Experience of a Shamanic Retreat
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu
I became my mythical bird of prey and found my place of power, deep in the Shamanic garden of visualisation. As a bird of prey I transformed myself, changed shapes depending on the circumstances. In some situations, I was a huge, very wild eagle flying amongst other predators and in other, particularly work situations a small, almost owl-type bird.
It is actually pretty hard to express what I have experienced recently. It is hard to put into words what the Shamanic Retreat was like, for I am not sure that words could do it justice. Sometimes words do not suffice; they cannot express the full meaning of an experience. I realise this means that the Shamanic retreat has done me well. As, in the Shamanic tradition, one is led not just by words, but one feels, thinks, and syncs feelings and thoughts. Thank you Shaman, I am deeply grateful.
But nonetheless, I do want to describe this amazing experience. After all, I am a woman who loves words and who loves sharing.
I feel light. I feel balanced and dare I say, fearless. I feel grounded, have a sense of clarity, am open and feel deeply rooted into Mother Earth – into the Magma. I desire to perform a fluid dance between my gut, my mind and my heart.
Holding on to this strong feeling will be my challenge. In my day-to-day world, I move from one set of words to another and am surrounded by cognitive decision-making in a society that is led by the left-brain. And yet I realise that if I try too hard to hold on to this lightness of being, I might attain the opposite.
My challenge will be to safeguard my heart, encourage it to remain open, as my gut and particularly my mind are doing quite all right. I will want to build ritualistic routines into my life. Plenty of means were given to me during the retreat; remembering and applying these will be my test.
This is a challenge for anyone who goes onto a retreat, join a workshop, a training – how can we hold on to what was given to us? In our busy lives I believe it is important to take time out and to submerge into something totally different, away from what you do in your daily life. Refreshing your mind and body to allow you afterwards to get back into your busy life in an invigorated way. For some people this means going on a silence retreat, for some a yoga tour and for others a meditation camp. It is more ‘than just a holiday’. For me it was this Shamanic Retreat.
Our inspirational modern-day Shaman led us through the various parts of the Shamanic journey we had embarked upon. We moved smoothly from the more cognitive functions of the Retreat to the pure Shamanic, ritualistic parts. We moved energy. Energy shifts and only takes form in its dynamic between the poles of negative and positive. We changed its form, moving from the positive to the negative, as we sailed through both sensations. Our release was enormous. We created our own internal miracles (after all, a miracle is a shift of perception). We entered a different level of our consciousness.
So many impressions influence our minds and bodies, day in, day out. Impressions that come from anywhere, from what we watch, what we read, what we discuss, what those around us tell us, etc. Those impressions settle in our bodies and get reaffirmed over and over again. All that is stored in our minds and form patterns. In Hinduism these patterns are called Samskaras or Sanskaras. Neuro scientists have actually confirmed they can observe these patterns in our brains. And thus, through our minds we become our stories.
During this Retreat we intended to make a restart, to revitalise ourselves. Across seven dimensions of life – social, work, mental, family, finance, physical and spiritual – we would relive and revalidate the stories by which we reside, syncing our minds and bodies. We rooted with Mother Earth. We felt her warmth. We felt the sun that was warming our heads, our hearts and our Chakras. We worked with crystals to strengthen our release. My second Chakra needed a particular sturdy crystal and turned hot. With her vibrating rattle and her beautiful songs, our Shaman stirred us and we floated at different levels of consciousness. We totally lost our sense of time. (Time is a construct anyway.)
In our inner conversations we explored the different junctions that are ahead of us, in our lives. We rethought or rather “re-felt” our established patterns and so repainted our journeys going forward. We meditated on the balance between mind and heart.
During the retreat, I felt I was living in another dimension. Though it is now around ten days ago that I said goodbye to the Shaman, I can still feel that dimension. The retreat infused us with the ability to float easier in our lives.
So I float. I feel my wings. My first Chakra is open. I hover up, assess my surroundings, and check out my place of personal power, my sanctuary. I feel it; I live it, even as I plunge back into my day-to-day reality.