"Bring the Love, Trust the Process."
These words hang in our staff room at every single camp and retreat we facilitate. It is a reminder to Shannon and I that if we just show up with love and provide a pathway, each journey will unfold as beautifully as it is meant to. Each woman will find the truth, courage, wisdom, and power that’s already hers…that’s always been there inside her but was lost, covered up, beaten down, or chipped away at by the hard things in life. And that often, all she needs is the chance to own her story and to be brave out loud in a safe loving circle of sisterhood in order to rediscover her wings.
We know this is true because it is our story, and we’ve seen it happen every single time with women from all around the USA and some from as far away as Australia. The beautiful souls that gathered with us at our Fly Free retreat last week are no exception. These gorgeous brave women walked through the door 9 strangers with doubts, fears, and worries. All carrying limiting beliefs that were holding them down or keeping them stuck. They left deeply connect sisters, who had learned together, laughed together, cried together, and created together, and most importantly rediscovered themselves along the way. Oh, how full can a heart get!? Shannon and I pinch ourselves that we get to do this work in the world.
Mandala's, Sunsets, and mindful movement
We kicked off our first day by gathering together around our flower mandala to set our intentions and set down our worries before beginning our journey together. It’s so important to be intentional and to engage our whole self in the process. Our Mandala is one of the beautiful ways we do that. Later we gathered for a farm to table, table to soul sisterhood dinner surrounded by the vineyards and a setting sun…complete with mocktails and charcuterie boards. Pinch me please, it was absolutely dreamy. Our Chicks loved it!! We finished the night with a fun creative project to help get us thinking, creating and bonding. It wasn’t long before all began to let go the fears and embrace the magic of sisterhood.
The next couple days were filled with beautiful breaths and connecting to our bodies as our guest facilitator, Kolleen Harrison lead us through two mindful movement sessions on the big green grass under the blue sky’s of spring. Some amazing moments happened on those mats that helped ground us and remind us that we cannot truly love & honor ourselves if we are living outside our body. That’s a tough one for so many of us women. We somehow think we can hate our bodies while trying to love ourselves, but it doesn’t work that way. Kolleen helped us begin to meet our bodies with love and compassion. It was deeply moving and so very healing. I wish every woman could begin her day that way.
Red Carpet, Art, Sisterhood and Showing Up
We spent precious time around the red carpet learning how to listen to the voice of the stories that have shaped us and discover their limiting beliefs that grab at our ankles and keep us stuck. We explored the reasons why we stay stuck and learned how we can take our power back. We shared meaningful connections, powerful ah ha’s and gentle shifts. We learned to uncover our own wisdom and gained new tools to help us let go of the things that no longer serve us so we can live bigger and truer in our own lives.
We sat at the art table laughing and creating as we made gorgeous Fly Free truth cards to take home with us and help remind us of our own wisdom, truth, and power. These simple little cards are so powerful - it’s kind’a amazing actually. They are always a favorite part of the experience. I still have my original cards from the camp I attended in 2012. They are a treasured part of my journey.
As we shared, we began to see ourselves in our sister’s stories. We learned that we are not alone in our humanity, and that our most vulnerable messy parts are also our most beautiful parts. We learned that our stories do not define us, and that we don’t have to choose either/or… it can be an “AND”. We can be brave AND scared, vulnerable AND strong, messy AND whole. And we learned that we cannot selectively numb, that when we hide from the hard, we also limit our capacity for joy. In the end, we learned what showing up for ourself and being brave out loud in a safe loving circle of sisterhood can do. We learned we do indeed have wings. And we remembered we can fly.
Oh sister, It was ALL that and so much more!! Shannon, Kolleen and I are beyond grateful for the these incredible women and the trust they placed in us. What an honor it was to hold space for them. We absolutely fell in love with each of them. That’s what happens every time…it’s the result of showing up and being seen, and it’s the magic of sisterhood. No matter how many times we get to experience this process, it never fails to move us, amaze us, and fill us up. Sister – if you ever get the chance, we hope you will join us around the red carpet. But if it's not us...then find a place where you can show up, be seen, and be brave out loud in a safe loving circle of sisterhood. Because it truly does transform a women's heart, and you sis, are worth showing up for.
Sandi & Shannon