When I first thought about “revival,” I thought it meant “brought back to life.” I suppose that would certainly be considered an “improvement in the condition or strength of something,” wouldn’t it? So, I am going to stick with that felt sense of the word.
I’ve had a month of revival, and I must say I’m emerging with a fresh energy, a renewed and deepened connection with myself, and a fresh enthusiasm to engage with life and this next chapter in a beautiful way. I’m looking at my work with fresh eyes and a willingness to shake things up.
In July I got a very strong internal hit to step away, pull back from obligations and work that wasn’t filling me any longer. That hit also came with a strong desire to add in more fun, more play, more rest, more joy. And so, I did.
I cleared my calendar of appointments that could wait til later. I bought tickets to live music, which I have learned in recent years is a thing that fills my soul and is something my husband and I enjoy doing together. I jumped into the Great Rhythm Revival (that “thing” I mentioned in my last newsletter) very spontaneously and a little uncertainly. I booked a trip to Omega Institute to meet a friend I’d only known by Zoom and phone for 2 ½ years – we’d co-facilitated 2 online retreats in that time but we had never actually been in the same room together, never shared a hug or a deep sit-down face-to-face conversation! I bought tickets to the Avett Brothers in Chautauqua and then added to a day pass so that we could listen to Scott Avett’s non-lecture about spirituality, faith, and creativity which led us to add an extra night to our stay and invite a couple of friends to join us. I found a gorgeous simple peaceful cottage on the lake to hold us for those nights.
I’ve been on the road A LOT! Probably away from home more than not this past month. But, because it was fueled by joy, I feel filled up rather than depleted. Revived, if you will!
So, this Great Rhythm Revival… what the heck is that? I wasn’t sure other than knowing I was jumping into some peace, love, and granola kind of happening with drumming, dancing, and fire. I went with Sandi Sabene, my partner for this year’s retreat and a friend who I haven’t had much chance to play with and a dear friend of hers. I could have (and would have in the past) felt like a third wheel, an outsider, especially since these two are beloved members of this community that has formed over many years. But, I didn’t. Why? Because I went in with a solid sense of myself and a strong ability and desire to take care of my needs during our time together. I let go of FOMO and gave myself permission to listen to my body, heart, and spirit – to nap on our porch rather than join a workshop, to dance rather than write, to go to bed rather than go to the fire. To say “yes” to me rather than to other people’s expectations or desires.
I also gave myself full permission to let loose and find the carefree, joyful me who was so hungry to come out and play! To close my eyes and drum even though I don’t really know how. To join the transformative dance workshops and let my body move as it wanted to move (which was way more than it has in the past year or more due to a lengthy bout of frozen shoulder). To say “yes” to the body paint (a little the first night and all in the second) before the dance party! To dance in the front row and not care that I’m so tall. To sweat. To jump into the pond and float with women I was just meeting for the first time. To talk to strangers – to dare to believe that I might belong. To meet new people and to buy my ticket for next year because I know this is good medicine for my soul!
During that weekend I found or reconnected with parts of myself that had been sleeping for too long. My nervous system settled, awakened, healed in ways it hasn’t in a very long time. I was nourished and fueled on all levels. The conditions and strength of my something was very much improved!
I returned home with a solid connection to my true self. I felt grounded and strong. I had crystal clarity, which allowed me to stand on my ground and face some BS that came my way almost immediately. Finding ourselves and letting ourselves free is vital to our life force energy. It’s critical to be solid in our own core in order to not be buffeted around by life and other people.
I feel like I’m in the gooey phase of transformation/transmutation now… like the caterpillar in the cocoon, in the dark, but not in a bad way. There’s been a strong desire and need to go within, to find quiet and stillness in order to hear the whispers of my soul, the calls for what’s next.
I don’t know what’s next, and that’s ok. In this space I don’t have to know. I only have to be open. To listen deeply to my heart and soul – to follow the inner nudges that do know. To sit with the not knowing and allow things to unfold. To catch and follow the fresh inspiration when it comes.
This phase is calling me to let go of things I’ve done for a long time, and trust that I will be able to create anew when the time is right. I’m not trying to box anything in to what it used to be or what I’ve always done. I’m not trying to force or figure anything out. Aaahhh… it feels like a breath of fresh air that I can expand into rather than a stagnant stale container cramping me in.
On my solo drive to Omega, I listened to great podcasts (Cheryl Strayed on We Can Do Hard Things – 2 episodes – really lit my fire!). I listened closely and paid attention to what their conversation awakened within me. I longed to devote more time to my writing and for writing time with Cheryl. I’m taking steps to honor this deep knowing. Shortly after returning home, I saw that shel is offering a writing workshop in Omega! I am returning before too long!! Opening to one of my core gifts, to one of my principal practices and mediums, to inspiration, to a place and space that nurtures and nourishes me in a deep, deep way! I’m excited!
Listening to Scott Avett talk about not wanting to be boxed in or blocked out by labels, I felt a deep resonance in my core. Scott spoke of the need to be real, even in front of other people. To let content arise from lived experience. As I witnessed the band shake off any perception that they were simply a “folk band” with a strong rock and roll show, I smiled, imagining their intention. “You think we’re folk? Watch this!” It was an amazing performance, coming from the authenticity of the band members. Perhaps the best show I’ve ever seen from them. Why? Because they were letting themselves out to shine and play! They were being moved from the inside out!
I have many reflections living within me from this month of revival. I have so much gratitude for those who flicked me awake and to myself for being there for it! For showing up, ready and willing to be awakened, ready and willing to take a risk, ready and willing to break free, just a little bit more, letting go of some of the cares about what others think of me or expect from me in order to more fully honor myself.
Sounds selfish, doesn’t it? And yet, I have no doubt that all of this revival will allow me to serve the world in a better and stronger way than I have before. I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’m ready and excited to witness and be part of the unfolding.
What’s feeling old and stale to you? Where can you shake things up a bit, in a really good way? Where might you bring in more joy and playfulness to your days? Where can you add in fun? What can you cancel or reschedule that maybe doesn’t have to happen right now? What truly matters most to you right now – at this moment in your life? What parts of you have been sleeping or gone missing for too long? What parts have not yet been discovered? Where would you like to begin your revival?
If the Great Rhythm Revival sounds good to you, check it out and join me next year! As I was promised, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll likely love it!
Want to give yourself a little revival much sooner than next August? Join me and Sandi Sabene (she was the friend I went to Revival with and has facilitated drum circles and creative expression experiences for decades) at Let Your Light Shine Women’s Retreat Sept. 23-27. She and I are lit up and so excited to be co-creating this magical 5-day experience together!
Five spots remain. This retreat may not happen again (at least not in its current form), so if this version is calling you, now is the time to jump in! Don’t put it off til “next year!”
I just don't know for sure what's coming. I know there will be more retreats. I know there will be fresh and inspired offerings... so, stay tuned as more is revealed over the coming days and months! This is where I am - truly am in a space of wonder, curiosity, and possibility, discovering for myself what will be next! I'm excited! And, you'll be the first to know!
And, as you can see from the rest of this post, I feel like it's always a good idea to seize the opportunities as they come rather than wait!