Of Joyful Risking and Taking Up Space!

Middle November  Dai Heyne and Annika Nicol held another powerful retreat at Bodhi Khaya , called “ Living From The Core” – Introduction to Core Process Psychotherapy-  A Depth Mindfulness Approach.

And depth there certainly was! It was truly amazing how the group  who gathered in the dining room on the Friday evening, quite literally and naturally fell into a deep Silence from the word go!

Annika said something early on about our spiritual practices being meant to bring us closer to our humanity. That grabbed my attention!  This is my personal theme lately – learning to be embodied, to live and experience being truly human with all the joy, pain and messiness of real life. Being present and accepting of whatever shows, using the question learnt at the “Embodying Presence” retreat earlier this year to explore what is going on for me.  Just being with whatever is happening, not denying or judging it – just watching it …thought happening, emotion happening, bodily sensation happening. And, boy oh boy, some days there is sure a lot happening…

Sessions of silence followed by sharing and “checking in” in the group led us gradually ever deeper into our Core. Each sharing seemed to call forth echoes from each of our journeys  binding us closer to the compassionate beings who, just hours before, had been total strangers.

The Silence leads us to our Core, an inner well of wisdom and resources.

Later we processed in pairs, using two questions:   “What is happening for me right now?” followed by “How is this for me?  This second question taking us even deeper into the experience.

The profound healing effect of this work was demonstrated when I had a fifteen minute one-on-one process with Annika in front of the group.  The experience of the process continued long after the fifteen minutes was over… through the night to be exact.  I woke up with waves of emotions, thoughts and sensations passing through me, observed and unhindered. What I carry with me, is the cradle of support and total non- judgemental acceptance I felt from the loving group as I ate breakfast shedding copious tears diluting Nina’s always delicious breakfast.

Back in the group- terror, sharing and laughter happened!  The bottom line  –  no more cardboard cut- out Miss Goodey Two Shoes for me. I am a spiritual being having a very real human experience – not always pretty, not always nice, but authentic   and heartfelt and let’s be honest, hilariously funny at times. How was this for me? This “Living From The Core”.  A profoundly healing experience of connection and  joyful risking… Learning that taking up space is becoming easier for me. The Lost Child is coming home to her own Core and can even, sometimes, chortle with delight at some of her more endearing quirky traits.

My heartfelt gratitude to Dai Heyne and Annika Nicol and the other amazing souls who allowed  the  beautiful Silence to lead each of us to our Core.

Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois