I had the honor and pleasure of leading a women’s retreat at ARC Retreat Center this week. It was a 2 1/2 day retreat and it was absolutely AMAZING! The title of the retreat was The Masks We Wear, the Journey to Our Authentic Self. I begin all of my retreats by forming a sacred circle to provide a sacred and safe space for all of the participants. We set our individual intentions for the retreat and jumped into the content of the retreat. What does it mean to live authentically? How are you authentic? What masks do you wear? When can wearing a mask benefit you? How does your mask protect you? These are only a few of the reflection questions we pondered in our sessions. We were blessed to have the talented Beth Giles lead us in a Joyful and energetic Nia session. If you haven’t danced with Beth before, check out her website at www.nianow.com/bethgiles. On Monday afternoon we spent two to three hours in a delightful, fun-filled and creative mask making session. What a creative group of women! Monday night we gathered in front of the wood burning fireplace in the living room of the lodge for dancing, singing, making music with our instruments and having a Joyful time of connecting with each other informally. We had so much fun!! Hopefully, we did not keep the ARC community members awake with all of our merry-making.
I was blown away as I always am at my retreats by the honesty, openness, courage and willingness demonstrated by the women present at the retreat. We have fun at my retreats and they are about so much more. It’s like peeling the layers of an onion, more and more is revealed as each layer is laid aside. I was so honored to witness the process that occurred for each of the participants. The retreats I lead are truly transformational, and deep learning occurs if one is willing to take risks and stretch outside one’s comfort zone. Here are a few comments from the evaluations I hand out at the end of each retreat. “Never long enough.” “I enjoyed every aspect of the retreat.” “One more day would be great.” “Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with me.”
I want to give a big shout out to the wonderful ARC staff. They are so warm, welcoming, caring and accommodating. They truly partner with me in my retreats. The food, as always, was nutritious, delicious and wholesome. I had requested ARC Rice and Beans, one of my favorites and it was on the menu. The staff outdid themselves when I jokingly asked for Double Chocolate Brownies while at the retreat. Truly, I never expected that this would happen. Tuesday night for desert, we were served Double Chocolate Brownies with ice cream and chocolate fondue sauce. They were decadent!! The staff also invited us to model the masks we made so we had a masquerade parade after dinner Monday night:) Thank you ARC staff for all that you do to make my retreats so successful! If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting ARC, check out their website at www.arcretreat.org and schedule a visit. You will be glad you did.
I feel so Blessed to do the work I do with women’s retreats. The gifts I receive are innumerable. Thank you to the beautiful, soulful women who joined me on retreat this week. This blog post is dedicated to you. You know who you are.