your shoulders. If this resonates with you perhaps it's time to give yourself permission to ask for help.
Lesson #2 - No matter what, if you want ease and feeding folks then follow up, confirm with your caterer. Better yet, get an event planner. Again this applies to me but take a look at your life. Where are you most stressed? Can you take stock and see what you need and where you need to implement support. Do you need a more flexible baby sitter? Do you need to hire a house cleaner? Do you need a meal delivery service a few nights a week? What do you need to move into the weeks and year ahead that will bring ease into your life?
The morning session went smoothly and around 11:30am I started to become concerned that the oven was not working. So while the Ladies shared amongst themselves I began to heat everything on the stove top! "Excuse me Ladies, I have to go stir the rice!" by the time we ended our session for lunch my two friends of over 20 years popped in the kitchen to help and then another kind soul asked if she could help so I enlisted her to re-fry the crab cakes! I accepted the help but it was not without my own inner struggle. I noticed how resistant I was to any offers of help that came to me. I felt my insides tighten every time someone asked if I needed help. A reminder that I didn't book an assistant, a reminder that I did something wrong.
Lesson #3 - Observe the Observer. Give yourself space to stand back and take a wide eye view of what's going on. Physical discomfort is usually information that your inner observer will pass on to you if you allow it. I needed help. I finally surrendered my own inner struggle, ignored my ego and accepted support that was being offered. I had to get out of my own way, I had to release myself and relax.
I am of the understanding that to be in a state of receiving from the Universe or anybody for that matter you must surrender your ego. We sometimes think that if someone does something for us then we are lacking in some way. This simply is not true. No Wombman is an island.
Lesson #4 - Giving and Receiving are not mutually exclusive. I should be able to give my best to the Ladies on the retreat and also fully enjoy the yoga session as a recipient Just because you are in give mode does not mean you are locked off to your receiving. Giving cannot happen without receiving, they occur in the same moment. One is not better than the other for one cannot happen without the other. This became crystal clear to me as a experience I was living and not as a lesson I was teaching.
When I allowed myself to receive and not worry about the whisperings of the ego and what I thought this day should be. It was then that I could really feel how loving and nurturing our environment was, that environment was created by the women at the retreat, in their loving and nurturing ways of being. I had created a scenario in my head that not only wasn't true it prevented me from receiving the help I really needed.
Lesson #5 - Most times people are not in on what it is that's holding you back from receiving their gift to you. It's all made up in your own head. It's your own self made illusion. They just want to help.
Bonus lesson - position yourself to receive around like hearted women with beautiful souls!
These are 5 lessons that I now get to apply to my life as I participate in my own 5 Day Receiving Challenge. At the time of this writing I received unexpected money, several offers of support and today someone asked if they could pick up the tab for my breakfast. Before you ask, I am not doing this to receive "stuff" (although nice) I am doing this to see my own worthiness reflected back to me. I have also felt less anxiety around the giving that I participate in as the burden to give from obligation and ego is easing up. I feel comfortable giving from my heart and as I choose. I am making this 5 Day Challenge public and it will officially start November 8. What a challenge to up level your receiving right in the beginning of the season of giving! So if you really want to grow your self worth and actively engage in self love then join me in sending a message to the Universe that we are worthy and positioned to receive!
For details and information on The 5 Day Receiving Challenge Click here: JillFlowers.com
Are you a Sacred Sister who's ready to receive? Join the FB Group Black Women Sacred and Healing and get your Receiving on! Affirmations, Inspiration and Empowerment for the Spiritual and Emotional healing of Black Women! Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlackWomenSacredAndHealing/