#216 You’ve probably noticed that there’s been a lot of suffering going on in the world, especially where mental health is concerned. That’s because many intelligent and accomplished people don’t realize that self-awareness can help them enjoy deeply fulfilling and meaningful lives. They think that self-awareness is some touchy-feely nuisance that doesn’t yield tangible results. Self-awareness is a key part of being happy and living a fulfilling life because, when you understand yourself well, you experience the world as the real you rather than living unconsciously or based on what others expect you to do.
That’s why I was so thrilled and honored to bring on Cat Tweedie for a chat. She has an incredible story about how a physical breakdown at age 37 that left her bedridden for 9 months led her down the path of appreciating the beauty and intelligence of her emotions as well as the importance of being self-aware. In a world that has been living in a very disembodied state for generations, Cat co-founded Sleepawake to help 18 to 24-year-olds have a space to learn embodiment and so much more. She also leads women’s circles that weave meditation, movement, and connection. Tune in to gain from the insightful and empowering wisdom she had to share.
“If there’s content that’s unprocessed, eventually the body will pay the toll for it” – Cat Tweedie
“There’s no part of us that’s not worthy of being attended to” – Cat Tweedie
“From a spiritual standpoint, our children are another engine for our awakening if we choose to accept every time they point to a trigger” – Cat Tweedie
If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Sleepawake: The 6 Potent Paths to Embodied, Engaged, & Authentic Living | Jeff Lieberman
About Cat: Cat Tweedie holds a fire for honoring this one life. She is committed to the inner work needed to live in harmony with each other and the Earth. She brings twelve years of facilitation experience and twenty years of meditation practice. She supports individual healing and growth through relational group work, attention practices, and movement.
Cat was an All-American pole vaulter in college, earned her Ph.D. at MIT in Materials Science and Engineering, and traveled the world managing and facilitating transformational change projects in private companies and public organizations.
For most of Cat’s life, she thought she was happy and healthy. But at 37 a physical breakdown left her bedridden for 9 months, dependent on her family and community. This experience let her see how deeply her sense of contentment had been dependent on her achievements and ability to please others. Her body’s vitality returned as she began honoring the needs she had learned to dismiss.
At home in Oregon, Cat facilitates women’s circles exploring life experiences through meditation and movement in community. Cat’s sculpture work can be found at cattweedieball.com.
Key points with time stamp:
- Breakdown To Break Through: Mastering How To Listen To Yourself (00:00)
- Listening to herself and following: How she continuously moves from the preciousness of this life and the joy that feels possible (00:42)
- Figuring out your mind especially if you’re an overthinker (04:08)
- What repressed emotions from her childhood had to do with the physical breakdown she went through at age 37 (06:19)
- The healing power of letting go and acceptance (13:02)
- Mastering how to listen to yourself (18:04)
- Strengthening our relationships with trust and vulnerability (23:24)
- Parenting genius 101 from her own experience (31:08)
- Breaking down the dynamics of relationships and learning to reprogram some of the beliefs and limitations that we bring to our interactions with others (39:10)
- Sleepawake Camp and how it’s changing lives (43:05)
Please note, this is an automated transcript so it is not 100% accurate.
There we go. We’re recording KA. Welcome to the podcast.
So good to be here.
I’m, I’m genuinely curious today because, uh, if I’m completely honest, I don’t know much about you, but, um, I really wanted to, uh, follow up, um, from speaking to Jeff a few weeks ago with what you guys are doing, cuz um, I just think it’s brilliant and, and connecting with Jeff and, and learning more about you. I was like, wow, I gotta get cat on the podcast. So I’m really excited to see where this conversation goes today.
I ask everyone on the show, if you sat next to a complete stranger at a dinner party or in a cocktail bar and they asked you what you did for a living, what would you say?
Well, this is gonna be revealing because I am very transparent, no matter what the setting. So I think I would say that I listen, I listen to myself and I follow. And um, so that more and more I’m moving from, From the preciousness of this life and the joy that, um, you know, feels possible.
