Kimaya Crolla-Younger's Your True Reflection Retreat ~Awaken The Real You. 12-17 June 2018.
I’m sitting down to type out this long letter to you, to invite you to join the pilot of a labour of love of mine, Your True Reflection, 5 day transformative retreat in Poland.
I should warn you: this is a long letter because there’s much to say. Frankly, I recommend printing this off, making yourself a nice hot cup of tea and sitting down at your favourite cafe or kitchen table or comfy living room chair by the fire to read it over slowly.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who has been directed to this page by me in some way, or just found yourself here from searching around. Welcome. There is no particular fancy formatting. No special eye-catching graphics of happy, empowered people. Just this Quicksand font that I love.
This retreat is an in-depth, 5 day immersive program, a chance for you to dive in deep and discover something fresh and maybe even beautiful about your life.
It will never be this low cost again. Here is the offer. I hope you enjoy the read.
“Do You See Yourself Clearly?”
“Do You See Yourself Clearly?”
A Five Day Residential in a Polish Forest Retreat Centre.
A Five Day Residential in a Polish Forest Retreat Centre.
Have you ever experienced a painful gap between how you see yourself and how others see you?
Do you ever wish you could borrow other people's eyes because they see qualities in you that you struggle to see in yourself? Do you judge yourself harshly, even though those around you are telling you otherwise?
A lot of people would come to me with things from their past that, despite their best efforts, they were struggling to move on from. One thing had become abundantly clear: they knew they couldn’t do it alone. They knew they needed some kind of specific help, help that went beyond general tools and techniques. They’d keep reaching familiar brick walls and felt that an immersive group experience might open up fresh perspectives that could help them see their situation differently. Many had been in talk therapy for years, not seeing the changes they’d hoped for around certain issues, tendencies or behaviours.
A common theme was wanting to bring a sense of fun and/or lightness to their lives that they seemed to have lost touch with, or never had. Speaking of a nagging feeling that life hadn’t started yet; like there was a party going on and they hadn’t been invited.
Others had been silent for many years, feeling powerless to change, or even admit to deep, secret stuff they felt shame about, such as violent behaviour towards those close to them. Many noticed their relationships with others had a sense of drama, they would set their intention to try to communicate something clearly but time and again get caught up and entangled in dynamics that were beginning to feel old and familiar.
Some saw clearly that a past event, behaviour or illness had become part of their identity and were really wanting to expand their perception of their life from this point on.
Others had spent much time cultivating their spiritual side, perhaps meditation or yoga but noticed a difficulty in bringing it into every day life, experiencing relationship difficulties and a feeling like others were ‘too much’.
Nearly all these people were sensitive, had been called deep by others and found that nothing had worked so far. For example, bashing pillows to release anger was a great starting point, but it didn't seem to release anger in the body on a more permanent basis. Others only seemed to feel worse and stuck in the same old patterns after reading all the damn new age and personal development books.
Some people had never reflected on their lives, but were now facing a significant life-transition in which they felt scared, ill-equipped and deeply unsure of how to navigate.
So, why don’t those things change?
Why is it that so many of our efforts to address things can’t seem to reach or touch them?
If you’re anything like me, someone who grew up feeling really different than those around you, the outsider, you have tried a lot of modalities, one to one therapy, meditation, yoga classes and read all the self help and spiritual books.
Those things can work for a lot of issues, but there are some issues that will stay stuck forever unless one tries different approaches.
Common Approaches That Often Don’t Fully Work:
Can take many years, if ever to reach more deep rooted places. Particularly with something like trauma, which is not only in the nervous system (talking is not so effective to shift fight, flight or freeze response), but is usually accompanied by sophisticated cognitive defense coping strategies with ninja like skills to keep everything out. Especially the therapist! Many deeper issues impacted us before we had words, so talking about it is not going to reach these places.
Meditation & Yoga:
These methods don’t give us the full picture of ourselves. The founder of Feldenkrais said “You can’t do what you want, until you know what you’re doing”; for that deep, secret stuff in us, this certainly seems to be the case.
Reading All The Books:
I don’t know about you, but how often do you actually do the exercises in them? I have an amazing book about healing shame, but it was so triggering for so many years; I’d keep zoning out. Many of our challenges occurred in relationship, and it’s relationship that is going to help us move towards resolution. Also, when we gather in community for the purpose of growing, we usually realise that we’re not as alone in these issues as we perhaps thought. And knowing we are not alone in our challenges can be the most meaningful discovery.
Hyped Up Workshops. I had had many an experience of workshop leaders making ridiculous false promises (an intro to NLP workshop who said they could cure depression in four sessions. Just dangerous and misinformed, apart from anything else, the leader seemed very anxious).
