By Beth Keil
For the last five years I’ve been a part of a women’s retreat. I see most of these women once a year. It is a wonderful time of community, workshops, and fresh mountain air.
Last year I didn’t go due to a physical injury. I didn’t realize how much I missed being there until I was greeted back. There’s a ritual for coming back into this space/community. It includes a welcoming hug. A sob of joy mixed with sadness came from nowhere while I was being hugged. It was visceral. It surprised me. The woman hugging me felt it, too. The intimate connection of my Mind-Body-Spirit knew and remembered and it was reminding me to listen.
Have you ever had a reaction to something that surprised you? Whenever that happens notice it with curiosity. It’s telling you something. It could be reminding you of past events and the feelings they evoke creating an opportunity to heal if the feeling feels “bad”. For me I realized almost immediately what the connection was. The retreat I was at two years before brought with it loss and sadness. I didn’t participate in a sweat lodge. For me the lodge is a place of going within myself while being a part of a community of women within a sacred space. I confront fears and my limits. And I pray. In addition one of my close friends had had a baby. It changed our relationship as her attention and time were now on her baby. I missed what we had and wouldn’t have again. Now, I have to share I have two children (if you didn’t know already) and I know that my relationships changed with my friends, too. But I was on the other side this time. I also entered into a profound personal transition in my life between retreats. I was full fledge into peri-menopause and on my way to menopause. For me this is a time of loss, change, and transformation. How I see Life, and my life, is changing as if I’m looking through new understanding, experienced eyes.
Add to the mix my husband’s return from a year’s long deployment and unemployment, our changed relationship, his mom’s passing, the year our sons didn’t have their dad with them on a daily basis and its impact especially on our youngest. Loss and more loss. Tears are welling right now as these memories run in my mind. I am aware that the tendrils of sadness and loss started earlier in my life: my parent’s separation when I turned four and leaving my dad and the only home I knew.
One of the things I love about Star Trek are the episodes dealing with space and time. Movement through time and space is a profound hypnotic healing tool. This is why my work as a consulting hypnotist moves me and is an honor to be a part of. I assist my clients in moving through time, seeing it through understanding eyes, and the feelings that come through hope and transformation.