My Silent Retreat: The First Day of the Rest of My Life

So when you experience a shift, a rebirth, your life suddenly becomes all rainbows and unicorns, right?

Wrong.

Rainy day lake from the porch of Benet Hall

Rainy-day lake from the porch of Benet Hall

After my shift, my rebirth, I wanted to pack up and get in my car and go home because I had had this experience.  It felt like a culmination.

Instead, I stayed through the rest of the retreat.  I awoke the next morning to rain – no sunrise cup of coffee by the lake.  I was aware that this was the first day of the rest of my life.  In fact, I wrote that in my journal.

I went to the first centering prayer session in the rain.  And I realized during that session that I was very energy-sensitive.  Actually, I realized it before the sit as another retreatant swept into the room out of the rain, and I was struck with really active energy that filled the whole room.  It took a few minutes to settle.

The first day of the rest of my life?

Well, this one was spent with my being very sensitive to energy, especially in the meditation room.  The almost-constant movement of a fellow retreatant sitting near me was almost too much.  I noticed that we retrantants at the end of the room were sitting with our chairs too close, and I could feel overlapping energy.  Plus we were right in front of a wall.  I thought of my wide-open chakras and wondered how to close them.

Nothing I tried worked, so I put on a cap when I got back to my room.  I could feel a little lessening of the very open energy in my crown chakra.  When I spend hours of centering prayer/meditation, I become very open, and sometimes that’s painful.  I take in too much.  In the afternoon meditation session, I left early, during one of the meditative walks around the room.  I went to the sun room by myself for the rest of the session.

Whew!  That energy felt much better.  I wasn’t bombarded with others’ energy.

Long story short, the rest of the retreat was one of my being really sensitive to others’ energy.  I’m still feeling that, though it has lessened a little.

So is the rest of my life one of super-sensitivity?  No, I don’t think it will be.

My lesson is that each day is the first day of the rest of my life.  I need to approach it with an open heart and open mind (but not too open to energy!).

I wanted to leave the retreat early because it was painful energetically, at least when I was with others.  But I stayed, trying to be aware of what I was learning.  Nonattachment.  To be aware of the shifting of energies and the flow.  That we have overlapping energies (and that made me really aware that we are all connected in the energy we put out, so we have a responsibility to try to put out positive energy).

I know this sounds “woo woo” to some of you.  But others of you will understand.  Because you too are very sensitive to energy.

When I was alone, I felt fine.  No overwhelming energy.  I’m an empath, and I try not to take on others’ energies but am still figuring out how to balance that, to be open when I need to be open and to close when that’s appropriate.

And now, about 10 days after the retreat, I’m still processing, still learning.  And I will be learning, dis-covering more, as long as I live.

Each day is the first day of the rest of my life.

Again and again.  I have new lessons to learn, and old lessons to relearn.  And that’s how life is.  Through it all, though, Dame Julian was right. . .

“All shall be well” – for each first day of the rest of my life.

Last day & coffee on the porch.  With a mug message from Julian of Norwich.  "all shall be well."  And it is.

Last day & coffee on the porch. With a mug message from Julian of Norwich. “all shall be well.” And it is.

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