Superstar Gurus: Then there’s the superstar guru workshop leaders; nothing wrong with that, but I find myself judging the frenzy they whip the group up into, and wonder how that is for them some weeks after the event, and usually several thousand dollars lighter. The workshops I mentioned I went to 20 years ago, whilst I got a lot from them, I went to many over a five year period spending around £20,000. I realise that the facilitator, not once, came up to me and said hello. For me, it’s the humanity of a person that reaches me, which if I think about this further, this is what heals me, and most importantly, makes me feel that perhaps I’m not alone after all.
My experience of family and early life were deeply traumatising, particularly as I was so sensitive; could it be that what I was looking for were humans that felt actually human to me? And not fake, unavailable and on some kind of pedestal?
For me, I was looking for more than someone who could deliver a bunch of tools that may or may not work. I was looking for mentors who actually embodied what they were teaching. (rather than looking all shiny on the workshop, then going home and being mean to their spouse and kicking the dog).
In fact, were they even teaching anything at all? Or just being themselves, and the group wanted to be around them?
I tried all of those things and they worked up to a point, but something always remained unanswered...
I even went so far as to study to become a psychotherapist, I was so thirsty for knowledge; I wanted to really understand the impact of my early life.
And yet I found myself very ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ about a lot of what was being presented. Was I the only one here? Addressing one’s psychology alone, could leave one feeling pretty negative about the future and any possibility of change, particularly if you came from my kind of background. These people seemed to know what they were talking about; too much so, and they also seemed rather serious and heavy.
Then there were the ‘spiritual’ workshops, which somehow lead to an inevitable spiritual bypassing and palpable ungroundedness in a lot of the participants. Was there a place where deep psychology and spirituality could meet? I had more than a strong feeling that that meeting place was in the body.
In the end, it seemed to me that there were seven main reasons people stayed stuck in their issues:
Reason #1: They were trying to go it alone.
Particularly if we are sensitive, we can decide that it would be better to go it alone. Try as we might though, we can’t see what’s in our unconscious. This part of us expresses itself whether we like it or not, and it’s often this part that those around us are responding to. Being in a group, can be so illuminating, as different aspects of ourselves are revealed in different scenarios. Whether we are aware of it or not, the biggest place of hiding is from ourselves, so if we are really interested in awakening, the more different scenarios we can put ourselves in, the more we can discover the places that we hide. We may even begin to smile about it. A client of mine was wanting to finally break a long period of singledom. They also lived alone. I told them they needed to move into a shared house; and discover how annoying they were :).
Reason #2: They were not diving into it fully.
One of the biggest reasons is an over simplification of what is involved, too narrow a focus. One client, a business coach, came to me asking for tools to reprogram her. These tools (if I were to use them at all), would be one of the very last steps, on a much deeper needed enquiry as to what was drawing her to continually get caught up in co-dependent entanglements with everyone in her life, including her clients. Engaging at the level of tools and techniques alone would not address the root of what’s playing out for her. A lot of spiritual teachers and people from the mystical traditions have done little to address their psychology, and we hear time and again, where their unconscious plays out, usually with their students. Engaging with our totality will open up new perspectives.
Reason #3: They were trying to think it through and talk it out.
Engaging the deep, secret stuff in us at the level of body intelligence, for example, inner conflict, can be magical indeed! This kind of dynamic is often stuck in loops in the mind...but the body, once engaged with the energy, usually knows where it wants to go! Feeling like a victim often goes hand in hand with trauma, (if you weren't able to run away). One side feels like a victim, and the other feels like fighting. In our day to day experience, we tend to be more aware of one side than the other in any given moment. I say, let them meet.
A profound example of this was one man I worked with in a previous Life Change retreat (I know that I said at the top that this is a pilot: this version of it is - I've co-facilitated a similar program four times previously). He had the most fascinating way of moving, that he was completely unaware of. His body was desperate to speak, but the rest of him had no idea this was the case. He had grown up with a critical mother, and this experience had crushed him emotionally. In his life each time an opportunity appeared he would collapse and say he couldn’t do it. Something happened for him that presented an opportunity for us to work with this, and we ended up in the middle of the group, with me holding him in a vice like grip. I said “Okay, get out of my grip”. Of course he immediately collapsed and we both sat there for a while. He eventually lifted his head up and I asked the group to give him their full attention. I said to him “They need you, what are you going to do?” Nothing. I asked those that felt drawn to say it to him, that they needed him. Then he found the power inside to throw me off! It was truly awesome :), and he looked reborn.
Reason #4: They were limiting themselves to only their own perspective.
