You haven’t heard from me in a couple weeks because…I was on a five day silent meditation retreat with Jack Kornfield!

It was truly divine.

Well, truth be told, the first two days I thought; “What the heck am I doing here?! This is how I choose to spend my time?! Meditating from 6:30am – 9:00pm every day….this is not a good way to have downtime.”

What was I thinking?!

The first couple of days were hard. I hadn’t done a longer silent meditation retreat in about seven years, since having little kids.

 Then something happened. 

By the third day, my mind finally began quieting down. I started to connect with a deeper part of myself. I began noticing everything around me and was able to be present for longer stretches of time. Food tasted amazing (it’s kind of the only thing to look forward to). I spent whole minutes staring at a hummingbird or the bark peeling off a tree.

I felt my tender heart. How much love is inside.

On the last full day of the retreat, I had a moment alone in the spacious meditation hall. Suddenly, I felt overcome with grief. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I was sad that it was over. Then I got curious, what’s under this sadness? And I heard; “It’s because this is REAL. Like the Velveteen Rabbit.”

In the Velveteen Rabbit, the little bunny keeps asking how to be “Real.”

It’s when you’re all used up, but in a good way.

You become “Real” when you’ve given your whole heart, your whole being, over to love.

This is why I meditate; to quiet my mind and to remind me of what’s REAL. That I’m so much more than my ego or my little human self would lead me to believe. That I’m capable of a love so vast and unconditional, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

The last night of the retreat, Jack said; “There are two secrets;”

 1) You’re planting seeds.

 You can plant seeds of compassion, love, appreciation and presence. When we practice mindfulness, we’re planting seeds. 

 But, you can’t pry them open and you don’t know when or how they’ll bloom.

 2) Savor the blooms. 

 Jack shared; “When your seeds blossom, expand it. Not by clinging to it, but by savoring it a little longer. Feel it in your whole body. Ask the positive sensation to get bigger or more vast.”

 To me, his talk reinforced the need for patience and trust.

 Often, there’s a lull between planting the seeds and witnessing them blossom. 

 You can worry and fret, pace back and forth anxiously waiting for your seeds to sprout. 

 Or, you can have faith.

 Trust that all the work you’ve done to better yourself, to focus your thoughts on the present moment or stay positive will pay off. Start noticing all the seeds you’ve planted, and the many ways they’re already blooming.

 Every time you choose to appreciate someone rather than criticize them… 

 you’re planting seeds.

 Whenever something doesn’t work out or you make a mistake, and instead of complaining, you ask; “Hmmm, what’s the gift or lesson in this?”

 you’re planting seeds.

 Every time you notice you’re beating yourself up, and you intentionally shift to self-compassion using a guided meditation or by saying; “I’m just a little bunny, learning my lessons.” 

 you’re planting seeds.

 When you do see those seeds blooming, when you notice that you’re able to stay calm in a situation that would’ve triggered you in the past, or you feel a deep sense of appreciation for some element of your life, take another moment and see if you can savor those feelings. 

 Make it last. Enjoy it.

 Expand the sensations, ask the feeling to become even more vast. Give yourself a pat on the back for the progress you’ve made. 

 This is how you expand the blossoming and unfolding of your true self.

 So today, I ask you; What seeds are you planting? And how are you savoring them when they bloom?

 Leave a comment and let us know! Can you take a moment and savor something positive in your life right now? 

 We’d love to hear from you, leave a comment below and join the conversation.

 May you plant seeds of compassion and love everywhere you go,

 Vanessa

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This