Going deep on my first retreat by Catherine Henley
Wednesday morning walking:
Oh f**k! I’m hosting a full weekend yoga retreat. What have I signed myself up for? How will I do this? How will I know what to say? Oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!
Thursday evening: F**k, sh!t…
Fear says: What if I do something wrong?
Courage says: Everyone does something wrong that’s where we learn.
Fear says: But what if they talk about it to someone else?
Courage says: That’s ok too, you’re working on learning to disconnect from people’s opinions of you
Fear says: I know but that’s so hard sometimes.
Courage says: Take it day by day.
Just me: Ok, send the final email. It’s going to be ok. Are you excited, or nervous… or both mixed together? Can I go the gym in the morning? I need to go the gym in the morning. Heart racing, slow breathing, let’s write about it, it’ll make a good blog when it’s all done… Go to sleep, go to sleep, GO TO SLEEP!!! Why is it the night before a big event or something new you just can’t get that great night sleep that would be so appreciated right now!!!
Friday morning: Calm, the gym was perfect. Pushed me so hard I felt sick but it also helped me so much with staying grounded and trusting that this weekend is going to be everything it needs to be.
Friday afternoon: My breath was taken away arriving at The Elbowroom Escape. A small country house surrounded by forests. I had shivers run through my entire body feeling the strong energy and really understanding what it was I wanted people to get from this weekend. Setting up the rooms (which are so beautiful) for everyone to arrive. Leaving a little piece of my heart on each bed.
I am excited. Showing everyone to their room, allowing them time to get settled in before dinner. A quick meet and greet then onto dinner where the food is fabulous and the conversation is flowing. Yoga Nidra follows, the perfect way to set the tone for the weekend. Relaxed and calm!
Now Saturday morning and we are in silence until after the first practice. Uncomfortable for many as it is their first experience with this but they go with it. My heart is so full it could burst! I’m sitting at the table eating my bowl of Granola and tears fill my eyes. 12 of the 13 people on this retreat are trusting me to lead them on their first experience of a yoga retreat. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude, unsure of how I ended up in this place from being a lost soul for a while, now feeling really connected and in tune with what it is I should be doing. Encouraging people to challenge themselves, to love themselves, to find themselves. Wow!!! Who am I?
Sunday morning, more silence. A delightful experience today and all seem to really connect a lot deeper and hold it a lot longer. Flicking through my book because the environment around me is so captivating I can’t concentrate. It is so beautiful here. I watch people as they walk, stop and pause. Taking in all what is around them. Allowing themselves time to listen. To the external world but also the internal world.
Emotion takes me again. 13 people gathered and trusting me. Who am I and what do I know? I don’t know the answer to that question, but when I take my seat at the top of the room, I gather myself, close my eyes and let the words come spilling out of my mouth.
Often times after class I question was that even me sitting there or has someone taken over my body to share what people need to hear.
It has been a wonderful, magical weekend. Immersed within the deep self.