Author: Emily from the USA

Before coming to the Healing Castle, I had been traveling for a little over a year. I left my job and home to see the world while I was still without pressing responsibilities keeping me in one place. I also wasn’t sure where I wanted to grow roots, and I was interested in seeing how other people live their lives. Simplifying was a huge goal of mine, and I enjoyed getting rid of a lot of my things before leaving.

A few people I met in my travels helped me learn things about myself, and I sometimes felt growth and satisfaction. But honestly, a lot of the time I was so lost, wondering what I was doing. I would check in with my travel buddy every so often, “What are we doing??? Why aren’t we doing something more meaningful, or learning things…we have no responsibilities, all this time, and we just eat and sleep and wander around!” We both felt like we didn’t have much direction. We were learning some things, but I ended up feeling more stressed, less simplified, and I started analysing everything. I knew something had to change.

I started searching for a Workaway with the search word “meditation”. I sent a few messages with no response. A few weeks later, I tried again. One replied, and it sounded OK. The Healing Castle responded not too long after, and it caught my attention. Location was great, timing was great, and something in the profile caught my eye. There was a list of things you might learn, and I wanted to learn most of them! Also, most of the reviews showed that people were changed after being here. I thought at least I’d learn about meditation, and possibly more.

I didn’t expect how much more! There are reoccurring roadblocks in my life, and I am getting simple solutions at the Healing Castle. There are small lessons hidden in basic tasks that can lead to major life lessons. I never knew I could learn so much awareness/mindfulness from cleaning a toilet!

Within days of arriving, Ingrid pulled me aside and shared an observation with me and how I could improve. This happened to be one of the reoccurring roadblocks – I lack focus and follow through with my goals. She noticed I was easily distracted. It was so simple, but I didn’t make the connection until then. If I learn to focus and complete simple tasks, it will be easier to do the same when it is a larger goal.

I also have had emotional moments. I learned quickly it is best to approach Ingrid when this happens instead of stewing over it. Another reoccurring roadblock came up, and again a simple solution. And I realized that I could relate this to an even bigger reoccurring issue in my life. Sometimes what I end up learning is completely unrelated or unexpected from what initiated my emotional state. I think I will be learning about something, and end up on a completely different page. Ingrid has a way of getting to the point without a lot of details, and usually my mind is blown at how simple the process and the solution are. I always feel a weight lifted afterwards.

I am also learning from the mix of people who are sharing this experience with me at the castle. There is a piece of each volunteer that I relate to, and observing their strengths and weaknesses has taught me a lot. The most recent addition is my brother, who is a best friend to me. I am surprised that his arrival has caused an emotional response, and I am sure there are more lessons on the horizon.

I am filled with the feeling that this is the right time for me to be here, with people who are meant to help me on this journey. I am thankful to have found this special place…TEAM CASTLE

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