I have thought long and hard about how to write this blog post, but couldn’t put it down into words until the emotions inside of me has settled like reducing down a sauce, when all there’s left is the pure essence.
This weekend I attended the First Annual Berwick Yoga Festival alone, without knowing anyone who was going to be there. David was away in Hawaii, and I wanted to do something just for myself.
Ever since I was little, I have been afraid to do things alone; I wouldn’t go out shopping, watch movies, or attend events unless I had someone going there with me. I missed out on life just because of this fear that constricted me from doing and achieving my own goals and dreams. But why was I afraid, and why should I be afraid? Why was I letting fear holding me back? Here I have to thank David for our long distance relationship, because one of the best things that came out of it was training me to be even more independent. I was forced to put away my fear, pealed off my mask, and stepped out of the door by myself. And you know what, doing things on your own is actually a very freeing experience, and I actually love it better at times!
So here I was, checked into the retreat and organized my room. Because I had no one to depend on, I felt free to go wonder around and say hi to everyone. It was a great group of 88 people and volunteers, and I just love how open hearted yogis are.
I went into this retreat seeking enlightenment, and how coincidental that the event’s motto is Enlighten Up. I was also deeply touched by Jenny Kierstead’s openning speech about removing your masks and finding your true self, which tied in so much with my last post about shinning out your own individuality. I instantly knew I was at the right place and made the right decision to come.
As the event start to unfold, I felt a deeper and deeper connection from within and the people around me. At 5:40am the next morning when I was getting ready for the meditation, I looked into the mirror and for the first time in a long while, felt beautiful without any make up on. I felt comfortable in my own skin.
The highlight of the event, and the most transformational for me was the Saturday evening entertainment brought by Mayapuris, a lively and soulful Kirtan band from New Yorkand. The Indian Temple Dance performed by Vrinda deeply touched my heart and soul, and the Kirtan Chants by both Vrinda and Vish resonated with me so deeply that it brought tears to my eyes. We all held up our hands and couldn’t stop clapping and dancing with them. It was a trance and it was so beautiful. To top it all off, Vrinda is from Sweden, and I used to live with my Mother in Lund. Then they announced that there’s a Kumbha Mela Yoga Retreat planned for next February.
I want to pause here to say that I am a firm believer in “fate”, or a reason for things to happen. Throughout my life, I have been very fortunate and lucky that everything worked out for me like climbing a staircase. One thing always lead to another, and I am truly blessed with all the people that surround me (Thank you, especially if you are reading this post). I remember watching the late Steve Jobs’ commencement speech at Stanford University, where he said that being fired from Apple was the best thing that happened in his life. We never know what life will bring us or where it will lead us to, and sometimes temporary pain and trouble is only there to help us grow, and to lead us to something even better. Without giving you can never receive, for only by creating the space in our hearts and mind can we let even more positive energies flow through us.
So here I was, entranced by their singing and dancing, and when the opportunity presented itself, I knew it was for me. I am going on this yoga retreat to India, and although I don’t know where it will lead me, I know I will be another step closer to finding out my Eudaimonia, the ultimate end to my life. I know the trip won’t solve all my problems or answer all my questions, but it’s a doorway towards it.
So be brave and let go of your fears and inhibitions. May we all shine ourselves out and light others along the way.
p.s. I missed LSS and Joey so much on the retreat! I felt like a bad mother leaving them at home all by themselves : ( I was only 20min drive from home, and wanted to go back so bad when we had a break. But I knew this was my own time, and I had to let them go for the time being. Luckily Mo came to help feed them, and I came home to a full intact house!