The Surprising Truth I Learnt at Glastonbury

Although Glastonbury Festival has never been something I’ve been excited about, in recent months I’ve repeatedly heard how much of a spiritual centre the town itself is. I’ve had several nudges from books I’ve been reading or conversations I’ve had and usually when you notice the signs, it’s time to take note.

Although Glastonbury Festival has never been something I’ve been excited about, in recent months I’ve repeatedly heard how much of a spiritual centre the town itself is. I’ve had several nudges from books I’ve been reading or conversations I’ve had and usually when you notice the signs, it’s time to take note. I’d hoped to go at the end of the summer or beginning of autumn last year but it wasn’t to be. I finally went last week after a last minute decision that it was the place I was meant to visit next.

After breaking all my boundaries and working crazy hours over Christmas and New Year I desperately needed some time off to get back on an even keel. It can take me longer than most to get back to a steady point when I’ve let myself get overworked or a bit burnt-out (thanks BPD).

I couldn’t escape the heavy, tired feeling I was living with or the tearfulness and short temper. I’d been doing so well at holding my boundaries up until that point but when I work too much, get over-tired and/or over-hungry I start unravelling a bit. My wild, wise woman was calling for some time in the wilderness so I listened and booked some time out.

I had been planning to return to Iceland after my visit there around this time last year. My inner balance was restored by staying in a wood cabin in a desolate spot off the Golden Circle, ten minutes away from the serene and peaceful Secret Lagoon. Sitting on lava stone in the naturally warm water was absolute bliss and hugely grounding. (You can’t earth yourself much more than by sitting on rock that’s literally come from the centre of the planet.)

Being out in nature is always healing for me. On that trip it wasn’t just because of the geothermal pools but also witnessing the powerful, natural force of the country’s stunning waterfalls and powerful geysers. A good reminder that we are nature too, and we can find those same powerful forces within ourselves.

Anyway, much as I wanted to go back to all that, going somewhere remote enough to feel away from everything meant a longer journey and hiring a car etc., etc. It was all getting a bit more convoluted than I wanted. I did almost book a cabin in the woods in north Norway that had no electricity or running water, just a wood-burning stove that also heated a sauna! For sure, it was tempting but one to look at another time.

This time I went for somewhere closer, although still something of a multi-leg journey. I’ll be going back and next time I might just jump on the coach for an easy life. 

Chalice Well, Glastonbury

I booked three nights at the most divine space in a village about five miles outside of Glastonbury. It was a converted chapel with striking Indonesian touches. Check out the Airbnb listing and you’ll see how stunning it was. When I thought about why it was I’d wanted to go back to Iceland, one of the big reasons was the natural hot pools. Although there are two holy water springs there are no geothermal pools in Glastonbury. The next best thing I could muster up was an outdoor hot tub and this chapel retreat had exactly that.

When I first arrived in Glastonbury I explored the town. Wandering around I felt all out of sorts. Being tired never helps keep our energetic boundaries strong but Glastonbury is such a mixing pot of emotions and energy. Lots of people go there looking for healing, which obviously brings one type of energy. It’s also a place that’s teeming with healers bringing all their energy along with that of their various spirit guides. Add to the mix the – circa one million – crystals for sale in every other shop and a dose of several different flavours of incense, and it’s sensory-overload city.

I felt physically tired and emotionally drained and one of the main things I’d planned to do during my visit was experience a couple of weird and wonderful energy healing treatments, perhaps something only available in somewhere such as Glastonbury. I was ready to go to a Shaman or healer to hear where I was out of balance and how they could put me right again. However, as I strolled around searching for the perfect combination of practitioner and modality, I realised nothing and no-one felt quite right.

I feel that my energetic/spiritual wellbeing is precious and I didn’t come across anyone that I trusted enough to hand myself over to. A lot of the practitioners seemed on a different wave-length and I couldn’t relate to them at all. It’s was all a bit Midsomer Murders with people of a certain age dressed up as flower faeries. (Well actually that’s not quite true, I met this lady who seemed absolutely lovely and I would have gone to if the timings had worked and I just wanted a normal massage). I don’t mean that as a judgement, I just couldn’t relate. Although sometimes I do think the truer someone’s talent or gift is, the less need for all the bells and whistles. 

I’d come to Glastonbury as a bit of a mecca for healing but in that moment I realised I didn’t need anyone else to heal me or tell me what was wrong. I didn’t want to give my power to someone else. I needed to let the elements take care of me. So I allowed nature to heal me as it always does.

I headed off to the chapel and my body breathed a sigh of relief that I had. The space was so clear and peaceful and all the energy swirling around Glastonbury town was left 5 miles behind me.

Over the next few days I was fed delicious organic, homemade food and had time and space to let Mother Nature do her thing. I sat in the hot tub immersed in healing water and let the moonlight flow into my third eye. I let the wind whip away my fatigue and despair while I watched the stars twinkle above me. I went for walks in the countryside and returned to let the dancing lights of the wood-burning stove remind my own internal fire how to ignite and return.

I contemplated how often we give away our power, thinking someone else knows better how to fix us and heal us. But all the time everything we need is around and inside us. My trip to Glastonbury achieved exactly what I wanted but not in the way I thought it would.

If you’re feeling worn out or burnt out, I invite you to sit quietly or take a walk somewhere peaceful. Ask yourself what you truly need to restore balance and vigour. Let yourself do what you need even if it’s not what you, or others, think you should need.

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