Why is it the next morning you know exactly what you wished you had said? I was part of an online panel yesterday for my Qi Gong teacher and his team about why I became a Holden Qi Gong teacher. You can watch it here, but here’s what I really wish I had said.
I became a teacher because of the power of retreats. I mentioned in the video I went on a retreat in 2017, but what I didn’t say is that specific retreat was life-changing and planted so many seeds.
It was during that retreat that I had the foolish idea to keep a journal of my 100-day project of tea meditation and brush painting. That journal (with a freaking ton of work) turned into my first book Practice Pilgrimage, and I’ve since written two other books: Self-Compassion Stories and The School of Mysteries.
It was during that retreat that I went to a teahouse where you could have a gongfu ceremony, having no clue that in less than six months I would be getting on a plane to go to Taiwan to learn and serve thanks to Global Tea Hut. That trip and my tea practice were behind my big move to the country in the fall of 2018, and tea ceremony is a sacred part of my offerings.
It was during that retreat that I took two supplemental Qi Gong classes. One was outside because I begged the teacher after painting inside all day if we could, and because he agreed, I had a powerful experience doing Qi Gong with a tree. That tree meditation has inspired so much of the co-facilitation with nature that is always present in my work. The other class was with Lee Holden’s student and solidified my connection to his work and led to taking his teacher training in 2021. Qi breaks have now become integral to all of my retreats and events.
It was during that retreat that I did a SoulCollage® activity, and in 2020 I became a facilitator. Pulling SoulCollage® cards is a daily, transformational practice for me, and creating cards is almost always a part of my retreats and events.
There are more, but those are some of the big fruits that came out of that one retreat. Of course, it was only because I watered and continued saying yes that those plants grew, but honestly, this is why I lead retreats. They are fertile ground.
Retreats, whether you go far away or just have time set aside in your day/month/year at home, are times of receptivity. As you put down all you have been carrying and allow yourself to have some space, you come back to your true nature, your heart designs, your soul dreams. All of creation seems to shower you with serendipity, and you are re-inspired.
Go on the retreat. Take the training. Invest in yourself.
Lee Ann Hilbrich (she/her) is an author of three books, a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator of Brené Brown's work, a Qi Gong and Yoga Teacher, and a SoulCollage® Facilitator. She is also certified in Equine-Facilitated Learning. Learning.
Lee Ann Hilbrich, MA, LPC, CDWF, RYT 200
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