The Retreat and all the noise

This weekend was a spiritual retreat for our class and we went up to a place called Quest Haven.  Not knowing what to expect, I semi-prepared myself for anything.  I told Michelle on the way up that worst-case scenario Terri would have us all singing our heart song.  It was my birthday so I told myself to just consider anything that happened (even singing) to be a gift, and in that I seemed to find solace.  
That morning was nice, I went on a hike with four other classmates of mine and we laughed and talked about an array of different things. We even made promises to take trips and hang out past the termination of our time together, something that I have grown to be skeptical of because those things always sound beautiful crossing the lips but rarely come to pass.  The thing of real note, however was the afternoon; ironically so as much “less” happened.  
After lunch I walked back over to the labyrinth. I had the intention to try it but only if I could go in with something I wanted to work through.  As I reached it another classmate was winding her way through and I could see how twisty she felt.  She needed to be there and I did not want to be standing at the entrance hovering or rushing her progress, so I gave her what felt like the appropriate amount of space and found a little table and chair in the shade upon the hill to wait.  I sat down with my journal in front of me preparing to write (though that never happens) and it seemed as though life’s volume went from 5 to 50.  I could hear every bird chirping, every giggle of the quiet conversation being had down between three other classmates, I heard the wind rushing through the trees, the airplanes miles in the distance, I felt overwhelmed with sound.  I felt my heart long for the H’oh, supposedly the quietest place in the world, and by quiet I meant void of any man-made sound.  I just felt like I was drowning in noise.  As I got up to leave I realized how incredibly tired I felt.  Almost drunk with exhaustion, my body found its way back to the Friendship house where I laid down on the nearest couch and fell asleep for what felt like minutes but turned out to be over an hour.  I woke up to people filing back in from their afternoon adventures and I was very confused as to where the time had gone. “Is it 1:30?” I remember asking, to which someone answered, “It’s a little after 3.”  
Our last exercise was working with a partner and we were to tell them what 5 things we wanted and they would gift us with those things, and then we would take turns and do the same for them.  As Dr. Monroe gave the instructions I started crying, I didn’t know why, I rarely ever do.  I asked myself, “are these yours?” But I never answered…it is not exactly uncommon for me to be crying for others.  As I turned to my partner, Nicole, she told me it was okay and asked if I needed a minute, I told her I was okay and we continued on.  I asked her for the following: peace, comfort, health, freedom, and sunshine.  She commented on the vastness of my requests and she gave them to me in such a way that I believed her.  When she told me, “I give you health,” I took a breath and I heard her.  I then wondered why is it that we can hear others giving us gifts but we cannot hear our Self-affirming that everything we desire we already posses?

I decided that today would suspend my autobiography, mainly because I had to stop at some point and also because I believe that I have reached a new place in my journey.  Dr. Monroe referred to me as a parakeet in a mineshaft, meaning that my sensitivity to things may serve as a warning of sorts to others.  I feel that I have become more open with my gifts and as a result they have begun to feel more comfortable in use.  I am less afraid when something unusual happens and have accepted it as my new normal.  Lastly, I believe that while I know in the end I am meant to heal, I think that my “how” and “why” are beginning to reveal themselves.  I felt that 28 would be a milestone birthday for me and it really was.  I held with me the words of Ntozake Sange, “I found god in myself and I loved her fiercely.”  I felt there.  I heard her, but most of all I heard myself.

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