Since my last post (https://medium.com/@CatherineMoolenschot/reflecting-on-my-diy-silent-retreat-e462bfc96757) I’ve had a fascinating time!
The silent retreat helped me meet the centred, fully-present, in-flow, peaceful me. She doesn’t worry about the future, or making things happen, or getting stuff done. Rather, she realises that things happen in their own perfect timing, and that I’m here just to do my bit towards it each day. This Catherine is blissfully happy without needing a reason – Well, besides the mere fact that I’m alive! I mean, wow! We’re living, breathing, thinking, feeling, ALIVE human beings! Did you know that current scientific wisdom says it’s taken 13 billion years for us to be able to exist? LIFE ROCKS.
Then there’s the other Catherine, who is in love with life. She loves learning, growing, experiencing, and striving to be the best Catherine she can be. She also wishes life progressed a bit faster. Why does it take so long to get a novel published? To absorb all the awesome information in this book I’m reading? To create a change in our school system? Why aren’t there equal rights for all people already? I mean, surely in our society, that should be a given by now?
This Catherine is unsure of the future, and wishes she could make things happen more quickly. She feels the need to make things happen, to put in effort,which means she’s often not in flow. And she has a habit of holding very high, often unrealistic, expectations of herself…
Now of course, both of these ‘Catherine’s’ are me. It’s just that I’ve only recently become acquainted with the first one. I used to not like the idea of feeling peaceful or blissful. I wanted to feel human, and held an (invalid) assumption that peace meant I’d sit around and do nothing all day, never fully feeling anger, excitement, hope, grief or love.
I now realise that peace has always been within me. It just showed up through my silent retreat.
And I am flabbergasted at how productive peace is. When I’m being the peace-full Catherine, I’m wonderfully productive, thoroughly enjoying using every minute I have.
In fact, over the past week, my most unproductive hours have been when I’ve been the second Catherine, believing I need to control things, worrying about whether they’ll work out/happen.
It’s been such fun observing myself dance between the two Catherine’s, as my mind and ego get used to this new way of being me. I’ve noticed, as Eckhart Tolle would describe, my ‘pain body’ arising and reacting to the world. Or impatience quietly sneaking in the back door. Then realising this, pausing, leading myself through a quick “meditation” to drop back into the blissful, peaceful me.
I’m realising how often we judge ‘negative’ emotions as ‘bad’. And I’ve known this intellectually for a while. The interview series I did 3 years ago really taught me this. But now I’m experiencing how to just let them be and then let then go. And I’m loving the freedom it brings.
I am so grateful I now know what bliss feels like. I didn’t realise it, but before this past week, I actually had no idea what people meant when they spoke about bliss or peace. Now I know. And it is beautiful. I wish I could send it like fireworks around the globe, sparking unconditional happiness within everyone.