A Journey Within: a local treat of truth and love
Front row, from left: Barb, Bob, Heather
Back row: Sandra, Robyn; missing: Eva
After nine days of deep transformational inner work, tears, and a sense of renewed joy, I completed a powerful workshop last month called The Journey Within.
The experience, offered free through the employment centre in Sechelt, BC, far surpassed my expectations. A local job counsellor had recommended it, saying that it went “very deep” and that I was free to drop out at any time. That sounded intriguing. I figured that I would probably leave after a few days, hearing the usual suggestions about aligning your passions with your work, a goal which I’ve already embraced. (Yes, my ego has it all figured out. Ha.)
Gee, was I wrong. Under the loving guidance and openness of facilitator Bet Diening-Weatherston, our group received high-impact guided visualizations, inspirational prompts, and a safe, supportive atmosphere to reach into the darkest places of our subconscious. What a ride it was. Ten of us began, and five of us finished, having developed a visceral bond that comes from sharing one’s stories of pain, new insights, and vulnerability.
We received carefully worded scripts, which incorporate concepts of neuro-linguistic programming, and worked in pairs to address limiting beliefs in our subconscious. These exercises, done with rotating partners, helped to heal relationships and destructive habits by replacing old inner dialogue and “tapes” with new images and loving words. This interactive process allowed me to make surprising connections between childhood events and adult beliefs and to access long-buried memories. Overall, this allowed a grand reawakening to my deeper Self, the part easily minimized by my impatient ego as impractical and too abstract.
From left: Debbie, an assistant facilitator, Barb, and Bet
The entire workshop was focused on emotional wellness and healing, targeting what blocks lie beneath our thoughts and actions and how they link to buried feelings. It felt scary but also remarkably freeing to share myself with new emotional clarity and truth. My heart ached throughout the sessions, even when I was helping others access their pain. This reinforced my sense of interconnectedness and how we all bear deep love and hurt from our human experience. By releasing my own suffering, I found a clearer path to compassion and forgiveness.
On the last day, we spontaneously voiced love and appreciation to each person, one at a time, and offered an example of our gifts or talents to the whole group. I was moved by the praise received and by witnessing the new lightness in our faces. Robyn passed around a bowl of cherries, accompanied by a poem that she wrote called Ode to Cherries. Here’s an excerpt:
Life is a bounty
and it is up to each one of us
to most effectively deal with the pits. . .
Some pits I like
an alluvial pit – studded with corundum
the blues and reds of sapphires and rubies
or tourmaline in watermelon pinks to greens
pitch of a tree aging thousands of years
to become amber with insects frozen in time
a pitch black night reminding me
how insignificant I am on this planet earth
Other pits are notable
for their lengthy stay in my space
old vows no longer suitable
spaces and places ready for bounty and light
So take the pits along
with the sweeet bounty of life
embrace them release them
leaving love passion
and your radiant light.
May we be reminded to
show up for ourselves and lead the way . . .
Bless the Journey as we weave
our tapestry of Life
Thank you to Bet, Debbie, Barb, Robyn, Sandra, Eva, and Bob for your courage and willingness to open your hearts and share your light and love with me and all of us. It was a wonderful experience.