Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Self Care’ Category

It is quite amazing how little adjustments can make a huge difference.

Since I returned from Canada, I have gone through my nursing school books and notes and I recycled hundreds of pages which were just sitting on my shelf gathering dust. By moving all of those nursing books further away (because I am heavily leaning towards not going back to finish nursing), I felt a massive burden lift off my chest and shoulders. It was wild. I had been sitting with the dilemma of whether or not to go back and attempt nursing school again, for 8 months! And by sorting through that stuff, I made the decision on a somatic level. My head is still is a little wonky about it – I suspect a double bind is rearing its ugly head saying, “If you aren’t successful, people won’t respect you.” Or some such garbage – who cares about other people’s respect? I want for me to be content first and foremost. Then I might concern myself with other people’s reactions.

And I have been avoiding (consciously) an old acquaintance who, in the past, when I spent time with him, I always felt something was off. Turns out that his boundaries are not the greatest. The I Ching occasionally points out that spending time around people who are too resistant to change or to learning is a massive energetic drain. Any good psychology teacher would say this too. And that is what was happening with this person. I care about him and his family, but I am no longer going to spend one-on-one time with him and bring myself back to an earlier pattern of superficiality in the pretense of an authentic relationship. I am done twisting myself up into a pretzel to fit in with a tension field which I have no control over. In other words, when I feel certain somatic signals, it is time to get myself out of Dodge. I realize this paragraph might not make the greatest amount of sense if you don’t have a somatic background, but feel free to leave a comment if you need clarification.

Nonetheless, by clearing out stagnating energy or people from my life, I have made room for ease and grace and abundance. Nothing to force, nothing to make, nothing to tees into existence. I am (mostly) content with the way things are. Yes some days I still want things a certain way, but eventually I remember this simple practice:

Body rests like a mountain.

Breath like the ocean.

Heart like the sky.

(from Julie Henderson, PhD)

Thanks for reading!

May all beings know ease and grace.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Thursday morning:

I’m a little nervous and activated as I will both be giving talks about the Autonomic Nervous System, Trauma Resolution and Birth Trauma (repair) and I will be giving treatments as well on Thursday and Friday.

I wake up early, getting things together in order to head down to Clifton Forge (90 minute drive from C’ville).  A friend calls me and says that she is in need of a treatment (little crisis has occurred).  Fortunately it is on my way out of town.

I pack my car and drive over to her place.  Give a nice 45 minute treatment, then drive a short distance to pick up another friend’s massage table which I was borrowing for the weekend.  One fire is moderately extinguished.

I did not do the greatest job of staying centered and in alignment.  I think my body knew what was coming before I did (tends to be the case).  When we listen carefully to what our body’s are saying, we can slow down and approach things with care and appreciation of what we are getting ourselves into.  Driving down on Interstate 81, I am caught in traffic for about 15 minutes as we wait for an accident to clear.  A part of me is starting to rush as I am now 45 minutes later than I expected.

I arrived at 1 pm down there.  It is beautiful.  On the Cowpasture River (small river but very clean and very good for swimming / soaking in).  So serene in the hills of the Shenandoah Valley.

By 2 pm I am set up and I start giving treatments.  I am mainly doing trauma resolution / birth process type work.  Which, in hindsight, was a bit much.  The yoga teacher talked up my practice and my skills (of course I am capable of giving someone an intense session, it is just a matter of whether or not that is wise).

[Aside – I am a very competent bodyworker having studied Reiki (master), a little Zero Balancing, a little Reflexology, Visceral Manipulation, a lot of Craniosacral Therapy, a good bit of Polyvagal trauma resolution and a decent amount of birth process work.  However, what I learned from this visit down to the yoga retreat, is that I need to provide a thorough Intake Form ahead of time.  And I only want to offer deeper work to people who have good support – bodyworkers, therapy, doctors, acupuncturists, etc – back home.  If I am going to travel and give treatments, I need to be a supplement to a solid matrix of support that people already have in place.  I cannot hold this much heart ache on my own again.  So while I am “good” enough to give people intense bodywork sessions, I am now wise enough to know better.  If someone is new to bodywork, no deep work for them – instead it will be stabilizing, grounding, resourcing and exploring safety.  I want people to be safely in their bodies.  If / when they have stabilized this awareness, then we can talk about deepening their process.  I was getting paid quite well however, so it was tough to say no to people down there..]

