This morning I’m in Helena, Montana waiting to drive out to the Feathered Pipe Ranch for a week on retreat. Apparently there are 30 of us spending the next week with the divine Sera Beak, who in 2013 released a book called Red Hot and Holy. I’ve been a fan of Sera’s writing for a couple of years, but her latest book tore me apart a year ago. Reading her story about the process of embodying her soul helped me realise I hadn’t ever known mine. Afterwards I made a vow to do whatever it took to become whole and I’ve been inside a fire ever since.
So of course I couldn’t resist the Soul Fire retreat when Sera emailed me about it last November… I’d booked my spot before I fully realised what I’d done. But as I was getting ready to leave San Francisco yesterday, I noticed I was feeling something beyond excitement. I was scared.
When I felt into it, there were the usual pre-retreat fears: a bit of travel anxiety (telling the TSA agent I’m opting out of the full body scan in favour of a pat down still makes me a bit nervous), a little anxiety about stepping into a group of complete strangers, plus a little fear of the unknown (Sera hasn’t given us a program or a schedule for the week).
But below the surface was something much bigger… the fear (terror, actually) of the possibility that this could be it. The end of the line. Time to stop searching, looking, retreating from myself and just sit still inside the fire of me until all separation burns away and it’s just us/we/me – one.
The colour red was all around me yesterday in little nudges and winks, reassuring me and whispering “it’s ok”. But when I walked into my room at the b&b and found deep red carpet, I laughed out loud.
I slept last night in a red womb (no pun intended), with her whispering in my ear “you’re in the right place”.
Even writing this post is creating some fear, because there’s still a part of me that doesn’t want my family and the friends I’ve known longer than a few years to think I’m a flake or that I’ve ‘lost it’. But I made a vow to find my voice and this is what’s here today, so the parts that want to speak up have won. I’ll be online again in a week. Until then, enjoy the silence.