Wow. I gotta be honest. I’ve asked hundreds of people that question and that’s probably one of the best answers I’ve viewed seriously. I listen,
I mean, I, I mean, I feel like I, I almost started crying a bit just cause I’m, I’m feeling just incredibly grateful that I, you know, I get to make art and I get to create things with people that I love that I care about. Um, and I feel like more and more, I’m not hiding any part of myself from my family or my friends. Um,
Yeah, beautiful. I got sparked two questions already, but the first one is I think, um, from my journey and it working with others and seeing that, that, that listening, that inner knowing that connection to self can be terrifying. And so quite often we don’t listen to it because it then leads us into an unknown, which of course is even more terrifying. Um, did you always listen and I’ll just stay with that one question.
Yeah. Um, no know um, so I think my first, my biggest commitment to listening to my heart and myself over ideas of what I should be doing, um, was about fif 13 years ago, I took a six months sabbatical from the work that I was doing and I said, I’m gonna travel for six months and I’m just gonna listen to my heart. Like if I wanna stay somewhere, like I don’t have to have a mental reason for anything. Right. It’s just literally a six month practice in listening. And I mean, the humor is not lost on me that as soon as I made that decision, one of my, like 20, a friend from of 20 years said, look, I’ve loved you for ages. Can we talk about it? you know, so within a month I, I got engaged even like, while I was in Cambodia. Um, so it was just, I think that was the beginning of this opening to the listening and then, you know, just opening to the unknown. Right. Um, yeah, like what happens when we make space? We don’t know
Exactly. And what, let, I I’m intrigued as well about, um, your backgrounds cuz listening to Jeff speak the other week, like, you know, he was very, um, in the mind, very left sided brain thinking and you know, he, he said he studied even studied quantum mechanics trying to figure it all out before he realized that all he had to do was probably listen as opposed to solve things. Did you find yourself in that category too? Um, because I overthinking cuz a lot of people struggle with the mind and, and just trying to detach from that at any aspect.
Yeah. I mean I absolutely leaned on my mind heavily. Um, and it was partly kind of the combination of wanting to win my father’s love and that seemed like a good route. And um, so I went to MIT for undergrad. I did my PhD there. Um, and I think it was, there were two moments. There was one moment when I finished my PhD and I was like, oh, that’s it . And then there was another moment when, um, I had been doing a job where my first, my starting salary is more than my father had ever made in his life and I was traveling all around the world. And so by, you know, similar to Jeff’s story by outward standards, this is, you know, kind of a glorious existence for, uh, somebody in their mid twenties. Um um, and there were two things there. I think I looked at the adults, so the older people around me and I said, I don’t want any of these people’s lives mm-hmm.
Um, and, and I think that was when it fully clicked for me that there was no amount of money or achievement, any kind of outward movement that would, you know, that would give a sense of contentment.
Yeah. Right. I’m I’m fascinated as well. Cuz in your bio, you talk about, um, a physical breakdown at 37 at I’d love you to speak to that. And that was that cuz you, you also mentioned you were a pole vault and, and I was intrigued. Was it from pushing yourself through athletics too hard? Or was it from um, pushing yourself mentally or too hard? What, what, what happened with the whole thing?
So yeah, I think pole vaulting in college actually helped me stay balanced with the mind because when I was training, I was entirely with my body. And so that actually created some balance mm-hmm um, it was not until after I’d had my second child, I was 37. Um, and my, or as you maybe have experienced as a young parent, everyone in the family got sick. We all had this horrible virus and everyone recovered. And then I didn’t and I was just on the couch and I realized like something’s really wrong. Wow. And um, I started kind of contacting doctors and it wasn’t clear. I knew that my, um, my immune system was weakened my thyroid. I mean over time as tests, you know, I found out my thyroid wasn’t working, my adrenal system was shot. Um, and my gut. And so all these systems were kind of shut down.
