Day two started with coffee and a piece of peanut butter toast. I came to my room and did research and read business articles. I had breakfast and started my book about mastering the art of tidying up. The food was good, served buffet style again with scrambled eggs, a salad bar, oatmeal, sausage and more bread.
I came back to my room and continued my google search, this time researching the meaning of paradoxical thinking. I got lost in the world of opposites. I then grabbed my mat and PVC pipe and went on short hike to find my perfect movement spot. I found a beautiful platform and spent two hours moving in silence. I made up new moves and created a new backbend flow that I’m very excited to bring back to my students. I also decided that this is the place for the first ever QiTopia summer event! I grabbed my mat and PVC pipe and ran back to my room.
I just had to do it. I have to host a movement in silence retreat this summer!! I pulled up the Shambhala website and went to work. Remember, I didn’t come here to completely disconnect. I don’t do well in situations where creativity and action are taken away from me. I am not here on an organized retreat with a group. I organized this trip for me. I am here by myself exploring the land and creating my experience.
The only rules that I applied to my retreat is no music, no social media, no TED Talks, no podcast or audio books, no movies and no tv; these are the sounds I hear on an everyday basis, the sounds I take with me when I hike, ride my bike, hang out with my son, visit friends and drive in my car. I always have sound on. This trip was about turning off the sound.
I thought maybe I was coming here to practice meditation but how it turned out is that I am here practicing silence. Movement is essential to my everyday vigor. I need massive movement of my mind and body every single day, which is why I spent some of my time here researching and putting together the next QiTopia. I’m still in the creative process so I’ll keep the details to myself for now and continue on about my day.
I went to lunch and then took off on a silent hike. No headphones, nothing. Just me and the mountain. There is so much noise in silence. By shutting off sound I realized how much movement and energy there is in the silence. I started to move to the pulse of the silence and before I knew it I was following the path of these red stakes. I was alone. I didn’t know where I was but I did remember hearing someone say to follow the red stakes.
I twisted and climbed my way through the forest and boulders. I got lost a few times and listened for my way back on the trail. I wasn’t scared but I knew I should have been. No one knew that I had gone on a hike. I’m here by myself and now I’m on top of a mountain ridge alone trying to follow the path… and isn’t this stupid of me to do?
Yes. But I wasn’t scared. I was only observant of the fact that I should have been. I had so much fun zig-zagging my way through every missed turn or climb. So much fun, I was actually smiling alone, by myself on top of a mountain. No cell service, no one knew where I was. One wrong step. One wrong turn. It didn’t matter. When I would find the next red stick I felt strong, confident and overjoyed that I figured it out. I love this place. I want more. I don’t want to leave. This is so unlike me; I always want to leave.
The silence is loud. I can hear everything, including my thoughts. I realize my self-talk, my thoughts about myself and others around me have softened. As soon as I shut off the sound, I listened to the silence and realized that I’m doing okay. I am becoming a better person. It’s working. After all of these years of movement and yoga, I am healthy in mind, body and spirit. The silence is loud and I am listening.
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