And on the worst of days, usually that perspective was from their harsh inner critic. In order to change, we must be able to see ourselves and our own situation in a new way. And to know what's best for us, it can be so wonderfully resourcing to ask in a group! Particularly if we were born into a less than ideal environment, it can be hard for us to make different choices, better habits, to know ourselves truly. It can be tricky to find the inherent joy within us if no-one in our early life was joyful, or if joy wasn't allowed in our particular culture.
In an example from a previous Life Change Program, it was day 7 and I was reflecting over breakfast on the group, one man in particular, who hadn’t shared in the morning group so far, but had quite a bit to say when it came to the conscious connection section each evening.
The group started and I was drawn to speak to the man I’d been reflecting on. I asked him why he was here. He had just retired and was here to adopt a healthy diet, and not for the ‘group stuff’. I asked if he was in a relationship. He smiled, adding he didn’t need any help as he believed in Soul Contracts. I asked him if he was prepared to put his soul contracts belief to one side to look a bit deeper. He was.
He shared about his soul contracts belief, how much he had loved the women in his life, almost reluctantly adding how burdensome these relationships had also been on some level, as he had to look after, almost save them. A bit more exploration revealed he felt resentment. I asked if any of his relationships felt outside of this pattern. They all fitted this pattern.
I asked him if he was close to his mother and he said that she died when he was 10. She was in hospital for some time before her death and he wasn’t allowed to visit, nor was he given any information about what was happening. This caused him to become almost frozen in an unfelt grief. Making a belief that he should have saved her, even becoming a doctor.
We set up a scene where, finally, he was allowed to see his mother in the hospital, share his feelings and feel some of the grief that had been frozen in this repeating pattern with women.
Reason #5: They were blind in their ‘Hollywood’ relationships.
Real intimacy is a shared vulnerability, but many of us fail to see that we are not actually being vulnerable. One successful business woman I worked with, held herself together, it’s no exaggeration to say, like she was wearing a suit of armour. And she was hiding somewhere deep inside. She told me of her amazing marriage, how they’d been married for seven years and what incredible intimacy she had with her husband.
There was just one thing. For the entire time they’d been together, she had been lying to him about climaxing during sex. And, for a long time in us working together, she had no intention of being honest with her partner. She eventually understood that the intimacy she had been speaking about was a lie.
“You have got to be one of the most horrible people I have ever had to work with. It is a total misery to be around you! What I want to know is, how have you got away with it for so long?”
These were the very words I said to an old boss of mine, when I worked in a large bank in the City of London, 25 years ago. Here was a man who had lived what we could say was a very privileged life. And, man, was he unhappy about it!
My words stunned him. He came up to me a couple of hours later and said “No-one has ever spoken to me like that”. I replied, “I know, and it’s time they did!” He thanked me and I suggested he take some time out to get to know himself, to see where he was not making choices that made his heart sing.
Reason #6: The approach wasn’t personalized.
For the deep, secret stuff in us, it needs to get really specific. Specific to us. And this specificity is approached in a few different ways. After booking your place on the program, I will ask you to write out your basic life story, including any traumatic events or anything else which might be psychologically relevant. On arrival you will have a brief interview with me to find out what you’d like to work on, or how you would like to develop. By choosing your focus, you are consciously engaging with the process. In the daily three hour group, there is an open invitation to bring specific issues to work with. Many of the guided practices and relating exercises I would call ‘Awareness Training’, designed to show you yourself, to bring what is unconscious in front of your eyes. You will use your journal to reflect and record your unfolding retreat experience.
Reason #7: The approach took them away from themselves.
In order for you to get the most from investing in you, I ask that you either leave at home or hand in phones, mobile devices and reading materials. However, it’s always possible for you to be contacted in an emergency. I do encourage writing in a journal. Other than the time schedule, I will not be giving you detailed information; this encourages you to be in the present moment and to say ‘yes’ to every activity. The busyness of your mind will (hopefully) begin to quieten as the retreat unfolds and you drop into the deep spaciousness of yourself. These 5 days aim to cultivate an ongoing intimacy with the most important person there is – YOU! (Bring your most precious beliefs about yourself, if you’re lucky, you might leave without them :))
There’s this great quote, I think it might be from Robert Holden,
“If there’s something missing in your life, it’s usually you.”
An intimate, immersive group experience can reach the parts nothing else can
My First Experience in a Big Workshop
In fact, my first experience of being in a group were these large, amazing workshops in London, 20 years ago now, based on the principles of A Course in Miracles (Robert was often there too). I got a lot from them, on my very first one in fact, a woman next to me told me how loving I was. No-one had ever given me this kind of reflection before. The image from this scene has stayed with me. It was a music stopping moment. Thank you Ruth for seeing me so clearly.
