Hot Springs Women's Retreat April 2019
It's always a great challenge to adequately put into words the amount of magic that happens on a retreat. Beyond the basic platitudes like, "It was amazing!" - which it was, an even greater challenge is to sum it all up in just the right amount of words to fit into a caption or a blog post. Retreat magic is really something you have to be there to experience. I'll do my best to illustrate what happens when Women gather with the intention of healing themselves with an even larger intention of leaving with greater strength and power to serve the world in the selfless ways us women do. If you've been a part of one of these immersive experiences before then you know what I mean when I say it's tough to really do the experience justice with words.
It's the needed release of tears in Yoga class that are silently felt around the room and the supportive hugs that are just what was needed afterwards.
It's the invisible shifts that happen during meditation that are only deeply felt on the inside yet somehow noticeable on the outside.
I mean, what kind of magical day doesn't start and end with walks in the woods to soak in a healing hot spring?! It leaves the most beautiful glow to wear throughout the day.
You'll see reluctant hearts start to feel safe enough to crack open as we gather in circle to share stories. It's as if these quiet hearts were waiting just for this very moment to pour out what they've been holding in for far too long. It's the most beautiful thing to witness a woman feeling safe enough to open her heart like this. The best part is that it creates a domino effect around the circle. Woman after Woman feeling safe, brave, and supportive enough to share a piece of her heart.
We're almost surprised at how quickly deep layers of trauma and fear unearth themselves when we are not so distracted by the details of everyday life. It's such a gift and an immense privilege to have someone lovingly prepare all your meals (and clean up!), keep your space clean & tidy, prepare warm fires for you, and arrange your schedule for you with nothing but healing in mind. With so many hands holding this space and intention for you - It's like the body knows what's happening and joins in the healing process without even having to push your way through.
We gather around ceremonious New Moons soaking up the potent New Moon energy of release and renew. We feel physically lighter after the fire energy burns away what we no longer need and we feel the beginnings of deep nourishment on the horizon as we offer our intentions to Mother Earth. We know that the seeds planted here are to blossom into exactly what we need to carry forth fulfilling, courageous, supportive, and compassionate lives.
Everything is more quiet here. Giving way to be able to listen more within. You start to become strikingly aware of your inner dialogue. The ways our minds judge ourselves and others becomes a voice that can no longer simply be accepted or ignored. But rather worked with - Heard and truly listened to. When treated with kindness and compassion these judgemental inner dialogues can shift into powerful conversations of loving ourselves just the way we are. We learn to love our bodies just as they are. We recognize a body is just a body - and we're lucky to have the one we're in. We learn to not shut down the dreams and goals we have but rather offer encouragement. We learn to feel the hard stuff we would normally push away like feeling sad or hurt. We learn that it's necessary and okay to cry and to not beat yourself up for it. We start to feel safe and comfortable to be with our thoughts...ourselves.
For me the most beautiful parts of these experiences are the ones I did not and could not have ever planned. As much work and time I put in months ahead of time there is no way but Divine Order that brings the most incredible, talented, wise, and loving Women together in one place. The gifts that each of these incredible beings offers just by being themselves is something so sweet to take home. The conversations had with complete strangers you may meet along the way that make you realize just how connected we all really are. The unplanned accidents that inevitably happen that make you realize and appreciate your strength and resilience in ways not normally accessible. The ways that the weather is nothing like you expected but just what you needed. The challenges, lessons, and fears you never expected to encounter paired with the most perfect time and space to work through them. The unexpected deep friendships made. All the small but mighty experiences had. Bursts of uncontrollable laughter. Walks in the woods with bird songs leading the way and sun shining through the tall trees. These Divine unplanned moments and circumstances offer a strong anchor of trust between you and something larger that we all need reminders of from time to time. A deep sense of safety that everything is unfolding just as it should and you are exactly where you are meant to be.
P.S. A great way to get a glimpse into retreat life is to attend one of my Day Long Yoga Retreats. I have one coming up in Novato, CA Saturday, June 22nd. Find more information and sign up here - https://www.embracewonderyoga.com/retreat