Coming to the contemplative path connected the dots needed to map my way to center, and come face to face with my soul. Not as the world around me had defined it, nor even how I defined it- but my soul as it was born to be, beyond the narrative of my experiences.
Healing occurs in using our creative gifts, being with a loving community of women and sharing those gifts with others. I truly believe this love goes a long way. Like the butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon helping with global environmental health, so too could a loving card at the right time and right place bring life to someone who feels lost and forgotten.
A group of women gathered together to celebrate the season and reconnect with our bodies and souls. It was such a beautiful way to head into the Christmas weekend, acknowledging and celebrating the darkness that comes before the light. I felt so grounded and relaxed after this event, and also excited and eager for the magic of the Christmas holiday to come. For me, the most wonderful outcome of this event came the next morning, when I found out that we had raised enough money to help purchase yoga props for the mamas to be at Elizabeth House.
Our thoughts and actions surrounding the nourishment of our bodies is often reflected in how we nourish the rest of the self. If we rush through every meal and feel guilty after eating foods that aren’t “clean” or otherwise virtuous, chances are that our lives are sprinkled with unwarranted shame in areas that we may not even be aware of.
Little did I know that this act of embodiment is fundamentally both empowering and an act of self love. During the retreat we were invited to practice embodiment by slowly becoming aware of our bodies through practices like meditation, dance, and self-reflection. Though it may sound like a simple task I have come to learn that it is an act of courage.
The day was spent meditating, eating nourishing food, conversing, practicing yoga, crying, conversing some more, doing facials and self-massages and laughing. I could spend more time describing the facts of what we did, but I don’t think that would do justice to the space we created. The rest was external so it could be internal, the self-care was outward so it could be inward. There is something about doing this communally which binds you together and reminds you that you’re not alone. To hear the words of inner wisdom from women who have seen and done more than I, confirmed that we are all humans, who share the need for Love, who seek for peace and vitality for our lives.