But being on these workshops also stirred me up so much, it would take days of being pretty much a full on emotional wreck to integrate the experience (See Your Commitment To You section below). It would have been so helpful to help participants ground, or at least understand what in the hell might be going on. This was the facilitator, who not once, came up and said hello. Perhaps this had an impact on my ability to integrate the experience. Who knows? But for me, it was time to leave this superstar guru and see what I felt was next in my quest to reach my deep, secret stuff.
I kept looking. I even spent a year in India. Then, upon my return to the UK, I visited an amazing meditation community called Osho Leela in Dorset. I liked their approach, it was refreshing, fun. And a lot of what they did focused on bioenergetics...a way of releasing suppressed emotions by putting the body into certain postures. They also had everyone hugging a lot of the time. They had a ‘social meditation’ (Social Meditations are Humaniversity founder, Veeresh’s contribution to the world of meditation, and guide you to dance, meet people and express yourself) called the AUM, which stood for Awareness Understanding Meditation, a two hour journey through 14 aspects of the human experience: hatred, forgiveness, love, stamina, life energy, chaos, dance, sadness, laughter, sensuality, chanting, silence, respect and sharing.
The AUM combines movement, role playing and vocal expression. it was during this that firstly I could sense I had suppressed emotions (how could this be, after so many years of therapy, I thought?), then I noticed I had certain feelings, kind of judgments about allowing myself to feel certain feelings. For example, anger. The first time we had to express anger in the group, I nearly passed out with fear. I hadn’t been expecting this. But knew there was no way I was giving up now. I put my hand up for help, and someone came and held my hand. What came next surprised me. In facing the fear, it disappeared and, boom, there was the anger (at least I thought it was, but will save this insight for another time).
A recurring theme for me was always noticing how different I felt whenever I was in any group setting. This was highlighted for me after taking part in a Biodanza festival (a series of dance and movement exercises to music), what stood out for me was fear...how fearful in some way I was with the other people. I could see it so clearly.
I decided it was time for me to face this fear. I was a regular at Osho Leela by this time, and signed up for the first year of their Humaniversity training, an immersive group experience, and was amazed to discover after these groups that I noticed how similar I was to others; how connected I felt. How I could be in the present moment.
It was priceless for me, as I noticed how every single group member was valuable for me in some way. Like a hall of mirrors.
I’ve mentioned previously something of the magic of being in a group, and this can certainly be true. If you join this event, you may have first hand experience of this. But, at least how I see it, life is a combination of magic and ordinary, and how we are with the ordinary, is more important than how we are with the magic.
Life happens outside of structured therapy sessions, when we’ve not got our ‘face’ on. Which is one of the huge benefits of an immersive group experience. One example of this, on a previous Life Change program, was a participant who was very withdrawn and silent in the main group; I got a sense that he would be easily frightened away. On day 3, I approached him just to say that I didn’t know, I couldn’t tell how he was doing, and I could see how challenging it was for him to be in the group. I maintained quite a big distance from him and this seemed to help him breathe. I said that he could have some time with me on his own, but that he would have to approach me and ask me for this. He understood. A couple of days later, around midnight, I was in my pyjamas, brushing my teeth. I could feel a presence in the bathroom with me and it made me turn. It was him, and he asked if he could meet me the next day. Him approaching me in this way was a big step.
A Body Approach To Awakening
What IS A Body Approach To Awakening?
I noticed with more traditional forms of therapy that something always remained unanswered, returning to a familiar ground that never seemed to change. Our culture places much emphasis and value on cognition from the mind. We’ve grown up in a disembodied world – sitting at desks for far too many hours, looking at our laptops and hand held devices, it’s easy to literally “take leave of our senses” and experience a major disconnection from our body’s natural, deep intelligence leaving us feeling lethargic, isolated and depleted.
Our body contains far more wisdom than we were trained to believe... if we learn to access it. And we have 5 days without our laptops and hand-held devices. In the British culture, when we were at school there applied this draconian phrase ‘children should be seen and not heard’. I don’t know about you, but it makes my body tighten just hearing this. So we learnt to sit on our energy, and this can create a feeling of heaviness, of dragging ourselves around, when our natural state is playfulness; you’ve only got to look at a young child to see this.
Our body is a bridge to our inner life and to all that’s ever happened to us. Learning to make deeper contact with the internal space of our body, somatic sensations and nervous system, invites a gradual shift from mental perception, to an embodied experience of ourselves as unlimited potential.
This Workshop Could be for you if:
There are countless reasons to join this program. It could be that you resonate with what you’ve read above, and also: :
- You are interested in understanding the roots of what drives you to blame, or feel a victim, or want to get revenge. Perhaps acknowledging aspects of your life you haven’t quite been able to before. Being very honest with yourself about how life may have impacted you.
