Dream Bigger Dreams

WARNING: This blog is about to take a serious turn.

I started this blog in January 2016 to get my voice out there. At the time it felt important to share the research that I had uncovered as I sought greater health. But, the posts were taking an extremely long time to write and I lost interest. And then I found QOYA. And had the most amazing and magical year of growth and healing. I have finally been able to assemble some of the experiences into words and I would like to share that journey with you. I do not know where it will end up or how it will evolve, but this is the first step. I’m so glad you’re here and I look forward to hearing from you.

Grounds at Kripalu

“I don’t know what I’m getting into… but I know that I need it,” I said to my husband as he drove me to the retreat center. Motherhood had rocked my world, my son was 2.5 years old and I needed a timeout. I longed to reconnect with myself and integrate all that had transpired since I made the transition from maiden to mother.

The atmosphere upon entering the Qoya retreat can be described as “instant community.” It was safe and warm and welcoming. I listened to many stories over the course of the week. There were metaphors and magic all around. We worked each day with archetypal themes that include: shedding what no longer serves, trusting ourselves, and opening to receive life’s sweetness. I felt so alive, so connected. Each day was rich and full, nourishing and enlightening.

And then I heard it, a story that brought my doubt bubbling to the surface and challenged my capacity to remain open. Several days into the retreat another woman shared how she had a reading done where the intuitive told her about a past life and that she had then seen visions of that life while dancing/journeying. I thought to myself, “At this point I know enough that I can’t say for certain that it’s not true… BUT I kinda don’t believe it could be true. I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around it.

It was just too “out there.”

Later that evening I had an Energy Balancing session. I didn’t know what this was, but I had dedicated the week to living with an open heart and going where my intuition guided, so I booked the session. The session itself was fantastic. I could feel the energy moving through my body and realigning as the practitioner walked around the table and placed her hands on different areas of my body. At one point, as she worked near my heart, emotions bubbled to the surface and spontaneous tears began to leak from my eyes. When it was over she mentioned having seen something from one of my past lives. My heart sunk. I thought, “That session was great, why did she have to ruin it with this crazy talk?” And then she described what she had seen in her vision. My body shivered with goose bumps from head to toe. You know like when someone tells you something you know to be true but you don’t know how you know it? I couldn’t make intellectual sense of it but my body confirmed resonance. I went to bed that night a little unsettled, not quite sure what to make of what had transpired. My beliefs about how the world works were being challenged. 

Each of the previous mornings I had gotten up early to explore the grounds of the retreat center each morning. I set the intention to wake an hour earlier the following day. I craved some centering and have always felt at peace in nature. That day’s theme was Dreaming Bigger Dreams and the totem animal was Eagle. I didn’t set an alarm, I just trusted that my body would wake at the right time. At 5:27 my eyes popped open and I climbed down from my bunk. I moved with purpose. I made a cup of tea and picked up a map of the nearby hiking trails. I intended to sit on the steps and peruse the map, but when I walked out of the building I knew that I wanted to be near the sun, which was rising on the other side of the building. As I turned the corner, moving towards the rising sun, I saw signs for a meditation garden and headed in that direction. I sat down on a bench to sip my tea and determine which of the trails seemed most inviting. I saw that there was a trail called Eagle’s Nest. Since we would be working with the archetype of the eagle later in the day, that trail seemed the obvious choice.

I folded the map and started to stand when I heard something across the garden. I looked over and an eagle was settling on a low branch in a tree directly across from me. I stared in disbelief. And then I crept closer. And closer. Until I was kneeling at the bottom of the tree staring into this magnificent creature’s eyes. Heart exploding, I thanked the eagle for visiting and told it that I was open to any messages that it might have for me. I stayed with it for an hour and a half, just watching and listening. After that, I needed to head to breakfast so that I could get to the workshop on time.

As I walked quickly down the path back to the building I shook my head. “Oh great!” I thought, “Now I’m one of THOSE people… Communing with eagles in the forest. Talking about past lives.” I didn’t know how to make sense of it. My head was spinning. I nearly bumped into a sign on the side of the road and when I looked up I saw that it said “Breathe. You’ve Arrived.” I smiled broadly and chuckled to myself.


The next day was the last day. My heart was so open. My soul was singing. I had experienced so much healing. I had connecting deeply with other amazing women.  I didn’t see how it could possibly get any better.

And then it did.

On the last morning, we were asked us to walk around the grounds with our music on shuffle. We were to notice which songs played and then listen for any signs that might offer guidance. As I walked along a path I came to a spot where I could either go up some steps that led to a large field or access the field around the other side of a stone wall. I danced back and forth for a moment, feeling into which way I was drawn. What had felt so unfamiliar at the beginning of the week now felt like second nature. I love the practice of letting my body lead me. I decided to choose the steps as Karen Drucker’s song This or Something Better played on my iPhone. I took a step. “I’m going to say yes to my dreams,” she sang.  And then another step. “Let my imagination soar,” the lyrics continued. I lifted my arms to symbolize a soaring motion, lifting my head to the sky. At that moment an eagle flew across the field. I started spinning and laughing, spinning and laughing, until tears began to flow down my cheeks. The eagle is meant to remind us to dream bigger dreams and here I was being visiting by two in two days! I knew that the universe was telling me that it was time to stop playing it small.

To say that week changed my life doesn’t even begin to cover it. My heart, like the Grinch’s, expanded 10 sizes. It was like 5 years of therapy in 5 days. The biggest takeaway   is that I left KNOWING, really deep in my bones, KNOWING having fully experienced in my body, KNOWING that ANYTHING is possible. ANYTHING.

Close up of altar designed by Sarah Charlesworth

If this story speaks to you, if you want to learn more about how to listen to your body and tune in to your intuition find a Qoya Class and GO!

And if you are inspired to dance with me, I offer monthly Qoya classes and am leading a one day Midsummer Magic retreat on July 23rd.

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