Some Lessons and Reminders from my Enlightened Warrior Training Camp.
Every year for my birthday, I treat myself to something nice; whether it be a designer accessory, a day at the spa or just a day off, I always take the time to celebrate myself and mark the occasion. This year, I decided to take myself to what I thought was going to be a retreat. The Enlightened Warrior Training Camp was so much more than that. So on the morning of my birthday, on September 9th, I took an 8 AM flight to Fresno, California and embarked on a five day transformational journey that will mark me for the rest of my life. During my time there, I was off the grid engaging in many powerful, life and mind altering activities, shedding the skin I was in.
Here are some of the countless lessons and reminders I came back with.
My first day was “Purification” day and boy did I get purified!?! Can somebody say Inipi?
So, I really thought that I had made peace with my father’s death except that, unbeknownst to me, the pain of that loss had been showing up in the form of anger, victimhood and alcohol abuse (and not as the expected feeling of sadness). In other words, that shit was still running the show in my life. See, my father was murdered when I was 14 (I’m now 36) and between my personal development work and my faith walk with God, I was positive that I had forgiven his killers and had gotten “over it” since I’ve been able to talk about it with ease, all these years, and had gone through many versions of forgiveness work to free myself. And yes, although I may have forgiven everyone, the victim mentality I inherited from that trauma apparently never left me. I also think that the victimhood was further anchored after the house I had moved into with my grandmother 4 years later, caught on fire and she did not make it. I don’t know who exactly I became angry at but some of the reactions I’ve had with the people I love most…well…I had some anger and victim issues for sure! Thank God I was able to release that energy out of my body during Purification.
Day 2 was “Peaks” and holy cow, did I face my issues with teamwork…SMH!
Before the activity, I knew that teamwork was not a strong suit of mine but I never realized what it was costing me. I’ve just been doing things solo because that’s just “how I work better” but really, is it? During Peaks, I saw how challenging it is for me to work with a team and how I’ve been being in the world when it comes to teamwork. I’m literally the one who “drags” people to keep up with me, as I tend to go faster than most people can or care to. As I was climbing these mountains, where one of the main rules was that I couldn’t be more than 5 feet away from my partner at any given time, I not only watched how frustrated I get with people who “slow“ me down (Victim Alert!) but I also saw the impact of that behavior- not only on the people that have to deal with me but on myself; not enjoying the process and missing out on valuable perspectives that come from dealing with other minds. I saw first hand how my “my way or the highway” attitude was negatively impacting my growth, the growth of my business, my marriage and my life.
I recognized that behavior from when I built my Mary Kay business to a Cadillac Unit back in 2012 and the unsustainability I faced once I had earned the Cadillac. I really got it that: alone, I can go fast but with a team, I can go far. See, I got into that Pink Cadillac by dragging my team with me, at a pace that was just not suitable for them. So the minute I stopped pulling at them, because I was tired of running, their natural pace did not produce enough to sustain where we were. My victimhood and anger was also on display big time around that time; blaming my team, my upline, Corporate… I mean EVERYBODY for the unsustainability of MY business. Pattern much? During Peaks, I also had to own up to the fact that I have literally been dragging my husband to “keep up with me” just the way I did these women in Mary Kay. How you do anything is TRULY how you do everything. I saw my behavior in so many aspects of my life in my behavior during that climb. It was as if I was climbing the mountain with a mirror to my face the whole time.
Day 3 was “Playground” and boy did I see how important it is to carefully choose the company I keep…
as trusting the people around me was pivotal to the successful completion of the activities that day. I learned through climbing a steep wall and walking on wires many, many, many feet off the ground that there are just some experiences and heights I want to reach in life that I will not be able to reach without a team and even more than that, a team that I can trust. I tend not to trust others to do for me and have had a hard time releasing control, in the past. Somehow, I equated getting help with weakness. Why? I don’t know… I left those limitations on that Playground and had an experience with trust that I will not soon forget.
Day 4 was Predicament day- I fought (literally) for my “Why” which further deepened my thirst and commitment to my vision and my work.
My kids and making my father proud continue to be my main driving force, however, being a voice of change, enlightenment and hope for the people of my country of Haiti really burned me up inside during Predicament. I was also reminded that the “dragon” living inside of me, that wants to keep me safe and mediocre was only being tamed by the work I did in Predicament and throughout the week, however, that dragon is only dormant and can creep up at any time so I must keep watch.
On the evening of Day 4, I walked on fire BAREFOOT... that’s right! 30 ft of hot coal... That experience truly anchored in me that I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to.
Lastly, our 6:30 am daily open floor movement sessions taught me that I can always change my state through movement. I literally woke my body up through movement, every morning and got rid of any tiredness and associated foul mood, despite the minimal hours of sleep I was getting. I felt love and joy and got myself pumped and energized for the day just by freely moving my body.
To sum it all up: growth comes when you become an observer of yourself. From the observer space, you have choice and choice gives you the power to create what you want and interrupts the patterns you have been subconsciously repeating like a jukebox. Become a student of your habits and be honest and compassionate with yourself. And I’ll close this VERY FIRST blog post of mine with this timeless Maya Angelou quote that I live by: “Do the best you can until your know better. Then when you know better, do better.”