A few hours before I step into my first meditation retreat, I received a message from a friend of mine wishing me a good time. She said: “go discover yourself”. By the time, I had no idea how accurate those words were.
Even though I practice yoga and meditation regularly, I assumed the experience of the retreat would be absolutely different, and I was quite curious to see how it would impact me. As we drove to the Tuscan farm where the retreat took place, I felt like I was transitioning into a new and undiscovered dimension.
In the seven days that we stayed there, I was able to explore multiple parts of myself, understanding a bit better how I exist in relation to others and in relation to existence itself.
The path within
Our deepest feelings tend to slip through our fingers, and the best way to access them is to simply let them surface. During the days of the retreat, I noticed that things started to show themselves to me, surfacing so I could acknowledge, cleanse, and finally release them.
A retreat is a profound dive inwards, not only through the spiritual practices, such as meditations, yoga Nidra, or breathwork, but also through journaling or even listening to other guests. Everything turns into a mirror, and we start to see ourselves in everything that surrounds us.
However, this self-expedition must always happen with a good dose of self-love. Spiritual work can be quite challenging, but healing is a true sense of freedom, and life gets so much lighter when we stop carrying the weight on our shoulders.
I sometimes tend to push myself to the edge, expecting too much of myself. By sharing my thoughts and fears with the group, I remembered to love myself along the way. Being grateful for every step I take and accepting the time of each process.
In the day to day life, we unlearned how to stay quiet. Our overwhelming routines and the constant presence of our devices make quietude a stranger.
However, when you go to a meditation retreat, you are taken into a nourishing flow of emptiness. Everything is carefully orchestrated, and all we have to do is to focus on ourselves and our spiritual journey. It is surreal, to put it bluntly.
I finally understood why Bliss Body Journeys states that their retreats work as a container. It is a perfect setting, amongst peaceful and healing nature, and a program that is delivered so that it can progress along with the guests. It felt magical as if everything was set and prepared for me to grow and expand.
We are not alone
One thing that always struck me in my spiritual path is how lonely growth can be. During that seven days, I learned the power of expanding in togetherness. It was beautiful to see such a supportive and friendly environment.
If, in the beginning, we were strangers to one another, as the days passed by, we began to grow in each other. I was more and more secure to share my problems and the challenges I was facing during the sessions.
Listening to other peoples’ experiences and hearing what they had to say about my own was enriching. They always helped me see things from a different perspective, which was a great support in my personal process.
Just in one week, I developed care and love for each soul that shared the experience with me. And I will take them forever in my heart.
The ease that comes with spirituality
With the daily spiritual practices, I started to feel like something was happening behind the curtains. I am a very mind-oriented person, and especially after some years of therapy, I sometimes find myself overanalyzing the situations I am in. Spirituality presented me with the simplicity of not having to circle around things, dealing with them directly, without needing a rational process.
During one of the breathwork practices, for example, I was able to access some stored feelings that I was not aware of. There were tears, there was love, and there was a relief. It was a beautiful and liberating moment for me.
But healing may also be extremally joyful. I will forever remember us dancing like kids, reviving our purest expressions, running with each other, and laughing from our hearts. I will forever remember the sound of the bees pollinating the lavender fields, as we sat there recognizing we are part of the balance of all.
Transformation may come slowly
When I look back at the time I had in Bliss Body Journeys’ meditation retreat, I realize how subtle transformation can be.
When we hear about life-changing experiences, we automatically think about how dramatic they must be. However, I can honestly say that those seven days made a big difference in my life, as I now feel more equipped to deal with issues that may appear in my way.
The key aspect of a meditation retreat is that it lightens the way into a higher state of consciousness, our inner home to which we can go back anytime we need. Vlada de Sousa, the spiritual teacher, pointed the direction and each practice or talk simply exposed the floor beneath so that I could take one step at a time. Her mastery and the insights that inevitably came are now mantras I walk with.
Inspired by the purpose of supporting modern seekers who wish to ignite the sparkle of change, Bliss Body Journeys offer spiritual retreats in healing locations around the globe. Visit our website to learn more about our upcoming meditation retreats.