- You realise you have a particular attitude about yourself and how you are in a certain area, saying ‘well, that’s just how I am’. Perhaps you have lived with anxiety, trauma related symptoms or behaviours, maybe an addiction. Maybe it’s not just how you are, but doorways into a deeper dive.
- On the one hand, there’s a little voice whispering in your ear “Why aren't I healed yet? I thought I'd be further along by now. Things should be more clear, shouldn’t they?” And on the other, there’s a deeper knowing that you are also aware of; a strong desire, a yearning, to let life, love, sensuality and pleasure flow through with more ease. And yet, how to get to this place that you know is possible - even if you have never experienced it in your life?
- You have a strong sense that you should join, and ever since you first read about this retreat, you keep thinking about it.
- You say “But my problem is different. Nothing works. What about me?” The main kind of people drawn to work with me seem to be very sensitive, who grew up feeling really different in some way. If we feel we’ve been stuck in some way; sometimes it can feel like we’ve been stuck with certain issues for a lifetime. Often what we end up doing is judging the stuckness, and this actually doesn’t help. Look to see if you’ve experienced any trauma, and I don’t necessarily mean a one off traumatic event, but trauma these days is recognised by anything that you experienced as overwhelming. Stuckness is often something to do with the freeze response. I invite you to consider if you have an openness to explore this stuckness, whatever it is, on this program for 5 days, and see what happens.
- You resonate with Jane's story below.
This Workshop Might Not Be For You If:
- You have no interest in diving deeper; in asking the deeper questions about yourself.
- You want to keep hold of any illusions about yourself, life and relationships.
- You have no interest in spirituality, whatever that means for you, including meditation and mindfulness.
- If you’re honest, you’d rather have a quick fix.
A Woman Finds Her Voice: Jane the Housewife
Life Change Program Case Study: Scene 1, Gnawing dissatisfaction and guilt.
*Jane is standing in her beautiful kitchen; the one room in the house that truly feels like hers, where she can, at least for a few moments, not feel under scrutiny. She’s staring out the window; how many biscuits had she just eaten on autopilot? She reaches for another packet from the cupboard. She’s consumed by….what exactly? Her life felt not-quite-right. How could this be? She was surrounded by family and friends, people who loved her, shouldn’t she feel grateful?
She didn’t like to complain.
There are so many others worse off than her, people with actual problems, who had real cause to be unhappy. Wow, was that how she was feeling, she wondered, as she reached for another biscuit? Even though her feelings were so unclear to her, what she did know was how strongly she felt she didn’t have a right to feel this way. She looked down and saw that another half packet of biscuits had somehow disappeared.
The sound of the phone ringing cuts through her reflections. It’s her daughter Katherine. Without thinking, she steps out of the familiar numbness and into another familiar place. “Don’t worry about me”, she says to her daughter’s usual concern about her being at home on her own, and pretends there’s someone at the door to end the call. She returns to her reflections, something makes her glance sideways. Ah, her reading glasses, she thought she’d lost those! Come to think of it, she almost smiles as she thinks of herself in a similar way, like she’s always searching for a lost object but she doesn't seem to know what the object is.
But why? It doesn’t make sense to her. She has a big house, a husband and two wonderful grown up children. Nothing seems to fulfill her. Or reach her for that matter. She was so passionate about drawing, now she doesn’t feel passionate about anything anymore. She hides it as best she can. But it’s becoming more difficult as people keep asking her what’s wrong. And still she doesn’t like to complain. She puts on a brave face. And feels so guilty. She notices she’s eating more and more.
Waking up each morning with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, her husband of 30 years next to her. She feels him put his hand on her belly and it’s all she can do not to shout ‘no!’ but the word gets stuck in her throat. A part of her wants him to touch her, but for some reason it’s just too damn difficult. She feels obligated to something that she wasn’t even aware she signed up for. She used to be able to talk to her husband. Her children too. Even when she meets up with her friends, the time seems to be consumed with them talking about their problems. Jane wants to feel alive, but for so long, it’s no exaggeration to say, she feels almost like an alien in her own body, a feeling of dragging herself around. She can’t remember the last time she looked in the mirror. It feels too hard and too impossible for it to be any different, not that she can even clearly articulate the alternative she’s craving. She lets out a big sigh as she turns her attention towards making dinner.
Scene 2: The answer’s in the sports pages?
Her husband reads the sports pages and always leaves them lying around for her to clear up; she thinks (but would NEVER say) ‘What did your last slave die of?’ but something catches her eye on the opposite page ‘The Life Change Program – Say Yes to YOU!’ She is so used to saying yes to everyone else, seeing the words, ‘Say Yes to YOU!’ quite literally,
Stops. Her. In. Her. Tracks.
