I was asked recently why my seasonal retreats are titled "Befriending Yourself." The answer involved reflecting back on a time when I did not know what being a true friend to myself actually meant. I was raised to be a good friend to others; never did anyone mention being a good friend to myself.
I wish I could tell you a lovely little story of how I started cultivating a friendship with myself, but the truth is quite grim. Many winters ago, my tools for dealing with life were sparse, I felt lonely more often than not, and depression hung around like a black cloud that followed me everywhere.
While happy moments did occur, the lows were so low, so bottomless, that I'd often feel lost to myself for months at a time. It seems almost unreal now because my life today is so vastly different. But the felt-sense arising from these memories does not lie.
It was on one of these down spirals, when I was so desperately longing for the presence of another in the darkness, that I realized I am here with me. I am here to hear my cries and wipe away my tears. I am here to see my pain and hold my hand tightly. I am here to smell the acrid odor of hopelessness and remind myself that "This too shall pass." It is I, my always-present presence, who is here with me always.
You don't have to suffer from depression to know what I mean. You just have to be human. We all have tough moments. So what would it be like if in your next tough moment, your own presence is within reach to offer you comfort and warmth? This is why I offer these befriending yourself retreats, so that together we cultivate a deep and loving friendship with ourselves.
Please join me for the Befriending Yourself: Winter Daylong Retreat on Feb 3, 2018!
Details @ shiraozsinai.com/winter-daylong-retreat-2018.
May you always feel your presence within reach,
-- Shira Oz-Sinai
What does befriending yourself mean to you?
Shira Oz-Sinai is a spiritual teacher trained in iRest® Yoga Nidra meditation and Soul Lightening Acupressure®, two modalities that share the common principle of noticing what arises in awareness as the foundation to living life with ease and in deep and loving friendship with yourself. These are her musings.