The week after returning from a retreat is always an interesting one. There exists for a short amount of time a sort of time-warp. One in which we know something has changed, though we aren't quite sure exactly what or how yet. There are the highs of coming off a heart-opening, soul-clearing week away, as well as the lows of being back in a world and not quite knowing what to do with the new-found stillness and perceptions that we gained from our experiences. Expansion and Contraction. High and Low. The Opening of new doors, and the Closing of others.

It's almost like clock-work. And it doesn't come just from retreats. It can happen after a particularly thrilling day, or a big release yoga practice, or a very potent CranioSacral Therapy session. Or any number of other things that can change the very fabric of our being just by experiencing them.

And so has been the past week in my life. I wrote to you last right when I returned from my meditation retreat with my Blue Throat Yoga community. My heart was seriously ON FIRE from the Opening and Ignition that I experienced. I was ready and rearing to go, ready to share all that had happened, all the joy and nectar and peace that I experienced. It was magic. It was Expansion. And so I knew that Contraction was just around the corner. I knew something had to come along to show me my old ways, my old patterns, my old ways of being. And nothing can do that better than a free outdoor concert in the sun on a beautiful Sunday. A brewery, local friends, bad-for-me food. No need to say more than, well- it was fun. And I certainly paid the price for it on Monday.

But it also showed me how much my life has changed. How much the cummulative effects of all of my training, retreats, inner work and healing have really, TRULY, changed the fabric of who I am. Changed how I interact with the world. Changed how I treat my body, how I treat others, how I treat LIFE in general. I used to live an existence of partying and having fun, going out many nights a week and treating my body in every form of disrespect that I probably could- just as I did on Sunday. And you know what- I don't want that anymore. I don't like the feeling of being in pain, wheather it's my body, my heart, my head or my soul. What seems like fun always has it's price. And it's just not worth the price anymore.

See- all this work, all this exploration into the self, all of this healing. It's not easy. Never has been, and I never make any promises that it is. In fact, sometimes, it's downright hard and scary and terrifying to stop and take a long hard look at yourself and see the shadows of your being. But then there is also the Light. And by peering at the Shadows for a bit, looking at the patterns that shape us and make us unhappy, we finally have the chance, and CHOICE, to CHANGE.

And it starts with one thing- becoming comfortable in the Stillness. I say it time and time again, but it really is the first step. Spend some time in the Stillness. Get to know it. Become friends with it. Learn how to recognize the Contraction and Expansion within the Stillness. And then learn how to ride it.

This week's Empowerment dives into this concept and how to begin a practice of Stillness.

How can you begin to Live in the Stillness? How can you begin to dive in, to see your patterns, come face-to-face with your Shadows? And thus, begin to experience an even greater level of Light and Expansion?