Driving up for the One Journey Women’s Retreat Weekend last year, I had that feeling…you know, the “What am I doing? I’m not going to know ANYONE!” feeling. But by the time we left on Sunday, I felt I had made new connections with others going through this trial that those who haven’t been through a divorce just don’t KNOW. (Kind of like childbirth – you can’t really tell anyone what that’s going to be like until you go through it. Same for divorce.)
First of all, the house was beautiful. Overlooking the ocean, with a hot-tub and tons of windows, I really couldn’t have anticipated how truly wonderful it was to just get away. And it was only an hour drive!
Second: the program of healing that Renée and Di have developed – from reflection and workshops to spiritual and holistic healing – is just amazing. If you enter with an open mind, there is potential for growth, change, and seeing yourself in a new light.
One unexpected facet of the weekend: I found myself connecting with loss in a way I had thought I was done with. I had processed my divorce in therapy, with friends, in Base Camp, and even with my ex. But I found that my soul, my inner self, still had sadness and grieving to do. This may sound heavy or off-putting, but it was a relief to be able to connect with this part of myself that had lost so much – dreams, a home, a vision of myself and my marriage, a vision of myself as a married parent – in the safe company of others who, too, had lost much, whatever their specific circumstances.
At first I was uncomfortable with this… after all, aside from Renée, these people were strangers. But the kindness of the group and its leaders, and the willingness of others to connect and share, allowed me to let my guard down in a way that I needed. Combined with the healing work of Laura and Vail, the exercises we did helped me to view myself (even through the sadness) as strong, competent, and healing/growing/changing. Then you add in the delicious food and the chance to have a glass of wine and let down our hair together – it gave me a much-needed boost of renewal and hope for the coming season.
This was just MY experience, but I highly recommend this retreat to anyone who is looking for an opportunity to dive more deeply into places within themselves that might not get to breathe as openly in their day-to-day lives. I also was very grateful for the feedback given to me by others. I left this weekend feeling more open, more seen and heard, and more like a force for goodness and healing in the world. As I drove back to my children, my newly configured life, and the challenges that still lay ahead, I felt just a little stronger, just a little more aware of who I was, and what strengths I had tucked in my back pocket that I hadn’t even realized.
Our next retreat will be held April 1-3 in NH and will focus on the Journey to Emotional Intimacy. Spots are still available and women do not have to be separated or divorced to attend this workshop. For more information and to register, visit the Calendar section of One Journey Consulting.