I’m back! It’s been an amazing past couple days, I don’t even know where to begin. But I must start somewhere, because I really don’t want to forget the incredible magic and energy of this weekend, the bonding that occurred and the moments that were created. But before I get into this, there’s this weird feeling I have that I want to address (as fleeting as it may be).
I feel like I’ve come so far in how much I’ve learnt that… I’m no longer as attached to writing as I once was. This feeling could be temporary, as all thoughts and feelings are. But like… how do I explain this?
I was so happy in those past moments of this weekend. In those moments. To the point that I no longer feel attached to them, to the point that I don’t feel the need to capture them. They’ve come and gone and I’ve accepted that, because the ways they’ve made me change and grow will be with me forever. Weird eh? It’s interesting. The moment I decided to practice detachment in my life, getting that “let go” tattoo, the more I realized I wanted to be more present in my present. To let the moments come as they did, and to let them go once they went.
It’s okay that I don’t particularly feel the need to write anymore – in fact, it’s great. But, I also feel like I don’t want to stop, because this entire document, these 303 pages of memories, words, lessons, growth, and happiness, have been such a monumental part of who I’ve become. And I’m still on this journey with so much more to learn. Not to mention, I’m about to start a whole new chapter, full of challenges but also lessons to be learnt – with August coming to a close, September looms and so does the start of school. I want to be able to have an outlet as these things happen.
So, just because I’m no longer as attached to my past moments as I once was, doesn’t mean I should stop writing or feel hesitant about it. This place is my safe space, my haven. The place I can be completely and utterly honest with myself, the place I can vent, or even express my greatest happinesses so that I can share them with myself.
Okay, I feel better now! There’s still so much more to come and I would like to be able to talk with myself about it, not just document everything that happens. This log is so much more than just a place to record my memories, thoughts and feelings. It’s a mirror, reflecting back at me all the ways I’ve grown and changed.
Alright! That being said, let’s get into this weekend. I now know that I don’t necessarily need to get into detail with every single moment that’s passed, but rather touch upon and highlight the things that I would like to remember the most.
It was a bonding weekend unlike any other. The atmosphere and energy of this place… I can’t even begin to express. There was so much fun to be had, but also so much growth and learning, and expression and honesty.
On the Saturday, we made the most of our road trip by stopping in multiple places before getting to the cottage itself. A waterfall, a little beach near one of the many beautiful lakes, a park with a tiny kid-safe zip line that we made the most of, LOL. Honestly, I love that no matter how much time passes, when we all get together it feels like no time has passed at all. We always laugh, joke around, make the most of the moments we spend together. That’s what family is supposed to be like.
Once we got to the cottage, we settled in and built up tents so that all the kids could have a massive sleepover outside near the cottage and the parents could sleep inside of it. Our massive sixteen-person tent fit three air mattresses in it, had a lamp AND a little heater! We were definitely very comfortable and very well-off.
I can’t quite remember now the intricate little details that formed this weekend, but I do remember the massive growth inducing moments that made this weekend what it was.
It started when all eight of the kids were sitting in the living room of the cottage, just relaxing after having eaten a good lunch. We all began to talk, as we usually do, about whatever came to mind. And although I promised myself I wouldn’t go into my new-found spirituality and wisdom (which was silly of me, now that I think about it), I ended up talking about my night out in downtown and what Sanjeev taught me that night that I decided to get my “let go” tattoo. And the conversation that we ended up having as a result? It blew my mind and made me happier than I could have ever possibly imagined.
It turns out that everyone was in pursuit of the same kind of knowledge, happiness and growth that I myself have been in pursuit of. Every single one of them!!! The meditation, the self-love, the spirituality, the self-awareness. We talked for HOURS. About the nature of forgiveness, of letting go, of growing as a person. People got emotional even, with the depth of our conversation. It was enlightening and freeing. It was pure, simple and genuine. It turns out we each had something to teach each other, each of us had ideas to contribute.
