Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Retreat

Two weekends ago I hosted a Christ-centered Kundalini Yoga Meditation

Retreat in the hills outside Cedar City at Sage Hills Healing Center. I haven't written about it yet because I have been processing everything and also waiting for pictures from others (I was too busy to take pictures.)

Several others have already written about their experience there. You can read Brook's posts and Lani's post if you interested. Or maybe you have already and that is what led you here.

I just want to write a little bit about the retreat from my perspective. I could write for weeks and not really be able to convey how magical it was, but here is a little bit for right now.

First off, it didn't occur to me until about a week before the retreat that I had never hosted a retreat before. Not only that, I had never even been to a retreat--at least, not exactly. But somehow I knew what to do and how to give the participants an experience.

On day one, before the retreat even officially began, there was some interesting weather happenings. I noticed that it was going to be 100+degrees when I checked the weather before leaving, and I was worried about the people who would be camping. I know that when groups of people get together to meditate together it will sometimes change the weather. We do it all the time in LA. So I set an intention of "tender loving cool merciful breezes" that morning. When I got there the locals were all commenting on the heat. I told them that I hoped it would change. I had set an intention. Within an hour the temperature dropped 20 degrees and cloud cover came in. A cool breeze began to blow. It was getting nice. I don't take credit, but I found it interesting. 

Then it began to blow in hard. Hurricane type of gusts. A big gust ripped a door off the hinges and turned a few things upside down outside. The people in charge of the retreat center and I were a little tweaked about the door being blown off, and I started to worry about my campers again.  

These are not "merciful" breezes I thought. I decided not to take credit or blame, but to go and look things over. I walked up the hill with Lani in the wind and small drops of rain to the Labrynth. The wind blew my hair around gently, but right near by I saw what was once a bench, turned upside down. I could feel the power of nature--the thought that I could be blow off the hill came into my mind and I was not afraid. I was mildly thrilled by the magnificent of the elements. After a few minutes there soaking it all in, I said a quick prayer, in which my request may be summed up in one sentence: "Peace, be still."

Within 5 minutes the wind stopped and the wind spinner at the center of the labrynth never moved again all weekend.

I am not taking credit or blame. It was just interesting.

Later that night, I was on the stage teaching and a beautiful orange sunset filled the upstairs yoga room and my heart filled to bursting with joy. Look what you have created, the sunset said. You are a teacher. And Felice, my dear, you can command the elements. I took it all in in a breath and continued teaching the beautiful radiant women in front of me.

Later that night I was telling Sheridan, my wonderful book collaborator, who also attended the retreat, that it is was crazy of me to even think I could get a group of Mormon women, many of them with young children, even to come to a retreat. But there they were, all tuning in with me. If you have never meditated in a group before, it is pretty amazing to hear/feel the group vibration.

Me tying Lani's head scarf on.
One of my favorite happenings of the weekend was when Lani asked me to help her tie on a head cover. Then Brook asked, then Sheridan and Pam. Soon there was a line. I was tying everyone's scarves into turban-like crowns and they were loving it. When I put a head wrap on Pam, her face suddenly changed and it was like I knew her for ages. I didn't know her without it, but with it, she seemed like an old friend. It is hard for me to describe why the head scarf tying made me so happy, but I will try.
Pam and Brook

I don't think too much about what people think of me. If I want to wear a turban or roller skates I just do it and it makes me happy. But I don't often realize how much energy it takes to hold that space for oneself to be different. My friend Christi described me at my wedding party as "unabashedly different." And I guess I am. I only realized what it costs me when everyone started to tie on head scarves. I couldn't describe it until recently, but it was like I felt some sort of inner pressure released. It was such a wonderful relief, to be in joyful society with others who not only believe in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but have also found the joy of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. It was the first time in my life I have ever had that experience. Of course, it is wonderful to be in community online, which we do have through our Facebook Meditation Support Group, but this was IRL (in real life). And I like IRL.  

There is much more I will write about in the future, but for now I can I just say how awesome it was! Because it ended up being all women, some said they felt like they were at girl's camp for grown ups. And I think that is cool. It would be even cooler if the young women did Kundalini Yoga and Meditation at Girls Camp. Can you imagine?

There were a few people there who had never done Kundalini Yoga before and some who had never done any yoga or meditation. Somehow they just felt led to come and it was very cool to see how they enjoyed it. There was one lovely woman who, much to my happiness, sat right in the front, and every time I looked out I could see her ecstatic face smiling. She seemed to be in a constant state of ecstasy. I could tell that her soul was coming home, being reborn, and she loved it. Throughout the weekend I watched these young jedi's shed tears, laugh out loud for joy or ecstasy, make friendships and be ministered to by angels and spirits. We had lots of angelic visitors hanging around, and that was cool. I couldn't see them, but I could sense them.

The food was also amazingly unbelievable. I got a local caterer to make all organic vegetarian/vegan food for us. She was from Morocco so we ate some pretty rad authentic meals which I believe she put a lot of love and intention into. There is much more I want to write about it, but I'll have to put them in other posts.

On the last morning we had all the children come up and do Celestial Communication with us. There is nothing so heart-warming as this. I will post a video soon if it has turned out.
By the end of the last morning I had a terrible headache that I finally figured out was related to everyone packing up and leaving. When Lani and her family left I started weeping. What a beautiful thing we had created and now it had to end. It totally triggered all my abandonment issues. Sigh. I let the weeping happen in good old fashion Jesus-over-Lazarus style, and then Sheridan doula'ed me into a peaceful acceptance. Christ knew he could raise Lazarus from the dead. There will be more retreats.

At the end of the retreat. Right after Brook took this picture I started weeping.

I can't remember who said, "Wouldn't it be great if we were all in the same ward?" Oh the thought. But that is not how God works. He likes to spread us out so that we can forklift others, as Yogi Bhajan liked to say. And that is what I hope everyone who came will do. Touch every heart, and be the forklift. 


  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome. So glad to hear you say there will be more retreats. I must come.

  2. Dear sweet friend Felice,
    "Thou art an elect lady, whom (God has) called".
    D&C 25:3

    Will keep you updated on our Kundalini adventures. Big things ahead.
    Love, KB

  3. Love to you! Thank you for holding the space. The retreat was amazing and I received what I needed at the time I needed it. Well, I just found out that I'm courageous, and lately, my family has needed to walk away from situations and people and I'd been concerned about that. As I meditated it became clear that as weird as the situation was, this was God's will for our family and for our future families.
    I process stuff s-l-o-w-l-y. And so, about four days after the retreat I experienced abandonment too. I'm still experiencing it. Wah!!!
    And Sisters, you're amazing!