If I had to capture my dominant emotion from my experience at Camp GLP in one word it would be loneliness. And if I could add a second word, it would be sadness.
It’s always interesting what happens when you shake up your normal patterns of life… When you go to a space and environment that is totally unlike where you normally spend your days.
Such times open you to seeing things from a different perspective. They force your mind to notice in a different way.
And so it was for me when I arrived, via a yellow school bus, for four days of summer camp (a gathering of remarkable people from across the globe for a weekend of fun, workshops, connection, and an exploration of what it means to live a good life).
So much energy! So many extremely happy people. Why wasn’t I as enthusiastic?
So many new faces… Why was I resisting going up and just talking to everyone? What kept holding me back?
Old friends that I’ve lost contact with… Why I haven’t I kept up with all of them? They’re so amazing.
Such great people everywhere. Deep conversations sparked at a moments notice… Why is that so rare to my life?
Jonathan Fields speaking on the significance of connection — connection to others… Damn, that bucket is rather empty right now.
Story Circles (using art as a tool for self-inquiry) with Cassia Cogger… Haunting how that sense of being alone kept popping up — unveiled in the patterns of my pen.
Stepping into the group meditation on Saturday morning… So much peace, so much calm, so much connection… The first tears started to fall.
Walking through the cold and rain… everything in me wanting to hide, to follow my normal pattern, to deny it, to pretend that everything was OK even when it wasn’t. But I stayed with it. I allowed what came to come.
A workshop with Robin Hallett… one that I wasn’t even scheduled to be at but felt called to somehow… one that I still nearly skipped at the last minute… one where it all broke open…
Tears fall (even now a few drops bead in my eyes at the memory). That loneliness. That sadness.
The searing cost of hiding for so many years… of pushing people away… of trying to be perfect… of refusing others to see me… of refusing to let others help me… of denying it all…
It all came crashing down.
And something shifted. Something deep shifted.
Walking to the lake. Watching the mist ghost across the surface of the water. Watching the rain drops ripple. Hearing the pattering sound of droplets upon the leaves.
I find my edge…
Compassion. Full and complete openness. To speak into the pain of another and offer healing… not because I’m here to sell… but because I’m a human being and we see each other.
To be seen. To need others. To no longer walk alone.
To embody the words of the Swahili proverb, “Mtu ni watu (a person is people).”
Perhaps it’s all best captured in a blend of tea I created with Brandon Ford. It’s a green tea… inspired by the forest floor.
Grounded and rooted…
A community… not a single, solitary tree…
And beneath the open, ever-changing sky…
Thank you all for being a part of my life. You are a gift to me.