At 5 pm I had give two sessions and taken a short nap before I gave an hour and a half talk about the ANS and how the body resources and regulates.  I also gave an instruction about Checking the Sphincters – a quick and easy technique from Visceral Manipulation.  I loved how sensitive most of the yoginis were down there – several people reported having rapidly improved digestion as a result of this technique.

Then I gave my fourth session of the day after dinner and I was so ready for bed by 9:30 pm.

We (the yoga teacher, her assistant and myself) stayed in a massive Air B&B house in Clifton Forge – it had one of the steepest streets I have ever driven up leading up to it.  And it had extensive gardens and terraces outside.  When the instructor told me that the entire house (6 bedrooms?!) and gardens cost less than $200 / night I could not believe it.

Friday morning:

Woke up, did my own yoga (mainly Svaroopa Yoga, a gentle supported yin yoga) after not sleeping very well.  Then went downstairs and made breakfast.  I prepared some notes as today I was going to talk about Trauma Resolution and Repair.  Then I was back off to the Farm House as I had a session at 8 am…

Oh, I made some phone calls and got out of an appointment the next day, meaning I was able to stay down at the retreat for yet another day.

Did four sessions total on this day and I was spent.  I had to ask for support and thankfully a guy gave me a 15 minute Reiki tune-up and I showed another yogini how we can sit back to back (for kidney support) and then I showed her how to assist with kidney settling, a technique where one person does a short trust fall back and the person sitting behind them catches them with their hands at the kidney level.  It is best to be showed how to do this (don’t try this at home without previous instruction!).  But nonetheless, it proved very helpful as I got more sleep on this night.

Saturday morning:

I woke up and had to eat something heavier, so I reluctantly admit to eating a four-egg omelet!  Spinach and tomatoes topped that delicious thing off!!

Then another session at 8 am.  I would end up doing only 3 sessions on Saturday as that was my limit.  My body was close to turning off so I mentioned to the instructor that I would be heading back to Charlottesville soon – after I got a snack and a little rest.

I handed out little blessed, precious pills (mani ril bu in Tibetan).  They were calling me a Tibetan Lama but I told them that was not correct – I am not a Lama.  But I did act like one I suppose.  By the way, I told the participants about the miraculous way that some mani ril bu (precious pills) are formed.  During some mani drupchen retreats, when there are many monks and nuns doing the practice and / or when a high lama (like the Karmapa) is in attendance, there have been reports of the precious pills self-arising and spilling over the edge of their large containing bowl.  In other words, the pills miraculously appear and multiply.  So they are very VERY precious and special and full of amazing blessings.  These precious pills are tiny – about the size of a grape seed each.  I have a small package with about 300 in it and it fits in my pocket.  They are little tiny balls of powerful blessings.

With that said, and as a vulgar and humorous anecdote, I gave all the yogis (2) and yoginis (16) several precious pills each, I gave everyone a hug and said my goodbyes.  Then I started loading up my car.  In my over-treated stupor, I did not realize they were about to hand out certificates and say some beautiful intentions for the upcoming months.

Upon hearing them starting this ceremony, I went back up on the porch.  Where, to my surprise, one young woman went up to receive her certificate, and then, as she was about to voice her intention, she said, “I’m sorry, I still have Kirby’s balls in my mouth.”  I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped several inches as I thought to myself, “Wow, this weekend was going so well, very professionally, and then this.”  Anyway, it was really funny in the moment!  I listened to about six or seven of them wrap up with their intentions and what they were trying to give up over the next year.  Very powerful and poetic and magical.

