When I sit on a rock and hear the wind rustle through the leaves, when I lean on a great pine and sense how this life will continue beyond mine, I sense a spirit far larger than my self that is both fueling every living being, including mine, and connecting it to every living being that is by my side…In essence, I believe we are all one and the same in our journey, our struggles, our joys, our pain and our love, we are united in this life and when we recognize this unifying spirit we create connection and also gain a glimpse into the extraordinary power we possess. A power we possess but in this day and age many of us have lost sight of.
For all the successes of modern civilization, it has dismissed and failed to harness the power of the human spirit. Leaving many with worldly riches, accolades, and extraordinary technology, yet bereft of spirit, left with a sense of emptiness inside that no matter what level of accomplishment or status they have achieved there is a sense of longing that inherently remains.
I have personally experienced this longing. I have achieved much in terms of education and career and the so-called “status” and material objects that accompanies such. I have traveled around the world and been blessed to have experiences and enough fun for perhaps a few people and lifetimes. Yet I have also experienced sadness and emptiness, after all the experiences, achievements and milestones I thought would bring me happiness left me longing for something I couldn’t quite name.
Since a very young age, I have felt a spiritual pull. I was only five years old when my mother took me into a magnificent cathedral in Cologne, Germany and handed me a candle, told me to light it and ask God for something I really wanted. We were not Christian, but my mother didn’t discriminate between faiths, to her, they were all one and the same. When I lit that candle, I felt a power inside me that I couldn’t quite understand, but knew I possessed, the world possessed, and the act of prayer possessed.
Whether you belong to a faith or not, is not important as spirit is accessible in many ways. The paths that have brought me closer to spirit have been the power and beauty of the natural world – the solitude and magnificence of mountains, bodies of water, trees and the clean air that fills the body and quiets the mind; another path has been through meditation practice, which is simply just sitting and breathing, quieting the mind and connecting to the higher energy within each of us; yoga is also an effective way of harnessing the body to this energy force within us; and finally, human connection, the magic chemistry that warms our hearts.
I have created this special retreat space with the intent of facilitating the latter forms of connection there. Connection to the energy and the grounding that can be felt through the natural world. Connection to the inner spirit or consciousness by way of meditation and yoga practice. Connection to one another as we are far more alike than we can imagine as we try to make our way through life. Finally, the intention at Arrowhead Pines is connection to a higher energy field that feeds all life and creation in this universe. I believe connection is our lifeblood. It is the fuel that drives us and gives us an all important sense of belonging, to ourselves, to a community, and to a higher life force, an energy that fuels peace and promotes creative energy.
Whether you join us for a mindfulness retreat, a yoga retreat, a therapeutic retreat or a creative writing retreat, my goal will be to ensure that you have an experience that will leave you with a sense of grounding, positive energy and renewed or new faith in the power your spirit possesses to heal and invigorate your life.
Hope to see you soon!
Love, peace, & trees!
– Nanaz, Director of Arrowhead Pines Retreat