My retreat to Soulfullheart during Semana Santa

(Leer esta publicación en español aquí)

2 weeks ago I was writing in a previous blog, that I wanted to be able to feel the roots of why I shrink in some situations and my desire to connect deeper to other people. I was also writing that there was a big desire to meet Kathleen in her world. For these two desires, I decided to spent a week in rural México, at the Soulfullheart Sustainable Sanctuary.Wind


Lithe as the wind, I traveled by bus to Tomatlán with a big disposition to discover any kind of pain that was hovering deep inside me and made me shrink in some important situations. An unlike many times when the Engineering part of me is quite skeptical about Spiritual and emotional schools, this time, I wanted to be open-ended like the wind for any lesson that Soulfullheart could teach me. I wanted to be also transparent as the wind to let them know everything posible about me, even the things that I normally don’t share with anybody. Kathleen and Sequoia were waiting for me there at the bus station. We spent the night at a former cyber-cafe spot they were renting as a second base in Tomatlán. Kathleen was already quite welcoming and happy for my arrival there. There was a chance for a new chapter in our relationship and that make her feel good. That also made me feel good, “Wind of Change!”

I had a brief conversation with Sequoia there. It was the first time I met another member of Soulfullheart and he was very nice and warm. I was wondering if inside this calm wind there was a tornado as he might had his own sorrow, maybe not (A long time ago, he was Kathleen‘s former boyfriend). Sometimes it’s not easy to predict the wind, you know.  Anyway, Kathleen told me that at Soulfullheart there was a complete openness to talk about each other’s feelings and about every kind of idea coming into your mind. She had told me there was a chance to become Soul Friend or very deep friend with people who were doing the same kind of emotional work that they were doing, even if they had been in another kind of relationship before. Kathleen and me spent a long night talking about all the previous things that led us to this particular moment in life. Do you remember the “What if” poem I wrote? Well, now I was flying into the answers.

In the next morning, we flew to our destiny near El Corrido town. Actually, it will be more accurate to say, we drove, but as you’re in the wind part of this blog, I will say, “We flew!” I was eager to finally meet the Soulfullheart teachers: Jelayan and Raphael.



Some hours later, we arrived to “Rancho Amigos, Ecovillage,” a land of sheep, beans, horses, mangos, ducks, bamboo trees and several houses ran with solar panels and supplied with spring water coming from the river that supplies Lake Cajón de Peña. The people from Soulfullheart use the guesthouse that the Italian owner of Rancho Amigos constructed and shared with them while they build their own houses in the piece of land they got from him.




There are no wires there, so it means no state electricity, nor telephone, nor TV and no internet. It might seem as people there are totally disconnected from Earth. But from another point of view, you can really be more connected to earth this way. As people who like to camp outdoors know, there is a higher connection with mother Earth when you spend your days outdoors without all these facilities.

I got my first private session with the facilitator Raphael. I was not afraid to be exposed to another unknown person, although I have to reckon that being vulnerable and judged are things that are frightening to parts of me. We started with some questions that they sent to me previously to my e-mail about my feelings towards earthly issues such as Mom, Dad, Romantic partner, Siblings, Family and People and other not so untangible issues such as Love, Feelings, God or Intimacy. As I was going through the session, I felt that I was lying down at the shrink. The only difference is that shrinks normally stays undaunted and silent when listening to the patient and in this session, it was a two-way communication between Raphael and me. In this case, he also shared with me his story of how he ended up there.

He introduced me to their work by dividing the self into different parts. So everybody has different aspects of himself (The inner child, the angry part of you, the voice of reason, etc) that deal different with things in life and have different neccesities. Is not that everybody has multiple personalities, but it’s more about working on different aspects of your personality. It was a total coincidence that I explained thist thing about personalities briefly when I was blogging about the movie Inside Out. It was fun to remember that I had used already a lot of “Goyo” personalities to describe me when I was at college. One of the parts we worked on in the following days was my protective part, the part that protects me from the outside world, from being hurt by people. I decided to call him Goyossus.

Meanwhile, I was enjoying a lot being there at the ranch. They had a tent for visitors that I enjoyed using. Staying at a tent and listening during the night to all the forest sounds make you feel more vulnerable but makes you feel more connected to the earth. It was interesting that during my entire stay, a giant spider was on top of the tent’s floor like if she was protecting the tent (Spider sense, tingling!)


Water flowing in a riverThe next day there was another session in the agenda. This time it was a couple’s session. Kathleen was the only one with the characteristics of a love couple so I did the session with her. She was already familiar with sessions, but for me was the first time ever to do some kind of couples session in my entire life.

