“True refuge is that which allows us to be at home, at peace, to discover true happiness…Ultimately, it’s our own true nature.” – Tara Brach, True Refuge
Confession: I set the theme of our annual retreats by meditating on what I, personally, need the most. Quietly checking in with my own needs is a gentle way of “coming home” to where I’m at, and being okay. It’s like coming home from work, and the dishes need done, and your kids won’t pick up their rooms, and your partner is grumpy…and it’s okay.
Through gentle observation, we learn to be okay with our home, exactly how it is, and to slowly begin to appreciate our home for what it is: warm, safe, loving, and perfectly imperfect. So often, we stray from our inner ‘home base’ because the chaos, the messiness, disorganization, and other things lurking in the shadows of our soul are too dark, or too scary to look at. So we work late, go to the bar for a drink after work, and don’t walk in the door until the kids are in bed and our partner is asleep on the couch. We sneak in the door, throw our coat on the table, and collapse in bed – just to do it all over again the next day, and the next…
This pattern of avoidance day after day keeps us comfortably numb to reality – which is at times painful, scary, unpredictable. But instead of fixing themselves, these alternate realities that we choose to ignore only grow, they eat at us, they disintegrate the fabric of our relationships, our careers, and eventually, our lives.
For me, I didn’t see this pattern in myself until everything in my life came undone. When I lost my family, my career, my house, my community, and my health – that’s when I finally realized that I needed to change. With nothing to lose, I found the courage to finally face my own shadow for what it was: a tangled web of self-deceit, denial, and plain ignorance.
The most liberating discovery is to look directly at your shadow, and to realize, “Wait a minute, that’s not me.” I am not all these defining and limiting preconceptions or habitual patterns…at my essence, at my very core I am _______. This is coming home to our true selves – recognizing and naming our essence, while at the same time seeing clearly and accepting everything else about ourselves without additional judgements or narrative.
Come home with the Homestead this weekend with daily inspirational teachings and practices that you can integrate onto your spiritual path in your own unique, creative way, and on your own time. When you register, you will receive a pdf all about our Winter Retreat, where to begin, and tips on how to practice. Then you’ll receive three more exclusive e-mails to guide you deeper into the process of coming home to yourself – with gentle awareness and big-hearted compassion for yourself. These elements are essential as we embark on this journey of self-discovery together.
You will also have online access to work with me, Arwen Ek, your hostess for this Winter Retreat – for your questions and insights, and personalized inspiration to get you started, and keep you going.
Ready to get started?
Click here to register today! The retreat starts this Saturday, February 23rd.