She Recovers retreat in Sedona
One single word sums it all up. Full. Full of gratitude. Full of peace. Full of serenity. Full of connection. Full of wisdom. Full of compassion. Full of forgiveness. Full of the deepest sense of calm I don’t think I have ever reached in my soul before now.
This is the power of what happens when a group of brave and vulnerable and broken women come together to heal. We came together to reveal the most painful cracks in our own humanity. We exposed them to each other and invited the healing grace of words and hugs and simple nods that we ‘get’ it. Slowly, over several days, those cracks were filled with tears of acceptance, with the warmth of hugs, the sweetness of laughter, with the glue of faith of what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and braver and wiser.
We summoned the angels, our spirit guides and the energy of that thing that is greater than ourselves. We opened wide up to the stars, opened our arms wide and said, “I am scared, but I am ready and I am willing”. With that, some changes were small, and some were huge, but they were all enough to create reflection. I left that lonely woman I was when I drove in on day one, and drove away on Day 5 with the arms of 22 women around me and under me. I believe I said at least one thing to one person that helped with their transformation and rest assured I took a piece of every woman with me to continue supporting me in my journey of recovery.
I have always wondered why people who quit drinking always talked about being so grateful they had a destructive relationship with alcohol. I get that now. Without my dependency disorder I would have never reached the level self-love and acceptance I had even before my drinking became out of control. I realize through my Sedona journey that a large part of my drinking was as much an attempt to receive the nurturing my 5-year old self so desperately desired. That first glass buzz is ‘that’ feeling of warmth and happiness that I now feel after a great conversation with a woman who gets me. It’s the same feeling as someone thanking me for sharing a difficult story. It’s the same feeling I get when I am journaling with soft music and aromatic essential oils emanating my space.
I came to Sedona simply for connection with other women. The extra gifts were connecting with my inner child and with the signs that are all around me reminding me that my spirit team is with me and protecting me every step of the way. Be it a one-in-a-million double rainbow, or the twice-seen barking dog, or the deer who appeared out of no-where, my angels are everywhere. I even recognized other peoples’ angels through sunflowers, orange stones and heart cacti.
Yoga, dancing, intentional walking, cold river walks, purposeful climbs up steep mountain sides, sounds of the rushing river, the magic of the water turning from red to clear, huge purple flowers, seashells in the desert sand, hummingbirds, huge furry spiders, pure water from the ground; are all constant reminders that the healing is in the journey, in the appreciation that there is beauty and purpose and meaning to our life.
I had to get all of my words out on paper (digital as it is…) in my earliest quiet moment ‘back to normal’. I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to lose the utter amazement, the depth of love for myself that, 15 months ago , I made the decision to rid myself of alcohol for good. I put myself first to release that which did not serve me. I discovered a new mantra in my walk through the labyrinth: I am a sober woman, there is joy in recovery and I release all that does not serve me. I now have the deeper understanding that all of the gifts and grace I found in Sedona are now a part of me. I did not leave anything there. My heart and soul grew a new spot to take these new tools to use in my recovery. I am full.