If today were your last day alive, what is your one regret?
I'll let you percolate on that while I start from the beginning.
On January 20th, I had the good fortune to attend Awaken! 2018—a full-day Intuition and Spiritual Awakening retreat. The event was hosted by Kim Chestney of Mystic Studios in conjunction with Green Heiress Holistic Health, which is a beautiful yoga studio & shared healing space in the cute little Pittsburgh-based community of Aspinwall. I had seen something about it on Facebook, but wasn't sure I should sign up. I was feeling a little "gun shy". After a day or two, though, I bought a ticket. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and sometimes, you just have to go with your intuition. I'm glad I did, because it sold out fast, and it was a great day! Below is a summary.
After greetings were made and refreshments had, we were led into the main studio where we were seated in front of a harp. We were washed in beautiful sound by Stephanie Miller, a harpist who practices under the name Music for Life, LLC, in a segment called an Energetic Attunement Sound Bath. It was a beautiful way to start the morning. Stephanie offers a unique service called Vibroacoustic Harp Therapy: she can connect her harp up to a sound bed that has haptic feedback, so as you lay on the table, you literally feel the music as you hear it. I might have to check that out in the future, as it sounds really cool!
After that, we got down to the business of awakening our intuition. Kim Chestney, author of The Psychic Workshop: A Complete Program for Fulfilling Your Spiritual Potential, started the day off by asking us the above question: If today were your last day alive, what is your one regret? She encouraged us "to your own self be true." Throughout the day, we would learn to break the chains of fear that bind us and recondition ourselves to trust in our intuition.
Now, this is what intrigued me about this workshop since I saw the event on Facebook. I've been on my own spiritual journey for the last several years, having twice now been a speaker at healing events, talking about how I kicked fear in the teeth, learned to accept love again (especially from myself!) and started living life. Additionally, since becoming a Reiki Master last summer, I've found my awareness opening up, including having more of a relationship with God in my daily practice. I've found I have more enthusiasm, creativity, and energy. I feel more balanced. I feel more alive!
But, I was still holding myself back from achieving my dreams, and while I kept getting the impulses to DO something about it (Kim would call these "God winks"), and I have started putting plans into place to reach those dreams, I still needed that final kick in the butt to GO FOR IT, so this all seemed to align with my higher goals.
This workshop definitely kicked the doors down, for me.After her initial talk, Kim introduced us to Susan Amarose, DMQ, RMT. Susan took us through some exercises in QiGong (pronounced "Chee-Kung"), which combines a system of coordinated movements, breathing, and meditation to promote healing, protection, and energy clearing. I was struck by the similarity to Tai Chi, which I practiced for many years in my late teens and 20s, and from which I experienced many benefits. I found the exercises to be REALLY great for my energy levels and sense of peace and alignment, and I look forward to some free workshops that Susan will be offering in February and March. Check them out on her site!
We had a delicious lunch provided from a nearby vegetarian restaurant, and I really appreciate that a nice, long break was allowed for. We had a whole hour to eat, relax, chat with each other, or go and meditate in one of the rooms. You weren't being crammed full of new knowledge at a breakneck pace, you know? There was never a sense of urgency in the timing of the talks. The entire day had just such a lovely, peaceful pacing.
After lunch, Kim taught us about all the different types of intuition, where it comes from (e.g., direct connection with God), why it's important, and then led us through some quizzes to show us where our leanings are. From there, we then split up into smaller groups and did a series of intuitive exercises together.
We rounded the day out with a short beginner yoga session with Nicky Dunlap (even I—NOT exactly limber!!—could do most of it), and a final closing segment to recap what we learned and encourage each other. Kim announced the winners of some beautiful raffle baskets (everyone was entered when we arrived), and gifted all of us with beautiful strands of mala beads that she made. Then it was hugs all around, the event was a wrap, and I floated out of there on a cloud of positivity and hope.
In summary, it was an AMAZING day! The lectures were enjoyable and informative, and the energetic sound attunement and QiGong exercises set the perfect tone right at the start. The exercises were enlightening, and, while I found them to be useful and validating, one of the things I valued most from the workshops was the sense of camaraderie, of working together with these other women in the class, each of us giving of ourselves to help free the others from whatever was holding us back. There was true connection with other souls that day. And connection is important to our well-being. That will be a future post, by the way; it's something burning in me to write about, so stay tuned for that.
A final takeaway: I saw people enter that morning carrying their worries and concerns with them—some frowns, some tiredness, some uncertainty—but by the end, those people were walking a little straighter, feeling a little stiller, connecting a little deeper, and radiating more peace.
Check out some highlights from the day in the video, below. Take a look at Green Heiress' website and consider attending an event or signing up for a class. Feel free to contact any of the presenters I've linked to and ask them questions.
I'm about halfway through Kim's book, and enjoying the heck out of it. I'll do a full review of it when I'm done. In the meantime, I have signed up for the intuitive salon sessions and will be attending the free QiGong sessions as well. Come join me!