For the past week, I’ve been processing some of the experiences from Bali.

One of them was this. I went to Bali for a mastermind retreat. I had only met the leader, and was very excited to get to know the other members, most of whom are from New Zealand and Australia.

Most mastermind meetings involve talking to the others, and, well, masterminding.

So it was to my great surprise that when we started, it was announced to be a SILENT retreat.

ARGH! I was angry! I came all the way there to be in silence? I do that at home a lot already!

Processing that anger during 3 days of silent retreat was a big learning experience for me. I also got to know the others far more than I thought I would, through a combination of silent activities such as cleaning up the grounds, and also through a few times when we came together and the silence was temporarily broken.

The big tension for me was this: I felt that if I’d known it was going to be a silent retreat, I could have “mentally prepared” for it. I wouldn’t have been so mad.

Yet it is the very need for that kind of “security” – i.e. knowing in advance to be “prepared” – that is at the heart of some of the challenges I’m currently working on in my own development.

I’ve often placed “seeking security” above “seeking my own personal truth and alignment.” That led me to some dark corners of life where despair and depression rule. It has been a long, slow climb out of those pits and back into alignment with my highest path where joy, fun, and inspiration rule. In dropping the need for security, it opens up a whole new world of joy.

So at the end of it all, it was worthwhile, though difficult. It reminded of those river adventures I’ve done in the past where we start out thinking it’s going to be just a pleasant little jaunt, and it ends up being an excruciating hell of finding ourselves in over our heads, then eventaully climbing up a muddy embankment in the dark only to find miles of dense raspberry bushes between us and food/water/safety.

By living to tell the tale, we grow and develop tremendously as humans, even if at the time we want to get the hell out.

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