I’m so glad I went and participated.  There is a chance I might get to participate in other similar retreats in the upcoming year (if I am still in the area).

http://www.katiesilcox.com

Fortunately the drive back was uneventful.  I stopped by my parent’s home as it is about halfway between Clifton Forge and Charlottesville.  And fortunately my Mom had fixed meatballs – heavy food, heavy sauce, it was so perfect to get me back in my body!

Thanks for reading!

~kirby

Read Full Post »

This is a post about my recovery from Lyme’s disease.  If you are a regular visitor, you may have read a previous post describing my struggle with Lyme’s disease (borrelia burgdorferi).

I am now realizing that I have probably been infected with some sort of tick-borne issue for longer than I thought.  I say this because actually over the past 5 years or so, I have been noticing a very slow, but steady decline in my hand-eye-coordination and in mental clarity.  It definitely started before I was officially diagnosed with LD.  And now I think I have finally put a stop to that said decline (thank goodness!).

Go back and read my previous posts about Lyme’s for further information.  I will be describing what I am doing now and just briefly brushing on what happened in the past.

So what is different now than 6 to 12 months ago (you might ask)?

I am still taking (in low doses) the Lyme’s specific homeopathics – which I think do a great job of slowing and halting the LD progression, I’m not sure if it erradicates the Lyme’s by itself.  Rather I would suggest adding in immune boosting herbs like astragalus and andrographis (*** see warning below).

For about the past 2 to 3 months I have been taking the Cat’s Claw bark powder, the Eleuthero tincture (ginseng) and the Japanese Knotweed root powder – these are the main herbs in the Buhner herbal Lyme’s protocol.

In the past month, I have added in 4 things, which means I don’t know exactly what is making me feel so much better…  but I am just happy to have more energy and less inflammation!!

Here is what I have added in the past few weeks:

  1. I am taking an herbal anti-inflammatory blend – it has some knotweed (resveratrol), some turmeric, some green tea phenols, etc.  This is probably going to help reduce inflammation in the body – but by itself, this will not treat Lyme’s (btw).
  2. I have started taking Andrographis.  I am taking doses in the amount recommended by Buhner – meaning I started out taking 1 tablet every 4-6 hours (400 mg) for a week or two.  I did not have any reactions.  And now I have built up to taking 800 mg every 4-6 hours meaning I take 2400 mg of it daily.  Andrographis is rapidly excreted by the kidneys – Buhner mentions that in just 4 hours, 80% of the herb is excreted, meaning we have to take it often.  I might up my dose to 1200 mg every 4-6 hours soon.  Will keep you posted.  Andrographis is a known immune booster (and this is most of the battle against tick-borne disease infection).  In fact, a number of Northern European countries recommend their citizens take this herb in the winter.

In addition to the above two supplements, I also got an acupuncture session a couple weeks ago which focused on my extraordinary meridians.  These are a mystery to me (look them up but make sure it is a good resource) – but I noticed myself feeling better about 3 – 5 days after this treatment, so I have to mention it.  The meridian that got worked on for me had to do with the Jing Qi and it ran up the inside of my legs, she also put needles in my neck (near the SCM) and on the inside edges of my inner cannulas (first time ever having needles so close to my eyes!).

Finally, what I did not mention in my previous post about going up to Pittsburgh…

I had a dream a few months ago – maybe back in January or February that doing a certain Buddhist Dharma protector practice would lead to my feeling better.  It is a rare practice – it is rare I think for anyone to do this specific practice on its own (rather you hear about this Dharmapala lumped in with the others).  But I have been doing it since returning from Pittsburgh a week ago.  I think this is an efficacious practice for me.  I was also told that this particular wisdom being was associated with healing – that nomads in Tibet request lamas and monks to do the practice when their Yaks get sick and start dying.  I wish I could say more about this, but I think you have to have the karmic connections (ten drel) to benefit from these types of practices.

