Where to begin with this year's Present Reunion 2010.... There are too few moments when I fully become myself and for the third year I was able to enjoy EVERY moment being myself with a great group of people. I am going to keep the wind in my sails, keep breathing and being one with this universe, no matter the slightest wind. I am not going to stay stagnate; I am going to embrace every breath I am lucky to take. When I notice myself not breathing I now have more inspiring pictures, from the weekend, to remind me to JUST BREATHE. And I need to thank all of you for taking an interest in my video/slideshow during the dance, it meant the world to me for you all to notice me and I will forever keep that moment in my heart.
~~~/)~~ Carrie Seemann ~~/)~~
~~/)~~ "Just Breathe" ~~/)~~~
I rounded the corner, evolved, had a huge AHA at Coco Belle Lodge in Southeastern Tennessee this Labor Day 2010. What an experience of energy and abundant love. I can feel the presence of peace in the smell of the earth, the feel of the sun on my skin and in my eyes, the sound of the birds and the squirrels, the sight of the beautiful mountains surrounding me, the touch of wind on my face, the warmth in my heart of the laughter and tears of the voices of friends and family and the loving energy of a being named Chevy.
It is very affirming and inspiring for my personal growth and my desire to provide a loving, safe healing place for what I thought was for others, when now I know it is being provided for me. It’s a process that I believe comes before I will be able to provide for others. My container is so full that it hurts. The pain I wish to expel from my being is ready to be released and I believe it is so I will have more space in my container for positive energies. The pain is fear. Fear to allow myself to heal, because what will I do with myself when I no longer allow that fear to control me? I know. I will have the ability to be present, without judgment, and how do I do that? I believe the Universe will show me when I allow it. I am ready. Today. Right now.
On Friday as I awaited the family’s arrival, I had the same butterflies as I always do around being present, wanting to take in all the gifts and resisting showing my fears. I was so excited and truly knew in my heart that all is well. It was honoring and challenging as all of the family arrived. I am not going to be able to satisfy everyone. Let it go. I am honored to have this opportunity. These were my affirmations for the evening.
On Saturday morning, I received a challenge…………….
Step aside, allow others to do for themselves, Do not “do for anyone else” for 24 hours.
What an awesome AHA, total relief of ‘duties’ and ‘have to’s’. Doing for myself only?
I have continued with this challenge and do not wish to return to my old thoughts around this.
Thank you, Jayne. What an awesome gift you are to me and my personal growth. It has become a daily practice.
By Saturday afternoon my container was so full of abundant confirmation and love that I could not finish a meal. How bizarre, I thought. I can actually live off of these feelings with very little food. Another AHA about how I eat to fill a void.
I had wonderful staff supporting me to ensure my participation and I was feeling pushed. I was able to breathe deeply and accept the love and support I was provided. I was able to breathe deeply when a bruise was touched. I am learning to be graceful in communicating my needs. I can use a little polish in this area.
Sunday Evening stands out for me as it was all and more than I imagined.
What a talented, awesome family we have!
I love the individual talents we all shared. My favorite moment was dancing to Amazing Grace with my brother, watching Kevin be a healing angel as a brother to all who are missing their brothers. What a gift you are Kevin, to so many and I get to call you mine. I am so blessed, I love you!
Monday was wonderful and filled with light as I traveled up to the group cabin for closing ceremony. I noticed I was not sad as it had been in the past for me. I know in my heart we will get together again soon and I know I will reconnect with those that came forward and presented so many wonderful ideas. The excitement around this peaceful place in Coco Belle Ridge is catching on and the Universe will show me how to proceed.
The Touch during Meditation with Jayne, kissing Kevin and I on the forehead and wrapping us in a blanket together as Mom did when we were quite small. Words cannot express such a gift.
The realization at opening ceremony that I had achieved a goal I declared a year before with the Family. I am hosting the Present Reunion at Coco Belle Retreat Lodge!
