As you know, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with, reading about, and discussing all things related to energy and spirituality. I thought I also had a good connection with my body since I eat well, exercise regularly, and prioritize sleep much to the dismay of anyone trying to reach me after 8pm.
That was before…before, I don’t even know what to call it…before I signed up for a seemingly innocuous Women’s Renewal Retreat.
Let me back up. I started this body/nature journey, ironically enough, during an energetic reading I received last fall. I asked why it was so difficult for me to go away on a girl’s weekend–it had been years since I’d gone away on my own. We did some energy work around this issue and that was that. I kept trying to “think” of something to do to force myself to get away, but nothing attracted me until one day in late December. I received an email about a Women’s Renewal Weekend in January promising some rituals around letting go of the past and consciously creating the new. Bingo! This trip was meant for me.
Little did I know, literally until I arrived onsite, that the weekend involved an overnight alone, out in the wilderness, with just a sleeping bag–no tent, no fire, nada. Had I known this, I probably wouldn’t have signed on, so maybe the universe closed my eyes to that part of the description. While I was definitely not looking for a spa pampering or Vegas party weekend, I hadn’t counted on roughing it so much that we had to dig holes for our human scat and spend the night in complete isolation. Before we each left the group to find our own sleeping spot out on the land, we were given a brief lecture on the different defense techniques for various wild animals such as mountain lions, bears and bobcats. Oh My!
The weekend focused primarily on tuning into our mother earth which is our larger body. That is why we secure our energetic grounding from our body to the center of the earth. It’s one thing to look at a beautiful sunset or enjoy a glass of wine in your back yard, but it’s a whole different experience to walk barefoot in a wide open meadow and then to sleep there under the stars all alone with only the sounds of wildlife around. I had vivid dreams during the short periods I slept. It was physically uncomfortable and emotionally challenging, but when the sun rose and I could just lay there watching it, I felt incredibly peaceful and supported by our incredible mother earth. I know it sounds cliche and hokey, but it was powerful.
In addition to our solo overnight, we did a number of rituals as a group including sage cleanses, tribal councils, journaling, building fires, sharing meals, and singing. I returned Sunday evening paradoxically both exhausted and refreshed. A true Renewal.
I’ve done two more days and another weekend, each getting progressively more challenging which I’ll post about soon. I just wanted to start here because I’ve experienced some tangible shifts in how I relate, not only to nature, but to my own body as well, not to mention it’s Earth Day week:). I thought by sharing this first experience, it might provide some inspiration to get outside, be in nature, go barefoot in the grass, listen to the birds–anything to get in touch with your larger body, Mother Earth.
Feel free to share what you do to physically connect to our Earth…