I have always loved Marianne Williamson’s poem; you know the one that starts with the lines “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” The poem continues and her words encourage each of us to step into our power so that we can shine and in so doing help others around us to shine also. When I first read the poem about 12 years ago I wanted to do just that.
Now that I look back I can see why it took me so long to figure it out! Current psychological models and most self-development thinking is directing us to change something that already exists in our lives, be it our thinking or something else in our circumstances. We are being hit with an increasing morass of messages about how to achieve a ‘better’ life, which inevitably gives rise to feelings of ‘if only…’ and we’re on a relentless search for more of this or less of that! It takes a brave (and very wise) person to stand up to this tide of misinformation. But when you see that mental suffering is increasing at an alarming rate, for example 25% of 14-year-old girls across the UK are clinically depressed, it’s surely time to say that existing models are not working.
We run 3-day retreats in Weymouth Dorset, where we share the Inside Out nature of our experience and in doing so point people to the formless power that we all have inside of us that has yet to become a thought and an experience of our circumstances. It is this power within us all that I now see Marianne Williamson, through her poem, is directing us towards. Once we see that power for ourselves it no longer seems to matter what we actually think in the moment or what our circumstances are because it’s always changing in the next moment without ever actually affecting who we really are – our light. That is the true nature of the power of thought.
Here is a quote from an attendee at one of our recent retreats: –
“Before attending the retreat, my emotions were out of control, I was finding it difficult to cope with every day challenges. I was frankly crying a lot and quick to anger and frustration. I heard about the retreat and was intrigued but sceptical in equal measure. I had tried many self-help remedies in the past and nothing had really made any lasting difference. Other things I had tried required me to do things, like trying to reframe my thoughts to be more positive. Now I see that I was innocently adding more thoughts and giving myself more ammunition for self-admonishment. Having been on the retreat my life has changed in many ways and continues to change. I know I won’t be going back to how I felt before. I am a lot more relaxed about things. I still get angry and upset sometimes but it doesn’t seem to matter, I let go of things much more easily and I have lost that negative emotional intensity. At some level I had always thought there was something wrong with me so it was a really big thing for me to see that there was nothing actually wrong with me, it was just my misunderstanding of where my feelings were coming from.”
If you would like to find out more about the retreats follow this link or get in touch with us.