In the meantime, if you are desperate, you could look up Green Tara mantras and chant along with them, or Chenrezig or Medicine Buddha mantras.  Better yet though, find a Tibetan lama who you trust and ask their advice about a healing yidam (deity) practice for you, if you want.

Whatever is causing my health and vitality to return, I am grateful.  Having spent the past four to five years watching my energy slowly sap away and my inflammation slowly creep up and up, I am very happy to be coming out the other side.  Which, in the realm of Lyme’s disease is often difficult to do.

I am still taking it slow.  No need to shock my system!  But I have the energy to give multiple bodywork treatments in a day or to go for a 10 mile bike ride or to have several activities in a day without being worn out or irritable.  So far so good!

Thank you for reading!

~km

 

*** a little word about andrographis: about 3% of the population is allergic to this herb, which manifests primarily as rashes and skin issues.  Most of the time this allergy is not serious.  However, due to this risk, always start out taking a small dose and work your way up after a week or two to make certain you are not in that small percentage of people.

Read Full Post »

I am going to write about how clarity can arise during meditation.  And it can also arise when we are offering bodywork.

Garchen Rinpoche is one of my heart teachers.  He is one of the few individuals on the planet who I honestly think, loves everyone and everything around him.  He is the embodiment of loving-kindness in my eyes.  And he is more than that as well, his wisdom fire is vast and deep, so he also embodies the wisdom-gnosis of Manjushri.  If I get the chance to attend his teachings, I make every attempt to go.

In a recent post of one of his teachings, he mentions that with devotion to the Guru or to one’s root lama, that clarity can arise when we meditate.  If we have the dedication of years of practice, and if we are truly devoted to our heart teacher, then clarity can easily arise when we do Guru Yoga or offer a Tsok feast and Lama Chopa practice (offering a delicious feast to the blessing-bestowing lineage holders of one’s particular Tibetan Buddhist lineage).  If we have a question, we might not need to ask our root lama in person, unless it is easy.  [Of course it is good to check in from time to time to make certain we are not being blown about by the winds of delusion]  Rather, if we have a question, we can ask it at the beginning of a meditation session or before we do Guru Yoga, and Garchen Rinpoche says that by the next morning, we might have our answer.

I believe there are some definite parallels between meditation and doing professional, compassionate, skillful, ethical bodywork.  I personally practice Craniosacral Therapy, I work with a little bit of trauma resolution by working with the Vagus nerve and the Polyvagal system and I am starting to get into Pre- and Perinatal therapy (PPN therapy) and Birth Process work.  I have been giving and receiving bodywork for over 12 years now, and I feel that the levels of embodiment I am discovering are very difficult to describe in words and that my body communicates with me on a regular basis.

If we are doing bodywork and something comes up in the session, we can get to the point where we can ask our own bodies – “what is going on here?”  And we can get a definite, accurate answer.

Here is an example of this:

I was giving a treatment a little while ago when I started to feel the client’s pain coming out into my hands.  This can occur anytime someone has emotional or physical trauma and we as healing facilitators are both wishing them well and attempting to get their body to release old stuff.

The problem with the above situation though, is that I want to be able to give a treatment session and have some energy remaining to enjoy my day.  I want to be able to give at least four treatments in a day without feeling drained.  So if I am starting to take on my client’s stuff, I have to pause and notice the yellow flags my body is raising.  “Hello Kirby – do you really want to continue down this path?”  No, I don’t.

Therefore, I paused and asked my body – specifically my gut and my kidneys, “What do I need to know right now?  Why am I taking on this person’s stuff?”

And it was pretty wild.  I got an instant response of, “There is nothing to do, nothing to fix, nothing to make [as healing facilitator].  I am merely connecting to this person’s innate health which is never lost.”  I stated something like this out loud – that their body knows how to heal itself and that I am just coaching their process.

And within seconds, I stopped taking on anything from this person, despite my hands remaining on them the whole time.  I got them to do a little technique to move the energy through and out of their body (without me as middle man!) and they deeply appreciated the session.

