What Happens When You Think Your Life Is Not The One You Want?
In the last half of 2015 we ran our first Retreat, 3 days of The Work of Byron Katie and Yoga. We went to a tranquil retreat place in Auckland where they looked after us beautifully so we could do what we were there for - The Work of BK and Yoga. It was a magical 3 days and I knew Retreats were to be one of Mindfreedoms offerings moving forward.
With Retreats in my mind one day I saw a property of 7 acres near Warkworth for sale. I went to see it and it was beautiful – tranquil rolling green hills, next to the river with a big home, a paddock, chickens, cows, rows of orange trees, big vege plots, rows of olive trees and gardens full of flowers and delicious smells. Get the picture? Suddenly I had a vision (in my head) of my future. "Me in gumboots, grandchildren in gumboots, running behind me on those rolling hills, laughing as we carried buckets of scraps down to the chickens. Then during the week I would walk across to the paddock, still with my gumboots on (?) to the yoga shala where I would spend the day with a group of people who had come to our property for our Retreat." I’ve never lived on a farm before and up until then had never had any aspirations to be on a lifestyle block? Yet there it was. I was excited and acted on it quickly. The auction was one week later and I got it.
A number of challenges happened from the get go, and these combined with the isolation, the work load and lack of funds. The noise in my head started, I felt stressed. After a long period of a relatively quiet mind, my calm and serenity were gone. I started questioning my new life. I would wake during the night and in the mornings with thoughts like "what have I done" "I don’t know what to do" "I have no one to help me", "Im so lonely", “I have to make a go of it”, “there's too much work to do” etc.
I knew to not take any radical action (that’s how I got here in the first place!) or to react to get out of my discomfort. I did what I know to do when I am uncomfortable, when I am stressed. I did The Work.
After a couple of months of full on Inquiry, I had become more grounded and calm. Many realisations and insights and I had a deep sense that this life was not for me. I was not totally 100% sure though. Still not time to act. I remembered Byron Katies words - "we don’t make decisions, if we mentally get out of the way, decisions will make themselves."
So I thought ok do what you came here to do, hold a Retreat. I advertised a 3 day Retreat at the Farm. You may have seen it on the website? We had the Retreat - it was 3 beautiful days. People went home very happy and I went to bed that night content and happy with the magic of our time together - there was no thought to the future. I woke up the next morning and there it was. This deep, grounded sense of knowing that this life on the farm is not the one for me.
Retreats yes, and yet next time at a Retreat Centre. Time to let the Farm go. That morning I rang the agent and was in their office before lunch. The Farm was sold 8 months after moving in.
I wanted to write this to let you know what happened to that beautiful rural Retreat and the plans. I wanted to share with you the power of The Work.
Life happens, things happen, we change our mind – it just is. Yet when I fight with what is – when my thoughts scare me, tell me negative things - it's time to stop, time to sit and get quiet and time to question my thinking. Get to know what's underneath the scary thoughts. Get to know myself better, get to understand what I truly wish for. From Inquiry gradually space comes, understanding comes, clarity comes.
The me of 10 or even 5 years ago would maybe still be on the Farm, trying very hard to make it work. The mind is where my peace and suffering begins and ends - and for the 100th or 1000th time I feel deep gratitude for The Work of Byron Katie.