I was recently involved in a life enrichment course. It is a course designed to strengthen and heal the body, mind, and spirit through the practice of yoga, meditation, wisdom, insight, and skills.
The course started on Thursday the 1st of April, with a gathering of about 25-30 individuals. We were all there for our own reasons, yet we were united by something divine. Personally, I was there because I wanted to strengthen my mind and find peace in the midst of my chaotic life. I had never done meditation exercises before and I was curious how the breathing would affect me.
For the duration of the course we were told we could not eat any meat, drink caffeine, or consume alcohol or drugs. The hardest part for me was not eating meat (since I don’t have a problem with the other categories). When I moved in with my aunt two years ago, my uncle had high cholesterol and our family as a whole eliminated red meat from our diets (although I do have a weakness for hot dogs….). I turned to chicken and fish as a source of protein and have become quite fond of it.
The next day I struggled with my new diet of vegetarianism when I visited a friend’s house for an Easter party. I cringed as I smelled the hot dogs crisping on the barbeque. No one in my class would have to know if I ate one…but I would and that was enough to stop me from eating it. I held strong as I dished my plate of salad, devil’s eggs, and bruschetta. And I must say that after I finished my plate I wasn’t even hungry or jealous of those who were eating hamburgers, hot dogs, and appetizers. I had made a commitment and I was sticking to it.
As for the session, each day I was excited to go! I wanted to breathe and feel nothing; I wanted to strengthen the bonds I had formed with the other people taking the course. I couldn’t wait to grab my blanket and pillow and curl up on my yoga mat while we listened to stories and meditated, and when the day came to a close, I was sad to leave the comfort of it all.
During the course I learned many new things about myself and others. One thing that stands out in my mind is my inability to talk about my true feelings. Unless I feel very comfortable with you, my deepest desires are hard to put into words. I think I have always known this about myself, but it was reassured in a deeper way throughout the course. I even experience this in my writings. I usually take a long time to publish them and I have no one staring me in the eyes asking me questions. It is a different interaction when a stranger or friend is sitting accross from you aksing you deep, intimate questions about your life and experiences.
An important lesson that I have learned is how much we think about the future and the past and forget to live in the moment. In one of my earlier blog’s I state that the key to happiness is being happy in the moment and in return, you will be happy in life. Learn to live here and now, or you will become overwhelmed with things from the past that you cannot change and things from the future that you may never know. Of course you may take the lessons from your past as learning blocks and the desires of the future as path goals, but remember to not allow these things to replace what is happening RIGHT NOW.
I could not have chosen a better time to take this course. The effect it has had on me has been tremendous and I am applying what I have learned in my daily life. Some of it I was already aware of and my awareness only increased as the course went on, while other parts were totally new to me.
And as for the specific activities we did and the experiences we had during the course, well…I guess you will have to take it for yourself! I would love to write how each activity we did affected me, but then you wouldn’t be interested in seeing what it is all about would you?? I will say this: each person has different experiences when they attend this course, even those who are repeating it; and I too shall definitely repeat it.