During the summer of 2001, I went to visit my best friend from college, who was doing work exchange, at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies outside of Rhinebeck, N.Y..
On my way to New York City, for a job interview, pursuing a dream of becoming a professional hip-hop and Latin dancer, a stop at Omega, on route, changed my life.
Sitting in the stuffy, beige colored office in midtown Manhattan, after spending three blissfully freeing days at the Omega Institute, I looked around me and thought, “No way!” I left New York City a couple days later, after realizing that I did not want to live there and work in corporate America, and headed back to Omega. Luckily, they had work for me and I stayed on as a seasonal employee for 2 1/2 months, into the early fall.
One day, my best friend from college, another friend of ours and I took a workshop, offered by a visiting psychotherapist. During the workshop, everyone had a chance to sit with the therapist, witnessed by the group, and talk about their number one issue in life.
Afraid to expose myself, I waited until the end of the day to have my time with the therapist. As I sat with her, in front of that small group of people, I discovered, much like I had when working with my dear friend Dariel at Panterra in 1999, that I was still looking for others to love me, namely my mother.
As I talked this out and roll played with the therapist, I broke down in tears. She asked me whether I would commit to loving myself, because I couldn’t always count on others to love me the way I wanted to be loved. And, I said yes. Holding up a ring I had made for me the year before, I made the commitment and put it back onto my finger.
Omega was the beginning of this actual commitment to loving myself, a commitment that continues to this day. At first, I didn’t even know what “loving myself” was.
How do I do that? Is it a thing? An action? A way of being?
I had no idea. But, over time, and through more healing and growth work, the pieces of this puzzle would begin to show themselves.
Oh, it’s taking better care of myself. Oh, it’s listening to my gut and not ignoring when my intuition is telling me something is not good for me. Oh, it’s standing up for myself, no matter what others say. Etc., etc.
There are so many ways to learn how to love ourselves and I give thanks to Omega, that beautiful place, nestled in the Hudson River Valley, where I had an opportunity to start this important commitment and discovery.
p.s. What’s one pivotal moment in your life that changed everything for the better? Share in the comments section below.
p.p.s. Ready to feel at peace, at ease, and in choice? Mindfulness can do all of that and so much more! Take the free quiz to find out how mindful you are right now. Click here!