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Learning.. Hornby..

October 4, 2012

I have been asked what happened during my month on Hornby and if I enjoyed myself. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like growing intimate with 9 women in a treed sanctuary outside of city pavement, outside of people, outside of my world (albeit, I knew that Deerheart Sanctuary with Michelle was my world. I fell head over heels in love the instant I met her last year while visiting her haven for a silent retreat). I haven’t been ready to put any of it into words. I don’t know how to do it justice. I don’t want the magic to subside. I do know that questions arose, love blossomed, we did some yoga and curiosity remains:

How will I remember all that has happened? What will happen next?

yoga on hornby island teaching

We began when the moon was full of energy and light. In this phase, our dreams were wild, the midnight forest was eerily bright and we were awkwardly settling into a rhythm. Every morning began with japa and asana in the yurt sunken into the forest floor. We gathered in circle, created heat and burned off pieces of ourselves. The blessed 22 days of sunshine also took us away from the tiny magical yurt, toward a healing ocean, but not away from the strength of the feminine.

Shit, did we laugh. And yes, we did fart. With all the grains and raw food it was unavoidable, resulting in more giggles. We were children colouring by the sea and we were wise old owls hungry for more knowledge and wisdom. While massaging one another in the evenings we were caregivers and receivers well deserving of each other’s affection. There was so much intimacy and naturalness and vulnerability. We somewhat dispersed into groups during rare afternoons off. The Bikini Sisters definitely left Hornby looking as though they had spent 3 months in Jamaica. Us Grandmothers watched films in our forest caravan while fretting about our young, lost girls. The beautiful cycles of our journeys….

And of course, we were engulfed by overwhelming emotion. I was not privy to personal breakthroughs or breakdowns on Hornby. I thought I was different because no matter where I find myself, I constantly question my motives and my reactions. No matter who I’m with, I sneak away, I check out into a silent space and I check in with my thoughts and my nagging doubts and my fearful insecurities. In the thick of drama, I usually manage quiet time with my demons and a pen and paper. I actually consider my entire path in life to be a breakthrough and (sheepishly) admit to unleashing regular breakdowns every other day. But if I’m to be completely honest with myself, my tears ran generously for 10 days upon returning home after this training on the island. The Return. There is so much richness in this city: turbulent noise, loving yogis, hopping yoga studios, supportive friends, colours, gray, rushing cars and I now feel the exhaustion of everyone and my ears hear the heartbeats and all other beats.

And here it is – over. But I am not over. I don’t even know where I ever began. I am dissecting. You may see something different when you look at me. There is much brimming over the top – acceptance, joy, gratitude. A voice inside remains and whispers I am nurtured and I continue to be filled with this astounding life.

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