Body is a great messenger, if you choose to listen. This week my body made sure I did as for the third time in just a couple of months the skin around my eyes blew up into the most hideous eczema and swelling. Imagine Darth Vader without a mask with his white face and million wrinkles around his puffy eyes and you get the picture!
This had happened to me twice already during the late spring and I had seen a dermatologist but it was not any cream or ointment that had cleared it but calming down, taking a break, listening to my core and slowing down. So again, I knew what I had to do. But somehow this was different. I knew my body was not going let me off the hook so easily this time, she seemed very keen to deliver me a big message.
My family had just left for a holiday. Yes, I chose to stay back home as I knew I needed some time by myself so this was a perfect opportunity to create a homemade silence retreat. I decided to shut down my computer at noon on Friday and stay silent and out of any digital devices until mid day Sunday.
My recipe for a homemade 48 hour silence retreat:
- – meditation 2 times a day (I use Deepak Chopra’s guided mediation)
- – sleep as you want (I slept 10.5h the first night and then took a nap during the day, bliss)
- – green juicing every morning
- – cook food you really, really enjoy (I made Japanese the first night)
- – no alcohol (obviously)
- – 30 mins of yoga each day (do more if you are into it and try live online yoga)
- – a long forest or park walk every day
- – sauna every day (optional, I’m a Finn, I have a sauna at my London home!)
- – no devices, phone calls, Whatsup messages or TV or even music (except the mediation tape)
- – focusing on each task mindfully and enjoying it (including doing laundry)
- – journaling
- – a book to expand your awareness (I started reading ‘Vagina‘ by Naomi Wolff, amazingly eye opening; but feel free to pick up something lighter)
What I learned was that I had not set my boundaries properly and had let more people into my ‘bubble’ than my soul was willing to tolerate. This is why my eyes blew up. By keeping myself busy and noisy I was also able to avoid some deep unresolved issues that were still hindering my journey on a very spiritual level. I had made real efforts in slowing down but had not come to a full halt, and this is what my body was asking of me.
I decided to post a question (I wrote it down in my journal) at the beginning of my home retreat and see what my subconscious would deliver.
And, oh my dear sisters, did it deliver too!
The mother wound
I wanted to inquire what was behind the fact that I was letting people invade my space, after years of self development and raising my awareness. How could this be?
I found out that almost all women carry the shame of their mother who had to give up her career and dreams to have babies, it’s called the mother wound. Our mothers’ still had to make that choice and many women still do, give up their dreams and sacrifice their authentic selves, the brilliant contributors to the wellbeing of the planet that they could be.
And it is not just our mothers, but their mothers and grandmothers. Just imagine the amount of guilt and pain that has been passed along for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Our generation is the first one who can break this pattern because, finally, we have the education, knowledge and freedom to take control of our own lives. We can choose to have children and a career. Yet, this is where our insecurities stem from.
I had clearly not dealt with my mother wound and now it was time. What I discovered was so much more, but it is too personal and raw to be shared here today.
Letting go of shame
To help me stop carrying my mother’s sorrow and disappointment I wrote it all down in my journal and also used a family constellation technique to fully let go of it.
“Many of us unconsciously “take on” destructive familial patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, aloneness, alcoholism and even illness as a way of “belonging” in our families.”
The ants in the bottom of my stomach (or upper part of my vagina, if you don’t mind me using the word I’m familiarising myself with) disappeared. The nervous energy I was carrying was gone. I felt I could be fully aligned with ‘me’ and be fully ‘in’ me.
Action without foundation and direction is just an activity.
Filling up your day with stuff to do is not hard. Many women still take pride in being super busy, like it makes them more valuable. It’s time we to let go of the chronic obsession to validate our ‘being’ by ‘doing’, the ‘never enough‘ culture. Nothing happens without doing, of course, but if you haven’t spent time setting your foundation you can waste a life time of working hard and still get no richer or happier.
After 48 hours of silence I feel my foundation has firmed up (I’m sure there’s always more to discover) and my direction is clear. The magical thing was that after doing the hard and ‘not so pleasant’ emotional work of letting go, my book emerged!
I have had many ideas but I’ve known that they are not ‘it’. And now, in just a couple of minutes I wrote the whole introduction chapter and I have been putting ideas down all weekend. I’m so excited! You have no idea!
So my question to you is. Can you afford not to stop doing what you are so busy doing and let your soul catch up? Can you afford not to connect to your ‘being’ and let your deepest and the most brilliant ideas emerge? Can you afford not to fully discover your power?
To go to a retreat doesn’t mean you have to spend money and go away. All the answers are right here anyway. I encourage you to be brave and take a break. Even if it is just a walk in the forest.
If you want to explore your foundation and direction and define what success means to you, join one of our Introduction evenings in London, Guildford, Zurich, Helsinki or Singapore.