Love Relationships should be like water in the rivers, always in a constant motion, adapting itself to the new terrains it finds and to the changes in any one of its members. Love relationships that stay still are just as still water. They get polluted. One of the reasons Kathleen wanted to break up the first time we broke up was because our relationship was getting still with me being always busy, and she seeking something I was unconsiously not willing to give her, complete openness. We started this session by sharing her previous journals and my new writings on my protective part. We shared the fears of some of our parts in the relationship and thus we have new things to work for. As I said, Raphael as a facilitator, rather than lecturing us or being there silent like a glass of water, he facilitated communication between us and came with some good personal examples whenever it was needed. that night, Kathleen and me where exited about the new horizons that we saw in the distance and in the idea of sailing to them in this sea of life, infinite possibilites.



Blue FireThe final day of sessions was a session with all the 4 Soulfullheart members: Kathleen, Sequoia, Jelayan and Raphael plus me. Althought the four of them have been very open to invite people to experience their sessions, I was the first one answering the call. Throughout these days at the ranch, I had the dessire to go to my deepest parts of me, and find some kind of deep ache burning inside that needs to be healed and converting it to a fire to embrace change. As I was going through the session, I was loosing hope that I will find this thing inside me. We ended up talking a bit about my childhood memories, when I was called Goyo. I actually revealed to them, why I’m called Goyo (I think most of the people don’t know why). Althought this was really illustrative to me, it didn’t revealed any kind of fire aching inside.

Then something really interesting happen. We were a group talking about our lives, so it’s lame to think I was the only one that might come up with some pain. Sequoia, suddenly exploded with some parts of him not enjoying the situation. Parts of him where having this pain of being contained at the ranch while Jelayan and Raphael and Kathleen and me where having “happy” relationships. But as you can guess, it’s hard to meet people in these isolated area except for some crazy gringos living there and the Mexicans from El Corrido, who barely speak English.

When he broke into tears, Jelayan came to him. Instead of trying to call him down or hugging him like most people trying to help will do, she went with questions to find the roots of his pain, actually making him to react more with anger and sorrow. This will sound as if somebody has a burn and goes to the doctor, the doctor instead of applying a sedative he actually pressed the wound to make it hurt more. But a sedative won’t heal the wound, and calming down a people or distracting him with something will not really help him in the long term. By questioning and listening about how Sequoia’s different parts were feeling about the situations, Jelayan was able to help Sequoia heal by himself. (If you remember again the scene of Inside Out, it was just the same. Happiness was trying to help Bing Bong to overcome his sorrow by sayin

Sadnesss helps Bing bong to heal from his lost
Sadnesss helps Bing bong to heal from his lost

g jokes and it didn’t work. It was until Sadness sat down to talk to Bing Bong and made him aware of all the aspects of his sorrow when actually Bing Bong healed. (Watch that scene of the movie here))







So what Jelayan did actually worked! Just as in the film, or even better! Now he was fully aware of how all his parts where feeling towards his situation there and he found some answers. I was really impressed with this moments at the ranch. And I was already feeling the fire I was supposed to feel. Maybe I was not there at the ranch to find something to heal inside me, I was there to learn and be able to heal other people by listening to them and working with their parts. I was totally motivated to do that. I shared these thoughts with them. Maybe I was even going to become the bridge between them and the Spanish-Speaking community that didn’t have a clue what they were doing there because they lacked the English language. Burn Goyito, Burn!

Wind, Earth, Water and Fire! I covered them all up so far. But as in Captain Planet’s cartoons, I was missing a fifth element: Heart! Now, that I have found a reason for doing this thing, I was totally motivated to learn more about the Soulfullheart thingie. I could be a more emphatical person with the people I love: Mother, Father, Brother, Grandmother, friends, coworkers, students and take my relationships to new grounds. Many of my relationships are really superficial, so I was really happy to think there could be more connection with people I already like to be with, endless possibilites!

The last noon I went with Kathleen to take a bath at the river and we ended up being invited to have Ceviche and beers with a local family relaxing at the river on their Good Friday. I played with one cute little girl that Kathleen already knew. After that, we shared some ideas about the future. At the end of the session, Kathleen decided to come with me to Puerto Vallarta to fix some internet stuff she had, but also to continue with our relationship. I invited Sequoia to come to Vallarta too, to fix some other internet stuff he had and also to meet new people and expand his horizons.

Sequoia, Raphael, Jelayan, Kathleen and Israel at Soulfullheart Sanctuary
Sequoia, Raphael, Jelayan, Kathleen and Israel at Soulfullheart Sanctuary

I had a great week there at the Sanctuary. It was a full week of feeling myself, relaxing from my usual crazyness in the city and recovering love. Now, I have been this week with Sequoia discovering the city and with Kathleen rediscovering our life together. She is back at the ranch now, but coming back soon. I’m sure I have to come again to the Soulfullheart Sustainable Sanctuary. Maybe the next time, you can come with me.



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