I even had, you know, there were people who came to my bed and did energetic work or kind of body work. And they’re just like, nothing’s moving like no energy is moving. Um, and it was funny when you asked if, if we might talk about this, you know, it’s still, it’s still tender because all the things that I thought I was, you know, I thought I was a mother who could care for our kids. I thought I was an athlete. I thought I was somebody who could think clearly like, oh, those got just stripped away. I didn’t have energy to be with my children. I’d have to hide in a room just laying all day. Wow. Um, and my husband just had to take over everything and it was just heartbreaking and ego breaking to not be able to help all to need so much help from my community, my parents, my family.
Um, and I think the shattering part was, and yet I’m still here, like all these ideas of what I thought I was and what I thought earned love, you know, there’s some consciously that was sort of like, well, I have to do these things so that I am kind of reciprocating. And yet here I was like, just laying people are bringing me food. Um, and it was months. Right. And completely not knowing like, is this, is this gonna be life? Is this what life is gonna be like? And I remember a talk with my husband at six months and just, we were just heartbroken and crying. And yet still choosing this, um, like here we are. Um, what turned it? I mean, I think the, the, to your question, the reason that this physical breakdown happened is that it was the price I paid for having repressed emotions from my childhood. There was anger that was not processed. And it’s my belief in my experience that if, you know, if there’s content that’s unprocessed, eventually the body will pay the toll for it. Um, and it was only through the full honoring of my, like, this is what I want. This is what I need with no attempt to take care of anybody, um, that, that began to recover.
Wow. That’s massive. Massive.
It’s fascinating cuz um, I, I had the, the, the pleasure of, um, having G matte on the show, um, about a year ago, it was just an in beautiful human being. And I, I was only talking to Matt, my business partner yesterday when I run the retreats with, and he was listening to Gabe cuz he was saying that it’s scientifically proven now that we can’t separate the emotions and the body, as in the way the Western medical system works, we just address the body. We just physical, physical, physical, physical, and yet it is proven that we actually need to support all the other aspects, which I believe is emotional, mental and spiritual and, and, and address all layers. Um, we just go to the one aspect, which is mind blowing. What was the catalyst for you then? Because I’m guessing, and I don’t wanna impose my beliefs on you, but that at first you didn’t realize that that Bo your body was holding the trauma from childhood and then it would start to reveal itself. Or
It was interesting. This is where, you know, this is where sort of the spiritual knowing just kind of was there, there even while there was a huge part of me that was saying like, I cannot handle this. I am not wanting this version of reality. There was also a part of me that said, this is actually what needs to happen, like for me to move like, and, and part of it is from my vision now at the, at the time it was just a seed of, you know, there’s some movement that’s wanting to happen that I wouldn’t do of my own free will, but that will happen through this. And it was just not knowing and I, the way I hold it now is, well, my physical vessel almost just had to break. It, had to crack for, for my system to realign more clearly around who I am and what I want, um, to show up.
Wow. Was there a, a definitive moment when you started to really feel that release from your body? Or was there a particular, um, practice that you started doing that helped you through to gain momentum coming out to the other side?
I mean, I think, I mean, where it started is just this acceptance, huh? This is where I’m right. And that was at the very bottom, right.
Like I am just laying here all day. My mom is bringing me fried kale and I can see this tree and this is my day and there’s still joy in it. Right. So much not what I expected and here I am. And so I think from that, the seed of acceptance fully, like, can I fully accept myself in this way from that S sprouted, the practices of asking more and more for this is what I want. This is what I need, um, and trusting through. And through that, those are all good. That all the like sources of my wants and my needs are good, that I am good and worthy of the things that I want.