It is always good to remind ourselves of the basics.  Going back from time to time to review the basics is very helpful for me.

I think I was taking on this person’s stuff because I had temporarily fallen back into an old pattern of trying to help or fix one of my parents (an old pattern of mine).  Once I named and noticed it and shifted my intention and my awareness, I was able to no longer be hooked by my old pattern.

Likewise, we can get questions answered when we sit on the meditation cushion.  Or we can answer our questions (sometimes instantly) by having years of experience working with our bodies and having a tradition enhanced with wisdom to lean into.  In other words, we can bring meditation into various contexts we are working in.

Thank you for reading!

~km

Read Full Post »

This might be a little sacrilegious…  but I want to share these thoughts nonetheless.  I want to preface what I am going to say with the fact that I am, deep in my heart, a Buddhist practitioner.  I have a strong connection with Tibetan lamas from the Drikung Kagyu, Nyingma and Gelugpa lineages.  Also, I am not expert, so it might be good to take my opinions with a grain of salt.

With that said, I have been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for 12 years now, in addition I have also studied trauma resolution and Craniosacral Therapy (a form of therapeutic touch and bodywork) for about the same amount of time.  More recently I have spent time exploring and studying Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (Birth Process work) which looks at the world from a baby-centric perspective.  Therefore I have a number of tools at my disposal for working with the body / mind.

I am presently doing a limited retreat.  I am withdrawing from stressful situations, from stressful people and from stressful patterns within my own being.  I am seeking to cultivate loving-kindness, joy and openheartedness.  And overall I think I am doing pretty well with this intention.

Of course I need to make ends meet, so I am working a couple of part-time jobs and I am seeing bodywork and astrology clients when they set up appointments.  But for the most part, my days are full of juicy Svaroopa yoga (gentle supported yoga which focuses on loosening tension in the spine and opening the pelvis), heart opening Zapchen exercises, beautiful walks by the river, spending time with good company and doing a little bit of meditation and Dharma practice.

One pattern I am looking at within myself is my tendency to be hard on myself if I miss a day of Dharma practice.  Nearly everyday I sit on my cushion.  But I have a commitment to finish my preliminary practices – to say the refuge mantra along with doing prostrations.  So when I miss doing that, I feel a little guilty.

However, I need to be aware that this pattern may be something I inherited.  Who in my energetic field (when I was very little) was hard on themselves?  Who might have had a guilty conscience when I was young?  Did I pick that up from Mom or Dad or another care-taker?

The stress of living in this fast-paced, rat-race-inducing, technologically advanced culture leads to my feeling a lot of compression.  Physical compression of my heart and spine, emotional compression of my heart’s generosity and capacity to experience joy and lightheartedness, and energetic compression as I notice any stress in people around me.  Yes, I am a bit sensitive.

I am also vitally aware of how much I need good unconditionally supportive company around me.  I don’t want to spend time with people who are incredibly judgmental or critical.  People who are stuck up in their heads, logically analyzing and discriminating about everything around them.  No, I want people who have discovered a balance between the compassion of the heart, the potency of the pelvis and the clarity of the head.

I have been studying Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (PPN) over the past few years.  And last summer I had the good fortune to go up to Nelson, Canada for 2+ weeks for an intensive workshop.  And I have since discovered that the incredible levels of safety and trust which is cultivated has made for a container of support and good company which I have NEVER experienced anywhere else.  And I mean anywhere else.  When I go to my Dharma center, the majority of the people there are not exactly embodied.  They mean very well and they have excellent motivation and intentions.

But the Sangha (group of students and practitioners) which I have experienced around this PPN work is something extraordinary.  To come together as a group of equals who are all seeking to open our hearts compassionately to the terrible knowledge which existed for many of our childhoods, to build in solid resources and new kinder ways of being with ourselves.  To work through psychological double-binds together and to touch each other in platonic, professional and unconditionally loving ways, is something extremely difficult to find.

