Author: Georgia Kollias from Greece / Canada

The evening I arrived at Schochwitz, the infamous Jim, Ingrid’s husband, greeted me. He bombarded me with questions about why I chose to come to the castle, what is my motto in life and so on. He kept saying how much he loved his wife, and how hard she worked to make the castle what it is today. He kept reminding me that Ingrid might seem ‘crazy’ to some volunteers but that part of her shouldn’t frighten me. The first morning at the castle, to my surprise, I was comfortably okay with waking up so early, 5:55am, to begin the disciplinary rituals of yoga, meditation and/or chanting. I could see in the first few hours what Jim was trying to tell me about Ingrid, she is definitely a passionate woman, not scared of anything or anyone, and always making sure she says the truth, flat out, whether you are ready for it or not. She reminded me a lot my mother, personally, so whenever she would scold me about something during my time at the castle, I would get flashbacks of my teenage years, and really work on myself to try and avoid that sort of behaviour again and work onto a better me. Every day was a blessing at the castle, even if most of the days were rainy, the group of people that was at the castle, made it shine. I was honoured to meet Janine, Christine and Pavlina, three women who are a huge influence and help into the recent construction of the castle’s spirituality. I had the chance to speak to each on of them about different topics and concerns of life and I got some phenomenal answers and confidence boosters.

Laughing every morning and afternoon during meals was always such a lift of energy. Jim and the boys always would rant about something silly, while Ingrid would return with great comebacks on Jim’s jokes, making it that much more hilarious. I definitely feel like I gained some abs from laughing so much.

Another honour of being at the castle was being able to teach yoga and meditation in the mornings to the fellow volunteers, and sometimes, guests. It was a great opportunity to show my creativity as a teacher and feel the confidence I needed to really consider making it as my future career.

The personal difficulties I faced being at the castle, was with my ego. I am probably not the first or last volunteer who will walk down the castle corridors and not have to face the same situation. While working in the castle, I had time to really concentrate on what I was doing but also fight the constant mind chatter, which would create an uncomfortable noise in my surroundings. I felt for the last week when I was at the castle a surge of emotions, such as, jealousy, resentment, attraction, disappointment and anger. It was all a wave of many things combined into one. Mostly noticing patterns in myself and in my life repeating again and wondering why in the hell, is it being repeated and why am I attracting it. But that is where I had to halt. I don’t need to know why. Knowing the why does not solve anything, and that is what the castle taught me. If I do not like what I attract, I can change it. If I am not happy with a certain pattern, it is up to me to alter it. No one else can change it but me.

After discussing this with other volunteers and Ingrid, it was also mentioned that it’s important to also not have expectations in life. Because we become disappointed for something that we have no control over and should not need to control. Let it all flow and know that you and all the circumstances will be good. Even if there are a couple bumps in your road, just remind yourself that, you are okay and will always be okay.

Thank You Schochwitz for the amazing lessons, laughs, energy and karma yoga. I am happy I was able to take such an opportunity before slowly making my way back to Canada. Ich liebe euch.

Blessings & Love, Georgia Kollias

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