This past weekend I did something entirely new and out of my comfort zone. I attended a retreat I guess a lot of my friends and family would associate with some sort of a hippie convention – but I have to tell you it was one of the most reviving, awakening and wonderful things that I have ever done.
It is an angel retreat, working with archangels Gabriel and Michael and many more to cleanse your mind, body and soul. Over the course of three days you gain purification, clarification, release and quiet introspection.
I had no idea what to expect when going into this. I like to think I’m open-minded and try to make spirituality a part of my life. But I really just didn’t know what it was that I was getting into this time around.
I arrived at the farm a few minutes late, which is something I seem to be becoming particularly good at these days…. which is odd for someone so pedantic about time!
There were seven other women sitting on plastic chairs in a circle around crystals, candles and pots. One of the pots contained a couple of handfuls of epsom salt which we would later pour surgical spirits over and set alight while we did our first guided meditation with the facilitator. This clears any stagnant energy and is a very powerful way to cleanse you and your home.
I was welcomed to the group with such warmth and kindness that I instantly felt that I was coming home, which was odd considering I had never been there before. Nor did I know any of the women around me….. or did I? Over the course of the weekend we delved into past lives and reincarnation which was absolutely fascinating. We learned so much about ourselves and each other – and the connection that we all shared. We once belonged to the Celtic times and were a group of powerful women many believed to be witches. Some of us were burnt at the stake. In another life we were in India, training as monks. This I loved as it really helped me to understand my love of India.
We chatted a while, going around in the circle sharing small snippets of ourselves with each other.
It kicked off with a very emotional start. Obviously everyone around the circle had a reason for being there and some were more open than others with sharing those reasons.
I felt a lot of happiness, sadness, anger, joy, pain, love and turmoil while sitting there with everyone. Not just my own, but everyone else’s too.
My caring for every other person in the group was immediate. It was something truly beautiful.
Our first exercise was walking the labyrinth.
I’d always seen labyrinth’s as part of a pretty garden or as a feature of a quirky restaurant like The Heath, but somehow I’d never gotten the curiosity to know what a labyrinth really IS.
There’s a certain path to follow when walking the labyrinth.
Ours was beautifully set up with a Bodhi Tree right in the center. It is said to be the same tree that Buddha sat under.
We had earthy colored tiles nestled into the stones riddled with tiny crickets and scattered with rose quartz.
As we walked, we had to focus on our steps and our moving, slowly starting to let go of all of the things we each needed to. It would have been different for everyone.
Personally, mine was a lot of pent up anger towards my life. The heartache from lost love and lies. The pain from my dads illness and my parents struggles with certain things in their lives.
My regrets for ever getting involved with certain people and things that led to self-doubt and depression. There was the fear from abusive relationships as well as the fear of not being good enough… that I had decided that I deserved every inch of what life was throwing at me.
I’d let it all defeat me – but as I walked that labyrinth, for the first time in many, many years, I realized that I was starting to fight back.
I was better than this life that I’d become stuck in a rut in.
When we reached the tree, we stood in a circle and dropped all of that negativity and ‘junk’ there. We stood a while, eyes closed in a tranquil silence – each of us being transported entirely different. To where we felt relief and release and all things good and whole…. until very slowly, we opened our eyes, coming back to the present and taking a deep breath in.
We started our walk back to the entrance of the labyrinth – this time we weren’t to focus on the things we had just left behind at the tree, that was already gone. This time we were to focus on the start of new beginnings and positiveness.
Labyrinths are extremely powerful things and I hadn’t realized that until that day.
As I walked back through those rose quartz and cricket covered stones, I felt things. Things I’d never expected to feel. Forgiveness. Forgiveness to myself, forgiveness to my family and forgiveness to life.
I got messages too. In my head whispered words would surface such as, ‘Be gentle on your parents, they are going through a lot’.
I still have no idea if that is a ‘normal’ experience when walking the labyrinth but it was mine and I appreciated it all so much. It was as though I was getting this closure and clarity and profound wisdom that I’d been batting away before.
