Back Again From Esalen
I went again to Esalen this past week for a 5 day grief workshop. It was a bit of a roller coaster, but mostly very relaxing, re-energizing, and healing. I actually skipped out of the workshop after the first day, when I felt like the space wasn't right for me. But, I knew exactly what I needed and gave it to myself. Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places on earth, so that doesn't hurt. Nor does the amazing hot springs baths and the super healthy food with plenty of wheat-free options including a daily baked wheatless rye sour dough bread.
Today, I woke up feeling fabulous. I went to the gym to work out and then came home to do laundry, unpack, catch up on email, etc. I did stop in the middle to meditate, but I'm starting to feel --- well how to describe it -- it is just hard to transition back to my life here. I've been noticing that I often have a feeling of anxiety in my chest. I can feel it in my heartbeat - this tension. I've been noticing that for a long time. And I feel it now.
But I think that the depression is broken. At least, I haven't felt depressed for days or weeks. I can't even remember.
I had a mad affair with this man 15 years older than I am, who is a commitment phobe, lives 100+ miles away, and in many ways is just all wrong for me. It was a passionate, life affirming affair and an intense connection between us. But, it made me realize that I consistently fall for the "wrong" people -- people who are unattainable, who clearly aren't going to give me what I need -- and that is what makes it feel safe. I've known my pattern for a long time, but I can't seem to stop it. I guess maybe that I can recognize my pattern sooner is a good thing. I think this affair just made me realize JUST how much I want to have a life partner. I realize that I'm clearly not ready and that my life is a bit of a mess, but I want someone to cook meals with, to watch a movie on a saturday night with, to talk about my day. I want someone to share my life with. Thank god for my friends. I'm trying to surround myself with warm friends to ground myself. I know that I have to lose my attachment to finding someone and work on continuing to better myself and my life. I know that I have to continue my process of grief and cutting my father out of my life so that I can finally heal.
I hope that in the future that I continue to give myself vacation time. I would love to have full weekend days that don't involve work at all -- a day once a week just to be. Having 5 days to just "be" was such a blessing, and I'm very grateful for that time. I also loved being in a space where generally, people are just completely open and real. There's no bothering with chit chat; people just say what's on their minds and talk about the deep issues they're dealing with. I wonder what it would take to feel like I felt there all the time -- connected, real, content, and grounded.
I have an idea to perhaps, if I don't get a job in my field, to open the Holistic Center for Healing from Sexual Violence. I thought before about a Jewish center, but now I think maybe just a holistic center that would have spiritual aspects to it - but not connected to any one tradition.
I wish to all of my readers that you are able to find a space I experienced for yourself. I think that when we commit to healing ourselves and stay grounded in that intention, that things can really shift - especially when in spaces which support that and when coming up with rituals to faciliate the healing.