Our very first women's retreat was a very interesting evolution. What started out as a small group of women getting together to camp became something amazing in a short three months.
To me, this is proof that 1) Ask and you shall receive, but be careful what you ask for. 2) Women really can move mountains and make the impossible happen 3) Humbleness, respect, and communication without expectation can go a very long way to making a great event 4) I can't, nor do I ever have to, do any of this alone. The sheer number of sisters that I now know and have a mutual love and respect for has moved me greatly. This was something I could not have believed possible a few years ago. I am more of a believer in Red Tents, and Sister Groups than ever before.
Having grown up in a society where women are taught to compete, and be catty because "that's what girls do" I was nervous starting Red Tent. I have to admit that I was letting the old stories that had been handed down to me, keep me cynical of whether or not this would work. No matter how hard I tried I still had this lingering doubt/fear that "someone like me" who had been judged and ridiculed so hard in my youth, could not only let love guide the way, but openly accept whatever comes from it. And what has come from it has deepened my faith in all of us.
The Women's retreat, being our very first had a few snafus, but the beauty that came from it was the blessing in disguise. We actually created, for a few days, a non-judgemental, loving and safe community of women who built intimacy and closeness that will last us for quite some time. Some of us were literal strangers at the beginning and sisters by the end. And that to me, was the true purpose. Yes we had amazing presenters, ceremonies, and services. That to me, was the icing on the cake.
I learned a lot from doing this retreat, and I am still processing a lot of emotions, but what I learned for me personally was that I am not only allowed to be loved and supported by women, but that I AM, and will always be. I just had to know how to look for it, and allow it. I do all of this work for others, and I have all along secretly wondered how I can experience it for myself. All I had to do was look around, and allow. It's the allowing that was the hard part. It meant I had to be vulnerable and trust that my vulnerability was safe. That blessing alone is something that has changed me greatly.
We will begin planning Women's Goddess Retreat 2017 very soon, and I am very excited to see what comes from it!