Recently, I had a fantastic opportunity to create/facilitate a weekend women’s retreat for a church community. Thirty of us met, and shared incredibly profound moments Friday evening through noon Sunday. I was very impressed to see this community of women bond so deeply. They even went on to plan concurrent events afterwards to maintain their new, positive momentum.
Through a variety of activities, including large and small group discussions, introspective exercises, journaling, and silence, I watched as each woman voluntarily explored, embraced and celebrated their unique ‘inner power.’ I was impressed by their individual and collective willingness to risk being vulnerable all weekend. As the weekend culminated into a powerful ritual Saturday night, I felt such a love and excitement for each woman as each woman stepped forward. I could see a sense of support, self-renewal and trust from each of them. They were courageously willing to do their ‘inner work’ and put words to their growth. I was constantly moved by how Spirit (God, Source) expressed throughout the weekend.
What I didn’t expect was the group’s reaction at the end of the Saturday ritual. As our evening began to conclude, the large group gathered together. Suddenly, twenty-nine women approached me wrapping their arms around me. Instantly, I went from professional facilitator to becoming “a sister,” surrounded with hugs and cheers…just like they had done with one another moments before. Right then, I realized I had believed that staying separate was necessary in order to do my job. Unconsciously, my thinking had become black and white. I was clearly the only one who felt it needed to be that way. Such an unexpected welcoming took my breath away—and woke me up! They had ministered to me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
The final ‘icing on the cake’ came once I got home Sunday evening. I sat on the patio remembering the intensity and beauty of every interaction. I spoke aloud, “I wish I had a sign that these women felt deeply ‘fed’ (as I doubted myself momentarily). Just then, a hummingbird zoomed up to my face—hovering only 5 inches away. Then, it moved towards me even closer twice. I could feel the wind from its rapidly beating wings. I felt like I was being given a eyelash ‘butterfly kiss.’ It was absolutely incredible! After those two obvious lunges, it flew away. What are the chances of something that magnificent happening within 5 seconds of my asking that question? As it flew away, all of my concerns flew away with it. I felt instant peace!
When we are aware, open-hearted and willing to risk being vulnerable, spectacular things happen. We integrate that which is inside and outside of ourselves.
We become the miracle that we seek to experience!
Thank you to my new sisters and hummingbird…