I watched the sun rise from the ocean this morning. This is not my usual perspective. Most evenings, I stop whatever I'm doing to go outside and watch the sun disappear into the line between sea and sky. On the evenings when I choose to stay in and not see the sunset, I feel somewhat out-of-sorts, like I've missed something significant or I've blown off an opportunity to feel my own significance. I sometimes feel that same way when I don't make time in my life to experience silence and solitude.
For the past two weeks, I've been away from my regularly-scheduled programming and surroundings. I was supposed to be in Bora Bora, but that is another story for another time. Instead, I traveled to Portland, Oregon and the island of Kauai to spend time with the silence within me and to search out the silence in the places and spaces I visited.
What I've encountered during this time of self-reflection has been quite illuminating. I'm sharing it here because with the next Uninhibited Retreat happening next month, it speaks to something we'll be exploring together which is befriending the silence we're usually so afraid of.
The silence I've experienced hasn't been without noise. There's been the irritating sound of cars passing by at all hours of the day from two of the three beds I've slept in. There's been the soothing sound of the ocean while I've sat on a stretch of beach all by myself. There's been the horrific sound of children screaming while being gunned down in a Florida high school. There's been the sweet sound of shared stillness with a few friends. I mention all of these things because no matter where I've spent time in the last fourteen days, there's always been both beauty and terror accompanying me inside my own mind.
So while I can "escape" my usual routines and patterns of behavior by changing the view, the place and the people, I can never not take my own head and heart with me wherever I go. This isn't the illuminating part I mention above that I experienced. It's this...
Wherever I go, will I show up for myself and for others significantly no matter the noise?
And what I mean when I say 'show up' is to be fully present to what is. And what I mean when I say 'significantly' is to bring my full presence to myself and to others under all circumstances.
This is a fucking tall order. This is not for the faint of heart. This is a full-on reckoning and recognition of the soul.
In the last two weeks, there were some situations I encountered in which my soul soared and there were others in which my soul faltered. As a human being, I think this is to be expected. As a never-ending presence, I am aware of something significant having occurred within this head, heart and body I call 'mine'.
When you stop your regularly-scheduled programming, whether it's through your own personal time-out or a planned retreat with others, a myriad of possibilities exist to become more aware of not only who you are, but what you are in the overall swirl and whirl of what we call 'life'. This can be both a beautiful and terrifying experience and it can be the very thing you've been searching for all your life.
Want to experience a lot of beauty and perhaps a bit of terror as your own personal illuminations and others' are revealed in a four and a half day retreat on Maui?
One, possibly two spots have become available in the next Uninhibited Retreat that's happening March 15-19. If you want to join us, you've gotta jump in before March 1. What decision might you make in the next nine days that will stop your regularly-scheduled programming and get you excited about traveling to a place where your significance will be seen, honored and celebrated?
Let's explore that beautiful and terrifying space of self-illumination together.