The reason I mentioned this might seem kind of blasphemous earlier is that I am looking to see how I can build in more of this second Sangha in my life.  If Buddhist practitioners do not work with their bodies and merely spend time focusing on the bigger picture (which is extremely important of course – looking to purify karma, planning for future lifetimes, and deepening their levels of renunciation), then I’m not sure I want to spend that much time with them at present.

How can I find a balance between Dharma practice (focusing on refining the subtle consciousness and moving toward Buddha-consciousness) and embodying kindness-inducing practices which move us toward greater compassion toward ourselves and others?  The amount of kindness I want to practice toward myself is radical, basically not talked about in any circles of mainstream society.  And I want to spend time with people who practice radical kindness toward themselves.

This is what I am sitting with at present.  I might go up to the Dharma center next week, and I might choose to stay here in town and sit in my semi-retreat of kindness toward self.  Because I am really looking at doing things differently.  Being differently.

I don’t want any judgmental stuff coming through others, even if it is being projected through a Buddhadharma lens.  I don’t want to spend lots of time with people who are repeatedly hard on themselves with no end to this pattern in sight.  (Sometimes people beat themselves up and maybe they even use their meditation practice as a way to continue this trend..)

Wish me well in walking this fine line.  I will continue this discussion soon.

Thank you for visiting!

Gratefully,

~km

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, I was having a tough time with several aspects I am seeing over and over again in hospitals.  However, in spite of staffing issues and strained working conditions, there is a reason nurses are the most trusted profession (people) in the United States – and yes, more so than fire fighters!

From the perspective of Buddhism, there might not be a better profession to be in.  In Buddhism we talk about right livelihood – which profession could I be in that causes the least amount of harm to people (and brings them the most benefit)?  We have to be very skillful when looking at what causes harm – does nursing produce a lot of pollution?  Does it cause a lot of trees to be cut down?  Are there occasional mistakes that do cause harm?  Yes, maybe (although electronic medical records has greatly reduced paper waste) and yes.

One thing I definitely appreciate about nursing is that almost every decision we make is based upon weighing the benefits versus the risks.  Therefore we are constantly thinking about benefiting patients (while causing the least amount of harm).

And another benefit to nursing, which might sound strange, is seeing all the suffering in our patients.  People, for the most part (at least in the United States), are ignorant of what causes diseases to progress.  They are ignorant of how to take care of their bodies.  They are often ignorant of what it means to eat a healthy diet.  And this ignorance takes its toll when degenerative diseases, or the diseases of aging, show up.  A lot of diseases can be prevents – kidney failure, hypertension, diabetes mellitus type 2, etc etc.  But by the time a patient is seeing me, they often have more than one or two of these difficult syndromes. And I am just a nursing student.

Also in Buddhism (are you detecting a theme yet?), we are taught to contemplate the preciousness of being in a healthy, functioning human rebirth (body).  If we can walk and talk and hear and see, then we can possibly do prostrations, chant mantras and prayers, hear teachings and read the Dharma scriptures and texts.  If any one of these sense faculties is missing, then we are no longer considered to be in possession of all 18 leisures and endowments.  Which is why it is so important to protect our bodies from harm – even from slow decades long harm which is very insidious.

Now I’m not advocating strict asceticism.  If we are able to, we should enjoy a dessert from time to time.  We should enjoy a glass of wine (if appropriate) from time to time.  But just be aware of factors which increase diseases significantly – like smoking cigarettes.  And it is smart to get a regular, annual physical – hypertension (high blood pressure) is known as the “silent killer” for a reason!  By the time you notice the symptoms, irreversible damage has already been done.  😦

So if I don’t get anything else out of nursing except a good education about how the body works and stays in homeostasis AND seeing suffering and realizing how fortunate I am to be able to put the Dharma teachings into practice, then that is fine!  That may be all I need.  Maybe I can even be of benefit to others.

Thank you for reading and may all beings be able to practice right livelihood!

