This year, I had the privilege of attending a literal “summer camp for the soul” with one of my favorite mentors, Gabby Bernstein. Gabby is a heavy-hitter in the world of spirituality and self-growth these days; she’s someone who I deeply admire and respect - so when her annual retreat popped onto my radar, I jumped at the opportunity to register. The retreat took place in late July 2016 at the beautiful Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. I took so much away from this amazing weekend - though I’ll write another blog with more details, I wanted to share my main takeaways with you now:
We must be brave enough to wonder about our fears. Often (which may be an understatement), we push our fears and wounds from the past to the side. If we truly wish to heal from those wounds, we must be brave enough to wonder about and explore (and, yes, eventually confront) our fears.
Even when we are in the midst of resistance, we have the tools to heal. We often resist our own healing; we choose addictive patterns (be they to substances, relationships or work), we deny and we procrastinate. We must allow the healing that is available to us all into our lives.
Sometimes we have to learn from a bottom; if you have hit bottom, honor it. It’s often the most painful paths in life that draw us closer to God and to our true selves. In these times, have compassion for yourself and your journey and trust that the Universe won’t give you what you can’t handle.
We must show up for what’s up or it will keep coming up. This gem is - in my book - a Gabby Bernstein classic. I’ve written it several times listening to her talks. Though we are often blissfully unaware, we all have patterns or lessons that continuously show up in our lives. Often we ignore them as “coincidence” or wonder, “why does this keep happening to me?” These situations or people are life lessons that we’ve not been showing up for, but rather ignoring or blatantly running from. If we don’t acknowledge them, they will keep reappearing in our lives to remind us there is still a lesson to be learned.
For healing to occur, we must offer up our current belief systems and surrender the outcome. We all hold on to beliefs about who we are - these beliefs influence what we believe we are worthy of. These beliefs are often our biggest blocks to healing. One way of offering up a limiting belief system is simply to affirm, “I offer up this belief system that I know is not the truth of who I am.” Another factor that deters us from healing is our own desire to control the outcome. Sure, we all know what we’d like to happen in an ideal world: we get the job, we get the guy...whatever it is. But what if the Universe has something so much better in store for you? Let go and allow - trust that what happens is of the highest good.
Of course, five bullet points doesn’t even begin to cover all of the lessons and thought-provoking moments that occurred at this retreat (I have pages of journal notes from the sessions that I’ll curate and speak to in some future posts). While there were many emotionally and mentally challenging moments during this retreat, the experience was an overall enlightening, inspirational and uplifting one that left me ready to dive deeper into my personal journey of self-discovery and love upon returning home. If takeaways from this post caught your attention, I highly recommend you order Gabby’s upcoming book, The Universe Has Your Back, which is what she based most of her lecture on during the retreat. I look forward to sharing more of my experience at Kripalu with you soon! XOXO, Amanda