As I sit here Saturday evening, my body a bit tired and my mind doing an exhale, I find myself wanting to express gratitude like I’ve never done before.
I attended and volunteered at a retreat today (Saturday 8.26) that was hosted by a friend of mine, Sarah Jo Johnson and her company, Harmonic Tapestry. The retreat was called Women’s Restoration and was held at Newton Hills State Park.
For those of you not familiar with Newton Hills State Park, there is something about the energy there and the grounds that feel sacred. The location of the retreat was hidden away, in safe space in the park. Why the need for safe space you may ask?
Because women need safe space to allow themselves to explore self-love and self-care. As women, we are conditioned to believe we must continue to give and give and then give some more even though our vessel is empty. We are conditioned to believe if we don’t give it all then there is something wrong with us.
What comes to mind first in gratitude is the men that volunteered to assist Sarah Jo in making this a safe day for everyone. These men had all the supplies to set up a camp, first aid, transportation from the parking lot to the retreat area, they had walkie talkies to make sure that everyone was covered and that no one ever felt threatened. These men wanted us women to know we are valued, not for what we could do for them but that by simply being who we are, we are valued.
I found myself choked up numerous times throughout the day as I saw these men doing whatever it took to nurture us, as in preparing the fire, fixing the brats, talking back and forth on the walkie talkies about women walking alone on the road and ensuring they were safe and that no one and nothing would harm us. I realized I have not had this much in my life. I’ve always felt like I had to be the strong one. I was the one that had to be watching out for harm. The thought of having a man stepping up and simply doing this because it was a way for him to honor us was mind boggling. These men do not understand the depth of their kindness nor the gratitude extended to them. They showed me, in so many ways, there are good men, there are men that truly care, with no hidden agenda and that it is given unconditionally.
There was a trust hike and this entailed women blindfolded, walking along a trail, being guided by holding onto a rope. The trail was short, however, many women made the comment it felt a lot longer. I chose not to go on the trust hike. Why? Because I was a volunteer and I wanted to be there for the women at the end of the hike to walk them back to the gathering location while their blind folds were still on. I spoke to them while guiding them back and encouraging them to share the strength they found by doing the walk. I encouraged them to share their “glitter energy” when driving and walking in stores. To share that inner strength they found while on the trust hike. I also told them how proud I was of them for taking the risk and trusting themselves.
In the future, I plan to do my own trust hike. It is a part of my healing I get to go through. I realized today, I do not trust others will be there for me. I have learned to trust myself but it is others I pull back from. I look forward to greeting this fear, looking into its eyes, thanking it and then releasing it.
There was yoga that as many as 40 or so women part-took in. It was amazing to see that many women outside on yoga mats, all walks of life, all different shapes and sizes meeting themselves where they were to be in this journey of life. The yoga teacher (a male) was so awesome. He walked through the steps with such gentleness, encouraging each woman that she could do a pose, whether it was modified or not. By just being there and making the attempt it was huge in the step to getting in touch with one’s own stillness.
During lunch and later in the day there were four energy healers (I was one of them) sharing energy and healing to the women that chose to come and receive. Each woman received what was needed at that moment. Some cried, some felt the healing, all were touched in one way or another.
There was an art project that got us in touch with how we perceive ourselves and how others see us. It was a powerful moment for many. There was a self-defense class to give simple tools if we are ever faced with a situation where we need to defend ourselves.
The businesses in Sioux Falls supported this event in more ways than one. Sarah Jo put this event on as no-cost to attendees because she wanted to honor women and did not want cost to be a reason not to come. From the business donations that were received, it is very apparent that people, from all walks of life, all incomes, men and women want the female energy to be honored, nurtured and most of all healed.
At the end, I asked Sarah Jo if I could close out the event. I asked the women to raise their hands up to the sky, I asked them to open up their heart, understanding this was a safe place to do so, and to join this heart energy together with all the other attendees. I asked this energy to combine and strengthen to be sent up and out into the region, out into South Dakota, out into the United States and then out into the world. THIS female energy, the love, the light, the strength, the goddess that resides in all of us was sent out. This was important, because it’s time, this earth is moving into the Divine Feminine Energy and by sending it out, we made a ripple effect today. This ripple effect will be felt throughout and we will never know the impact we have made. But, trust me, the ripple has just begun.
As you read this, trust, you too have the ability to cause a ripple effect. Even the smallest movement can have profound effects. Send out positive energy wherever you are, right now, as you read this, set the intention “I send positive energy to those that need it today”. See, you just started a ripple effect!!