Start 2019 off with a deep peace that can be found in the stillness of the beautiful 80-acre Northwoods. Snowshoe across a small wildlife lake, sit amongst the trees, and listen to the winter birds, all in silence. Using a grounded balancing breath practice, we will explore the stillness within ourselves and around ourselves. Afterwards, we’ll take the opportunity to share our experiences with each other over refreshments and nutritious soup.
Why would we want to participate in a snowshoe into silence? Many of us spend our days thinking, moving, doing, judging, and evaluating. Our minds are scattered with a constant barrage of information, which can cause depression, anxiety, and stress. Aside from the almost instant feeling of calm and contentment that accompanies time outdoors, walking in nature and being nurtured by connection with others can alleviate anxiety and stress, improve concentration and focus, and reduce inflammation.
Foster deep well-being and experience the stillness and silence of the woods. Do you need to find some balance and clarity in your life? Join us on our magical 80-acres of sacred beauty. We offer participants a chance to tap into your own inner peace and well-being.
February is the time for hibernation in bear country, or the Northwoods, but for us humans, we hunker down in winter and call it ‘going within’!
Why would we want to focus on going within and what does that really mean anyways?
Going within is a process that helps us direct our awareness and attention down into our bodies, bringing ourselves into the present moment. This exercise allows us to accept whatever is happening in the moment and allow any emotions to surface and be released. Going within encourages us to point the finger toward ourselves and BE the change we wish to see in the world. Any time you are triggered or have a strong reaction to something going on in your life, that is a clue to go within to track where, when, and who your reaction is in transference too.
“The truth will set you free, but first it might piss you off!” - Gloria Steinem
Most of us spend a good chunk of our day focusing and pointing a finger outward -- we are always judging and evaluating everything that is going on around as as good, bad, right, or wrong. We act as if we are victims of the lives we live. What if we shifted our focus inward? How would a focused change of going inward instead of outward, affect our everyday life?
Take a minute to FEEL how that shift might feel in your body -- no judgements and no critical evaluations. Instead you might have a quiet mind and a feeling of peace, love or joy.
Have I convinced you to hunker down and start your journey of going within? If so, here are some tools and events that will help you get started. Having a silent breathing practice is they key to start you in the right direction.
1. My free PDF Breathwork Tool will help you practice your breathing, focus inward, and calm your mind down. If you practice enough, it will create a lasting change in your life. It sounds simple, but until you actually take on this mindful practice each day, you will not notice a change!
2. Check out my recurring event, Snowshoeing into the Silence, located on our beautiful 80-acres retreat, the Northwoods, just 15 minutes outside Traverse City. These snowshoe meditations are from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm on February 10th and 17th. After a silent snowshoe trek around the lake, hot drinks and nutritious soups will be served. And to finish the connection, we will have the opportunity to share our own experiences. If you can’t do a snowshoe with us, just go outside and connect, be silent and do some sort of movement.
Do you have any other pointers for going within in your life? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
Back out on my raft today. Decided to change it up and lay on my stomach. I untied myself from my towrope to head out to the middle of the lake. I see one dragonfly zoom by but it didn't stop to say hi, like yesterday. There are lots of water boatman, which are cool water bugs that zoom around in schools on the surface of the water (note to self: don't open mouth).
The water is so calm today; the only ripples are from my hands paddling under the raft. I stop and just lie and float for a while. I begin to tune into being one with the water. My hands and feet are dangling submerged under the water and it feels like my limbs are nothing, just part of the water. When I tune inward or move my limbs it feels like something, maybe heaviness around them, but when I stop moving, they feel like nothing again.
My raft has shifted directions and now I feel a sudden panic in my solar plexus. My head is still lying on the pillow turned toward the left of the raft and my eyes are just a fraction above the surface of the water. Something in my vision has shifted and it feels like I am in an illusion. I am lying still, but the surface of the water from this north direction looks to be moving very fast, like when you're in in a car going down the road at 50 miles an hour. After the initial panic feeling, I sink into just being with this illusion. For the first time ever in my life, I feel that I can see that the world is round. Each direction is slightly different but has a curve to it and the sky looks like the water and I feel like I'm in a dome. I spread out into the whole lake and float into the nothingness feeling, yet feeling connected to the whole Universe and this weird new dimensional feeling. At some point my thoughts float to, "you have no sunscreen on!” and my hands start to paddle me back to shore..
I tie one end of a long towrope to my wrist and one end to the boat beached on the shore (no place to tie to the raft) and push off. My head, butt and upper arms are in some water, but the rest of me is pretty dry. It is 90+ degrees here today and the water temp is 76 degrees! Within a minute, a dragonfly lands on my leg, exactly where I have my dragonfly scar. I keep saying that I should get a dragonfly tattoo in that spot, is this a sign? I have loved dragonflies for a very long time and have always felt their ancient calling.
Anyway, another dragonfly dive-bombs that dragonfly and off they go. They seem to be very territorial. Another one (or perhaps the same one) lands on the same spot and this continues for a while. One lands on my right hand. I bring it up to my face and we stare at each other for a while. Their huge compound eyes are truly amazing! One lands on my right knee, then right big toe, right nipple, and finally left knee. Then two damselflies land on my left knee and start to mate. (Damselflies are different, smaller, and very delicate looking compared to dragonflies and when sitting still, their wings are together whereas dragonflies’ wings are straight out). They are a beautiful light blue color. The male’s tail attaches to the top head of the female. Her tail comes up under her and attaches to his belly area. It makes a perfect heart shape! They stay this way for 20 minutes while I watch, trying not to move. I was trying to be "one" with my surroundings.
Many other damselflies land on my legs and stomach while this is taking place. Feeling at peace with life in this moment.
PS - Has anyone read Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land by Pieter van Dokkum? Thinking of adding it to my reading list...