For four days I had nothing to do but take care of myself. My meals were prepared for me. There was very little housecleaning to do. No toys to pick up. No mountains of laundry to wash. My only responsibility was learning and connecting with my soul and heart.
At first it was really hard, I mean REALLY HARD. Even with coming back to my writing this year the moments of connection I had experienced were fragmented, disrupted and often overwhelmed by a world of negativity. For four days I could no longer hide behind my excuses. I was surrounded by a group of women all there to do their own soul-searching and together we supported each other as we faced our pain, our regrets, our demons. They took many different shapes and sizes but there was no competition to out do each other or downplay anyone’s journey. We all just accepted that each of us were facing what we needed to in that space and so we honoured the journeys, held space for the stories and allowed each women to process what they were ready to process and to do so in their own way. For many of us I think that was a first.
For me I know it was a first.
To be able to talk about my pain, past and present, without being shamed, tuned out, ignored or downplayed was an incredible gift and to receive that gift from virtual strangers was even more incredible. I had never met any of these women before sharing that crazy house with them for four days and I now consider them my tribe, my safe place to find refuge when my world is turning upside down and inside out.
My plan is to take these moments of connection out to others who like me are desperately searching for them. To create circles of women supporting women without shame. To be able to hold space for the incredible amount of pain in this world that just wants to be seen and heard. And through rituals and cleansing practices support each other to let go, to accept ourselves, our stories, and realize our worth as a person, as a human being living on this planet connected to everything and everyone.
If the world could collectively exhale its burden of pain and anger, we might find peace. It starts with acknowledgment and a willingness to sit in circle with each other and hear each others stories. To hold space for every individual person to feel the peace that comes from the release of our pain and when we release our pain there is more room for love. If more people experience that life-altering love peace stands a chance, barriers will come down and we will see each other as the connected people we are.
Anni Daulter has created a sacred living movement with the ability to change our world. I am deeply honoured to have spent those four days with her, learning from her amazing zest for life and love and to now take her teachings back to my small corner of the world and help spread that love a little further.
I have so much more to write about my experiences on this retreat but these are the first real words I’ve put to paper since I got home. There will be more posts to come with more details about the specific experiences and my hopes and dreams for my personal future as well as details about how I intend to bring this movement to my community. Stay tuned.