It was 5 am and we were sitting on the floor in two neatly formed rows.
The month was August, and the year 2019.
Synchronicity’s second 2019 retreat to Sedona, Arizona was quickly coming to an end…
It’s always bittersweet closing out a magical retreat weekend full of new friendships and breakthroughs, but the events of the day were inevitable.
After all, the real world was calling, and the wide range of participants on this particular retreat consisting of executives, bankers, and social media marketers had their careers calling…
But, the retreat still had a few hours left…
As is customary on any of our yoga retreats we began the morning in meditation.
Sitting in silence in the curtain-window encapsulated yoga room of our 6,700 sq/ft breathtaking accommodation nestled in the heart of the majestic Red Rocks I started to fidget…
My experience with meditation has been interesting, to say the least. I’m often able to drop right in and allow everything except my breath to evaporate, other times I can feel each and every second slowly pass.
Being a yoga and meditation instructor you are often looked at as an ‘expert’ in your field, which I find hilarity in because by definition both are considered a practice.
Sure, you can level up in a sense, but to master a practice, that’s something else entirely.
Should anyone tell you they are… turn around and run
This specific morning was the latter and my racing mind in that candlelit room prevented any sort of deeper connection to my body and breath.
I thought how will the closing ceremony go…
How will I summarize the weekend’s teachings into a neat little package…
What message could I send the group off with to create prolonged value…
I didn’t want to disturb the group so I couldn’t get up. I had to sit there, eyes closed, and wait out the allotted 30-minutes
What happened when we slowly began to open our eyes following the meditation will forever be etched in my mind.
It had snowed the night before, which was uncustomary for Sedona especially given the time of year.
The sun had not yet peaked over the horizon when we first sat down and the reflection of the candles kept any moonlight from permeating the room.
Eyes now open we took in the glistening Red Rocks with their snow-capped peaks and stunning simplicity of a yard covered in a few inches of snow.
No one spoke…
No one moved…
Nothing mattered outside of that moment.
We sat there for another 30-minutes in complete silence and at this moment, time ceased to exist.
When the silence was finally broken I shared my experience that morning with the group and to be completely honest, I cannot remember how the following closing ceremony went.
What I do know is that to this day we still speak of that magical morning.
Reflecting on this experience it was the ‘I’ in my thought process and the ego-driven desire to control the outcome that prevented me from allowing things to unfold naturally.
Retreats for me have never been about ‘I’, they are explicitly created to develop a sense of community, a sense of ‘we’. An intention that is exponentially bigger than oneself.
I learned an important life lesson that morning, one that I have been repetitively learning ever since.
It is that when one is solely focused on themselves and that when you try to control an outcome you lose the opportunity for the unexpected to happen.
Should I have ended that meditation early for my selfish reasons that special moment would have been stolen from the entire group…
This is why I love traveling so much.
It is the diverse people and cultures you get the opportunity to experience first hand that set the stage for how you show up in the with others and in the world.
An increasingly relevant distinction between eastern and western culture is that eastern culture prioritizes community-based goals, and is contrasted by western society’s hierarchical structure to reward individual recognition and accomplishment.
I strongly believe this to be one of the major underlying problems in westernized cultures.
Don’t just take my word for it, book a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go because it is something that cannot be put into words, only experienced.
The next time you feel like something isn’t going as planned, I challenge you to take a second, open your eyes and try to find a different point of view.
To view our complete archive library, click here!