Wow, the Montauk Sleepscape Retreat was a truly a powerful experience!
It was a small but mighty group, with some intense issues to work through and some hearty laughs in between.
How did we tackle it together given they came from different backgrounds, age groups and had unique personalities? Well the first thing we did was create a safe space by committing to some rules. Perhaps this is something you can adopt at home?
- What happens in Montauk stays in Montauk: You’ve likely heard this rule applied to Vegas or some other jaunt where people cut loose. For us, it was about holding each other’s fears and intentions with confidentiality and compassion, without concern of betrayal.
- No judgements/no shame/no “shoulds:” People were given space to share freely without judgement from others. More importantly, they agreed not to judge themselves, and shut down that pesky saboteur from taking over the conversation in their heads. My co-leader and fabulous meditation leader Ashley calls it her “sneaky bitch.” We eliminated the guilt-ridden word “should” from our vocabularies and thus released ourselves from negative self-talk and harshness. Try replacing the word “should” with words like “want” or “could” for a day and see how that makes you feel.
- Be supportive: MOJO Maker™ #12: surround yourself with a supportive circle. That is especially critical when working through sleep or other issues (which are bound to come up). The group listened, heard, held each other up and showed great compassion to each other, which allowed participants to dig deep into what they needed.
- Leave it in the ocean: We agreed to get light and remove what was weighing us down. In some cases that involved journaling, and in others it literally meant transferring it to a rock and throwing it into the ocean. Given the ocean was steps away from the rooms, it was compelling to hear it, smell it, and use it to purge!
- Open mind: There is a lovely quote that says, “If you don’t go through life with an open mind, you will find many closed doors.” We committed to being vulnerable, and opening up our minds to new ways, thinking and habit, regardless of how long and imbedded the old ones may be. We opened ourselves to new experiences and friends and made connections that will way outlast the weekend.
- Transparency: Through honesty, honoring self-truth and being transparent, we could cut through the crap and get to the heart of the matter(s). It can be challenging and even downright scary to speak your truth and hear how it sounds to others. Kudos to all as they really embraced this guideline!
- Be present: By nature, the mind wanders. It takes time to train it to be focused and calm. That’s why meditation is called a practice! Whether meditating, having a group chat, doing yoga or eating, we agreed to be present. We took our time moving from one place to the other, put away the electronic devices, observed a sunrise and sunset without distraction, and laughed when we noticed how much the mind can stray. We even instituted “no tech in bed” and “no phone/email/social media before morning yoga” rules.
- Be mindful: With the regular hustle and bustle of life left behind, and with my co-leader Katie creating delicious whole food meals, we were able to take the time nourish our bodies and be mindful of the foods and drinks we fed it. Attendees commented on how easy it was to forego the pot of coffee and processed foods, and will bring that concept home with them.
- Lights out at 10:00: Although tempted to stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading oracle cards and chatting, we hit the hay consistently early. We created a wind down ritual of a warm beverage, and gentle yoga or breathing. Between that and the sound of the ocean waves, we slept restfully!
As the retreat came to a close, the participants were nervous to leave and face the “real world.” However, they felt empowered and armed with new tools to help them integrate their new perspective and self-commitments into their lives, and navigate it with grace.
They revisited their intentions and pledged to staying the course, and to be their own health advocates. If we don’t look out for ourselves, why will others?
I am honored to have had the opportunity to create this experience with them and have them share the intimate details of their lives with us.
As I rub the piece of Montauk seaglass I carry with me to remind me of my own intentions, I send them healing and warm thoughts, and look forward to hearing about how they create new stories for themselves.
Which of the rules can you adopt to keep your intentions alive and thriving? What would you add to the list? Be bold, give it a try and please share your thoughts.
We expect to have another retreat in September/October and will send out the information soon. In the meantime, sleep well.
With a full heart,
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™