Yeah. It’s, it’s greatest challenge. Isn’t it acceptance as we, whatever we resist persists. And until we, we fully let go, um, I had Brandon Bayes on, are you familiar with Brandon Bayes at all? That I remember. Yeah. She’s an incredible human being. And I had her on the podcast last week and just to relate to this because, uh, in the nineties she was, um, she was the, the health coach for Tony Robbins. So she would travel with Tony and she would speak on stage and, and, and she had every qualification under the sun in the alternative, I guess, um, world at the time she said, and there, there, she was, uh, diagnosed, um, with cancer at 39 years old. And it wasn’t until she actually fully surrendered and, and let her ego get smashed the bits through everything, um, that she was able to then start the journey to heal, which is quite remarkable. And I, I often think about that on a daily basis with what we are doing. And when you look at what’s, what’s going on in society night right now, it’s quite, uh, it’s quite scary at the end of the day. When you, when did you meet Jeff and when did this whole project start to come about with, with sleep awake from, from your end?
Um, well, I, I act, I believe that I remember the moment that I met Jeff. Um, some of our memories are aligned and don’t align, but, um, it was 2000 and I was arriving as a freshman at MIT. Um, and he was playing guitar in the kind of dorm that I was staying at. So that’s when we met for the first time. Um, but our friendship has had a lot of stages in the last 22 years. And last August, Jeff gave a presentation to a couple of our friends, cuz we’d been talking about communal living and experiments and rights of passage mm-hmm and we’d been doing kind of group group experiments around, um, you know, relational, relational healing. And, um, he gave this presentation, he said, Hey, I want to do this, this summer camp. I, but I can’t do it alone. Um, I’m we need help.
And this is the point which I said, I’ve got way too much going on. I good luck with that. and and it was funny. It was, I sat there with that for three weeks and I was speaking with a friend about it and I was feeling his excitement. And then I felt this thought of, oh, I actually, I think I wanna lead it. Like I wanna lead it with him. And it was one of those, and this is where the body, you know, this practice of listening where my body just powered up. Like, I, I can still remember this feeling of it coming up through my gut and like up, and then it was like, it was then like little fireworks. I was like, oh, for this reason and this reason and this reason, and like just feeling the resources, all kind of gather in support. Um, and so I left Jeff some kind of video message being like, eh, found out I wanna lead this with you. There it is
To digress slightly on the listening aspect. If you were to describe to someone, how do you listen, because it’s such a foreign concept to so many people, and yet here you are going, I know this is right. I’m gonna do it. I’m changing my trajectory and I’m and I’m diving in.
Yeah. Well I think, I mean, partly it’s, you know, we have access to this vast, vast set of signals. Right. You know, we’ve got the signals about our thoughts. We’ve got all the signals, our somatic signals, um, you know, and then all of the signals about what’s around us and relational signals. And, um, I feel like for me, it’s staying attuned to the, to the somatic signals and, and really trusting that they all have intelligence, um, and being open to what they have to say. Uh, yeah. I mean, I think I, I put myself in a place of receiving, you know, so that if I want to listen, I’m kind of opening up, not trying to like force an answer, but just kind of opening up and being curious about what, like what wants to be known about this right now. Um, and Yeah, and then, and sometimes that other thing, you know, just arises and it’s the willingness to listen, um, and accept, even though that might be an inconvenient thing or inconvenient seeming at the time.
Totally. Cause quite often we have so many distractions in our life or if we, we are unaware and we’re keeping ourselves externally, we’re not giving ourselves the opportunity to listen in the first place and it can feel so foreign to so many people if they’ve not done that.
Do you, um, cause it, it was in your, um, living the DNA of the sleep sleepaway camp. It was in one of the notes you sent me, which kind of leans into this. And what is the living your DNA? Do you have certain practices or do you find you just embody it moment to moment? Or what, what, talk to me about that?
Whatever my daily about
That practices. Me both. Yeah. So the do
Sort of the sleep awake culture,
I guess both I’m, I’m assuming there’s gonna be crossover here as well.
