After spending an entire weekend at the Mastery and eating the best food I've had in a long time (eggs baked with sausage and asparagus, delicious chicken, rice, roasted carrots, carrot cake) - after being nurtured with love and food for an entire weekend, I have a better idea what the Mastery was about. I'm not going to write much about it, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might take it, or something like it.
I will write a few things that I learned or - that I've been learning and were reinforced over the weekend.
"The quality of life is not determined by our circumstances, but by what we do with them." I lost my mother this year, my marriage ended, my daughter moved away, my job ended, I had to move, it's a lot of shit. I am sad. I am grieving. But I can still enjoy life and allow myself the space to feel a range of feelings, rather than suppress them. Those feelings are not facts - they are just feelings.
Use "and" - as in "I loved my mother AND she was a difficult person." Rather than "I loved my mother, but she was a difficult person."
Resentments are like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Blame: "if we knew then what we know now, everything would have been different...and we didn't know then, so what's the point in blaming ourselves or others?"
Our feelings are an inarguable truth: "I feel sad." That is true. But worry is drama. And I know I love drama, but it drives me crazy.
"What other people think of me is none of my business." That's freeing.
We talked about patterns in our histories that we would like to break. A few of them were "living in negative predictions." "How can I ask someone for help?" "I need to rescue people."
Put a period in a sentence after the facts. "The subways in NYC are all screwed up on weekends. It is annoying." Rather than, "the subways are all screwed up on the weekends and it makes me late for everything, and I get so angry that it ruins my entire day and then I'll get into a fight with my friends."
I loved this line from the movie "Sordid Lives" which I have never seen, but someone mentioned: "Get off the cross, we need the wood."
It is through difficult times that we have the most growth. (I find that very annoying.) I have had great epiphanies while shopping. (I'm kidding.)
Is the glass half empty or half full? It is both.
This weekend, I walked into a room that had about five or six people I knew fairly well, and about fifty others I didn't know at all. And I fell in love with all of them. The participants of the Mastery and the people who helped out by cooking and just being there in the "back row." They came from all over the world and everyone's stories were different, yet the universality was so evident when people shared from their heart. What a gift. My dream is to find a foundation that funds organizations like Friends In Deed and help them with a very large grant.