In my most recent session with Mandy, a beautiful and brilliant woman in her mid-thirties, she shared with me that she was thinking seriously about attending the Weaving Heaven and Earth Retreat in Bali. But at the same time, she believed wholeheartedly that spending time and money on such an experience was frivolous.
"How can going on excursions into beautiful environments, and talking about how to experience Heaven on Earth contribute to my needs for shelter, food, and clothing? I just can’t wrap my brain around doing something like this. I mean, it sounds fun, but frivolous! Aren’t my survival needs all that really matter? I shouldn’t even be considering this!"
I almost laughed out loud when Mandy asked her questions and shared her genuine beliefs. You see, Mandy is all about bringing vitality and joy into the world. Ironic, isn’t it? Her graduate work and extensive studies in body-mind-spirit connection are reflected in her exuberance for life and her desire to share this exuberance with the world. I was fascinated with how she can be so in-the-world with her vision for a thriving and joy-focused healing practice, and also have this part of her that claims, "if it doesn’t contribute to my survival needs, then it must be frivolous and I shouldn’t want it!"
I am very familiar with the judgment of life beyond survival needs as frivolousâ€”I spent many years in that mindset myselfâ€” so I have no judgment of Mandy. And, since Mandy raised this issue for herself, she allowed me to also reflect on that part of me that perhaps sees this upcoming retreat in Bali as frivolous, ludicrous, and a waste of time, energy and resources.
Mandy even balked at the idea that spa services are included in the retreat package. “Really Rosie,” she asked "spa services in the retreat that are mandatory rather than optional? It just seems so frivolous! I’m not a frou-frou type of woman! I don’t want to spend money on that!"
But what I told her, and what I want you to know is that I’m not talking about mani/pedi’s like you get down at the neighborhood strip mall to gossip and sip bubbly.
The spa services in our retreat are sacred rituals in Bali, typically taken before a major rite of passage in life, and are chosen as a initiation, a coming home to oneself, so that we can go deep in our inner work. It’s not about being "silly girls and boys and playing with makeup." it’s about restoration of the body, mind and soul, and preparation for the inner work to come. It’s about allowing yourself to be cared for and held in this space of heaven on earth. In fact, each activity in this retreat is carefully chosen for us to prepare us for our inner work together.
Even as that sank in deeper, and seemed to appease the logic-oriented inner protester, Mandy still seemed reluctant to let herself want it. I get it.
Mandy has yet to be at a retreat, workshop, or training with me – Dr. Rosie. She has yet to experience the integration of joy-full play with deep hard work; She hasn’t yet taken full grasp of the requirement to participate consciously in her own transformation. And, like so many of us, Mandy has yet to see that such intense focusing on her fears regarding survival needs makes it nearly impossible to bring sustainable joy, happiness, love, and connection into her life, or into the lives of the people she serves. Without joy, happiness, love, and connection, life on Earth can feel painful, hellish, and sometimes despairing. And, just as a matter of fact, science has shown that laughter, play, and connection are super important to health and well-being. Who can argue with science?!
This left Mandy at a crossroads. She looked at choosing to either continue down the same path of solely attending to her fears of survival (even though she lives amidst amazing abundance), or, she can choose to walk the path of seeing, experiencing, and bringing more fear-less presence into her life. More intentional joy-filled moments.
As it turned out, through this depthy coaching conversation, Mandy got it! And, with trepidation into this new perspective on how she wants to be in life, Mandy stepped into a "yes” for the Bali retreat, but not because I persuaded and convinced her to say yes. She realized that saying yes was in alignment with how she wants to be in the world, the joy she wants to be a living expression of, and her strong desire to live a fully-expressed, playful, joy-filled life. This makes us both gasp in giddy excitement — a great start for her to begin weaving Heaven and Earth.
You might have noticed that, although the context of these Bali-focused newsletters has been the Retreat in Bali, the message I’m wanting to impart is that the way each of us chooses to choose to live our lives is reflected in any one aspect of our lives.
For me, it’s not about whether you choose to join me or not join me in Bali. What matters to me is how you choose to go or not go to Bali – how you say "yes” and how you say “no.”
Mandy is choosing to practice saying "yes” to those elements of life that she has a lifetime of judging as frivolous: happiness, joy, love, and connection, because she realized that, in the end, these experiences support basic survival in all ways conceivable.
What will have you say "yes” to Bali?
If you have thoughts or desires to join me in Bali and you’d like to talk them out with me, please feel free to email me or reply to this email. I’d be happy to support you in making the choice that serves your highest desires for the fulfillment of your human-spirit. Yes, even if that means you end up saying “no!”