I have just come off a soul-healing retreat at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island, BC. This is the first retreat I have attended. During my many years of holistic work, there have been multitudes of courses and workshops, but they all had the commonality of disseminating information, a skill, or a technique that I would take back to my practice to use with my clients. Each course adds on to the others in my tackle box (I’m still on the ocean!) of resources to draw from to help one heal. All that training has also been useful and healing for me, and I will be a lifelong learner, so I know there will be more courses and training to come. But a retreat…
According to Wikipedia, a retreat is defined as the act of pulling back or withdrawing (as from something dangerous or unpleasant); or a peaceful quiet place affording privacy and security. My soul-healing retreat did just that and more. Just by being at Hollyhock I was able to pull back, to go inward, and to reflect. I was nurtured by the surroundings and nourished by the delicious food. For me, eating good healthy wholesome food is like eating love. It goes not only to my stomach, but to my heart chakra…loving me. Everywhere my eyes landed, they were met with beauty; the forest, the ocean, the buildings, the gates, and the Hollyhock garden. The garden. It fills my heart.
It was a chance for me to be with myself, to be surrounded by love and beauty in the forms of people, nature, and nourishment. By retreating I had a chance to take a breath, to be cared for instead of being the caregiver, and to connect with others who all are all on a similar path.
Not the path of a healer, or a mother, but the path to oneness, to happiness, to connection, and to love.
Many of those I met are looking for their soul purpose; but really I could see they had found it, just by listening to them I know they are living their purpose, there are just a few “i’s” to be dotted and “t’s” to be crossed. And by retreating and connecting, we can often access these missing pieces.
The soul-healing program I participated in was led by Ainslie MacLeod, author and psychic. Our small group of old souls revealed, shared, and witnessed our strengths along with our deepest fears and weaknesses. By connecting, sharing, and listening we were able to speak truthfully about who we are, where we came from, what happened to us, and what we are searching for. There were no preconceptions, no judgements. Over the course of six days we became a family, a tribe, each one of us unique in our gifts and talents. Each one of us acknowledging and appreciating those unique gifts, and seeing the valuable contribution they make to the universe, and to the tribe. As a tribe we were caregivers, hunters, spiritualists, connectors, performers, thinkers, healers, and creators. Our respective roles were seen and appreciated. Through laughter, music, and tears, we encouraged and supported each other to thrive. We gained understanding into why we behave the way we do. We started to let go of past hurts and traumas. We nurtured and consoled our souls. But I think the best part was to be witnessed. I am so grateful to my tribe for that.
Today, post-retreat assimilation is in full swing. I am fortunate enough to have this assimilation time, and thankfully it’s by the ocean, and thankfully my soul mate will be joining me in a few hours. I feel more complete. I think I will be able to give more to others, to ask for what I need, and to have some momentum to move beyond my feelings of “stuckness”. But really, I know I have a tribe supporting me; encouraging me forward when sometimes the people in my life may not know what I need, or are unable to provide it. And this may be because I don’t reveal my needs or weaknesses and fears to those around me. I learned this week there are many reasons why I behave as I do, and fear of rejection, judgment, and inferiority are strong among those. And when I feel failure, it triggers big emotions. But it’s okay lovely experienced soul, you are safe this time, everything is going to be okay. That was then and this is now. Oops, I meant
“THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW, DAMN IT!”
The tricky part is applying what I have learned. To keep moving forward with this new insight. To access all that will complete me in this lifetime. Not to retreat to the safety of stillness but to play large. To share my gifts with the world. To learn the lessons and move on. To honour the agreements I made. Only I can do that, no one can do it for me. I will dig deep and I will do it. Thankfully I have a tribe to support me. Have you found your tribe? If so, how did you find them and what meaning does your tribe bring to you? I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Love and light,