Let's back up a bit. Before you jump to conclusions: No, I am not in a Bikram class or some sort of communal infrared sauna. I'm about 24 hours into a Moon Club gathering for the Leo new moon—one that is calling on me, and a handful of other incredibly brave women, to drop our barriers and sit with our deepest, darkest selves in order to make space for our true purposes to rise to the surface.
Easier said than done.
When I first got word of the weekend in upstate New York, I was immediately intrigued. After all, the event was to be hosted by two of my idols in the spiritual arena (Alexandra Roxo, the writer, director, healer, and voice behind the incredible Holy F*ck column, and Ruby Warrington, the fashion-editor-turned-mystic who makes spiritual living cool with her website, The Numinous, and book, Material Girl, Mystical World), and it ensured lots of astrology, incense, and opportunity to roam in a forest. It delivered on these promises, but what came in between was incredibly hard—but even more incredibly necessary—work.
A series of visualizations, group shares, and intention-setting exercises were united by the common theme of forgoing the niceties and chitchat we usually lead conversation with and sharing something more personal with one another. Prompts like "Tell your partner about a transformative experience you've had" and "Speak of a time that you've experienced grief" were thrown out before we even had time to exchange cities and occupations.
Because I am an introvert to the bone, this was beyond uncomfortable to me, both emotionally and physically. By the time I reached the pivotal aforementioned floor session, my legs felt like I'd just run a marathon, my stomach was in knots, and my head was pounding with a feverish intensity. It was a potent reminder of the mind-body connection, of the way that a mental challenge often incites a physical one. But in this moment, the height of my discomfort, something extraordinary happened.