Last Saturday at this time I was in the middle of Day 2 of my 3-day retreat with Casey. The retreat was designed as a combination: Learn more about Taoism/Mid-Life Transformation retreat, but by the time that I arrived, a chronic sleep-deprivation problem and a difficult work situation had conspired to make me an anxious mess. So, that is where Casey had me start working. We discussed a great deal about letting go, living for one’s self and how to dream about the possibilities of life so that the energy for change and transformation is released out to the world around you. For me, the key is maintaining patience as a personal discipline and strengthening a challenged-body so that outer strength inspires more inner strength. Casey was great in showing me Qi Gong exercises that, as I have been home, have really given me a source of strength for days when the results of the sleep-deprivation have me doubting that I can get moving.
The most difficult and daunting part of a Taoist retreat is knowing that you are going to face yourself, and listen to your heart-mind rather than your knowledge-mind. It is a gross understatement to say that we human beings really do not look forward to doing this. The knowledge that we do not certainly explained the nerves that I had at different points before the retreat began. But, Casey is a compassionate and honest soul and one that truly supports you. He makes it clear that he is there for you, that it is your retreat and it moves at the speed at which it was always intended to move.
The retreat was certainly not the easiest thing that I have ever done in my life, but one week later I am finding it certainly continues to resonate with me. I see that insights from it will continue to pop up and integrate into my life as time goes on.
It’s never easy to face yourself, but in the end, it certainly beats the alternative. Life is about change and moving forward, sometimes in big steps and sometimes in small ones. But, the key is to have the courage and patience to take whatever steps you can. And, I am glad that one of my big steps included going on the retreat.