Written by guest blogger: L.C.—Seattle
My experience at the Live Conscious Retreat was truly life changing on multiple levels. I have attended many personal growth seminars in the last 20 years, and though I’ve always enjoyed doing weekend workshops, this one was by far the most impactful.
I was introduced to Live Conscious through my partner who has attended multiple labs. I first read the book, Get Weird, which I enjoyed immensely, although I found it difficult to really integrate the philosophy into everyday life. The workshops I’ve done in the past were usually two to four days and the thought of an eight day intense week was a little daunting to me, but with some encouragement from my partner, I decided to attend.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted my focus to be when I got on the plane for Maya Tulum. I decided upon arrival that I wanted to look at my relationship with my nine-year-old daughter. I have struggled with this relationship since she was about a year and have worked with a therapist extensively to help better my interactions with her. I have been amazed at the HUGE shift I had around dealing with her and my lack of patience and acceptance of this little person in my life. This is something I haven’t been able to do in eight years of therapy.
My experience of my child is that she’s often demanding, difficult and oppositional and I have struggled with controlling my temper with her. I had an underlying belief that I was dealt the wrong card when she was born and that it wasn’t fair because I deserved an easier child. I approached my relationship with her from the prospective of accepting “the issue” (my child), instead of accepting her. I had tried to be in a place of accepting her, but I was still just a little upset with the Universe for dealing me this card.
There’s a huge difference for me between intellectually knowing something and having it resonate as my own. I always wanted to accept my child for who she is, stop fighting her regarding who I thought she should be, and come to a place of unconditionally loving her. I have made this a focus for years, yet I was still in a place of being unsatisfied and feeling shortchanged.
I shared some things in the lab around my anger issues and past behaviors that were, quite frankly, embarrassing and difficult to share. Being witnessed without feeling judged, and revealing the parts of me I am most ashamed of was healing and cathartic.
When I arrived home, I talked to my daughter about what I learned, how I focused on our relationship during the retreat and how I was going to start speaking to her in different ways. She’s been extremely receptive to Live Conscious and has started using it herself. Instead of saying things like “It drives me crazy when you argue with me all the time”, I’ve changed my verbiage to things like “I am driving myself crazy with your arguing and making myself wish I could have space from you”. Her response to Perception Language is very thoughtful and open compared to when I tell her what she’s doing to me.
I experienced the duration of the retreat as necessary to get through the layers of my conscious and subconscious to a place where I could make lasting shifts. I am so thankful I was able to do this work prior to my daughter entering her teen years, as I know those could be even more difficult. I am in a much more accepting, loving and genuine space with my child and am so thankful for the work I was able to do at the lab. I am FINALLY in a place of “knowing” the concept of just letting my child be who she is and loving her for all those little things that used to drive me crazy. I am not saying the lab fixed all my parenting challenges, but the concepts I was able to integrate into my way of being have helped me immensely in my relationship with her.
We just got back from a six day vacation together and it was the first vacation ever that I didn’t get mad at her once! On the last day, she said to me “mommy, this is the best time we’ve ever had on a vacation”. I asked her why she thought we were in such a good space and she said “because we’re both trying really hard and because we’re learning to understand each other better”. I learned those tools from learning to use Perception Language .