I have seen the tears flow from your eyes as your voice trembled and the words so soft in the silence of your heart opening, that in that moment nothing else mattered only you.
Last night I returned from bringing a group on a weekend retreat for the eleventh time. We set out on Friday afternoon, I was gladly guided by two very good friends who know my sense of direction is not always the best, I have travelled the road many times but like in life, I too need a little guidance now and again.
On arrival there is always excitement as I set up the workshop space in the beautiful Boghill centre in Co. Clare, anticipating the participants arrival and excited at what the weekend will bring. Some of the people were returning for the fifth or sixth time and for many it was their very first experience in Clare, with me or even in a retreat. What follows over the course of the weekend can only be described as little miracles of transformation for each and every person, including myself.
When we allow ourselves to open our hearts, something special happens. We not only give ourselves permission to free ourselves of the doubts and fears we hold onto, but we also give permission for others to do the same. As we joined together more and more over the weekend, faces brightened, eyes met, hugs were given, tears were shed, laughs were heard and bonds that may never have happened only for what we have all gone through in our lives, it brought us together, it brought us to a place of pure love and acceptance.
Don't get me wrong, it is not all laughing and singing! We do serious work whilst on retreat but it is done with love and non judgement. We form safe groups for you to work in and to help encourage you to let go whilst being supported with positive feedback and reassurance. We have creative and fun exercises to help ease you into letting go and not worrying about what other people will think of you. It is inspiring to see the support that each person gets from the group and how over the weekend, friendships are formed through similar experiences and the want in us to help another human being to see how beautiful and strong they actually are.
When I started out many years I would have never have thought I would be bringing groups away on retreats, it would have scared the living daylights out of me, but you know what scares me more now - what if I listened to those doubts and never took that step forward, I would never know the joy of helping more and more people, I would never have got to meet the people I now call my friends and I would never have felt the real love and acceptance that we can share to help heal and nurture each other.
It is called a retreat because we need time away to find ourselves, but not to be alone or to be silent, but to be with other people who see the best in us. Human interaction is what life is all about, speak up and be heard, your voice matters, your life matters, your story matters.
I come away from another retreat with so much gratitude to all that attended and I reflect back on all the people that have joined me over the years, the transformations in their lives by choosing to put themselves first and to accept who they are, to love themselves each and every day. I know that I am on the right track when I look into the eyes of another and I see their heart opening up to love. ~ Sharon
Our next group weekend retreat is on from 5pm Friday 3rd June to 2pm Sunday 5th June in The Boghill Centre, Kilfenora, Co. Clare