Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Mind Body Spirit Wellness Festival in London. I chose to participate in Day 2 of this four-day-long event so that I could attend a Synchronicity workshop held by the beautiful and innovative spiritual teacher, Teal Swan.
Although the chilly air had me shivering on my trek from place to place and London once again winded me with its cold, hard hostility, within the Olympia Center there was a sanctuary to be had amidst the car horns, exhaust fumes and general sense of ‘too busy to smile’ that littered the city streets. It was so hard to believe we were in London, but then again as a mecca for people from all over the world, it made perfect sense all at the same time.
Becky and I began our day with the serenity of a world peace meditation held by Teal before parting ways for our chosen workshops. Wandering solo, I got somewhere relatively near to the front of the queue of 300-400 people and waited for the time to come and the group of us allowed to file in.
I looked around, taking in all the faces, the hope, the nerves, the intrigue and immediately felt this unexpected wave of apprehension come over me. I had assumed this would be a day of bliss, open conversation with strangers and serenity, so these nerves were completely throwing me off guard. It was partly the fear of an inspiration of mine not living up to the expectations I had. I have this real aversion to meeting any of the people I admire, from artists to public figures for the fear that my idea of them will be crushed by an ‘average’ reality. Something told me this would be OK though; that this would exceed my expectations.
There was another element chiming in and adding to this growing anxiety; it was the feeling of overwhelm being surrounded by a group that I can only describe as ‘self help junkies’. I don’t know what kinds of people I had expected would be attending this event; I suppose I hadn’t really given it much thought. I assumed peaceful people, I guess. I assumed spiritual and savvy and put together. But then I think about myself and how of course as a synchronicity event it would attract people just like me.
Most of the people attending this workshop – I assume based on the participants that volunteered to get up on the stage – were there because, like me, they feel something deeply unsettled within themselves; a resolution that must occur. The kinds of people at these events are hyper self-aware, hyper in-tune with all the things that society deems taboo. These are people who want to address their inner demons. We all have them, some of us are just more aware of them than others.
As one of the leaders in the authenticity movement, Teal attracts the kind of crowd that questions everything; the kind of crowd that is open to learning, to discovering, to helping themselves and others heal and expand in this life. In the queue, as I looked around me I was aware of this and I found it unpalatable, intimidating and emotionally confusing. Was it the feeling of being surrounded by more authentic people than I had ever encountered before that required some serious adjustment? Or was it the sadness of so many people at war with themselves and struggling with emotional trauma all in the same place that had me picking up the collective energy and expressing it as anxiety?
The nerves and sweaty palms settled after the first half an hour or so. When I got to take the focus off myself and dive into the inner turmoil of another, I could think objectively and it was no longer about me; it was no longer vulnerability I was dealing with but compassion. I let go of the pressure to fix myself and instead gradually felt the lift in my spirit and that of the collective as I watched Teal help participants work through their deep-rooted struggles and show them how they were not living in alignment with their values. It was also the most beautiful experience to have people just like me get up on stage in front of a crowd and be honest and vulnerable in a way that we just don’t talk to each other in day-to-day life.
Some talked about troublesome pasts, others cried, others spoke with broken voices from the apprehension of breaking down their walls in front of a group of strangers. But there was a remarkable thing that happened as the workshop went on; helping one person helped the collective; helping one person see why they were getting upset at the things they were or realising what truly mattered to them helped everyone realise those things in their own lives. It’s not called ‘synchronicity’ for nothing.
When I think about all the people around the world who attend Teal’s Synchronicity workshops., I am fully-filled with joy that the catalyst is doing her work and like-minded, conscious people are helping to heal each other. From each workshop, hundreds of people take away with them the desire to be authentic and live in alignment with their values. It’s a ricochet of joy and empowerment lighting up the continents.