I’m lying on the floor in a stranger’s house while the house’s owner plants crystals around the room, lights candles, and swishes the air with her arms.
There’re about nine of us lying like packed sardines on yoga mats in her small living room, covered in blankets. We are about to go on a shamanic meditation journey.
I have absolutely no idea what this means or even what we’re going to do next.
When my friend asked me to join her for the event, I said “sure” without thinking, and now here I am.
I’ve been smoked with burning sage, made awkward chitchat, and now we’ve settled down to business.
The leader is powerful gal, and I can tell she’s very comfortable with us as she settles in to guide the group. I decide I’m going to trust her.
Where are we going? I wonder. And, What are we even doing to get there?!
Turns out, we’re practicing a kind of meditation that encompasses rigorous, controlled breathing until we reach a euphoric state.
“Ok,” I think, “maybe I’ll just Flowdream a little while I breathe.”
I mean, it’s what I usually do during savasana (the meditation portion of yoga class) anyway. It’s my default, go-to, feel-good practice.
And what’s more, I’m good at it, so I get to feel productive and powerful and a tiny bit self-congratulating about my expertise.
Which is probably exactly why as I start the breathing meditation, I feel a booming command: “No Flowdreaming, Summer.”
What the heck?
I squeeze my eyes and try again.
I can’t do it.
Too much of my mind is on the breathing. There isn’t any left over for Flowdreaming.
And that’s when it clicks: I’m here to be a beginner, to learn something, and open myself to a brand new experience.
I’m not supposed to be good at it, and-get this-I’m not even supposed to try to figure it out.
I can shut up that mind of mine that always feels it’s going to have to teach or explain something.
I can just be.
As I slip into the meditation, I find that sure enough, I am getting to a unique state of euphoria. I’m experiencing a connection with the universe that is overwhelming my body, and for once I didn’t use Flowdreaming to get there.
I found a new modality that works for me!
As we wind up the practice, I’m already tumbling over myself trying to figure it out, put it into words, and master the experience by knowing what happened and how to describe it.
And again, I get that odd communication:
“Seriously Summer, chill out. Just have the experience. Stop needing to name and explain everything. You’re not in charge here. You don’t have to be the expert. Let someone else be the expert. You need get off your high horse to be the student right now.”
I am so chastised. Practically embarrassed (even though this has all been in my own head and no one in the room has a clue that I’ve just been seriously put in my place!).
My intuition (or higher self, or Flow or whatever you want to call it ) is totally and completely right.
I’ve been so wrapped up lately in teaching and guiding my M.E School students that I’ve been forgetting to fill up my own well with experiences.
“Filling my well.”
That means allowing myself to be the novice, feel unprepared, and simply have some new experiences–ones I can’t yet categorize and summarize, that I have no “why” for.
They’re ones that need to seep into me, and trickle down into my being like groundwater.
I realize that because I’ve been so focused on being a solid, grounded dock for my students in ME School, I’ve gotten in the habit of needing to name and share and teach and be solidly direction-filled all the time.
If I keep that up without replenishing, I’m going to find my inner well dry.
For new things to form in me, I need to be like an “artist of spirit,” collecting bits and pieces of a huge variety ideas and experiences, and allowing them to come together into new revelations or leaps of thinking.
I have to continuously replenish my “inner soul studio” with stuff I can’t name, don’t know how to use, and don’t know how or where it fits me yet.
I’m sharing this with you because it’s easy to forget that we all need to just have experiences sometimes-experiences not connected to any specific purpose or end goal.
And we don’t need to name them, justify them, explain them, or know why we had them. (Doesn’t reading that feel good? You have permission now!)
They’re like rain on the dry soil of ourselves, refreshing us and ultimately filling that deep underground reservoir of flow that might someday percolate up in us into a brand new exciting direction or idea.
I wonder if you’re feeling the same way. I know it can’t just be me.
Do you have anything planned in your life that you have no “why” for? Meaning, no practical, goal driven reason for doing?
Are you filling your well, or continuously emptying it?
It occurs to me that if I continue to empty my well at the rate I have been, I’m going to turn into an insufferable, boring, dogmatic know-it-all.
I’m deeply grateful to my friend for her random text to me asking me to go with her, and for the new fantastic shamanic healer I met, and”¦well”¦for the big-ass knock-in-the-head I got from my guidance, just in time.
I make a promise to myself that I’m going to get out and do some really interesting stuff, and go find some good new teachers and guides, and just generally try things that I have no idea where they’ll lead-if anywhere.
This means I have more shamanic breathing meditation to learn”¦maybe some African dance”¦a Korean spa to visit”¦.and lots of stuff that is sure to puzzle and provoke me.
And”¦.I may even get a posse of friends to do them with me. Wanna come?
Post your thoughts/responses/agreement or disagreement below. I’d like to know if this resonates!
P.S. The M.E. School of Flow has SOLD OUT for yet a second time! And now, with two amazing waves of students journeying with me, I’m 99% certain I won’t be reopening the School to new students until 2016. I send love to all of you with whom I spoke during our recent registration period. And hopefully, will see some of you next Spring 2016.