That was the purpose of the retreat I went on this weekend with She Recovers . I have yet to process it all, but it was awesome and I have to share my immediate thoughts!
We were 29 women from various walks of life and with various pasts. All of us had struggled with life issues and we’re looking to take the weekend as a break for ourselves. That sacred pause. To do yoga, eat beautiful food from the farm and to rest, read, or spend time talking with other women who wanted to share their honest stories.
I went into the weekend looking forward to the discussions. I had considered bringing some self help books to work on myself (I had bought Debbie Ford’s The Dark Side of the Light Changes), but I changed my mind and decided this wasn’t a weekend for self evaluation. It was a weekend for self acceptance, care and enjoyment. I was glad I did that.
Each day brought an opportunity to nourish and revive my spirit in yoga. Taryn, the yoga teacher, led us through beautiful classes designed to open our hearts. And they did. Even my shoulders and neck released and I can feel the lightness and openness in my heart.
And the talking! I heard so many stories of love, heartache, struggle and strength. I shared my own. And every time I did I realized just how proud of myself I am that I am no longer trapped in active addiction. I have chosen the harder path and it has been so worthwhile.
Each meal was a celebration. The food prepared by the staff at the farm was unbelievable. Fresh, delicious. Beautiful. We all ate together, sharing laughter and love.
The women at the retreat truly became sisters. I could see my own struggles in them, and the ability to overcome, try, fail and try again. Strength you could never imagine. Light that shone so brightly.
Each of us received a beautiful mala bracelet to signify our connection at the retreat. They are special and powerful (check out the She Recovers website. They are starting to sell them soon and they are worth every single penny). And we each got a semi colon henna tattoo, signifying that sacred pause that we all need to take to protect our mental and physical health.
I left the island with a full heart. A peaceful soul. And the recognition that I don’t need a retreat, or a recovery meeting to find a connection with others. Everyone has challenges in their lives. Everyone has had struggles. Sometimes it just take one person to be brave enough to start the conversation. I will be that person whenever I can. Because sharing is a celebration of life.
When I first quit drinking the idea of recovery scared me. I didn’t want to have to work at this forever. I just wanted to quit drinking and be normal. That seems so funny now. If I wasn’t recovering I would be missing all these amazing opportunities.
You might not see it, but I am glowing.
Stillness and peace