Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Inter-Relations: Teachings from the Golden Workshop
How do we describes what goes on at one of our workshops?
This particular workshop started off with the title: Northern Star. The objective was to help people find their path and purpose. Yet as the week got underway we noticed that more and more the workshop was about inter-relations. As it turned out most of the participants were hoping to work on their couple relationships and even those single individuals found themselves unexpectedly exploring different forms of love-relationships.
The whole idea of “relationships” is a great topic to bring to the page this month because we’re cosmologically influenced by the Moon of Inter-Relations. Last month though while we were in Golden we were still under the Moon of Territory. It was quite impressive to see how much of the topic of territory became an important perspective in the making of functional relationships.
Just a few examples:
Every year we spend an afternoon trekking through the forest until we reach the river and attempt to cross it to the other shore. This journey is always unique for every one. At some point during the crossing of the river the water got very deep and the currents were very strong. CC one of the strongest guys in the group almost lost his footing and realized that if his wife followed him it could get dangerous. He had to make the decision of leaving her behind in order to keep her safe and she had to trust his judgment. During the course of the week CC repeated this lesson a few times through different circumstances. CC and MI are a close knit couple and spend a lot of quality time together. It was quite an important epiphany for them to realize that “quality apart time” could also be a way to build a stronger relationship.
Too many people believe that setting boundaries is a sure way to destroy a relationship. Young men especially will tell you that “they don’t want their girl friends to believe that they are keeping secrets, or choosing their male friends, their hobbies or even alone time over them…” Boundaries are a sure way to trigger conflicts and for some reason young men try to stay away from those at all cost. Young women always have this fear that if their boy friends are setting boundaries it’s because they are slowly breaking up with them.
The most common response is: “It means I’m not pretty enough or good enough. Young women are also indoctrinated to believe that “to keep a man one has to be available at all times and eager to please as well as adapt to the man’s expectations.” You’d think that modern women would have grown out of these old programs but in fact they are stronger than ever and have taken new forms. Unfortunately the whole concept of boundaries has become a taboo in modern relationships. Parents don’t realize how important it is to teach their teenagers to practice setting boundaries in all kinds of circumstances. Ironically, it helps in building self esteem and self confidence. With boundaries we are all better equipped to listen to our instincts and our intuition. We suddenly have space for self-discovery and we adopt attitudes which allow us to step out of emotional reactions and drama; and make choices, which can best serve everyone.
I was impressed with how much the river experience and its many different perspectives could trigger all kinds of thoughts and feelings. DA and AN were another couple who were separated during the river crossing. DA shared with everyone that because AN was chosen to lead the group across the river, she felt it was important for her to support him and make sure he was not distracted.
“I could see him worried about my welfare” she explained “and I didn’t want him to have to make a choice between ME or the group. So I told him I’d wait for him and I urged him to keep going.”
All of our workshops are designed to bring people to experience intense and exaggerated scenarios, which they probably wouldn’t experience in daily living. As traditional dreamers we have the role to awaken stories and characters that will bring forth specific teachings and healings. These characters or stories play themselves out all through the workshop and even all through the following year. They allow the participants to touch feelings, thoughts, and insights that aren’t necessarily obvious every day. Plus, as a group we discuss the stories and we probe the characters in such a way as to bring up to the surface as much awareness as possible. The idea is to give everyone a good glance at themselves, others, and the Wheels in motion in their lives. All of our workshops are about “prevention.” Tragedy, ordeals or life challenges are natural but what isn’t natural is how to deal with them in a functional way…. If we haven’t learnt to react positively to life and to use proper tools, attitudes and attributes to survive these initiations – we often have to fall, to fail and to wallow in darkness before we can step out of it.
I often perceive our workshops as an upbringing. The dreaming which we manifest through our workshops allows us to open up to the idea that there are forces out there that are more than willing to parent us; guide us; and bring us to our heights. Believe it or not we are never alone. JN literally dragged her feet to this year’s workshop. She must have changed her mind a few dozen times before finally packing her suitcase. One of JN’s main focus in this life time has been to find her soul mate. A year or so ago she came in contact with a presence in the dreaming that revealed itself as her soul mate. Angry and frustrated, she refused to connect to this presence because she absolutely wanted “him” to be incarnated. She wanted to be able to touch him and to share a life with him.
Slowly through the workshop, JN surrendered and allowed herself to listen. Synchronicities, phenomenon and dreams brought her story together and we literally watched her fall in love with Jay and hear why they had both chosen to leave each other behind. JN and JAY’S story wasn’t any different than the story of CC and MI; and DA and AN.
The form was the only difference.
Since I’ve returned from Golden I’ve seen a synchronic repetition amongst the people who have approached me for advice or teachings. Many of the individuals have used the word “victim” to introduce themselves and their story. Most are overwhelmed by their ordeals whether it be memories of abuse, illness, death in the family, divorce or even horrible finances. I’m impressed by how many people have to rely on medication to be able to cope with life’s challenges. Too many refuse the idea of therapy mostly because it’s costly or because they are afraid of becoming dependent to it. And finally, the majority of the people don’t believe that they can learn new programs, new attitudes and new ways to deal with LIFE. They are already exhausted with surviving. They want easy answers and they don’t want to have to work at getting a life of beauty and abundance.
There’s no doubt that the journey to wellness, wholeness and happiness demands work or what I prefer calling: LABOR. It’s about birthing ourselves anew. I’m always impressed at how each of our stories are unique. AI waited almost until the last minute to get started on her learning and healing this year. It seemed important that she journey alone and face her darkness head on. There’s no expectations on how people learn and where they are heading with the learning. It’s all about encouraging the story to be revealed and encouraging everyone to become conscious of their journey.
There’s so much that comes into play when we’re looking a relationships. One thing is for sure if we take the time to communicate clearly and be honest with our feelings and thoughts – we’re starting on the right foot. Rather than coming into a relationship with needs and expectations, we should always come into a relationship with curiosity and open acceptance. The idea is to be able to uncover yourself and the people around you. Everyone who crosses your path is meant to teach you something about YOU and about life. Embrace the possibilities and don’t be afraid to set healthy boundaries. Have fun testing the waters and don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself. The Medicine Wheel teaches us that if we all come together in a sacred circle and we contribute to the Wheel and to each other ---- relationships can last forever.