The weekend before last I participated in a “Trance-formational Retreat” held in some yurts off grid here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was an unusual activity for me, but I’m not working, I finished my degree, I packed too much for a house that hasn’t sold, I toured hundreds of homes online, I wasn’t motivated to write. I wanted get on with my life, and if I couldn’t force change, I’d move energy.
I danced blindfolded, drew a picture using symbols from the Maori tribe in New Zealand, breathed in manner designed to alter consciousness and release energy, joined a drum circle, began each morning with qijong, ate meals and had fascinating conversations with the conveners who lead sweat lodges and visioning workshops, and support themselves as transpersonal coaches, breathwork facilitators, and hand readers, among other occupations.
In our gatherings each person was smudged with cedar and sage, the incense of burning embers wafted around us fanned by an eagle feather. Our circle and space was claimed sacred, cleared for holy work, and a deep connection to one another. The group wasn’t Christian or Un-Christian. It was human, simply fully human. Welcoming each person’s spiritual and religious journey and experience, a model not of tolerance, but of acceptance crucial for peace in our personal relationships and in the world. My Amens joined the Ahos and Namastes as we blessed each other.
When we drew, I called Jesus, my prayer partner, my husband, and a good friend from high school into my consciousness as we were asked to visualize best friends and healers in our lives. I kept them in mind as I began “to breathe.” I had never experienced such a powerful manifestation of energy. A paralyzing tingling called tetany coursed into my hands (a common response to breathwork, and a sign that I’ve been holding in my emotions and creativity). Heat and comfort flowed into me from a laying on of hands lasting long after the fact. My own touch brought the perceptible softening of another’s frame after qigong. I have had glimpses of energy before––zinging acupuncture needles, the laying on of hands in prayer or blessing in my ministry—but the profundity of my retreat experience reminded me of how often I forget our connectedness as energetic beings, living in my private bubble.
I spoke during the weekend about the uncertainty and waiting in my life. My husband leaving a job that was going to disappear, his search for work, listing our house for sale in July with no buyer traffic since then, our desire for a job for Kevin in San Francisco and a particular house for us in Pacifica where I could offer a writing retreat, the job not materializing, the house in contract with someone else. I told the group that a former coworker of Kevin’s recommended him for a position with Microsoft, east of Seattle, that he applied for it and we were waiting to see if he’d be a final candidate, if we were going to leave our native California, and wondering what we’d do with our house.
I’d anticipated the retreat as time for inner work, attempting to heal very old trauma (re-birth is a big part of breathwork, healing the original trauma we all experience). But that wasn’t the case. My external circumstances were paramount in both my conscious and deeper mind, informing my entire weekend.
I came home with much in my head and heart to explore, particularly my Maori drawing, which I tacked up on my empty bulletin board—despite the real estate staging rule nixing personal displays. My drawing, with its requisite symbols, resulted in a path that lead to a blue house near water and mountains in the Northwest quadrant of my paper. A drawing that is both physic (as opposed to psychic) and prophetic.
Monday, the day after I returned from the retreat, our realtor told us to expect an offer on our house. Thursday we began negotiating with the buyers. Saturday, Kevin and I were standing in an empty house for sale––a blue house––on Bainbridge Island with a peek of Puget Sound from the living room, wanting to call it home. This Monday Kevin had a promising interview with the hiring manager and will return with the final candidates for another interview after Thanksgiving.
I’m not sure what is going to transpire, or in what order, but it is clear that things are happening. After months of waiting, life is kinetic. The energy that was pent up and waiting is moving and we are following it.