This weekend I went way out of my comfort zone. I attended a New Age spiritual workshop in Boston. I drove there the day before with the thought in mind of meeting the guru of the event, Teal Swan. There was a meditation/hiking event that day at a local park, where my friend, who had first told me of Teal, along with his wife, would meet me. When I arrived, late, the parking lot was full of cars and a line of people stood outside the Waterworks building next to the lot. Apparently there was a funeral for some firefighter bigwig. My friends were even later than I, but eventually we found each other. We had a pleasant walk around beautiful Fresh Pond, however, my mind was clouded with thoughts of meeting Teal, and feeling more and more desperate that it would not happen. Indeed, we did not see her at the park, but decided to eat some lovely Thai seafood and go to the hotel where there was an evening event. Again, I had in mind that Teal would show up, but realized that if I wanted to see her, I would have to stay for the workshop the following day. I did not feel a particular connection to the group, and wasn’t sure if it was worth staying. Finally, I requested a card reading from one of the leaders of the group, who seemed very sympathetic. I chose two cards in the Life Purpose deck and came up with Bodywork and Trust. I was not 100% sure about the Bodywork card but Trust certainly hit me in the gut. Carol, the nice lady, told me most likely the workshop would be about life purpose and would be very helpful. I told her that I was hesitant to stay for the workshop, because I just spent a bunch of money on car repairs that morning and didn’t have a place to stay that night. She told me she would ask if I could stay at the House. I decided if I was invited to stay, then I would. Carol introduced me to Crystal and she checked with John who had rented the house. And just like that, I had a place to stay! Crystal warned me it might not be comfortable, as lots of people were sleeping on the floor. I was just happy to have a floor to sleep on, and people to meet. When we arrived at the House, not far from Walden Pond, I was amazed and overwhelmed at the size and loveliness of the place! The energy there was good and fresh, and despite lying on slippery cushions, I slept straight through the night, until 4:45 and then got up at 5:15 am, to a beautiful sunset with mist over the water and a mother and baby deer grazing in the field outside. I felt surprisingly energized. Everyone I met, was friendly and gave hugs, but yet, I didn’t feel like I really fit in; more like an interloper who had connived her way into the group. I spent a lot of time peeking around the place, both inside and out, all the while feeling like I wasn’t really there. I was desperate to help out and happy that I could bring a bunch of participants in my car to the event. Once there, everyone tumbled out and I then went to park the car. It was nice to know a lot of folks when I got to the workshop space, but I ended up sitting by myself. Throughout the day, I felt the desire to get up on stage grow louder in my head, because I felt invisible and wanted to be seen. Although I raised my hand many times, I was not called up. This did not help me feel less invisible, at all! It was hard to keep myself open to other people’s questions; I firmly believed that only getting up there myself was going to help me. After the workshop was over, we all waited in line for a moment with Teal. My tablet was dying and I was nervous I might not get a picture! My emotions rose to a boiling point, when I was waiting for the people in front of me to finish their conversation with Teal and then the person after me came forward and went to met her. “Hey!,” I exclaimed, and put on my best pouty face! Nice first impression! But Teal warmly reassured me that I would get my turn. And so I did. Afterwards, I took folks back to the House and helped out in the kitchen a bit. It was an invigorating feeling, being surrounded by the energy of the community. But I was itching to leave, as my kitty Isabella was waiting at home and I had to work the next morning. Perhaps I still didn’t feel like I belonged! But I wanted to say good-bye to Crystal and John, who had been so generous to let me stay. I found Crystal with two other women who had been very nice to me and they invited me to chat for a while. I told them of my feelings of invisibility and one girl said she felt like that before and had just tried too hard. It was nice to be recognized, finally, and I was a bit sorry to leave. I did get to hug John good-bye as well as a few others I felt a particular connection to and escaped the parked cars blocking me in the driveway with help from one lady who walked me out. There was an incredible full moon that guided me back to Boston and from there I found the highway home.
The last few days, I’ve been overwhelmed with the dilemma of loneliness. And with Robin Williams sudden demise, it is crystal clear how fragile we all are. Connection is something that drives me. And when I don’t feel it, I feel lost and desperate. But, turned out, this weekend was really all about trust. Trust that even in the darkness of the night, there will be a light to show you the way home.