This past weekend I attend a life-changing event called International Tribe Design in British Columbia. To get there, I had to cross international boarders, get onto a ferryboat at Horseshoe Bay, then continue to drive to a private marina and get on another boat that would take us 40 min. north in the Sechelt Inlet to the Wilderness Resort & Retreat. It was quite the adventure just getting there. When we arrived, we were greeted with mimosas and a few people taking a polar plunge off the dock. I knew from the moment we arrived something magical was about to take place. There were many things that happened during the course of the 5 days and 4 nights we were there, probably more than I can explain with words. My goal here is to do my best to share what I learned from the experience in hopes that you can apply some of these lessons to your own life.
Lesson #1 - The Art of Receiving
My first lesson was learning the art of receiving. As someone who enjoys facilitating, leading, coaching, teaching, training and giving a lot, it was so amazing to receive the experience with open arms, to engage deeply in the journey and trusting that there was no destination to get to. All there was was the moment. There was no schedule, agenda or itinerary of activities. The only thing we were responsible for was to show up at the next time at the next place ready and open to receive. In our culture of trying, doing and striving it was so refreshing to just be present. As someone who admittedly loves being in control and having a plan, it was a challenge at first. Having the desire to know what's coming next, it was easy for me to fall back into that need to know. What is happening? What should we wear? What do we need to bring? I realized that this idea of surrendering to the experience WAS the experience. Letting go was the point, there was no destination to get to, just a willingness to open and receive. I stepped back into my "real life" from that experience and I found myself actually feeling different. I felt more grounded, more present, more connected and I felt myself showing up and truly trusting myself. How would that feel? To just relax, to be present, to be open and willing to receiving more in your life? There is always an ebb and a flow to life and in our world of striving and trying, I invite you into a space of knowing and trusting yourself to receive all that life has to offer you.
Lesson #2 - The Power of Perspective
One of the guest speakers at the event was Yarrow Willard who is an incredible Herbalist and lover of the natural world. His workshop taught us about the power of perspective. There were two perspectives we got to play with and explore. The first was Eagle Eyes... you see something, you want it and you go after it, you might run people over, you might trip because you aren't looking at the ground, but you are committed and determined to getting what you are focused on. This is typically the way that our world works. Choose something to achieve and go after it... we are very focused on the destination, success and accomplishment. The other way of seeing the world was using Fox Eyes, which is about slowing down, enhancing your perspective, seeing and hearing more. We spent our time walking slowly, listening deeply and taking in the surroundings of the beautiful place we were in. How often do we let ourselves slow down? Breathe? Listen? Be present to what is happening all around us? What would you see and here if you practiced slowing down and taking more in?
Lesson #3 - Raw, Real & Radical Authentic Communication
Our first exercise when we arrived was each taking a turn standing in front of everyone with this prompt... "What I don't want you to know about me is... (for 1 min. & 15 sec.) followed by "I am amazing at..." (for 15 sec.). No introductions with your name, where you are from or what you do... just got straight to the point of being real and shining a light on the dark places so that we could connect and grow from a place of raw, real and radical authenticity. So often we hide the parts of ourselves that we don't want other people to see. We cover up, hold back, don't speak our truth because we are worried about what others think of us and we are worried about being rejected. We think that if people saw the "real me" they might not like what they see. This can lead to inauthentic connections instead of building and creating real, honest and brave relationships. We all have things we don't want others to see, but what is that was out in the open for all to see, what if there was no hiding and instead full on unconditional love? What would you do if you weren't worried about what others thought? What if you were completely true to yourself? What would be possible with that type of courage and confidence!?
So, there it is! Three of my big takeaways from an experience that is honestly hard to describe or put into words. This retreat was completely transformational and I am STOKED to bring what I have learned to the work that I do with my clients one-on-one and in group settings.
Sending you love and light!
PS - I would love for you spend some time with you in person at my next seminar on How to Activate Your Purpose & Elevate Your Life on Thursday July 28th in Bellingham, WA