To all the mothers of the world and all those in the practice of mothering, gratitude for your role in spreading the necessary love to make the world a better place, happiest of days to you.
Today I should be in Ireland welcoming those that were to join me for a week of mindful practice in the fertile hills of the mystical Burren. We would witness an Irish spring in all her glory, hike sacred sites, savour our bodies opening gently with yoga, expand a shared world of meditation, melt into sound healing with crystal singing bowls, experience a contemplative art project at the extraordinary Burren College of Art. Every moment of these retreats has held profound meaning in our continual opening. Even the culinary wholesomeness, both dining at the house or communing with some of my favourite locals is a sheer delight. Oh sigh! The world this year had a different plan for us all.
Today I honour and celebrate every person who has joined me on past journeys and those who will join me in the future. I am committed with heart and soul to create a beautiful container for people to experience the depth of their hearts. Something happens I can’t explain, but everyone's spirits are much brighter as the week concludes. I will hold onto these memories and visions with a smile and look forward to the opportunity to share them in a different time.
Right now the whole world has an opportunity of a different kind of a solitary reflective retreat. One on a scale that nobody would ever wish for, but as always there are silver linings that may not appear obvious but are worth seeking. It reminds me of a commonality with those who go through life threatening illnesses or near death experiences. Almost everyone is grateful for these life defining moments that awaken us from sleep and into recognizing fuller potential, but no one would wish the journey on anyone else. We are currently together at a precipice to forge a better, more sustainable future.
Life has given me plenty of challenges to encourage embracing uncertainty. A sure part of journey is the goal to hold it with grace, courage and trust. In retrospect it seems as if it was all more poetic than threatening. Perhaps because hindsight is less threatening than the present moment. Perhaps our current situation will soon become more wise and directive than scary.
Sharing this collective quintessential uncertainly across the globe is very tough, for everyone. We see suffering everywhere, not just with those in the direct circle of the pandemic but those who are losing their livelihood and the ability to feed their families, those that are socially isolated. My compassion muscle is getting worked more than any other muscle in my daily practice, that's for sure.
If we were in the Ireland retreat now, it would be day one. We’d be in the Great Quiet Room in a circle to introduce ourselves to one another and enjoy a meditation with the crystal singing bowls before breaking bread together for the first time. The healing frequency of the bowls help us all arrive in the present moment and be well centred in our hearts with enthusiasm for the unfolding of the week. I have no doubt that next year when we reschedule, we will all be even more grateful for the opportunity to dive deep into what is important in our lives.
Eilis Haden-Storrie, the author of Nurture, Nature and Being Happy is one of the beautiful souls we get to enjoy on retreat. She takes us on a journey through a history of traditional healing in the Burren. She has a blog called Love and Healing in the time of Corona. You may enjoy. ;-)