I love participating in retreats for several reasons, either to regain balance after a difficult life situation or transition, to connect with a like-minded community with a common bond or interest, or simply to continue moving forward in my personal growth and spiritual journey.

I recently attended a beautiful retreat integrating spirituality and overall well-being, and became very aware of the shift between the reason I first registered and the work I actually did. When I first enrolled several months before the workshop, I had a particular desire, to continue healing a loss that sent me into my own “dark night of the soul”, a deeper plunge than I  had expected, and from which I feared I might not regain my ground.

By the time the retreat began I had already been moving forward in that process, as I had been consciously working on healing for almost a year, and likely due to that work I had shifted to an even larger more universal core issue in my own life dynamic.

I was actually relieved to get to this larger issue, not because it was easier, in fact the opposite is true. It was because it was so core to my being and to how I perceive different experiences in my life, thus affecting my personal reality.

Although I never once discussed the actual issue from which I wrestle, by sharing my story, and connecting to my retreat community with an open heart and mind, I gained an increased sense of compassion and self acceptance from which I feel added strength, and awe for the mystery of healing.

I don’t expect everything will be easy and uneventful from here on out, although I do have faith that I will survive and thrive through the muddy waters.