In my second month (January) I have had a more difficult time deciding what my be a stretch for me.
“The challenge of the Silver Gate is to reconnect to our regenerative forces and stay connected to them. Many cultures of the world have traditional practices to accomplish this.” Angeles Arrien
I am intrigued by an Ancient European custom cited in this section that is still practiced in some areas of the world. The challenge is to do something never before tried each month. The custom is to do it on one’s birthdate, but I will play fast and loose with that.
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Due to scheduling, I missed an opportunity to teach English for an hour at the local elementary school. Even though I am in Mexico and many opportunities abound, I have discarded many ideas.
I could hike a nearby peak, but that didn’t seem expansive or very different to me. After all, I have hiked many times and am not a huge fan. True, it would have been new because it is a different peak, but other than sweat and bugs it didn’t really feel outside my comfort zone.
I could have gone on a kayak ride in the lagoon – but again, I have done that before and all of the opportunities felt forced and in groups of people whose company I would not seek out.
Does it sound as if I was quibbling? Yes, I does to me, too.
Ultimately, however, I wanted to do something that would stretch me. And since I am here on a mental, physical, and spiritual retreat, I decided to move in that direction.
So my challenge is to live in the space and move with the assumption that it is truly okay being exactly who I am. I am trying to be aware of that little tightening response in my body when I am going against myself. I am working to be aware of when I am dodging and darting to please others. For moments at a time I am breathing deeply in the satisfaction of just being myself. This means responding authentically. It includes saying no when necessary and speaking my truth when appropriate.
Holding onto myself is a part of this, too. Not giving so much of myself that I have nothing left. And when I must give, retrieving myself – disentangling my spirit and replenishing myself physically.
I know. It doesn’t sound like so much and sometimes it isn’t. At other times it is a gigantic change in me. As with everything, it’s a process…