I have gone to my fair share of retreats over the years, but I’ve never experienced anything like the one I enjoyed last weekend.
It was facilitated by a duo of musical messengers known as StoweGood. Through song and story they shared truth, beauty, love and a lot of laughs. The retreats I gravitate to aren’t focused on relaxation or leisure. They are excavation operations with the intention of diving deep and digging up what no longer serves our highest good.
The mystical realm of magic is not accessible through the mind, but there is a direct path from the heart. It is helpful to use the language of the heart to communicate between realms: art, poetry, dance, and especially music. I was blown away by how effectively music allowed me to drop into that deep, intentional state effortlessly.
I’ll share with you a surprising experience of my own.
On Saturday afternoon we created two circles. The inner circle held the women who had experienced the loss of a child, wanting to have children but being unable to, being childless by choice and sad about it. I moved to the outer circle as none of these applied to me – or so I thought. I felt like I belonged on an even outerer because I’ve never had a desire for children, but since that didn’t exist, I joined the container of love and support being offered to the inner circle.
Once the circles were formed, we all closed our eyes. The outer circle holding safe, loving space for the inner circle of hurting women. Then a song began to play, one of StoweGood’s many lovely songs, and immediately tears dropped from my eyes – no not “dropped”, flowed really. I was crying in no small way. A hurt rose up in me that I had no conscious awareness of before this moment.
An image of a little girl came into my mind’s eye. She had dark hair, a big smile and a hint of mischief in her eye. She sat with me and my own mother on a picnic blanket in the yard. Together we all examined the mysteries of the long blades of grass. There was so much love there between us three and the trees. I knew immediate who she was.
You see, several years ago I donated eggs to three different couples who were unable to have children otherwise. I have no certainty about the last one, but I know the first two were successful. There are children in the world right now that are mine and entirely not mine. I’d always been content with this choice, at least on the surface, but that song – the lyrics and melody of which I can’t even remember – that song reached right into my heart and opened this tiny door that held curiosity, longing, wonder and grief.
That song gave me a gift, the gift of release.
I used that space to flood that hurt in me with compassionate awareness, honor the feelings and release all that wanted to go. It’s like having walked around with glass in my foot so long that I’d forgotten it hurt until it was gone. I have been able to get to this level of release in other areas over time, but I’ve had to know about them.
Music is a compass that guides us to the places unknown to the conscious mind, to the rivers that flow undetected within us, to the abundant valley you can only get to if you’ve been there before. Yes, music truly is magic.