Finding Stillness in Stillwater
Having just returned from our weekend Heal & Rise Women's Retreat in the soothingly beautiful Stillwater, Minnesota, I've had countless moments to reflect upon. This week I'll be sharing a few lessons and insights gained from this time of fostering healing and relaxation.
Eight women gathered together from various areas of the Midwest with one purpose... to heal and refresh their body, mind, and soul. Each woman navigating their own unique challenges, and celebrating (some more hesitant than others) their commitment to themselves during the weekend. The itinerary was intentionally left relaxed and fluid. If someone felt more benefit from sleeping in and journaling than joining the sunrise yoga and meditation, great! There were no absolute times for meals or lights out, and everyone was following a flow that felt right to them while honoring one another's as well. From closing their eyes and sunbathing by the lake to finding cozy nooks to rest and reflect, to reading a book in the hammock, to a long distance run or connecting in deep conversation... each woman was spending their time intentionally.
The space supported this feeling of slowing down to enjoy the peacefulness of nature. It featured mid-century modern decor with clean, minimalist lines and cozy retro couch with a lake view, and beautifully intentional moments created surrounding the home itself. A hammock between two pines on the shore, comfortable chairs around the fire pit inviting warmth and conversation, a tire swing and zip-line to let your inner child play, and the setting of a little lesson I'm writing to share... a private hot tub, with quality jets and a protected nature view.
It was Sunday morning. I'd shared holistic wellness consults, guided four meditation sessions, prepared meals, and held space for these incredible women, taking leave every so often to pump milk for our six month old baby spending the weekend with grandparents. My body was physically tired from the drive and life stresses, so as everyone enjoyed the last of their time in this space I ventured to the peace and quiet of the hot tub. The pressure of streaming jets soothed my achy muscles as I lowered myself into the steaming water, surrounded by a natural chorus of sounds all around me. As I began to relax, my mind wandered to a predicament that awaited me back in Iowa. My imaginative brain presented me with all sorts of (not positive) scenarios, and fear took the reigns with anxiety-inducing ponderings. I thought, "Well... this isn't as relaxing as I intended."
"That's alright, it had probably been long enough anyway. I should get back to the women and see if anyone needs anything before we prepare to depart." I checked my phone to see how late it was. You know how much time had passed?
Only eight minutes had passed since I first lowered my body into the hot water. I looked at the numbers again, thinking that this surely could not be correct. Then I couldn't help but chuckle, for this was finally the moment I was putting my weekend of preaching into practice. I acknowledged the irony as I sunk back into the water.
As a healer, nurturer, and mother, it can be challenging to allow ourselves to sit in the silence. We rush about from task to task and even if we do get a moment to ourselves, it's often interrupted or spent brainstorming how to help everyone else with their challenges instead of surrendering to the moment and allowing ourselves to just BE. This weekend was a reminder to each woman that we are of value for who we are as a person, not for how productive we can be or how much we can pour their energy into others. By honoring our soul's purpose here on this planet (even if that doesn't fit the mold of societal standards), we create a far greater impact that running ourselves into the ground trying to please everyone.
Upon realizing that such a short amount of time had passed, I forced myself to release emotional and mental attachment to the outcome awaiting at home and practice a little mindfulness exercise. Breathing deeply in through my nose and out through my mouth I brought my awareness to the nature sounds around me. I let them beckon to me with their soothing chorus, clearing my mind and quieting those busy thoughts that had been coursing through my head only moments ago.
I was reminded that we are not only witness to this relaxing chorus of the natural world, we are an important part of it.
How are YOU going to raise your voice in the soul song you came here to share? How can YOU create space and stillness to allow room for the Divine to flow through you?
If you are growing along your own healing, empath, or intuitive pathway and would love to experience guidance and support as you do, please reach out using the form below. Our next retreat and 7 week program will both be opening soon!