Throughout this weekend, every intention that was spoken aloud manifested. Be it something as simple as wanting an opportunity to speak to someone individually, or wanting to have the same growth-inducing conversation with our parents. Which did end up happening, actually – on one of the nights, all the kids and all the adults sat together and ended up getting into a spontaneous but massive conversation/debate about love, life, marriage, dating, divorce, regrets, you name it. The parents taught us things, and we taught them. There was so much love in that room, that night.
I’m so in awe of this weekend, the way that things happened. It was more than I could have possibly hoped for and expected. We all played volleyball together, we went hiking through this amazing trail that was close by, we went swimming and just lounged around, enjoying each other’s company. And on the last night, as hard as I tried to stay awake, I kept falling asleep, but I woke up here and there to hear the kids venting or getting emotional about things in life that they feared the most or things that hurt the most. Despite my state of consciousness, I could hear the pain and feel their fears and I was so glad that these things were being openly expressed.
In the morning, I woke up early and just looked at each of them in turn, feeling in my heart how much I loved each and every one of them. And then I headed out to the side of the lake to read some of my book, “Awakening the Buddha Within”.
This book has truly been opening my eyes to my own inner Buddha, my spirituality and self-awareness. Something that stood out to me from the book was the idea of “loving-kindness” – extending a strong empathy, love and kindness towards every single being on this earth, including the smallest bug or the people you have wronged you. This kind of compassion would lead to a consistently happy life, a life that could better others.
After that, I went close to the shore of the lake to meditate and reflect upon everything I had learnt and experienced this weekend. I thought about every single person there in turn, brought up their face in my mind, and was filled with an over-flowing sense of true and unconditional love. I pictured the faces of the people in my life that I love and care about, extending that love to them. And then I thought of the people who “wronged” me, the people I categorized as the ones I “disliked”. I thought about Natalia, about Amanda, about Kelly even. I thought about Don and Nick. I thought about some of my managers at work. I imagined them all smiling, and happy. And I offered them my forgiveness, my good intentions. I do not want to be someone who goes through this life “disliking” anyone. I cannot afford to keep those kinds of energies with me any longer.
I want to be someone who offers compassion to my perceived greatest enemy. I want to be someone who can smile at someone who has wronged me, and genuinely wish them nothing but the best in life. I want to be able to put myself in their shoes, understand that they’re also people with deep wishes, fears, happinesses and lives to be led. Although all of this is easier said than done, this is the kind of life I want to lead.
And so, I forgave. I let go. I no longer harbour any ill-will or resentment towards any of these people. If I ever run into any of these people, I will smile at them and know that all of those past negative energies have been released. I have nothing to gain by holding onto old grudges or feelings of hurt.
I want to be kind. I want to practice this loving-kindness in every single aspect of my life. I want to better the lives of others, of everyone, not just the people in my life whom I care about.
There’s so much re-wiring I have to do for myself. But I intend to be as self-aware as I can, to catch every single negative thought that tries to enter my mind, and politely ask it to leave. It no longer has a place in my mind to stay. When I opened my eyes after the meditation, there were tears in my eyes, but not of sadness. They came from a place of pure love and happiness.
At the end of this amazing weekend, all the kids and I sat down at the picnic table by the lake one last time. We all held hands to share our energy with one another and I led them through a guided meditation. I asked them to focus on their breathing, to remember all the ways they’ve grown and changed this summer. To let go of all the negativity with every exhale. To really take in this moment, to listen to the gentle sound of the water lapping at the shore, the soft call of the birds in the background. I asked them to take a moment to visualize the exact ways they wanted this upcoming year to look like for them. To imagine the happiness, the success, the excitement of a brand new chapter. To know that whatever happened, they could handle it, and that we would always have one another to return to because we were family. This was home. I wished them all courage, courage to let go where it was needed, and to remember that they each had an unconquerable strength within.
It was a beautiful moment. When we all opened our eyes once more, I could feel the lightness in the air.
