In January 2000, I took a weekend workshop that changed my life. It was the “Finding True Self” workshop.
Saying it changed my life is really not an understatement, nor is it meant to be a cliche. After meeting with the truth of me – not as an intellectual exercise but as a feeling that exploded from the bottom of my heart – I have never been the same. Something was fundamentally altered, and I could never unsee what I saw inside. I could never unfeel what I felt. My belief about who I was shifted forever, and a new chapter of my life began.
I write about this in Healing Tree. I write about what that experience was like for me, and the unfolding healing process it set in motion. I also write about how when I staffed the workshop a few months later, I was changed yet again.
What I did not share about in Healing Tree was how, since becoming a trainer of the “Finding True Self” workshop myself in 2006, my original awakening has only deepened. As I have had the opportunity to witness hundreds of beautiful souls finding themselves, my own light has grown stronger and brighter.
Now, I am happy to share that I will begin co-leading the Finding True Self Retreat in Sedona, AZ with Ilchibuko Todd – a powerful, amazing human who inspires me beyond description. I am honored to have this opportunity, and feel great hope that together she and I will be able to help hundreds of more souls awaken to their true essence, to the light of peace laying deep within their hearts.
If anyone reading this blog post is yearning to break through their false selves and meet with their true self; or feels inspired to have a deep, intensive exploration of self-discovery; or feels called to Sedona, then perhaps I will see you there one day!
For you, I am including both a link to find out more information, as well as the passage from Healing Tree where I share my personal experience.
Awakening and transformative would be how I would describe the “Finding True Self” workshop. But those are just words and do not scratch the surface of what I felt, or how that experience impacted me.
I brought to that workshop a sincere desire to find some sort of peace inside. I was tired and lost, and tired of being lost. I was only twenty-two years old, but I felt there was nothing this world had to offer that could bring me any fulfillment unless I found peace and truth inside me first. I was desperate to find it. That pure wish was my fuel.
At the workshop, I dug into my heart with sweat and tears. I went down deep, through layers of judgement and emotion, memories and wounds. In the most challenging of moments, I pushed forward, believing there must be something beyond this suffering. There just had to be.
At last, I encountered the most amazing jewel waiting for me at the bottom of it all.
It was not something I came to understand with my thoughts. It was not something I had learned from someone else. It was something I felt inside of me. It was an unforgettable feeling that happened in a moment.
After a very intense segment of the training, an assistant was leading us through a breathing meditation. As I rested on the floor, she guided us to relax each part of the body. I quieted my mind and sunk into feeling the top of my head, my eyes, my face muscles, my jaw, my neck and shoulders. Suddenly, there was an unexpected and very loud crack in the center of my chest. It felt like the wall of a dam had broken open and a warm, soft river of love was flowing through my heart. For the first time ever, I felt deeply silent; I felt the peace I had been longing for; I felt bliss.
I had met with my soul.
I had found the light inside me. I had discovered the purest, deepest, truest me that was buried beneath a lifetime of fear and insecurity, anger, sadness and confusion – the most beautiful me. I wished I could hold that precious me tenderly in my hands, admire the magnificence of its soft light that seemed to emanate all the love and peace in creation. This light felt like my most beloved friend and guide. Our long-awaited meeting was more, much more, than I could have ever dreamed.
When I returned to my parent’s house, my mother swung open the door and said, “You’re back!” Then she paused as she looked at me and said, “And you look so…happy!”
For weeks I was in a magical state. I would be walking home and find tears of gratitude flowing down my cheeks, gratitude for the amazing force of life that I felt inside.
One evening, as I was sitting on my front steps, watching the sunset, I realized, “I’m falling in love with myself.”
I had found my place, my home, and it had been right there within me all along.
Inspirational. I don’t think I have completed that journey. I felt the same when I read Healing Tree. I can sense it. Gracias, Master Danielle, number 1 fan, Vinso
It warms my heart to know that you were able to sense your true self through reading “healing Tree”, Vinson. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.