This past week I attended a beautiful retreat in Palm Springs where six women gathered together to celebrate one another. To find tools we already had within to heal past wounds SLOWLY. To release negative self-talk and to awaken our inner Sophia. AND, we had a ton of good old fashion girl time!
The Sophia Experience Palm Springs was just what I needed! I reached out to Morgan a few months ago asking if she’d consider a state side retreat. Wishing I could join her in Italy on her abroad Sophia retreats, but knowing that just wasn’t in the cards for me…I selfishly suggested Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs (remember when Geoff and I went when we found out we were pregnant with Jack? If not, here’s the blog post).
To my excitement, Morgan agreed that Korakia would be PERFECT! And voila! Sophia Experience Palm Springs was in the books! I was so thrilled to know that I was getting the chance to finally meet one of my teachers in person (I’d only known about her through her online yoga videos and her teachings on Facebook). Also, the chance to have a couple nights away with girls…in Palm Springs…AT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL B&B?
I was over the moon!
Once the day arrived I was so giddy! Geoff took me to PS for brunch then we headed back to Korakia. It was so sweet to have him drop me off at the retreat. We reminisced on our time there before a couple years ago, he took pictures of me finding my room (which happened to be next door to the one he and I stayed in before), opening up my gifts from Morgan. He had me pose outside on the patio and under the bougainvillea surrounding the suit.
Then he left…and I was alone without my family
For the first time since having our son, I felt deeply saddened to be away from home. I knew I had some heavy work to do over the next couple days at the retreat. Even being away from them an entire week while doing my Holy Yoga training wasn’t this hard. I had this amazing suit all to myself but soon realized I was going to have a lot of time..with myself. Not by myself…but WITH parts of me I love and parts of me I don’t.
I remember someone telling me that sometimes what we learn from God, one on one with Him, should stay with us. It’s not meant to be shared with the rest of the world. It’s intimate and personal between you and Him. I feel that way about my experience in Palm Springs. Of course I’ll share some bits and pieces…but not all of it because it’s meant to stay there.
We did some of the best yoga I’ve ever done! Jumping, dancing, laughing crying, we road the entire wave of emotions on our mats. And some of us practiced in our undies and lingerie! So freeing! I did NOT wear a bra most of the trip! We exhaled sighs and SMILED at every part of our bodies. We learned about the chakras and how they manifest or correlate to other parts of the body. We soaked in the pool, ate great food together, got dressed up together, and had some EPIC girl time! We talked about SEX and FEMININE WHOLENESS!!! And it felt SOOOOO GOOD to be open about everything.
We need to be free.
I learned just how closed off I am at allowing myself freedom. I entered the retreat feeling so confident in myself, but quickly realized just how quick I am to hide my true self. Like I’ve been walking around with this persona of a strong confident woman, but inside I still feel like the 7 year old girl who was awkward with a short boy’s hair cut, huge ears, and freckles. The new kid in school because she moved away from her family due to divorce, with a stepdad who didn’t want to notice her. She was a shadow in her own home. And the attention she received was a lot of bullying or being made fun for the way she looked and dressed at school. She felt unseen and no one wanted to hear her.
Hard pill to swallow.
Coming face to face with that girl made me realize that I’m still her…and that I need to comfort her and show her how strong she is now. That she is important and WORTHY of being seen and HEARD. She is beautiful. And SMART.
I’m sitting on my couch writing this a day before my 5 year open heart surgery anniversary and WHAT A RIDE I’ve been on since then. So much self-discovery. And I’m thankful. The Sophia Experience really couldn’t have happened at a better time. There is a theme to every form of self-care I’ve been a part of, whether through counseling with my therapist, seeing a psychic, working with my friend through Theta healing, my church, yoga and my artwork, and now this experience with Morgan and the rest of the Sophias there.
I need to speak. My block is my voice. Allowing myself to truly be ME when I speak. To own my words. To not be afraid to be vulnerable and own up to not knowing what something means or sharing my point of view if it conflicts with someone else. I’ve wanted to belong for so long that I’ve become a people pleaser and my voice got tangled up in it. I also need to allow myself to listen to compliments. To truths said over me…and own them as truths. VERY, very hard, more so than speaking up for myself.
It’s a slow process, and that’ ok. But in order for me to help others love themselves right where they are, I need to do the same.
I feel more FREEDOM already.