Well, here I am, back for almost a week from the S-Factor retreat in Miami. I am still adjusting. This is the hard part for me; figuring out how to maintain the feeling that I had when I was away while fulfilling responsibilities to my work, family, children and myself. To keep my insights, discoveries and deep yearnings alive. To remind myself of myself, even in the busyness and frantic pace of life.
Having a group of women together that are yearning to be more of themselves is a pretty heavy experience. Beautiful. Awesome. Inspiring. Moving. Emotional. Heart-wrenching. Basically, all of the colours of the rainbow. Which is what being a woman is all about. The range of emotions. The rawness. The power balanced with the beauty balanced with the ache.
So I arrived in Miami on Thursday and the retreat started on the Friday. Four full days. We had a movement class a few times a day with a small group and then sessions with Sheila Kelley with the whole group. The theme of this retreat was “Dangerously Sexy”. It was about learning to dance in that sweet spot where we are fully ourselves, fully expressed, fully authentic – without standing in the shadows and letting fear prevent us from shining and without dancing over the edge and losing ourselves. Big stuff.
In the first S-Factor retreat I went on, the transformational experience for me was when we were asked to dance in our sadness. Which I had never done before. I danced in grief for my mother and moved from tears to joy. That one dance changed my relationship with my sadness (allowing and expressing it) and my relationship to my dancing. Gone forever was my narrow range of dance expression, which had been limited to sexual energy or darkness. Both of which I still love but were not the full breadth of me. So I started to express other parts of me through dance.
On this retreat, I had a transformational experience during one of the exercises. You never know what you are going to hear when you are allowed to sink into your own body and your own voice. During that exercise, I made a deep commitment to take care of myself. Not just about working out and having a great hair cut. But a deep commitment to taking care of my heart, honouring my soul and making my sadness feel safe. As you can imagine, it was a painful, heart-opening, overwhelming and precious experience.
For those women who are ready to make that deep commitment to themselves, the final day to register for the JWR course in Toronto is today. Join me.
In the meantime, I wish for every woman some space and time to hear her own voice. To hear the voice of her body. Her heart and her soul. It is a precious place to be.
On a lighter side, I also got flirted with a lot (yay!), loved loved feeling the humid heat of the city on my skin, went skinny dipping in the ocean (complete with sting from a jelly fish), danced my cha cha guts out and felt the embrace of the masculine during a bachata dance. I laughed with new friends, felt gorgeous in my skin and walked down the street like a goddess.
All in all, a fantastic time.