"Could I really say Yes to me?"
"Say yes to ME?" The familiar tight feeling in her throat appeared at the very thought. "That’s for other people, not people like me". But something makes her look at the website. She notes her husband happens to be away those dates. She keeps running say yes to me through her mind. Her children do keep telling her to take some time for herself, but she thinks that’s selfish, and what is there to say anyway? She is surrounded by family and friends, who all love her. But Jane still doesn’t want to complain that something feels so off. She stares blankly at the wall in front of her, at the thought of trying to articulate what it is.
After what Jane found to be a particularly stressful Sunday lunch; her family kept asking her what was wrong and she doesn’t know! Why don’t they get this? Overwhelmed, she felt a sudden urge to walk out the door and go. To simply start walking . . . who knows where? Her fingers gripped the kitchen worktop in a quiet desperation.
Kimaya meets Jane at the life change program
It was check-in day, participants arrive through the course of the afternoon, and I spend time welcoming them and taking them through the intake information. I saw Jane’s head appear around the door; would the rest of her follow? I thought. It did, but then she seemed stuck on the spot in the enormous, grand hallway. I could see that she was literally ready to burst with emotion. I got up from the table I was sitting at, and walked towards her, with my arms outstretched. “Welcome. Would you like a hug?” she stepped forward into my arms.
And cried for 20 mins.
“You are in the right place” I said to her. She looked up at me, as if she couldn’t understand where the tears came from.
Once the program started, I knew I would have no spare time, so would go out and have a walk around the grounds beforehand. I could see Jane from a distance, and knew that she was engaged with something, but seemed to hide whatever it was when I got within 100 meters of her. She reminded me of a gentle deer.
I was so curious about what she was doing.
On the first morning of the freestyle dance, I wondered if Jane wanted to somehow disappear beneath the floorboards, she looked so uncomfortable. Maybe dancing’s not her thing.
I was wrong.
On the last day she told me that she was a dirty dancer. She was :).
Jane was a well liked group member, who was pretty silent in the main group each day, like initially with the dancing, she looked like she wanted to disappear beneath the floorboards, she was so uncomfortable by what was being shared by the others. There was one man who really seemed to piss her off. Even just by his presence. And this built in her, until one day, she roared at him “Why don’t you just shut up!” It was a glorious moment and very big step for Jane.
The last morning, I saw her out walking, and my curiosity finally got the better of me. I asked her what she’d been doing. After several rounds of “nothings,” she eventually said it was just some drawing and that it really wasn’t very good. She almost convinced me, until I insisted that she show me.
This time it was me weeping in her arms.
*Names and information have been changed to hide identity.
Your Commitment To You
There are no quick fixes in this life, no matter what the marketing may tell you. It can be a wonderful gift to give yourself and your potential a 5 day program, but you also need to have other support in place (unless you are many years down the line and know the kind of fractures in yourself that come up for integration). There is integration time built into the program. And it may be important that you have additional therapeutic containers in place before and after the week. It is your responsibility to put this in place, and to have the resources to do so. The language of alchemy beautifully maps the transformation of the soul, and the dissolution of the false self. Allowing space in your life for this dissolution, is how change happens, and we come through a little bit more real than we were before. Illusions that were being held in relationships often break away after participating in an intensive.
Intimacy and Communication
Love and Connection
Why the Tu I Teraz Centre?
This program is held in the awesome embrace of the Tu i Teraz centre, Nowe Kawkowo, Poland. For me, this program has been percolating through for the last 7 years and I am excited and delighted to be birthing the 5 day pilot at this centre, where I spent 10 days recently teaching at their 5th Tantra Festival – V Festiwal Tantry. Nestled in a forest, away from everything, with beautiful group rooms and spaces. It is a perfect location for this intense program, with our basic needs wonderfully taken care of, we can relax and focus into self-discovery.
What do people say about working with Kimaya?
“So... I'm not sure how exactly to describe my experience on the day and since then, but I know that it has been quietly profound ....although of course not so quiet on the actual day whilst I was crying my broken heart out!
There has always been such grief and armouring around my heart area. I have felt like a prisoner to it because I can't remember it ever not being there. Felt like I was born to hold this nameless crippling grief. I could literally feel the blockage there, every time I moved towards intimacy, it felt like a heavy wall needed to be forced through for the energy to move and expand upwards.
On your retreat it felt like that desperately broken hearted feeling I've always known was fully released. Now there is space! To learn and to practice openness and receiving. And I guess truly living instead of surviving.
