The first week of my Epic Self fellowship went down like this....
When I showed up in Manuel Antonio after traveling for almost an entire day, changing planes 3 times, and riding in on a 3 hour shuttle from San Jose, I WAS SPENT. I had just come off from a month-long trip to Greece where I had led a successful Goddess retreat and travelled the countryside visiting family, all of which was deeply satisfying but also very taxing; physically mentally, and emotionally. When I returned to the states I only had 4 days of jet-lag recovery time before I was off again, saying goodbye to my Beloved, and heading down here to Costa Rica for this fellowship with Epic Self.
I had been so busy from running around all over the globe that I hadn't even thought about this fellowship, really since May when I had been accepted into the program. I was so stoked when I was offered to opportunity because I knew I was meant to be here. So after it was a done deal, I didn't really think much more about it until I was riding the shuttle-bus through the jungle and wondering what experiences awaited me here. Sometime I think it works out better that way; when you are focused only on the next step directly in front of you there is no worrying about future unknowns and more time spent living in the present.
That first night, exhausted and hungry, the crew took us out to dinner. Amber and Daniel's energy was so warm and engaging that it immediately shifted my own. Kait, my fellow fellowshipper was just as cool and as kind as could be. Before the meal was through, I went from worn out and haggard, to and attitude of gratitude, remembering just how blessed I was to be here. Like magic, my exhaustion dissipated. In its place prevailed a buzzing excitement and a deep awareness that this journey was divinely orchestrated (But then, what isn't?), for my highest growth and evolution.
So here I am, a little over a week in and experiencing growing pains one jam-packed day at a time. My raw vegan detox is feeling amazing! I can't even remember why I wanted to eat any sugary crap in the first place. I don't have a scale, but I'm pretty certain I've dropped at least 5 lbs. of toxic waste in the last week, maybe more. My body is feeling stronger and more vital than it has in a while thanks to Amber's morning yoga/pilates fusion class. After almost a decade of yoga, I am learning things I never knew about proper alignment. I've begun the journey of retraining my body to move in ways that build strength and do not risk injury. Sounds like I've just been kicking butt and taking names. I totally have. But I have been kicking my own but and it's been super intense inner work as well.
My biggest challenge in this last week eventually turned out to be my biggest revelation. Of course, I only realized it after it had knocked me flat on my emotional booty. It all had to do with why I do what I do. Why do I care about the work of women's empowerment and what makes me think I'm qualified for the role? I could list off a million reason right now about the patriarchy, and sisterhood, and the divine feminine rising; about how I've studied feminist psychology, and lead moon circles, etc. but none of those would really be my why.
In my first coaching session with Daniel, he asked me what I felt a responsibility towards in the world. "Ok, not so hard," I thought. I feel like it is my responsibility to help women see themselves as the Goddesses that they truly are. Yeah, that's my thing. So what?
I'll tell you what. At that point the Universe conspired to remind me of why that mission is so important to me in the first place. A few days into the fellowship, while looking through photos for my website, I came across some old pictures of me and my ex-husband. I looked so unhappy, so unlike myself today, and I was reminded of how hopeless I felt back then. At the end of last year, I left my 5 year marriage and almost decade long relationship to a very controlling and emotionally abusive man. Looking at the pictures, I remembered how I felt back then, thinking that this was the best love that life had to offer me. That I wouldn't find anyone who would treat me ancy better.
But I did. Turns out that I could love myself better, much better in fact. Back then, I could never have imagined I would be where I am now, doing all the things that make my heart sing. I never in a trillion years would have predicted meeting my soulmate (I didn't even believe in soulmates), and being so in love with someone who treats me like a Goddess everyday.
Then I knew my why. I thought about all the women, women who I know and those I don't, feeling just like I felt, resigned to relationships where they are not shown the love and respect they deserve. Resigned to jobs that are unsatisfying and soul-sucking, unaware of the true gifts they have to offer. I thought again about Daniel's question and saw that this is my responsibility. Because I had gone down this rocky road, I get the responsibility and the privilege to hold my sisters' hands in mine and reflect back to them just how worthy and deserving they truly are.
You are divine beauty inside and out. You are here because the world needs your gifts and to bring forth your gifts you need to be tapped into your joy. And to find your joy you need to love yourself, to see your true worth. You need to awaken to your own Goddess-hood and proclaim that you deserve the best that life has to offer, the highest love, the freest life.
This was my biggest revelation so far during this experience, and I am so grateful for the clarity of purpose this has brought me. Looking forward to the rest of the fellowship and what else I might discover along the way!