The 12 hour ride home with my brother, Kevin driving and processing the weekend, our childhood, our hopes and dreams, brainstorming and all I had to ‘do’ was ask for it. Thank you, Celeste, my healing angel, for driving my van home and processing with Karen.
Breakout with Barbara in creating a life of my choosing and changing my wishes and wants to ‘I will”! Identifying ‘Believing Eyes’ and dismissing …stank eye! Thank you, Barbara for being one of my healing angels.
Yoga with Ed. I love your voice and narration while doing Yoga, Ed.
Enneagrams! WOW, I am learning so much more about myself, thank you Jayne.
Not believing in my gut and plan
Trying too hard to please others
Communication with Staff and Family
In closing, I must honor a very special being that attended (pro bono) and that would be Chevy, our healing dog (God spelled backwards). Yes, God was present in precious dog form, to provide us with all the unconditional love and support each and every one of us needed and in the moment we needed his love. How profound. Do we need any further confirmation of God’s presence?
Chevy will be in our hearts and lives forever and ever. Whether he is going to become part of the Castiglione family, we do not know……………. more to be revealed. For now, Chevy is being loved to death by Neal and his four children. Chevy was a gift to Neal and the kids from Neal’s sister as they were going through Neal’s divorce from the Mother of the four children. When Kevin, Celeste and I returned Chevy on Monday afternoon, when we were led by Chevy to his home, Neal was out front of his home, his arms were outstretched and he was nearly in tears (I was already tearful at this sight) and Neal said, ‘you are here to tell me you want Chevy, right?’. It was at that very moment I turned to Celeste and Kevin and said Chevy has a very loving home and I cannot take him. Having just lost Ms. Sadie, I could not take any dog from a loving family nor do I believe anyone else would. This was confirmation that Chevy is being cared for and to further this amazing story, Neal is considering giving us Chevy . We will be introducing Nicholas, our 2 yr old pup that needs a buddy to Chevy October 1st.
Happy Birthday, Joan and confirmation of your rising to the Kingdom of Dog (God spelled backwards). If it was not for you, birthing this Present Family, we would all be without these wonderful experiences, awarenesses, growth and healing. Hats off to you, dear friend and thank you for inviting me into this wonderfully present time together. I look forward to what is in store…..more to be revealed! I love you!
Thank you all for staying with me ‘til the end of this testimonial. I am so very blessed and cannot wait to play with you again!
With Much Love and a Grateful Heart,
I am grateful for the many times during the weekend that I moved with ease and gentle rhythm like the “tides”. I didn’t get caught up as much in self-doubt, obsessive thinking, and perfectionism and was able to live more fully in the moments. And what wonderful moments they were! Also like the tides, I was able to pull in strongly, to receive the love and abundance that came my way and to also give out from a genuine and loving source. I was also able to trust and be vulnerable and to let others see some of my transparent water, broken shells and all. When I reflect on the weekend, I realize that a higher power was at work and that sometimes I was aligned with it as the tides are with the moon. It’s when I struggled with my decisions, both before and afterwards, that I felt least like the “tides”.
3 “tideful” moments:
1. Meditation morning, guided by Barbara – I was sitting on the back deck, surrounded by greenery and the morning chill, at peace and quiet after yoga, sharing a chair and blanket with Joan. I was in such a peaceful state that I didn’t want to open my eyes. (All of the meditation mornings were wonderful, the sensory one and the puppy litter too. I think because I didn’t stress about showering before breakfast and didn’t worry about what to put on for the day, I was able to be on time for meditation and more relaxed. It felt freeing to show up in my sweats and slippers and no makeup.)
2. Dancing with Ashleigh – There were two tide elements associated with this. One was asking Ashleigh to wear the love shirt that I brought along and the other was the actual dance. With only a few minutes to get ready for the dance, I didn’t know for sure what I was wearing, the shirt bearing the word peace or the one with love. It was moments later that I found myself asking Ashleigh, who wasn’t sure what she’d be doing for the evening, to participate in my dance and to wear one of the shirts. When I got to the dance, I was also unsure up until the last moment what song or songs to have Joan play, but once I heard, or rather felt the words to “In the Stillness” and opened my eyes to see Ashleigh moving with such grace and beauty, glowing in the love shirt, I knew it was right. Thanks again, Ashleigh.
