Life Inspirations

Retreat to Move Forward

Retreat to Move Forward


At the beginning of this April I was in a dark place.  It had been brewing for a few months.  I recognized this as a period of contraction that inevitably comes before growth and expansion.  But during these few days, moments of sadness and heaviness, questioning everything within and without…it just felt really difficult.  I was overcome by negative beliefs and judgments about myself.   Like a wounded animal, I holed up.  My birthday was the worst day of all.  And the hardest thing was that I was aware I was creating it with my own thoughts.  These negative voices in my head were out of control, and they were driving through my brain like maniacs. I felt pretty hopeless that I would ever find my way out of that place. 

Finally, I surrendered,…I just let go.

I released all the practices and ways to “fix” this inner feeling, and the inner judgement that was keeping me stuck trying to run away from them. I allowed myself to do absolutely nothing. I stopped beating myself up mentally and accepted that I was “stuck in the mud” as Eckhart Tolle says. I cried a lot.  I made tea and prayed and lived in my bathrobe for two days.  And every time those voices came up, I took a deep breath, relaxed and said to them “thanks for the input, but I am choosing peace.” Slowly the negative self-talk subsided, and I just felt empty, and a bit adrift and shell shocked. 

So when my dear friend Jennifer told me to get my ass in gear, pack a bag for the desert and join her and two other of my dear girlfriends for a few days camping in Moab, Utah... I almost said no.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be the wet-blanket in the group.  But something inside of me said “GO”...

And so I did.  Just a brief getaway, 2 nights and a full day away from my everyday life and this sadness that had overtaken me.
Women's Retreat in Moab


Two nights of cooking under the stars and warming ourselves by a smoky campfire.  Red rocks.  Honoring the sunrise and the sunset touching this sacred landscape. Laughter with my sisters.  We didn’t discuss things too much, we just enjoyed this time. We made big breakfasts and took a long walk in the desert canyon.  We lay out naked in the sun.  We wrote in our journals. My friend Heather flew her kite.  We celebrated three of our birthdays that same week with gluten-free chocolate cupcakes and red wine - Aries sisters!

My friend Jennifer Mizel is a modern-day medicine woman, and she had organized this trip to scout for an upcoming woman’s retreat in May.  Jennifer led us in some sacred rituals to honor the New Moon, with sage and candles and prayerful intentions, dressed in our finest silks, leather, and jewelry.  Normally I don’t take “dress up” clothes camping, but since we were doing a photo-shoot, I had packed some great dresses, boots and loads of my jewels to adorn ourselves.


And it was a revelation! 

That evening felt potent, four of us women gathering our gifts and beauty in the desert…honoring the New Moon, cleansing our hearts, planting our deepest vision for the future. As we all put on our finery for the sunset photos and ceremony, I felt a wave of power and exhilaration wash over me.  Ha! It is such a gift to honor our beauty! To offer our finest selves.  To recognize that in celebrating our own magic, we bring blessings into the world. 

I realized I was stepping through a doorway.  It was profound.  I saw that the crisis I had experienced just a few days before was the last shedding of an old story I no longer needed to carry forward.  This was a new day, and a new dawning of my inner power.  I felt the shift within as solid and real as the red rocks under my feet and the April sun setting behind the cliffs and Orion sparkling in the darkening, moonless sky. 
And so it has been said many times before, but I will offer it here again.  
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.  Have faith in the path that is our life. It is in our deepest shadow that the gifts of our light is born…and we must pass through.  We are called to honor nature and the sacred force of this universe by holding space for the rhythm and the expansion and contraction of our own lives, with gratitude and acceptance for all experiences.  As within, so without. Clean out the dusty corners of our minds, and let go of the limiting beliefs. From the dark of the Moon to the fullness of the Sun.  From Winter into Spring.  May we all find wisdom and peace in honoring our own seasons.

Many Blessings,

Harmony

5 comments

Aug 09, 2016

Dear Harmony,
My name is Mickey Wood and I am the mother of Jill Wood Johnson, who now lives in Longmont. I am a “saver” of writings that I find “worthy” of continued recognition. Just re-read your tribute to Justin from 2 years ago. Still difficult for me to “let go” of your beautiful prose. Consequently, I moved on to your blog postings.
Forwarded the “wrinkled” one to my sister (we are in our late 70s and concern ourselves with such things). Your April blog of the girlfriends’ Utah retreat is stunning. Such a special time.
You are blessed. You are gifted. Never cease writing. You have a gift.
Sincerely, Mickey Wood

Mickey Wood
Apr 15, 2016

Stunning Harmony!
In appreciation.

Jenn
Apr 15, 2016

Love the story Harmony! What a time we are going through right now. Hang on and let loose all at once❤️ Love you girl!

Diana
Apr 13, 2016

Soul sister beauty. Thank you for joining us, saying a BIG YES to retreating into you. Sometimes it is so hard, and so profound when we actually surrender to our biggest love and self care.

i love you.

Jennifer

retreat info:
jennifermizel.com/desert-desire

Jennifer Mizel
Apr 13, 2016

You are fortunate to have four good friends to walk with you through and out the dark.

Judi Kleidon

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