Retreat and Renew

This past weekend I had the honour of hosting fifteen lovely women for an annual yoga and meditation retreat in Prince Edward County. Such a beautiful location…very conducive to restoring and renewing one’s energy. Our theme for the retreat was CONNECTION – to oneself, to others, and to nature. Over the course of the weekend, I witnessed the unfolding of an energetic exchange amongst the women that grew deeper day by day. Faces that were initially apprehensive and uncertain, became relaxed and at ease. Bodies that held tension from stress began to move with grace and flow. Over-active minds experienced moments of peace and serenity; I could see it in their smiles and hear it in their hearty laughs. There was a transformation in these women happening before my eyes and I watched in awe as they blossomed.

 

circle of friends

 

So many special connections were made, but what I found to be the most interesting was when I asked the women to give away one of the pebbles they had collected in an earlier afternoon activity. At the time they found these pebbles, they had no idea who they would be giving them to; they were just to find a stone that was unique in some way and “spoke” to them. Later, in our yoga circle, I had them turn to the person on their left and present them with the pebble. The words that came from the heart of each woman were so precious, so genuine, and so in-the-moment, that I simply sat back and listened with astonishment. Each individual pebble seemed to be the perfect gift, as if the recipient was receiving exactly what she needed. A simple gift from nature created the biggest connection of all…and it was beautiful to watch.

 

IMG_1729

 

Our goodbyes at the end of the retreat were a combination of laughter, hugs, tears, and well wishes. I believe everyone, including myself, took home a piece of each other, and at the same time, left a piece of themselves behind. A piece that was no longer needed or a layer of “stuff” that needed to be shed…Such is the power of a retreat – to release, renew, rejuvenate, and restore.

Sometimes one needs to venture beyond their own backyard, away from the ordinary routine and the noise of the city; to connect with nature and the elements in order to re-set. I believe we NEED this more than ever…and I am blessed to have been able to experience it once again with such a remarkable group of women.

 

Buddha 4

 

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2 Comments

  1. Shannon said,

    September 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    I love this entry. So beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Laurie Dance said,

    September 17, 2013 at 5:25 am

    So beautiful…and so true! It was a weekend where everyone got what they needed out of it, whatever that might be.


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