3. Being with the blue group – It was a joy to cook in Debi’s cozy kitchen, to be playful, and to support each other in creating a meal. It was a lesson for me in letting go and being a part of something bigger than myself. When I first saw it on the schedule, I thought I would skip that activity, not realizing that it was not really optional. I’m glad that I participated. At home, I’m usually the one who prepares the meals. It was a wonderful experience to cook with others and to bond in that way. Working in our process group (especially our marathon Sunday group) was also “tideful” for me. It was intense, loving, supportive, honest, and safe, and I was moved and very honored to be there.
3 “untideful” moments
1. During the puppy litter meditation, I held back my inclination as the “runt of the litter” to climb up on the pile and find a cozier spot. No offense, Ula, but your hip was not the softest spot in the pile! I also found myself, at first, worrying that my head was too heavy for Ula’s hip to handle. A tide moment briefly came though when I let go of tensing my neck and rested fully.
2. I struggled with what to do for the talent show. In looking back, I think I should have asked Carrie to skip me for a while until I had time to decide what I really wanted to read or to share with the group. It’s a new “outfit”, however, and a good stretch for me to show up not fully prepared, but it’s still pretty uncomfortable.
3. The night before leaving for the weekend, I sent Joan the name of 6 or 7 songs because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to play at the dance. Looking back now, “In the Stillness” was the one that was speaking most loudly to my heart. One of these days I’ll learn to listen and not torture myself! Thanks for the practice, Joan. It’s been a wonderful journey these last 20 years and I’m so blessed. (By the way, that was the name of one of the other songs that I wanted to share. “I’m so Blessed” is a beautiful song by Karen Drucker if anyone has a chance to listen to it.)
Love to all,
Dear Joan, and Present Reunion Family,
The energy that chose me was thermal global heat. The reason is because my energy temperature pulse is at my core. First I would like to share about one of the breakout groups. It was the one where we emptied out our recycle bins. I have been blessed to receive a visual of my core. Physically I can now go there and take my core inventory.
So now back to my first moving away from my energy force. Before I arrived at the Coco Belle lodge, I was lost in the dark, feeling vulnerable, afraid, frustrated and angry. My core was overheated in fact it was boiling over and I was now spitting fire at those I love. Not good. That was the only time I spit fire during the weekend. I learned to take my core pulse, temperature and when I started feeling warmth it was time to go into and be with that warmth. To see it, be with it and explore and share if needed. Cool the warmth before it becomes fire.
My first warmth was at the opening when Ed was doing the massage exercise. There was an odd number and I didn't have a partner. At my core I felt warmth and when I went to that warmth the answer was just to be with this warmth and be open to visually seeing what is before you. It was a gift I received and cooled my core with insight and blessings. I also attended every morning meditation and found this allowed me to start my day grounded at my core, another blessing.
The second day of our process (Blue) group, I was feeling an unsettling at my core. It felt like mud. I now know the difference between heat and mud. Mud is different. I am in awe, humbled and filled with gratitude by my Blue family's ability to join me, support me, witness and hold me at my muddy core. I had support and guidance beside me walking me through the mud. Thank You Joan. Thank you Ginny for supporting and having my back physically and emotionally. Terry with unimaginable strength, courage and love lead me forward. The courage, support and love of the entire group enabled me to feel safe to continue to move through the mud. Thank you all, I feel honored, blessed and humbled by your love and support.
The weekend filled me with an abundance of love, gratitude,connection with others and self.
I was blessed to have many moments of being seen and seeing my Present Reunion family. Thank you for the weekend of gifts.
