By Dominique Youkhehpaz
After practicing in the Corfu Yogini Summer Ashram, I am on my knees in awe of how love is blossoming and rooting within me. I am carried in an ocean of calm, no matter how shaky and messy the surface of life seems.
Mama Corfu’s message to me began with the intention I set the night before I left home: to have fun. It felt revolutionary, for I had somehow trapped myself in the belief that healing would only happen if I focused on my wounds and patterns, if I only analyzed and dissected my pain enough. I had begun to confuse depth with darkness.
The moment I arrived in Corfu for practice with Radha, I was tackled to the ground, tickled, hugged and kissed by beloved yoginis Melina, Bibbie, Miri, Connie and Anita. I had almost forgotten the sheer bliss of being surrounded by sisters, sadhana and island beauty. Immediately, I abandoned my clinging to the belief that I was wounded and broken, and surrendered to the undeniable sensual beauty around me.
All the time I was wet—wet by my own tears, sweat and the sea. Surrounded by salty waters.
The safety of the yogini circle held me as I let my heart break, as I grieved and wailed, howled and shook until my whole body resonated with longing, longing, longing…longing for simple, pure, joyful, easeful love.
Simply through staying close to my longing—close to the vision of my heart—I was turned inside out. Something landed in me and integrated that I can hardly articulate. I only know that the portal in has been the total surrender to joy and grief, love and longing.
Oh Corfu! I could write sagas and epics, stanza after stanza of poetry in praise of your beauty and the most sacred gift you have returned to me: joy.
Joy has been my teacher, my guide, my companion, my doorway back to presence, back home to my heart. Joy brought me back into my body, resourced in the wisdom of my heart.
Since I’ve returned, life feels completely different. Even if I am in a challenging situation in my relationship, at the edge of the unknown, I am completely unhooked from my addiction to drama. I am surrendered, letting grief and love have me both. Riding the waves without wavering in my commitment to pure, simple love, whichever direction it leads me. No matter what is to come, I know I have love. I have joy. And I root myself here, laughing and dancing inside in celebration.
I invite you to experience the beauty, magic and sisterhood that is Corfu.
Thank you, Mama Corfu. Thank you, beloved sisters, for tickling me awake.
Dominique Youkhehpaz is the Creative Director of Awakening Women. Dedicated to learning how to fully honor this magical miracle of life as a woman and human being, she longs to live her life as an offering to the Great Goddess of this beautiful earth that dreams us all alive.