03/13/2013 12:45 pm ET Updated May 13, 2013

The Spiritual Army of Caroline Myss

On a brilliant, sunny Monday in early March, we arrived at an old castle in rural England from all over the world. We represented the south, southwest, and middle of America, Denmark, France, Sri Lanka, Norway, India, the Caribbean and England. Our voices reflected our origins with too many accents to count but very little trouble communicating. We came to see and hear Caroline Myss, although most of us already knew her quite well from other experiences, whether it be books, podcasts or various events. But now it seems we came to see each other as well, to learn, to experience, to share and to belong to a community of our own creation.

We survived the tsunami, deep wounds of childhood, cancer and unthinkable loss. We were lawyers, doctors, business owners, dancers, filmmakers, accountants, mothers, sisters, wives, brothers, fathers, husbands, partners and web designers. We came alone, or with a friend, emptied our bank accounts to do so. We came for something that couldn't be explained but felt oddly familiar. No two stories were alike, and yet they all seemed connected.

The teaching was to dig deep to understand "thine own self" so that we could release the suffering we cause ourselves and move on to discover our purpose in this world. The idea was not to find it at that particular time, but to learn the process as a daily practice and cause a shift in our view of the world, ourselves, and others.

Caroline said there was nothing that couldn't be healed and she had moved past believing and into knowing. She expected us to accept that and move on. And so we got together at meals, on long walks, early in the morning and late into the evening. We discovered that some things are the same no matter where you are from, that pain is universal and hope equally so.

Our stories slowly came together as a tapestry, taking shape with different textures and colors, forming something we could all feel and touch. We acknowledged, we validated, we listened, we cried, and we cared. We parted with promises to stay in touch, each with a nagging concern that our real lives would be waiting with the same challenges but reminding ourselves that we now had new tools.

What happened at that beautiful English countryside castle is hard to say. But I have asked myself why it seemed like such a luxury to take time out to focus on our development as human beings, compassionate citizens of the world, and souls who choose to care about more than just getting through the modern day. We unwittingly formed a small army charged with the job of going out into the world with slightly more awareness, a little more grace, and the belief that our own thoughts and efforts, singularly and collectively, might actually make a difference.

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