Artist Sacred Dancer Author
Mama of Sanctuary Forest Garden
Mama of Sanctuary Forest Garden
I just returned from a two weeks nature retreat in the Bavarian and Bohemian forests in Germany and Czech respectively. The witnessing of the forest and the creatures as in deers, hawks, eagles, squirrels and other creatures simply fascinated my being and soul. Their ever presence in the moment, the face to face encounter with a stag close up, the dance and leaping of a young deer in the open field, the eagles and hawks hovering above the sky, the black squirrels chasing after one another around the tree trunk playfully... fills me, including my husband, Jeroen, with such tremendous awe, joy, peace, happiness. The sense of peace, joy and contentment never fail to linger within my soul after I come home to my daily routine life. The interconnectedness with nature and the insights and wisdom I gained always leads me to a deeper growth and transformation and connecting again and again to my true self each day as I contemplate.
In this trip, we encountered a number of "crisis". Our car broke down twice, a sudden flying metal from a van, heading right at us on the high way, Jeroen's ATM card being swallowed by the machine... to name a few. And I discover my resilience has increased and I am very calm during each crisis and handled each incident well. This is new! To handle each crisis one after another without reacting! We were so grateful too to meet kind souls who helped us during the crisis!
In fact, I just turned 45 on 10th Sept and beginning another new milestone of my life. I feel like it is a new adventure! I receive divine gifts during this Sabbatical period. One of them is non-judgemental love towards myself. I have been asking myself for some years, "Is it possible not to judge and what it is to be non-judgemental?" My healing journey once again led me back to authentic movement and contemplation in silent retreats where I grow and embody in active listening to myself deeply. I find myself judging less and less as I connect to love in me, in God. In recent, Nita, affirmed a divine gift is given to me: non-judgemental love. I do sense a difference in me, in my disposition. I no longer afraid of being judged by others or need approval from others because I judge myself less. Anthony De Mello's book, "The Way to Love" helps me during this Sabbatical period as I contemplate each chapter daily. Not to say that I don't fall, I still do. I am still a human being. Instead of beating myself up, I am more gentle, kind, compassionate and loving towards self when I make mistakes. I know what are my patterns and tendency when I do not make time to contemplate and have quiet time to rest in God, to listen actively to myself, I can fall into the mode of judging myself. I do note that I bounce back very quickly as I am consciously aware of my body, emotions, thoughts and soul speaking to me. Then I will put everything aside and spend some quiet moments in silence, to come to a state of being and to be fully in the presence. The daily practices before I start my day helps me to attune and being consciously aware internally. I dare to be myself and have a more balanced life between personal and work now. The Sabbatical has been a gift and is a gift. I am able to make and spend time in the nature, a choice I choose intentionally whether in my own balcony garden, gardening or away to the nature as personal and couple retreats or treats. The nature has healed and brought about balance in me. In return, I receive love, peace, joy and contentment.
Last Sunday, I facilitated a Movement session with the elderly with Dementia and Alzheimer during the Movement Day. Jeroen came to support me. I always asked feedback from him what he has observed. For the first time, he used the word "radiant", that I was very radiant during the session and he witnessed the joy of the elderly dancing with each other. I was pleasantly surprised to hear him share that I am radiant. The elderly has also taught me about non-judgemental love. They have given me the opportunity to connect deeply with them with love. With them, I only know love, they give me the opportunity to be love, to love. I'm very grateful for their presence.
You too can come home to love, to peace, joy and contentment. I told Nita and Celine (my AM teacher), if I have not gone through this journey myself, I cannot share the truth and that we can come home to our true self, to love. Do you want to?
* Have read in this article "The Art of Taking Time Out" resonates with what I'm experiencing and I also find myself full of vigor and rigor again and again when I take time out and able to face the challenges in my life with compassion and love.
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Shalom! Blessings! Love To you!