Well, I think with the sleep awake culture, um, I think with Jeff, you know, what I think is extraordinary about what we’re creating is we’re creating a container of unconditional love of acceptance and non-judgment, but that’s easier said than done. And so what do we do in practice that upholds that there’s no part of us, no part of us that is not worthy of being attended to. Um, and so like an example,
I mean, on a kind of categories level, you know, we are bringing the things that are uncomfortable, the difficult emotions and the projections of each other that arise, um, trusting that those will support kind of the intelligence and movement. Anything that arises that would get in the way of our connection is, is worth bringing mm-hmm . Um, so like yesterday we were working on a waiver for camp or I I’m responsible for it. And so we have a game right now where sometimes because of my past critical voice I’ll feel inferior. Like I’m having a hard time. My critical voice will say that I feel inferior than this person will be a kind of comparison feeling. And so now when it comes up, I tell Jeff, I say, I’m feeling inferior and Jeff will be like, oh, why is that what, what are you feeling inferior about?
And I’ll say, uh, I really like, I’m hating that. I had to ask you for help and getting started on this waiver. Like, I feel like I should be able to do it all by myself. And he’s like, oh, like how many times have you made a waiver? Like never, he’s like, all right, like that’s a heavy, that’s a heavy load, you know? And so then I can feel, be, feel the harshness of, of that voice. And it’s shared with him. And then I get what I need. I get the help in getting started on the waiver and, and I feel accepted and loved. And like, we get to be, you know, I’m not creating separation by that false idea.
Perfect. Why is it so challenging for us as human beings to even do what you just did in, in relationships? And what do you think are the consequences from not doing it? Those two things?
Well, I mean, I think the first reason is it’s vulnerable, right? Like the whole reason I can tell it’s something that would probably be good to share is because there’s a tightening that happens. Like I have this thought and I can feel, you know, it depends on what it is, but I might feel tightening in my gut or my heart area. And I mean, it feel, it feels like a very animal instinct, right? Like that if we open and expose something that we relate to, you know, maybe something that we’ve been criticized for in the past or, you know, that we have some memory of having a negative experience around, then it’s gonna be less likely that we’ll want to just like offer that, offer that up. Um, and so I do think it it’s through trust, um, you know, trying little experiments and I’ll get back to that in a moment. Cause I wanna finish the other side of your question. Um, I think if we don’t share them, we’re more likely to believe they’re true.
You know, we’re more likely to, if there’s a thought of I’m inferior or, um, I’m not as good at that as that person and that I don’t share it. It’s more likely that I’m gonna think that’s true and I’ve just gathered evidence. Oh, I couldn’t start the waiver on my own. See, and you know, I mean, I wear data collecting machines in the background and um, you know, we can prove a point really well if, especially if it’s not kind of fully in the consciousness. And so I think the impact is, um, you, know’s heartbreaking because it’s reinforcing a lot of limiting beliefs about who we are that kind of can suffocate and hurt us and keep us separated from other people and keep us separated from our own gifts.
Yeah. And then the consequences obviously would be, they just compound over time until there’s a tipping point.
Right. And I , I don’t want to have gone through paying the physical price, um, in this lifetime without doing what I can to support others in, you know, releasing these ideas about themselves early on. So they don’t have to pay through the physical body. Yeah. Um,
Yeah. Move moving, um, into the sleep awake camp then, which is coming up, which is coming up in July. Is it June? July?
Yeah. So it’ll be July 24th to August 22nd.
