What do I do next? Life after living at Omega
Related article: the space between things
In a holding pattern after retreat volunteer experience
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I left Omega early on a Saturday morning, before breakfast. I had said goodbye to a few friends the night before at the Magical Awakening group healing and before dinner and at dinner. I didn’t want to prolong it. I left with a full heart and also sad in another way to be going.
I found myself missing the animals, the walking everywhere (ironic since I hated having to walk everywhere when I first got there) and the wonderful food, prepared for me every day. I missed the spiritual experiences that were so easy had there, despite how tired I was, well even brain-dead at times, from the grueling administrative tedium of each day. I missed the solidness of environment. I still do miss that.
I am looking online for community. Real community this time, not a business with elements of community. Not easy to find, at least not so far. There are several retreat centers that seem to give more support for keeping the work from getting so tiring. One I read about gives a 30 minute break both morning and evening, in addition to a one-hour lunch.
I ponder why most the retreat centers who offer volunteer positions have such uncomfortable lodging options. I know at Omega, there was mold in a lot of the dorms (well, most) and the dorms were rather rundown. In addition, at least in the dorm I was first assigned, there was a propane leak. I woke more than one morning and tried to get up, only to almost pass out and fall down from it after breathing the fumes all night. From what I read about other places, it isn’t much better and some seem worse.
To get the most out of any worker, whether paid or volunteer, good sleep is critical. It doesn’t appear to me that this is a priority at retreat centers. It appears that you pile up or into some rudimentary lodging that is crowded, small and often uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel spiritually in alignment or support, to me. Most of the retreat centers I’ve contacted do not offer private sleeping space. To me, this should be a minimum consideration. Energy is strong at spiritual retreat centers. Very strong. Having private sleeping quarters, to rest and rejuvenate, would seem a basic courtesy to me.
I guess the spiritual aspects of the experience are worth it ….. that really isn’t the point of what I’m saying. It isn’t so much about whether it’s worth it or not. It’s about why it’s that way at all. Why should the lodging be dismissed as part of the benefits package for the volunteer?
Anyway, I’m not at all sure where I am going after Omega.
I’ve been asked to support a dear friend in a SunMoon Dance, the vision of Joseph Rael, this month…….. Am I physically able to do this? I’m asking my body and waiting for an answer. Update: Turns out, I was able SunMoonDance
I swore off camping a year ago, when I went to the Mother Mary gathering in Birmingham. I also refused a temp job at Omega that would have allowed me to stay on, because I’d have had to live in a tent. I don’t know……I pray for courage to do it if it is for me to do.
Update: It’s now February of 2016 and I’m still seeking community. I desire it more than ever and it seems just as impossibly absent. I still feel it out there somewhere though, maybe still being created.