We are now home from a truly unique retreat. I feel confident in saying that it was transformational, taking us to depths of our essence that we didn’t even know existed.
The venue was incredible, such beauty and tranquility, right alongside a lovely sandy beach. The villas, the food and the staff were great. We enjoyed it so much that, despite how far it is from where most of us live, we are pretty keen to make the journey again next year as it is difficult to imagine we would find such a special place closer to home.
Our week however was transformed by tragedy. We found out on Thursday evening that Gopi Shanti (Nicole), daughter of Chamundai (Jacqueline Curran) took her life. She had battled for several years with the effects of depression and post traumatic stress, caused by a number of life events. Some of these events occurred during the 3 months she spent as a volunteer in Kenya. Later, she visited Vietnam as a volunteer for her university and experienced a renewal of the effect of the prior trauma. She had witnessed violent and shocking things, which deeply affected her. She had been hospitalized for mental illness arising from these events over the past few years. Despite much help given to her by both traditional medicine and alternate therapies, including Ignite Your Spirit therapy, and despite periods where she seemed recovered and well, she reached a place where she could see no hope for her future. Her decision to end her life had been coming for some time.
When we leave our body, our Astral, Etheric and soul bodies are still intact. Nicole was very visible to some of us, she was sitting cross legged looking at the darkness of the world. Guru telepathed her to turn around, to see the other side of the polarity. She did so and a significant change came over her being. I asked her to look at me and to meditate, which she did. She expanded from Astral consciousness to the transcendental light of her soul. She became deeply peaceful and the expansion of light continued, until a large vortex of light which resembled the sun opened above her. She was calm, and telepathed us that the purpose of her life was complete.
When we informed the Sanga (retreat participants) of these events the next day, there was much shock, sadness and grief. The Divine led us into a deep exploration of our own relationship with life and death. It transpired that many people in the group had needed to deal with suicide in their family at some stage. We also did healing around times in our lives that we had envisaged suicidal thoughts as the way out of intense pain, grief and anguish. Hearts opened and a very significant level of healing occurred, which would not have been possible but for the passing of Nicole. Her soul seemed to have timed her passing in a way that it would be of tremendous blessing to a lot of people, and when her mother would be on retreat with us, receiving support and help in coping.
It hit home to me once again how intolerable life is when hope is gone. It has made me more determined than ever to ensure that Project Hope, which gives healing and spiritual education to those suffering with depression, finds its way in the world and serves those who otherwise would have no options left. No therapy or approach helps everyone, and Nicole is an example of someone for whom the mainstream medicine she received and the IYS therapy provided were not able to help her find the answer she was looking for. Be that as it may, I know we can help a lot of people who find themselves in such distress, and it is our intention to make whatever difference we can.
I hope we can take this opportunity to consider the love we have for our family and particularly the young people in our life. They are precious, and now is a good time to tell them we love them, and that no matter how bad things might seem, there is always hope.
Blessings upon Nicole and her family, and blessings to all