This past Sunday my cousin, Kristen, and I traveled into DC to attend a yoga festival in Brookland along the arts walk. Despite the wind chill and the sun consistently hiding behind the clouds, we had an amazing time.
We practiced yoga while pairing a safari sunset (artoga), we meditated, mindfully and compassionately, we practiced alternating nostril breathing. We made our own zen succulent gardens, our own journals, our own vision boards. Throughout this we were guided by wonderful people who were giving their day to give to us, to teach us, to learn from us, too.
The most magical part of it all was the last real workshop we stumbled into. On the schedule it was called “Conscious Dialogue” and we didn’t know what to expect, but it was better than anything I could have imagined.
We had three discussion leaders, and the theme of the discussion was authenticity. What did it mean to us to be authentic? What challenges came up in our own lives when it came to staying true to ourselves? What was meant to be an hour talk ended up going over because everyone in the room, strangers to us, was willing to open up their heart space and speak the raw truth. We brainstormed and shared stories, there was laughter, but mostly there was an energy that made it so special.
This energy felt palpable, like you could cut the air with a knife. Some late arrivals said when they entered they could feel it too, how grounded we all were for that hour or so. We held hands at the end and closed with three oms, and then no one moved. No one wanted to leave. How could you when the good vibrations in the room were so high? It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in any yoga class or meditation.
The love in the room was incredible. The safe space of that art gallery where we all sat was amazing. And truly worthy of that word, amazing.
Be authentic. Be true to who you are, even when you feel the need to put up masks around some individuals, a variation of your authentic self.
Be compassionate. Hold your loved ones in your heart and send them love, do this for those who you sometimes find it difficult to extend compassion and love towards.
Remember everyone is being the best they can be, even if that is being rude and cutting you off, they’re doing their best in this life.
Children are the new elders, in a way. We have so much to learn from them. We forgot as we grow into adulthood the magic of being a child, but it’s not something you have to entirely let go off. Let go of caring what others think of you, you have as much right as anyone to be who you are take up your space on this earth. We’re all just guiding each other home.
Overall, it was a wonderfully windy day, and I’m so happy I got to spend it with Kristen, who also recently completed her yoga teacher training. It was an experience unlike any other, and I’m better for it.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the discussion as I only briefly skimmed over it I’d be happy to share more! Or if you’re interested in Artoga in DC I can share their information with you, definitely one of the most fun yoga classes I’ve ever been to!
Happy Monday friends! May your week be filled with mindfulness, compassion, and authenticity.