[08/21/23] Mind-Body Monday: My Spiritual Fasting Retreat on Mt. Shasta - The awareness institute
Hello my loves! Thank you for your patience with me while I have been away for so long. I wanted to update you all on my journeys and what I have been learning, uncovering, releasing, integrating and exploring.
The journey of this summer began with a series of three day intensive workshops with the Awareness Institute. These workshops come in phases. The first, Level 1 is called Conscious Living, and in their words:
The “Conscious Living” retreat provides nothing short of a profound, accelerated experience in self-awareness and transformation. It is about honestly assessing and taking responsibility for the life you’ve lived…and finding the courage to discover what is real and true for you in some of the following ways:
Bringing forth a renewed call to break free from our conditioned beliefs and fearful, limiting patterns and behaviors
What it means to discover the roots of trust and intimacy by shining a light on our relationship with Mother and the feminine
How to actively release trauma and blockages stored in our bodies
The integration of new tools and practices for maintaining awareness in our daily lives
The next retreat is called Living Your Inspiration:
Level 2 is “Living Your Inspiration” which is a workshop about real freedom, the kind of freedom that only comes from knowing yourself and living life as you truly are. It’s about discovering your intuitive awareness, and the creative potency that arises when you choose to take full responsibility for everything.
It teaches you how to Rediscover a deep inner knowing, as you learn to both interpret and appreciate the messages your life is offering
Explore conscious sexuality
Make peace with father and other men in your life, and learn to embrace the masculine in a refreshing new way
How to relate in an open, vulnerable and authentic new way
Level 3 is called Integration:
And it is only offered once a year in conjunction with our Conscious Transformation Wilderness Retreat. It unites masculine and feminine and unlocks the door to the deepest realization of who you are. Through direct experience you’ll discover the selfless presence hidden behind the masks and games you knew as yourself.
In “Integration”, the un-illusioning is complete. We break through the “sacred wound” and sense the great truth, purpose and meaning at the core of our life experience. We see “the game of life” for what it is and experience bliss, being and beauty as reality. In our readiness and willingness to surrender, we discover that peace and power are one and the same. In surrender we discover wholeness and holiness.
This includes a 6 week herbal cleanse that culminates in the final week, in which you will be alone while you fast on a sacred space found for you on Mount Shasta. This is called level 4 Transformation.
Transformation a profound experience of letting go. This is a quiet, contemplative, meditative, Self-revealing space where illusions fall away, revealing an underlying and ever present mastery. We arrive at the end of a cycle of deep cleansing, and discover the beginning of a new life, a true life. Transformation is giving yourself the gift of you.
So that is their words, here are mine.
This was the second hardest and most profoundly changing experience of my life.
You see, I, like many of us seekers, had always fantasized about fasting for a week alone on a mountain top, like some of the great avatars of healing and spiritual teachers in our history. I just never thought I would be brave enough to do it.
What I learned during this summer series of workshops is that I have been afraid my whole life. Afraid of the world as a whole, afraid of men, afraid of being alone, afraid of not being in control, afraid of the dark, afraid of camping by myself, afraid of fasting for a week, and truthfully afraid of myself.
My journey with healing the effects of toxic stress due to trauma has been the reason I began my studies over 2 decades ago. Wanting to help others has been the basis of my practice. Learning how to heal not only the mind, but the emotions, and the body. Learning how what we think affects how we feel inside, and how that then can affect how our body handles dis-ease, or being ill or injured.
Learning that while almost everyone deals with some sort of trauma in their lives, not everyone is affected by it in the way that can rule your life with things like complex PTSD. This causes you to be run by your unconscious reactions in ways that affect and even negate the ability to live your purpose here in ways we don’t even recognize. In my case it actually created my purpose.
We can become so empathetic that we become co-dependent in our desires to keep the people around us in some sort of control while we are also constantly scanning our environments for threats because our overwhelmed Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn system is out of control.
Learning that those who struggle with trauma consciously or unconsciously also generally struggle with panic attacks, anxiety, sleep problems, gastrointestinal pain, other forms of physical suffering, addictions and autoimmune diseases. All of which I have had at one time or another, and all of which I have healed over the course of my practice.
However, there is still more.. Deeper perceptions that leave us reactive and feeling things that might not be explained by the circumstances we are in that have seemingly triggered the feelings. Have you ever felt afraid, deeply afraid, for reasons you couldn’t understand? Have you ever struggled with anxiety that seemingly came out of the blue, or panic attacks that left you unable to complete daily tasks? What about pain that comes and goes and doctor’s can’t seem to find or fix, or just simply want to medicate to make you go away? Diseases that you are told are lifelong and cannot be healed? What about catastrophizing your worries until you feel almost paralyzed with fear for those you love? Addictions that you struggle with from smoking, to drinking, to food, to work, to sex, to distractions with Netflix and doom scrolling?
I have learned as I proceeded to cleanse and fast that everything I thought I knew about how to eat wasn’t really true. That I ate to literally stuff my emotions down, or because I was bored, lonely, angry, tired, sad, happy, because someone else was eating, or even just because there was food there.
I have learned that our trauma is not our lives. That we don’t have to continue to unconsciously project our fears onto our lives in order to validate the rightness of them, by continually co creating more of what we fear. That we are truly limitless just like our potential.That we don’t have to continue to live lives that are just “fine” or “okay” while we continually feel “at effect of” people around us, or the circumstances we called into being because of our fears and our constant thoughts around them.
That like attracts like in the truest form of the words. That we get what we think about as we continue to create in every single moment through our conscious and unconscious beliefs about what is possible.
That we can be deliberate creators instead of passive recipients of reflections of past suffering. That we can form our lives from the clay of our own creation, watching them manifest with time into everything we believed we could be.
That if we don’t like something we need to stop thinking about it, talking about it, and making it more real.
But maybe you knew all of that already?
Maybe you are here to find out if I figured out how to levitate. Believe it or not, I kinda wanted to.. Then I realized I wouldn’t know what to do with that, if I figured it out, so I gave it up. Lol. Instead I talked to the earth, the creatures, the trees and everything that lived around me, and they talked back.I felt the energy of all of it. It told me its history, its struggles and I heard the echoes of the native people who had been there before. I found out that trees can have many husbands and wives because they live really long lives. That they have their own struggles and strife, children and grandchildren, and hold the memories of the places they are rooted to and all that has happened around them.
Or maybe you are listening because you wanted to know if I healed. I did. I healed trauma that I didn’t even know was still within me. I had experiences that left me terrified and trembling while my body struggled to come to terms with my own history. I forced myself through monumental moments in which I cried and shook and thought I couldn’t come through them. But I did. And here I am, (lean into camera) back with you.
Back to teach and guide and become the healer that my incredible and even unbelievable life has shaped me to be. I am no longer afraid. Not of the dark, not of being alone, not of my past and not of my future.
Well that is all for today, although there is so much more I could share..
Next Monday I will be sharing a beautiful loving meditation on healing your child self, I hope you can come.
I will be posting a link and phone number for those of you that wish to learn more about the Awareness Institute. They teach the level 1 and 2 workshops throughout the year.
You can reach them by email at email@example.com or phone at 916-446-7827