Along the walk I fretted that I was walking too fast, being too close to the person in front of me and tripping over a rose quartz which would just be such a typical ‘Jade Thing’ to do. No body is perfect – and the beautiful thing was that no one had to be.
We thanked the labyrinth after the walk before scurrying back in doors to the blankets and tea.
Here we also did a ritual for grounding and protection before continuing with the meditation.
As we did our first meditation, we met each of our ‘special beings’ and discovered their names. I admit that this takes imagination and creativity, or at least it did for me.
It was my first time doing anything like this so I didn’t know if I was doing it correctly or if it came more naturally to everyone else.
I really didn’t want to share who my ‘special being’ was but some of the other women did and it was amazing to hear about the figures they saw before them. One women had a special being with the face of a crocodile and another’s shared the name with a Power Ranger!
There was so much humor, lightness and openness involved while at the same time it was still so deep.
In the meditation our special being gave us a box with a gift inside. Sometimes your special being can even give you a symbol.
Once again, mid-meditation, I started to fret about not being able to see what was inside of my box and wondered if I just had to sort of make something up.
In the end, I worried myself out so much that I never did get to see what was in my box but right when I thought all was lost, a symbol of a heart as a pendant on a necklace appeared right in front of me.
We slowly came out of our meditation and started to share our experiences with each other.
I started to feel a little deflated because while everyone else seemed to have been given golden orbs and seemingly much more majestic things, I had been given a simple heart. But when it got to me and I muttered my symbol, everyone made me feel so good about it.
The facilitator mentioned that she could see that I have been through a lot of pain in my life and that my symbol clearly meant that I need to start working on my heart chakra.
There had been something so symbolic about the heart being whole…
I think that is one of the things I loved most about this retreat – you could share anything with the group and they would be there for you unconditionally.
It was something I’d never felt in a group before, especially in a group of women. But this was different.
Night one ended after a gorgeously cooked hot meal of gluten-free, vegetarian risotto and a ginormous slice and moist chocolate cake.
I was already feeling a world of change.
We were instructed to meet the next morning for breakfast at 8am.
Had the weather been nice we’d have gone down to the beach to do a meditation in order to align our chakra’s – but it came bucketing down with rain so we cozied up around the crystals, candles and pot filled with epsom salts again.
Aligning the chakra’s is nothing short of a lengthy process, but it is so worth it!
It is basically a guided meditation to balance and align our chakras which helps us to function at an optimal level in our lives – tosses out negative energy and accelerates our Ascension process.
Saturday was filled with activities and experiences including meditations, chakra alignments and fire ceremonies.
For me, the fire ceremony was a huge deal. I think that is where I let A LOT of stuff really go. There were tears and the burning of feelings that no longer served us which we’d written down on crumpled up pieces of paper. We were smudged and and cleansed and the entire day was just so beautiful and necessary.
Sunday we walked the labyrinth again and I was dying to get back to it to be honest. There was more that I wanted to dump under that Bodhi tree and walk away from.
I’d let the weekend slowly sink in.
On the last day we did other new things like draw pictures that had to contain certain things. This in itself was yet another HUGE learning experience for me (because I completely bollocksed the entire exercise up…….. obviously).
See, the paper was laid down in front of us in a certain way – but me being me, I went against the tide and swiveled my paper around and started drawing my picture in a different position to everyone else.
This gave me a good message that was hard to come to terms with – but it was so true.
I need to stop trying to change things and just let them be the way that they are.
So much happened and so many messages were sent to me that I really can’t share it all.
All you really need to know is that I left the retreat on Sunday a completely altered person and took so much away with me… not just the delightful goodies like incense, bracelets and meditation CDs but other things too. Things you can’t see or touch – things you can’t even really explain.
I’d recommend a weekend like this to absolutely everyone. It is nothing short of absolutely incredible.If anybody is interested in a weekend away like this, please click the link below for further details:
Peace, love, light, happiness and angels to all