The question to meditate on was: “What’s my WHY?”
After spending the last two years in deep personal self-discovery, the answer surfaced quickly and without hesitation: “LOVE. My WHY is LOVE – to experience it, to incarnate it, to share it, to expand it.”
So what keeps me from my WHY? I asked myself as my feet sunk into the deep dirt path of the coffee plantation.
At first, in single file.
And then, there was a spreading out and shifting of order.
Yep, this is what I’ve felt like for the last two years.
Surrounded by others on the same journey, but ALONE.
Some skirt around me and race ahead.
Others slow down and fall behind.
What keeps me from LOVE and CONNECTION in the middle of this though?
The moment I asked it, one of the staff members intentionally ran into me from the side, knocking me off-balance, and then quickly stepped in front of me without a sound.
Without thinking, I quickly gave him not one but two, flat tires, seriously interrupting his stride. I gulped down a giggle, so as not to disturb those around us.
He loudly whispered, “Not cool!” over his shoulder and kept moving.
Damn it, Amanda. You took it too far. Why are you always taking it too far? You push people away when you don’t think first.
The dust picked up as my frustrated steps quickened and I continued to berate myself and committed to dim myself for the rest of the retreat. I was feeling completely upside-down.
Suddenly, he was shoulder-to-shoulder with me again, leaning into but not knocking me over – just forcing me to push back a bit. And then he said it: “Oh, it’s YOU again.”
The words reverberated through every cell of my body, igniting the answer I’d been asking for.
Oh…it’s YOU again.
It’s THAT story…again.
“I’m too much.”
Having completed his mission – probably not even knowing that he was part of a higher divine mission – he moved to the front of the line again…leaving me to sort through the ton of bricks that had just hit me square in the face.
“I’m too much…”
This is the story keeps me from LOVE and Connection.
How many times have I thought this in the last 12 hours of interacting with the beautiful souls I’m surrounded by at this retreat?
“I see too much.”
“I’m too deep.”
“I ask too many questions.”
“I talk too much.”
“I’m too honest.”
All I’ve done for the last 12 hours is engage and disengage.
Shine and then dim.
Show up and then hide.
Share and then recoil.
This story is giving me, and the people around me, EMOTIONAL WHIPLASH.
It’s got me completely upside-down every time I try to connect.
Time to rewrite it…
For the next few days, I practiced a new script…
I’m not too much.
I’m just me.
I see a lot.
I think deeply.
I ask a lot of good questions.
My transparency and sharing appears to be helping others relax and relate.
These are actually my gifts.
And I can practice deeper discernment…
If I’m feeling like the person in front of me is becoming overwhelmed, I’m just going to do the dance – shift gears, ask questions, focus on LOVE and common ground.
I didn’t do this anywhere near perfectly for the next few days.
In fact, on the third day, as I was gathering my shawl around my bigger-than-comfortable-body, someone kneeled next to me during a break and said something to the effect of, “You know. You are a beautiful woman. You have a really beautiful glow about you. And yet, you seem to be hiding somehow. I hope you own it soon…”
Well, damn. If that wasn’t a “Stop Hiding” message, I don’t know what is…
It’s going to be quite the journey of rewriting this one, as I still recoil a bit within myself every time this person uses ‘beautiful’ in my direction.
(You gotta love those people who see something and won’t stop reflecting it until you see it too, right, clients of mine?)
But, there was progress…
By the end of the retreat, I was being kinder to myself and feeling less emotional whiplash.
Cheers to less emotional whiplash…and more enjoyable upside-downs…