Professional Retreat guest, Brenna Atnikov, describes her journey from professional burnout to discovering a more life-sustaining approach to her life and work.
With my professional work designing and facilitating systemic change projects, I haven’t been able to prioritize and find time for rejuvenation of my spirit. I’ve been working on a number of projects where there is too much work and not enough time to pause, reflect and ask: Who have I become? Who am I becoming? If this is my life’s work, how can I do it in a much more life-giving and sustaining way?
In the retreat I felt like I was getting re-acquainted with myself through many of the Ashram’s practices. I was meditating and recalling my dreams in a way that I haven’t before. Learning the tools to work with them has been powerful. The mantras and chanting are a way to tap into myself and the collective of the group. Being in the forest has also been important.
One day as I was journaling by the lake, a question came up – When I look into the next 10 years, what might I miss out on that I need to start cultivating now?
The question surprised me. I’m confident that if I’d been in the city doing a self-guided retreat, this question wouldn’t have emerged. I knew it was the right question because it was really juicy. I sat with it for awhile and then had a powerful dream. Now the question is: How do I bring the feminine back into my life and my work? During my time at the Ashram I had a profound re-connection with Kuan Yin which moved me very much. I have promised to honour and celebrate Her in myself and in my life.
When I first came to the Ashram I thought I had to give my work up and do something completely new. Now I know that if I keep going through this process of honouring and celebrating the feminine – and being more fierce about it – then I can continue doing the work that is life-giving for me, that is connected to my purpose.
Learn more about Brenna’s work at Reos Partners.