Having experienced such a powerful weekend it has taken me time to capture the fine points of my energy force, sunshine. I would have to say the first encounter with my focused force was on arrival and settling into our space. There were a few challenges and I felt calm, clear and positive. There were opportunities the next day to revisit the space issue and stay calm and supportive at the same time. It felt good to directly address problems and find do-able solutions.
Our amazing blue process group worked as a shining light on Sunday in a “four hour power session”. What light and abundance stemmed from staying together as a group for the good of it’s parts. Wow, the sun in all its glory.
My last sun-worship was witnessing the radiance of my surroundings…each of you. For me it was light bouncing off of finely cut crystals…the combined experience of radiance and brilliance to behold. I found myself at the dance feeling so joyful, safe and content…singing to the song…”details in the fabric” and basking in our individual journeys of spiritual bliss. Ahhh, so blessed am I.
Times that my light dimmed and my focus was disrupted…
Wow, my fingers are posed over the keyboard and I am stumped. I can give you many examples in my home life or with my friends and family, however when I am with each of you, you bring out the best in me. I feel cherished and loved…and I am eternally grateful. So more to be revealed.
Dear Joan and All,
Reading everyone else’s wonderful and deep expressions of their experience makes me wonder where to start. So I will start at the beginning and see where it leads me.
As all of you know our trip started out with a bit of a challenge with a 4 hour delay at PBI we missed several connections in Atlanta, and unfortunately getting to the cabin 5hrs later than planned caused us to miss the orientation of the first evening.
It was wonderful seeing old faces again and I enjoyed meeting the new ones. I am just sorry I did not get (or should I say) take the chance to interact with everyone more individually; I do realize that this is mostly my doing because I still tend to flock to people I know and hold back with new ones, but I am working on that. I really enjoyed the morning meditations as it is something that I have been trying to work into my daily routine for months now.
I feel happy, content and full of energy and anticipation of what to do next. My outlook on my future seems very good. I feel exited about going on with my life and all the things I can do if I set my mind to it. The energy I bring from this weekend is wonderful and something I have not felt for a long time. I have no negative thoughts about anything today. All I want to concentrate on is in finding my true self because I know I am a great person and I have a lot to offer. I want to have fun and enjoyment in my life and bring the same to others.
I am in awe of the honesty the guys showed and the courage it took for them to do that; especially Jerry, how he allowed himself to be so vulnerable and open, showing his feelings, opening up completely. I am not used to seeing this in a man. I am trying to remember the word Jerry used “Patients” and make that my mantra as well. It has already helped me today.
My experience in my process group surprised me, I thought I was all done with that but obviously there was still so much pain inside of me that needed to come out. It felt really good to scream like I did and I am very thankful to Jayne for inviting all to scream with me making it easier for me to open up. I am surprised but glad I was able to let go the way I did in a group setting; I still hold on too much, afraid to let go in front of others. Being in this group somehow allowed me to feel safe to open up and let me be me. There is no judgment, no ridicule of anyone.
The puppy session with Joan was a new experience for me and I did feel uneasy participating at first but I am glad I stuck with it because I am trying to stretch. Just being silly and funny is nice, even though I was not able to completely let myself go I enjoyed being a part of it. Challenges like this give me a fear feeling in the pit of my stomach, why I don’t know, afraid to embarrass myself, afraid of being ridiculed, what am I afraid of anyway? I am sorry Nancy if my well bolstered hip was not soft enough for your tender head; trust me your small head was no problem.
To see the tenderness and genuine sibling love between Deb and Kevin was heartwarming. I absolutely loved Nancy and Ashley’s dance and I was very happy to see Kathie getting right in there getting things started. That was what gave me the courage to go ahead with my song and dance, I had many moments where I wanted to chicken out of the whole thing and not go thru with it but I am glad I did.
I am sorry it took me this long to post this; I wrote it by hand shortly after I got back and filed it away in my notes. I just came across it again yesterday and thought this would be a good time to forward it.
I am so very grateful to have met all of you and wish you Blessings in the New Year.
Love to All,