Yeah. Which is, which is gonna be here before, you know, it, um, what is, what is, what is your, um, I guess I don’t wanna use the word hope, what is your vision for this and for the outcome and the impact and the ripple effect. It will have moving forward for the, for the people that attend. Cause it’ll be 18 to 24 year olds if I’m not mistaken, right. Is that
Yeah, hopefully 16, 18 to 24 year olds. And there will be somewhere between six and eight facilitators, all specializing in a different area that is being covered. And then my children will be there, my boys five and eight and my partner. Um, so we will have, you know, it’s a full on community and there’s also some of the people who work at the, this is a spiritually rooted retreat center. Okay. Um, that was found decades ago on the big island of Hawaii, which I visited and, um, was very moved by just the, the abundance of the nature and the fruit trees. And, um, I mean, even that, just having that support of being in nature every day and being close to the ground and the food that we’re eating, um, is very encouraging for the time that we’re there. Um, but I wanted to, in terms of my hope,
I think my hope is that for everyone who comes to this retreat, that there’s a softening allowed inside of them, a softening around, you know, who they think they should be, that allows, allows just the joy of being allow joy of them being themselves to emerge and feel fully welcome because you know, an experience of everyone in a community, all moving towards, um, aliveness. And just to ground what I just said a bit, I was having an interview recently with somebody who’s going to come. And as part of the interview we play, we play a game and it’s different depending on who comes with this was a game called let’s get real. And it’s a game that Jeff made up and you can only speak something that is, you know, a true impulse, but is causes a contraction. So it’s something that your stomach tightens at the thought of saying it.
And what happens in this game typically is that as people share it, just permissions back and forth, um, like, oh, it’s so like I can, I said that and I was fine. And then the other person’s like, oh, I, I wanna say this. Like I wanna share now. And the woman that I was interviewing, she just said like, I don’t speak with any adults like this. I never speak like this in an interview. And you just, this kind of pointing to how many implicit rules there are about how we engage with each other. And how many of those do we actually need? How many of those actually serve us?
Wow. At 18, I didn’t have a clue. I can tell. I can tell you that much. Um, not that I have a clue now. I, I still just listen and trust that more than anything else. Um, you, you have children and how many children do you have? Ken,
Two boys. One is five and one
Is eight. One is five and one is eight. Wow. When it comes to parenting then from how do you, and this is, this is, and I’ve been intrigued here now, selfishly, because I have Ava, who’s 22 months on nearly 23 months. God should be too amazing. Um, and I’m so caught. Like, I, I, I just like, oh my God, am I absolutely screwing this up? Or am I I’m doing the best I can and holding space for her and, and all the rest of it. I mean, with what you’ve been through, what you’ve learned and what you’re doing with 16 to 24 year olds or whatever it might be with sleep awake, how do you raise your children? Like, are there, are there any like footnotes you could share or for, for that, that helped you to help other parents listening to this that might be in the same bracket because it’s, it’s tough. Yeah.
so that speaks to what you’re pointing to is. So I have a teacher, um, who I follow in respect tremendously around collective trauma. His name is Thomas Hubel. I don’t know if you’ve heard, heard of him. Um, but he has beautiful teachings around collective trauma and, and healing, collective trauma. And one of the things he says is when we have kids, the, a child plays us like a keyboard. And then if there’s any key, that’s out of tune, not integrated, they will play that key over and over again. And I think what he’s pointing to is when, when we get triggered by our children, because it’s a, when not an if, um, um, we have a choice, I have a choice I can choose to try to limit my child’s expression to the point that it no longer causes discomfort in me, or I can find out why is this uncomfortable for me? And through that process of investigation, hopefully there’s a falling in love with some part of myself that then allows me to love that part of myself and love that part of my child. Um, and so in that way, you know, our children are another, you know, I, I think from a spiritual standpoint, they’re another engine or awakening, right. Cause if we choose to accept, you know, every time they point to a trigger, um, oh,
Wow, thank you. So they’ve become our biggest teachers.
