The Bliss Blog

A few weeks ago I received an email announcing a workshop that was being held at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Nassau in the Bahamas.  Taught by Joan Borysenko, it is called Writing Down the Light and the focus is re-writing our life stories and as a result, re-wiring our brains. The invitation had me at hello, for all three of those reasons. Who wouldn’t want to go to the Bahamas in January? And for this writer-yogini, the location and topic were sheer perfection. In addition, Joan is a consummate teacher and heart-felt healer.

The workshop itself begins tomorrow night, but the retreat commenced the moment I decided to sign up. I had already begun re-writing my life story, as I let go of so many old worn out beliefs about myself and how I thought life was supposed to be.

I had set the alarm for 5:30 this morning, so I could get to the airport in time to get through TSA and then customs. My head alarm went off at 5:22 and I was ready in plenty of time. Made it through pre-check (I love when that happens), sailed through customs, almost empty flight, so I had the row to myself, arrived early. Wonderful taxi ride as I chatted with the driver whose name was Jackson. His cab featured tapestry designed seat covers and he played classical music.

The sky was overcast and wind gusts blew the boat that ferried us across the bay. Choppy water and sea spray soaked us as we laughed our way through the waves. By the time we arrived on the opposite shore, I felt we had passed the first serenity test.

The rest of the day included a lengthy pranayama and yoga class overlooking the bay. As I sat on my mat, I watched the clouds scuttling by and felt as if my own storms were raging. Much that I had held onto that was holding on to me. Sun salutations didn’t bring the sun out as the teacher laughingly suggested that it might. Realizing how stiff and perhaps inflexible I had become in many areas of my life, I did what I could to stretch my body and my mind to accommodate the reality of my day to day existence. In child’s pose, I felt petulance kicking in as stored up “It’s not fair,” feelings arose. I settled her down with more deep breathing. No tears, as I anticipated there might be.

Vegan dinner in the picnic tabled dining room that was nourishing to body, mind and spirit, with lively conversation, as people from all over the world gathered to break bread together. Afterward, I immersed my hands in soapy water as I offered Seva (service) doing dishes.

The evening ended with a Satsang (teaching), meditation and chanting the names of God in Sanskrit. Felt full of blessings when I went to bed earlier than I do at home, since wake up call is 5:30 a.m.

Sweet dreams~