Nova Scotians are so fortunate to have Amanda Ring practicing here, offering her wisdom, guidance, tools, and support. Not only is Amanda a gifted intuitive, she has traveled all over the world for trainings, so that she can facilitate ceremonies and experiences for us that no one else in the Maritimes is trained to deliver (I’ll tell you more about these in Part 2)
I really wanted to share some of my retreat experiences with you. If you’re on a healing journey like I am, there may be something in here that speaks to you. If I can support you in any way through sharing some of my story, I’d like to.
I’ll start where we began our weekend together. . .
Gathering in Circle
Upon arrival, after carrying our bags up the wide wood staircase of the century farmhouse, we nine women gathered in a circle.
Once here, we shared little bits of our stories, why we were there.
We held space for each other’s pain, grief, suffering.
What did I share? That I was here to heal, to process, to write. That I wanted to practice being in my heart instead of my head so much.
Any anxiety I had about sharing close space with strangers melted away in that first circle. It felt like such good fortune to feel safe and comfortable so quickly with a new group – but, in truth, none of us were there by accident, and we shared a common denominator – Amanda Ring.
And Amanda believes we were all meant to be there. It certainly felt that way.
We Need Space for Healing
We had all faced obstacles to going away on retreat for three days – leaving families and babies; the weight of other people’s needs and expectations; justifying the cost and time; deeply ingrained mindsets that we are not important – but we all showed up.
We needed space for healing; our bodies needed rest but also movement; our spirits were craving community and compassion.
Women gathering in collective healing is incredibly powerful, and I would argue critical at this point in human history. We need to heal together and we need to build strength to face some big global, human issues.
At the centre of our circle, was the shared altar we gathered around several times a day. The altar evolved over the course of the weekend as we added our own significant objects and flowers and leaves from around the Farmhouse. It was so beautiful!
It was nourishing just to look at it, but to gather around it felt very special.
You can see my mala beads in the lower right corner of the photo. These were a gift from another sober mama on the occasion of my one year soberversary. I carry them with me when I feel I need support in feeling strong and brave. They are now charged with the power and strength of this circle of women.
A Weekend of Ritual and Ceremony
Amanda had planned a full yet thoughtful women’s retreat weekend full of ritual and ceremony, creativity, forest bathing, and community, as well as delicious, nourishing, vegetarian meals.
We participated in a traditional Nepalese Shamanic Releasing ceremony, which Amanda guided us through so beautifully. We joined in an EmpARROWment® Arrow Break ceremony as well as Chakradance®. We did creative, joyful, meaningful work together – adorning our arrows with yarn, flowers, and feathers; weaving and wrapping flower crowns with gorgeous locally grown flowers, and creating a forest mandala together. On our final day, we practiced personal ritual and ceremony with a solo Tree Meditation.
The beauty of going on a women’s retreat with Amanda Ring is that you get to experience a little bit of everything that she offers through Seven Feathers.
The result was a very potent weekend – are you curious to know more?
In Part 2 I share my experience with EmpARROWment® Arrow Break ceremony, Chakradance®, and Tree Meditation.
In Part 3, I share what I did to integrate the experience when I returned home.
Disclosure: This blog series is sponsored content. It is, however, written from personal experience and the opinions are all my own.