I felt that the release happened as a result of your skill as an embodiment and healing practitioner. As though you could sense the blockage in my being and you knew what needed to be done, and you facilitated that very powerfully, and also perfectly gently. So thank you for giving me freedom from a huge part of my generational baggage. I'm grateful, and I also know that I deserve this freedom, and so much more too!” ~Surya from London
I look forward to working closely with you, in this transformative and deeply revealing 5 day journey!
Why join Your True Reflection?
There are too many reasons to list! But it is the reason that YOU discover that is going to be the most important.
This retreat is a deep dive into yourself; perhaps acknowledging aspects of your life that you haven’t quite been able to before. There is one word that individual clients, couples and workshop participants use to describe working with me – Deep. We will be exploring deeply the big themes of life: trauma, abuse, pleasure, depression, joy, survival, fear, anxiety, anger, intimacy, death and loss. Being very honest with ourselves about how life has impacted us.
- Intimacy. Exploring our relationship to it and to what blocks it
- Who am I?
- Healthy habits
- Expressing and feeling greater freedom with our emotions
- Trauma resolution – each culture has it’s own history of trauma. Acknowledging where trauma has impacted us is a vital part of this program
- Returning to a sense of peace, calm and relaxation
- Boundaries – Saying Yes and No
- A Spiritual life
- Discover an intimacy with yourself, and take away powerful, simple tools and practices to ignite/blossom this intimacy in your life, relationships, work
What will happen?
Daily Schedule Example
The timings and structures may differ.
8.30-9 Bioenergetic Practice
9-9.30 Freestyle Dance
2.30-5 Integration, relaxation and massage*
5-6 moving meditation, social meditation or embodiment practice
6-7 Conscious connection
8-10 Hang out time
The Program is structured around the group – all the activities (apart from massage or when you are meeting with me individually) are in community with the participants and the program staff. Being in such close proximity with each other will bring up feelings and habitual behaviour patterns. It will not be so easy to use your familiar distraction habits to dissipate or avoid feelings. A key aspect of the program is to understand and begin to see clearly what triggers you and where you go in an emotional reaction. In our every day life we learn strategies to avoid confrontation with the parts of ourselves that we believe are unlovable. All feelings that come up are welcomed, acknowledged, embraced, even if the past habit was to hide or isolate.
Other experiential structures are designed to engage your energy in its totality; to keep it moving; to reveal behaviour in different scenarios and to encourage the loosening of your body’s holding patterns, either in the group as a whole, small groups, pairs or on your own. The 3 hour daily group work session is the main crucible of transformation in the program with the intention of making space for what is in the unconscious to be felt and resolved. You’ll be taught tools and techniques to support you for life.
Your True Reflection is not a pampering spa retreat. There will be times of intense emotional and physical experience, some of which may feel challenging at the time. Such is the nature of transformation. Being with and part of a group will give you a sense of support and solidarity. You are creating real change, love and intimacy in your life!
Other than the time schedule, we will not be giving you detailed information; this encourages you to be in the present moment and to say ‘yes’ to every activity. The busyness of your mind will begin to quieten as the retreat unfolds and you drop into the deep spaciousness of yourself. As well as my Transpersonal Somatic approach, I draw from a wide range of modalities including The Hakomi Method (somatic, mindful psychotherapy), Gestalt, Energy Psychology, Body and Energy Psychotherapy, Somatic experiencing, Trauma release, CBT, mindfulness, meditation, guided visualisation, bioenergetics, Family Systems Theory, Transpersonal and psychodynamic psychotherapy, Totality Therapy (from Dr Shakti Malan) and processwork psychology.
In order for you to get the most from investing in you, we ask that you either leave at home or hand in phones, mobile devices and reading materials. However, it’s always possible for you to be contacted in an emergency. We do encourage writing in a journal.
Your True Reflection Foundation Exploration
After booking your place on the program we will ask you to write out your basic life story, including any traumatic events or anything else which might be psychologically relevant. This should be a maximum 4 page Word or email document. On arrival you will have a brief interview with me to find out what you’d like to work on, or how you would like to develop.
Included in the price is shared accommodation in a twin room with an external bathroom. It is possible to pay a little extra to choose a shared twin room with an internal bathroom or a single room with external bathroom. You will be paired up to share with same gender. Accommodation is on a first come, first served basis.
£699 price is inclusive of 5 nights accommodation in a shared twin room, as per above, with 3 meals per day included. All activities on the program are included in the price, apart from massage which is possible to book and pay separately for.
If you know that this retreat is for you, I strongly encourage you to book and pay in full as soon as possible for two practical reasons. Firstly, the group is kept to a particular size, and registration will close once we have reached this number and secondly, to secure the accommodation that you would like. If you book later it's likely that you will need to pay a bit more for accommodation.
