Thirty eight women from fifteen states believed enough in themselves to retreat to Cape Cod in the middle of winter to be off duty—to pause—to take stock of who they are beyond the roles that they play.
Many in this group of robust souls (who ranged in age from 30 to 75) were in caretaking professions such as nursing, teaching, social work, personal coaching—and as I watched them probe their own psyches it was pleasing to witness an attitude shift—from weary and bedraggled to beaming and serene—proving what Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in her book, A Gift From The Sea that “If it is in a woman’s nature to nurture, then she must nourish herself.”
When I was on the Oprah show several years ago, there was a woman in the front row complaining that she could never get away… “she had children, a husband, a job, and no time for leisure.”
I surprised myself with my answer: “There are 8,700 hours in a year. If you can’t find 24 for yourself it’s pitiful.”
Oprah picked up on my sentiments and in her wonderful way shouted back at the woman: “Pitiful…you are pitiful!” The audience roared and I realized, after the fact, what a seminal moment it actually was. What’s more, it is pitiful to see how little it takes for a woman to actually refuel and turn her life around!
The Latin word for vacate is vacare—to be empty. That is precisely what happens on retreat—a woman can empty her overflowing container of everyone else’s issues and be selfish enough to regain some of what she has given away.
I wish for you, retreat time—be it an hour, a day, or a weekend, to recapture your essence and be that person full to the brim with feminine energy—an energy that will do a world of good to yourself and those around you.