~KM

Read Full Post »

The setting for the summer intensive is quite idyllic.  Peaceful, fog shrouded mornings, followed by mountain-breeze-filled, sunny afternoons, pleasant evenings with chilly nights.  I will try to post pictures soon.

For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I did training with Myrna Martin and there were 12 of us participants, along with 3 teaching assistants plus the 2 head teachers (Myrna and Ken).  You can find her site here: http://www.myrnamartin.net

Looking out over the valley each morning, the large mountains of the Kootenai Lake valley were opposite us.  They were about 5 to 6,000 feet high with evergreen trees rising up their steep slopes, usually to the top.  Further in the distance, rising slightly above the northern, closer peaks were higher mountains still.  The Kokanee Glacier lay hidden behind those, about 30 km away or more.  The guys (myself included) would hike around that Glacier park during the middle weekend.

The three of us males were down from the main house.  I stayed in a large dome type set-up – not quite a tent, but not quite a permanent structure either.  I had one dome-mate and there was plenty of space for both of us.  We each had a twin mattress and boxsprings to sleep on, along with piles of blankets which I actually needed during some of the chillier nights.

Ken and Myrna are really big about living greener lifestyles, so they grow a lot of their own food – they had blue berries, raspberries, strawberries, sea buckthorn berries, pears, plums and more.  Most of these were ripe while I was there (definitely recommend being there in August!!).

Walking further up the hill, above the main house, is the “super dome” as some of us called it.  They have a large dome structure, similar in material to the residential domes, but the large dome could easily hold 30 people, seated.  They had a screen and a projector there, where they would show birth videos, yoga videos and power point presentations, etc.

It was definitely more rustic!  We used composting toilets every day – these were actually buckets that we put peat moss on each time we went to the bathroom.  They were emptied every day.  The warm showers were nice but most mornings I would step out of the shower into a chilly morning, so it was refreshing and occasionally bittersweet.

They have beautiful gardens scattered all over their property.  They must have had two dozen cherry tomato plants as well, so these were always available to snack on – right off the vine!  Plus they had a large fountain with a Buddha and Kuan Yin statue nearby – very serene and perfect for their intention.  In addition to that, they also had a hot tub!  I watched the sun set several times from the hot tub.  It was the perfect way to rest sore muscles after a mid-day hike.

And speaking of hiking, my dome was close to the gate which was down at the end of their driveway.  And beyond that, I could be on a hiking trail within minutes!  It was so nice to head up the mountain and explore the dozens of hiking trails.  I’m good in the woods and with direction, so I was never concerned about getting lost.

In fact, one day I took off intending to discover a loop trail.  I knew generally where it was and where it led to, but I did not know how long it would take.  Therefore I was jogging half the time.  I was later told it was close to 6 km long and I somehow finished it in under 30 minutes!  It was very steep coming down though!

There were several cats on the property which was nice.  They sort of broke up the intensity of sitting with my psychological, developmental stuff.  I could just pick up a cat and have good company in my lap for a short time!

They were having issues with their internet, so it was perfect.  It was one of my intentions to have less screen time and I think for the entire 2 weeks I had about 20 – 30 minutes of internet, email checking time.  And of my goodness, it was refreshing to be away from Facebook for 2 weeks as well (especially with all the polarizing political garbage going on).

They are up in the mountains, so bears are a potential issue.  Therefore they have an electric fence around their property.  There was one day that a bear cub somehow shimmied over a gate and was eating blue berries.  Ken had to chase him out with a shovel.  Fortunately we did not see that cub’s mother!  And I went for at least six different hikes while I was up there and never saw a bear while hiking.  I did make noises every 10 yards or so, knowing I was hiking alone, I did not want to startle a bear or a coyote.  Rather have them know I was coming and mosey on out of my way  🙂

All in all, they have set up and created the ideal space for a process workshop.  Negative ions from the woods which surround their property, lots and lots of views of nature and mountains and flowers abound.  And they must have at least half a dozen statues of Kuan Yin scattered throughout their property.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »