Updated on January 28, 2018
I am just returning from my trip to Guatemala where I co-led a healing and yoga retreat with Lauren Leduc of Karma Tribe Yoga. She’s a master yoga teacher and I got to practice my skills leading energy healing workshops abroad. Here’s a photo of our group above!
The retreat was amazing. Villa Sumaya, the retreat center where we stayed was out-of-this-world spectacular. The views were breathtaking. Located back in some jungly-tree’d forest right on Lake Atitlan, surrounded by 29 volcanoes. Talk about hello Mother Earth! She was so alive all around us, it was hard not to feel her pulse.
The center’s employees and managers were soooo organized too, making it a breeze for Lauren and I to lead. Literally all of our needs were taken care of, so we could focus on our work and holding space for our participants. Lauren has led yoga retreats all over the globe and said this place was the most well run one yet – score!
Everyday started with 630am yoga, meditation, then breakfast and usually some kind of excursion or free time for massage or energy work. Then lunch and energy healing workshops in the afternoon, free time, dinner, and free time before bed.
I was once again reminded how much I love my work. One of my most favorite things in the world is witnessing another’s transformation, there is truly nothing like it. To see someone open up, express themselves, and claim who they are is one of the most empowering experiences to witness. To watch the participants on the retreat move through limiting beliefs, emotional wounds, and family burdens was remarkable. I walked away having learned so much myself and deeply thankful for the opportunity.
Speaking of learning myself, that was one thing I wasn’t expecting to experience so much of on this retreat. I was focused on leading, holding space for others, listening, and providing a compassionate container. Little did I know Guatemala had other plans in store for me.
Physically speaking, I kinda got my butt kicked. I had some pretty terrible stomach issues while there. My digestion system has been my achillies heel since I was a child, a constant teacher for me that didn’t let me off the hook this time – retreat leader or not – and I couldn’t figure out what was going on with it or what I needed to make it better. Upon returning home and seeing my holistic Dr. it appears that I may have had food poisoning, which explains so much!
So much of my experience was related to the healing of my 3rd Chakra, the Solar Plexus. This Chakra holds the stomach, liver connected to the large intestine (hello digestion), as well as our control center, the house for our ego and soul, and our self identity and belonging. I felt all of this challenged on this trip. It fascinates me to see what we experience emotionally is directly tied to us physically. I felt really out of my element there – I’ve haven’t been out of the country in a long time, I’ve never been to Guatemala, I hadn’t led an international retreat before and all the unknown things that come up with that, so I felt VULNERABLE and my body knew it!
I’m also very energetically sensitive – meaning I can feel the energy of people, places, and things deeply – and the energy on Lake Atitlan moved VERY fast. A worker told me Karma moves very fast there, and boy do I believe it. The place is an energy vortex, which are powerful and transformational energy centers where the intersection of natural electromagnetic earth energy lies. Which makes a lot of sense given the large presence of Mother Earth on Lake Atitlan.
To me it felt like churning, spiraling energy moving very fast in the atmosphere, and therefore, inside of me. At night it was so intense that it felt like my third eye and crown couldn’t shut down, and as a result, I didn’t get much sleep. But the odd part was that I wasn’t tired during the day. I was awake, alert, focused and on my game. My body was a little lethargic, but I still moved pretty well throughout the day. Fascinating. Makes you question the whole, “must need 8 hours of sleep every night” jargon, huh?
It was somewhat embarrassing, being a leader and having so many issues with my body assimilating to the land. The experience reminded me that often the best leaders lead through vulnerability, and that we often have to break down the old to rebuild new.
I also saw the power in showing others it’s okay to be human and show emotion. This retreat taught me a large dose of humility and breakdown of my ego, which always wants to get it right and look good. We can get so caught up in thinking we need to be perfect to be leaders in our lives, and in thinking that our leaders need to be perfect, that we all miss a lot of opportunity for growth through imperfection and “mistakes.” Like I’ve said before and I truly believe, our imperfection, flaws, vulnerability, and so called mistakes are a GOLDMINE of information to heal, grow and expand inside ourselves. So let’s begin using them as such!
From this whole trip, really I have my body to thank, for releasing all those emotions I was feeling that manifested as digestion issues/food poisoning. It’s interesting to see what our body will attract – in this case food poisoning – in order to let go of what we no longer need – in this case, fear, control, belonging. And it will also support us in excellerating our growth – manifesting in the form of sleepless nights for me. It really is all how we look at it!
From this perspective, we really are always getting what we need, no matter how hard, painful, or frustrating something is, Spirit is constantly working to support us in bringing up what is incomplete to be made whole again.
I hope you know how whole, perfect and complete you are as you read this, even with all your flaws and imperfections.