Thursday, October 4, 2018

Lila's Wales Adventure in One spot.

Wales is amazing! A huge thank you to all who contributed, energetically and financially. I did send a couple of videos, which are available on the website, and which I will link to below.

The most interesting part of Wales, of experiencing Wales, was that I had to stop, step back, breathe, and be in order to really get what I wanted. My first video  meanders about expectations and being in different countries - and while it doesn't really go in depth on my disillusionment - which I was feeling pretty strongly - you can see (I can see) there is something underneath. Wales was beautiful and soft and welcoming and yet...

And yet...

Somewhere after (or during) the video, I was able to release the stress of the travelling, of wondering what I was supposed to be doing with myself in order to "Really Experience" Wales, and I just let us all be.

I let me be me. I let Wales be Wales. And I experienced what was happening, what I was part of - instead of desperately searching for some sign that matched my expectations. And it was amazingly, magically, fantastically, comfortably normal. When I let go and let Wales.

   When asked to describe Wales, the part I remember the most is the softness. The air feels softer, and closer. The mountain looked softer - because it had growth as far up as I could see. The trees appeared softer, as there were so many varieties. In fact, my new definition of diversity is the variety of trees all bunched together on the hill outside my B&B in Betwys y Coed. (the Bryn Afon Guest House. Awesome place, beautiful proprietors. So grateful I chose it!)

Even the sounds of Wales were softer, muted. Comforting.

Except when I tried to actually converse with people. I was astonished at how loud I sounded, compared to the voices of those around me. And I found myself having difficulty understanding, not because of the accents (which I found delightful) but because I was trying to listen at a different decibel than they were speaking. I couldn't tell Welsh language from English language because it was all on a different vibration.

And like listening to the people in Wales, listening to Wales itself required opening up to the different frequency and just listening, being.

It was a whole new level of Happiness Practice for me, I have to say. I had decided not to give myself assignments, to not offer exchanges of pictures and songs and meditations for the contributions. I wanted to, well, connect with me. Which means I had a hard time figuring out what to do! My poor busy brain was trying so hard to make something of all the beauty, all the sights, all the GREEN! All the lovely moist air. I didn't realize how overworked my brain was until I tried really hard to do nothing but experience. And each time I thought I reached a new level of open and connection, there was a deeper level waiting, beckoning, calling.

The space of being without expectation, without comparison, without wondering how I could use something, or how I should write about it, was  - okay, it was weird. And a little scary at first. Who am I without all my witty thoughts and kind comparisons?

I am (it turns out) a magical, connected being.

Many people asked me why I came to Wales. The deepest honest answer - because it is the most magical place I could think of. And it has been magic for me. I connected with beings, I had bats as companions, the river sang me to sleep at night. I was cared for and celebrated. And all I had to do was to be me, and to be there.

And yes, I sang to the river and to the trees.
I sang to those listening in the grave yard.
I communed with churches and the strangest looking birds.

I'll admit, I mostly just laughed at the sheep. They were everywhere! With splashes of color on their hindquarters -- depicting which gang they belonged to, one presumes. Or maybe which ranking they've achieved. When I walked the trail up Snowdon, the constant sheep commentary had me wondering if they were actually some sort of counsel of Universal Elders, disguised, in order to see what's really going on in the world.

I did NOT take the trail all the way up Snowdon; I don't even think I made it to the halfway point. But I did take the cog train to the top and saw...
...Mist. A lot of mist. And a bunch of people who had walked through the mist. It was...
...gray. And cold. An interesting bland balance to the Bodnant Gardens - which was a huge estate of flowers and rivers and the oldest, most beautiful trees I have ever had the pleasure of hugging.

I will say every day was an adventure. And I don't think I realized how much work I was putting into breathing and being, until now, trying to encapsulate all the emotion and exploration and stubborn determination and beauty and magic and frustration. I want to go back.

I want to go be part of the softness, the calm, the magic, the adventure. I want to see what else Wales has to offer. I REALLY want to speak Welsh with Welsh persons. And I want sweatpants.
 In all my searching, I found head scarves and t-shirts and sweatshirts and stuffed animals. I found a treasure of glorious wool socks that are now my very own. I even found a new elemental order. (look closely)

But nowhere did I find any warm, fuzzy pants that said Cymru.
Or Wales. I am sad. But it confirms that I must return to that beloved country soon!

So thank you to everyone - for your contributions of cash and energy.
 And thank you to me, for having the courage to go; for believing that it could be amazing; for believing in myself. For every moment I spoke my truth. And for allowing the magic to continue (closure video).

Because the commitment I made to work on the Happiness book (see video here) is more than just getting the practice into a narrative and cohesive form. It is being open to hearing about others' experiences. It is being able to accept that other people are going to have their opinions and that those opinions don't devalue my experience, they enrich them. It is the vulnerability of being open to receiving as well as expressing. Treating everyone with the same joyful allowance with which I treated Wales.

It is the unconditional love required to make my world a better place.

So Mote it Be.

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