Yeah. But I, I think the flip side of this as a parent and selfishly is I only have my instrument, right? Like, I, I am only this lens on the universe. Mm-hmm . And so, you know, offering these 18 to 24 year olds coming to camp, and also my kids who will be at camp exposure to a lot of other adults who are doing beautiful work in their lives. It allows them to imprint other nervous systems than my nervous system that has a certain set of reactivity and other people will have a different set of experience, um, and different set of reactivity. And so I feel like it, by having these kinds of interactions with more people, you get to feel, you know, imprint on more nervous systems, you feel more option mm-hmm for how you can exist. Right. So if you only have, I mean, typically our parents are our primary imprints, but if we get more, then we just, it opens up the options for what our beliefs can be. You know, what life lessons they might learn from. Um, well, what is a problem? What’s not a problem. Um, cuz different systems have different definitions of those and um, you, so I feel like that’s one of the incredible gifts of, you know, the, the term, you know, takes a village to raise a child. Um, doesn’t, it’s not two adults working really, really hard to raise a child. um, ,
That’s what it genuinely feels like for me at the moment. I tell you God. Yeah. But I hear you. Mm.
Um, so I mean, selfishly for me, it’s, it’s a movement into, you know, also a personal experimental space. What is it like for me to be in a facilitative role in support of the wellbeing and thriving of these 18 to 24 year olds while being a mother while being a partner. Um, and so that’s, that’s one of the catalysts for my own growth is, you know, how do I let in all those parts, all those relationships and live, live in them simultaneously and find, okay, like what’s gonna be uncomfortable around this. And, um, that’ll be, uh, there’s gonna be no dearth of teachings for me this
Summer. Yeah. I don’t doubt it. I, um, uh, just before the lockdowns here in Australia, my mom, she was 76 at the time come to our three night, four day retreat. And I was the facilitator and my mom was there amongst 34 other people. And you know, my, my dad had passed, it’s been 10 years now, but there was still healing to be there for, for myself and my mum, but I can still relate to everything you just said because there was, I was the facilitator, the sun, but at the same time holding space for, for everyone. And it was an extremely, it was one of the most special moments in my life to be honest with, because to, to get to do that. But there was times when I just wanted to be the son and rush over and, and pick her up off the floor and help her cuz you know, she struggled to get up, but then I had to leave her and the other people, uh, the community, the people that were there were then interacting and dynamic and then she was kind of like, just I’d end up just seeing her in bits of bobs here, neck.
Cause she was never whale of a time with other people that actually cared, even though she was so scared coming beforehand, um, it just opened up in such magical ways that I can’t yeah. Can’t express my gratitude enough for it. So I totally understand what you’re saying.
Yes. When I’m here in that, even in the, the desire for the sun to like help lift the mother up, you know, a particular kind of role that you have a relationship that you have with your mother in caring and the invitation to oh, like the flexibility of allowing the group to also hold your mother. Um, and what, you know, the tenderness in kind of ex you know, expanding, um, in that way of like, okay, does that feel safe?
Exactly. And it was huge and it was, it was so fantastic, which leads me on to the last bit. I did wanna bring up about, you know, cause you got, um, one of your footnotes you sent me was filling the gap group relational practices. Is that where you were referring to or
Um, in a way. Yeah. So I I’ll just expand on it a little bit. Um, then I’ll start with, you know, so myself and many of the people maybe who listen to this podcast, maybe have meditation practices, maybe have exposure to silent meditation retreats. And um, they’ve always been a great love of mine and, and those funny stories when I was a child, um, I used to fantasize about going to jail without doing anything wrong and because this, this seemed like really wonderful. And when I went to my first retreat in Chan my Thailand and I first like laid on a mat in a tiny room and was practicing, you know, 10 hours a day, I was like, oh, this is what I wanted. Like you, it wasn’t to go to jail, but I wanted to practice in solitude. Um, and that’s, you know, at 28, that’s how I discovered silent meditation retreat.
And I, I retreat, I sat for six weeks when I was pregnant with my first child during the second trimester. So my beautiful generosity, my partner, you know, and I didn’t speak for six weeks during my first pregnancy. Wow. And I sat and like, you know, gave meta to my growing fetus and you know, that was incredible. And yet, so despite my incredible love and devotion to silent practice where, you know, we get to break down our breath, we get to break down our movement. Um, you know, we get to understand the nature of thoughts more clearly and yet what a jump to then go out and like figure stuff out in our relationships where stuff is actually on the line. Like it it’s like the wild west right. And so the gap, the gap that exists and, and that, I feel like sleep awake, camp addresses in part is what does it mean to set up a, a practice container around relationships?