After that, we shared a similar moment with the parents where we all held hands once more, and offered up our prayers and our gratitude for this weekend, for the forces that brought us together, for everything we learnt this weekend, and all the ways we bonded and grew. And with that, we all headed home.
This weekend was restorative, eye-opening, and enlightening for me. After having worked so hard the past week, this weekend was exactly what I needed to restore my energies and maximize them ten-fold, as well as prepare me for the start of a new chapter.
I hope that this weekend was exactly what each and every single one of my family needed too. And I know it was, because I can feel it. I feel so connected to each of them, because not only did we bond as a group, I know we also found ways to strengthen our individual relationships with one another where we could. It truly was the perfect way to end off this summer.
I am so excited for this new chapter for all of us. It’s filled to the brim with so much life, love, lessons, and more amazing moments to be had. I went swimming one last time on the last day, by myself, and swam out as far as I could. As I laid there, letting the waves rock my floating body to and fro, I felt one with the universe. I quietly whispered my goodbye to summer, and thanked it for everything it brought to me. And for once, it was a goodbye that was free of melancholy. Rather, I let go with happiness, understanding that I took everything I could from this beautiful chapter of my life. It’s still not quite over yet though! There’s still some days left and I intend to make the most of them before school truly begins.
So, that was this weekend! And now, I’m in the midst of yet another new week. I’ve got work shifts to look forward to – trying to take advantage of all this free time now so that I can save up money for later! I’m going to try to make plans with as many people as possible because I know once school begins, it’s going to be my number one priority and I won’t have as much time to hang out with people as I would like to.
We’ll see how things go. Definitely next week, I have to start mentally preparing myself for that school-mode mentality, get my bag ready with my agenda and possibly invest in a new laptop that I can take to school to make notes on. I’m so, so excited!
Anyways, I’m going to spend some time with myself now before I have to get ready for work. Oh, speaking of work! I think Dylan might be back in today (if he’s not too tired from having landed just yesterday). Throughout this weekend, even though I made sure to keep my phone away from me as much as I could and just be in the moment, he and I were texting for a little while for these past couple days! We talked about how he met one of his idols in Vegas – John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor’s COACH and the man who wrote Dylan’s favourite book. I was SO happy for him; I can still remember clear as day back in February when he was telling me the story behind “Win or Learn” and how much it inspired him. I can’t believe he got to meet him!
He also managed to wrangle his way into a media area and saw Conor McGregor super up close LOL. And, he also asked me where my favourite place was in Vegas (the Bellagio Botanical Gardens), so that he himself could go check it out (cute). He even asked me how things were progressing with my possible demo position, and let me know that he managed to get his old job back with the jewelry place he used to work at.
Which kind of made me wonder – I know that I feel like I “did my part” by finally telling him how I felt, but then I feel like I kind of stepped back because I didn’t want to come off too strongly after that. Solely because I’m really in no rush whatsoever and I definitely want to get to know him at whatever pace is comfortable to him but… I wonder if I’m not making the effort that I should be as a result of thinking I need to hold back? Hm. There must be some middle ground I can learn to walk on here – ways in which I can make effort towards this, but not come off as too invasive. Eh, I’ll figure it out. I’m not worried honestly, because I have complete faith in knowing that whatever is meant to happen, will happen, and it will happen exactly as it is meant to, no more or less.
I know he may not be in today, but he does have hours this weekend and I’m pretty excited to see him, heh. Honestly, I’ve missed him, and that gorgeous smile of his. I can’t wait to catch up about his entire trip and all the adventures he experienced, as well as tell him about my own adventures and everything I learnt the night I went out by myself in downtown and the story behind my tattoo. I hope we’ll get those moments to talk, somehow! And, he also did ask to reschedule our movie date to after he came back from Vegas, and now he’s back so we’ll see what conspires in regards to that.
We’ll see! Truly, whatever is meant to be will be.
So, that’s all for today! I’ll write tomorrow when I get a chance, I think Olivia and I might be going to the CNE for some much-needed sisterly bonding time.
Love always, all around,