Please Reserve My Place. The below button will pay £50 via PayPal. In an endeavour to save the cost of fees. This payment will temporarily reserve your place, with the balance payable by bank transfer. Thank you.
The Nine Main Things You Get From This Program:
The Nine Main Things You Get From This Program:
I will have your life story (in the context of what’s led you to join). This allows me to get clear on what you’re looking to focus on, where you’re stuck, what’s most important to you. Even if you’re not so clear about why you’re joining, making some kind of statement to yourself at the beginning can set the scene of the retreat for you. We get to meet and say hello.
THING #2: The best of what I have discovered in more than 20 years in the field of psychology, spirituality and development.
As well as all the ways we can lead ourselves down hellish or heavenly cul-de-sacs. My own discoveries of where psychotherapy and spirituality meet, synthesizing insights from neuroscience and psychology with wisdom from the world's contemplative traditions, in the treatment of trauma, low self-esteem and the latest discoveries in the science of embodiment; why the nervous system matters and how living in the internal space of our body can lead to radical healing, health and wellbeing.
THING #3:Deep Work:
THING #4: Clear and direct space to discover intimacy
I am passionate about creating dedicated, clear spaces for discovery. In our day to day life, we cannot rely on those around us to give accurate feedback, the kind that leads to discovery of our authentic self. We have so many agendas, wants and needs running the show in how we communicate, being straight with one another ends up being quite a minefield. One of the big aims of this program is to give space for this, in various structured and unstructured ways and to point you to what is real about you, and what is an adaptation.
Different aspects of ourselves are revealed in different scenarios. During this retreat there are many different exercises where we can discover the places that hide quite well in every day life.
THING #5: Tools that work to bring connection and intimacy.
So many of us carry the (false) belief that we’re unloved and unlovable. This belief will be seriously challenged this week. During the Conscious Connection segment, you will experience many ways to connect in pairs and little groups. I will share with you tools that really help me when I am in that place of feeling unloveable. You can create your own personalised version of these tools to take into your life, post-retreat. I will also give you some recordings of my meditations and practices to continue to use in your every day life.
THING #6: Feedback about the Real (and not so real) YOU.
Our own unique experience of early life set’s up in us, to a greater or lesser degree, a false self (the stronger the challenges, the more of a false self we seem to create). This false self helped us gain acceptance from others but at the cost of our own authentic needs and desires.
THING #7: Facebook Group
I’m still formulating how this is going to be. I will tell you more on the retreat. I am such a tease :).
THING #8: An amazingly good value way to work with me
The investment for this retreat is the cheapest way to work with me and potentially has the most value. I normally charge £180 for 90 minutes. It even includes food and accommodation. It will never be this cheap again.
THING #9: The magic of an immersive group experience.
One of the main benefits of group work is the transformational field. Another way of describing this field is resonance. We are each a unique bundle of energy, a symphony, if you like. Imagine a room full of violins. If someone were to enter this room and pluck the E string on one violin, you would notice the E string on the others would ‘play’ an empathic tune. This phenomenon accelerates one’s awakening.
In an example from my own life, I was co-facilitating a 7 day group process and the first day coincided with the anniversary of my mother’s death. During an opening dance with the whole group, my colleague happened to play a song that was very significant to me in relation to my mother and this touched me deeply and I started to openly weep. Soon, several of the group members, who’d been captivated by what I was experiencing were able to feel their own grief around mothering and the group process had begun.
There are at least three airport options in Poland, all involving additional transport costs to the centre. Don't book any flights before speaking with me first.
FLIGHTS! Are pretty low cost. Warsaw-Modlin has the most flight choices, but is the furthest away from the centre. I recommend to liaise with the Tu i Teraz centre to organise transport From and To Airport/Venue, or book a bus. This cost is additional.
OUT FROM LONDON TUES 12th June - London Stansted, 11:55 (Ryanair), which arrives at Warsaw-Modlin at 15.10, and you will need to organise ongoing transport, this flight is currently £23.86.
RETURN TO LONDON - for those who need to get back in time for work on Monday, Sunday 17th June (Ryanair) from Warsaw-Modlin, leaving at 18.15, arrive Stansted 19:45. With carry-on luggage, this flight is currently £23.86.
TUES 12th June is Check-in Day - you will all meet with me briefly upon your arrival, then you can settle into your room, we all have dinner and then we will have an evening session starting after dinner.
SUN 17th June - The workshop with finish around 1pm on Sunday 12th, for those to leave in time to catch the 18.15 from Warsaw-Modlin.
Later Return Flights - Will be more relaxing for any London participants to take Monday flights (Wizzair), from Olsztyn-Mazury (closest airport to the centre, but still a bus ride) to Ldn Luton. It's also possible to fly to/from Luton/Gdansk.