What does it mean to be able to investigate, oh, I hold a projection that I’m not gonna like the people in this group or I hold a projection that the people in the group will not like me or I have a projection that if I am strong about an opinion, I will be rejected by the group. Right. There’s all these ideas that people have. Um, and that’s not, some of them may get sorted out in a private, you know, in a silent retreat and some of ’em may get sorted out in one-on-one therapy, but many of them won’t, many of these relational beliefs are actually gonna get healed most effectively in a relational practice group where you can actually, okay. I’m gonna experiment with being, um, you know, more in my power, more grounded and see what happens or experiment with being more feminine experiment with bringing out more of my sexuality and then check in, well, how, how did that work? Um, and through that, the nervous system gets to see, gets to try things and be like, oh, that was safe. Turns out. That was okay. Um, anyway, so the, what I’m pointing to is there’s a gap that is really not being met right now, which is how do we break down dynamics of relation and learn to reprogram some of the beliefs and limitations that we bring to our interactions with others
That makes so much sense. It’s a crime that we not taught this from in as part of the curriculum. It’s as simple as that, like it’s so important, isn’t it? It’s, it’s pretty much, yeah, incredible. I think what, the way you’ve explained that is, is perfect. Cuz even when we hold retreats, we, we, we lean on the, the community. Like it’s the group, every everyone in there. And I always say it’s like creating a symphony, um, what we find within that retreat and everyone has brought in a particular and it might, the note might be a little bit outta tune, but as we retune it and bring it up, it’s, there’s no accident or whoever’s in that room. And the symphony is created from that. If we surrender into it and leverage the power of the group dynamic, um, which is so, so incredible. Incredible.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. And I think it reflects my deepest wish for the camp, which is both that we offer all of these pieces that feel so essential to our thriving, connected, happiness as humans and honor completely just the mystery of what the combination of these beings will bring forth and, and be really responsive in allowing that to unfold because that’s much more beautiful than anything that we could
Absolutely. Are you still taking on applicants just for people listening and right now
We are, we are kind of working our way towards yeah. You know, filling up and building this cohort, but we are very much welcoming. Yeah.
Beautiful. And what’s the vision long term, obviously you’re gonna see how this goes, but then are you gonna be running it once a year, twice a year one? Like, what do you think?
So for sure, this year, this is our best guess and we are gonna see what happens and do all the learning from it. Um, in the long run, I hope that it happens every summer. I also hope that we find models that either plug in to universities or other containers that might be interested in what happens to a collective community. Um, if some percentage of, of the population have done this kind of work. Um, and I think there are different kinds of populations and we’re, we’re kind of excited to see who is drawn to, into conversation with us who might be interested in, you know, doing similar projects for various populations. Cause it’s, it’s a great learning. Um, and but one that’s desperately
Needed. Yeah. Yeah. Def definitely desperately needed that’s for sure. Um, I got one question for you before we wrap things up KA and that is with everything we’ve covered today. What would you like to leave our listeners to ponder on?
I think the, the one thing might be what is the idea that you have about yourself, where you feel tightness around it, that you could soften.
Perfect. KA, thank you so much for being on the show today. I’ll ensure the, um, maybe just say out the URL out loud anyway for anyone driving, but the, the links will be in the show notes for everyone, whether it be YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, and so forth.
Awesome. It’s uh, sleep awake dot
Sleep, awake.camp. Beautiful. Thank you. KA amazing stuff. And uh, I wish you all the best, uh, in Hawaii when it’ll be here before you know it. And I have no doubt. It’s gonna be absolutely incredible. You’re welcome. Thank you.