A Journey Home
By Emma Fletcher
Emma Fletcher currently works as an IT Project Manager and is a certified Yoga Instructor. She is also a Rising Star Healing Practitioner and member of SQ Wellness. This work is based on the insights of Derek O'Neill. See the SQ Wellness "More Truth Will Set You Free" workshops in OPEN EXCHANGE's Health & Healing category.
By the end of the week, I knew on some level I had experienced something extraordinary but at the time did not feel compelled to stay longer or plan for a return trip. It wasn't until I returned home that the feeling started to take form, working its way into my conscious mind and finally into taking action.
I went onto the retreat website, sent a few emails, and within six weeks had submitted an application for the long-term retreat program. Answering the questions on the application form was a good exercise into which I put a lot of thought. I wanted to understand my reasons for undertaking this rather unusual adventure. After that, everything clicked into place beautifully I was able to end my work contract early and found a friend to move into my place and stay with the cats. In June, I embarked upon an inner journey that has shifted the course of my life.
Amidst a backdrop of breathtaking Irish beauty, I began the process of getting to know myself. The lessons were unexpected as I believed I'd "done my work," having been on the spiritual and self-development path for a number of years. I had a preconceived notion of how the program would work - I thought I would be spending a lot of time working on my own spiritual projects lots of reading and writing and a little bit of meditation here and there. Oh, how mistaken I was! Defining the process of one's unfolding or as I like to joke, one's "unraveling," is a futile exercise. As it turned out, it was actually being in service that opened up the cracks so I could get a look at what was really running my show.
During my welcome interview I was asked what I would like to do for seva (selfless service). I vaguely remembered that part of the retreat agreement was that participants assist in the daily operation of the Centre. I like to be outside so it was agreed that part of my seva would be working in the gardens. After some internal resistance on my part (I was rather attached to getting through the box of books I'd brought with me!), I fully engaged myself in the process. Soon I couldn't wait to get outside.
Identifying and pulling out the weeds in the garden was to my surprise a metaphor for what I needed to do "inside." I downloaded many of the recorded teachings from the Centre's founder, transformational therapist Derek O'Neill, and listened to them as I did my seva.
This combination of activities was for my spiritual growth like the proverbial snowball rolling down from the top of the hill, gaining momentum the more that I just let go, and allowed it without directing the process (pretty challenging for a Capricorn!). I can't tell you how fast and furiously the revelations began to come; they lit up my conscious mind like a flash of lightening reveals what is in the darkness. I started to see the walls I had erected around myself, and the untruths and faulty beliefs I subscribed to. I began to notice and then understand my patterns of behavior - why I acted and reacted the way I did.
I began to "get" that everything that happened, happened for a reason, even though I didn't know why. I started to recognize and then appreciate the messenger - that person or experience which delivered something I didn't like; knowing that they were simply a mirror reflecting back at me a part of myself that needed attention. I was presented with a multitude of occasions to "meet and greet" parts of me that were hidden and to bring time-tested spiritual teachings into my life.
I learned so much that summer... or maybe unlearned is a better way of putting it peeling away my layers to uncover the truth. There's a reason it is said that the "more truth will set you free"... it does!
The pace of my spiritual journey did not slow down when I left Creacon, in fact, it has accelerated and the opportunities for growth have amplified what sometimes feels like a thousand-fold. It isn't always easy to look at myself honestly and admit I haven't quite got it right yet, but I have gained tools to tackle the task. The time I spent at Creacon Retreat Centre gave me a solid foundation on which to continue down the path to greater self-awareness. I have since become more involved with this heart-centered loving community known as SQ Wellness, and when I go back to Creacon, the magic never fails to amaze. When I'm greeted with the words "Welcome Home" as I walk in the door, I know I am!
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