This weekend I left Hubby alone with the house and, trying not to think about the conditions to which I would return, spent my days on Assateague Island for a Women’s Empowerment retreat with the woman who attuned me to Reiki.  The group ended up being, with the exception of one woman, a mini reunion of my initial Reiki class.  Now, this was in many ways a “what happens on Assateague stays on Assateague” kind of personal retreat meant only for my personal (aka: handwritten and kept in a dresser drawer) journal, but I will share with you all a few poignant moments and what I brought home from the experience.

The first night we stayed up late not talking, but sharing and laughing.  Though for some of us it was only the second time we’d ever been in the same room together, I immediately felt a connection to each of these women.  We were five women of varying ages, experiences, paths, and lifestyles finding out how comfortably and easily we related to one another.  We went to bed relaxed and warm, and I couldn’t sleep.  My mind was racing, my heart and soul were optimistic and impatient, and my spirit was anxious to explore this new place like a bird newly set free in a bright morning sky.

I found myself up the next morning far earlier than I would normally wake up on my own feeling refreshed and ready for anything; ocean air has a way of doing that.  We eased into the morning and started our afternoon on the beach, where I had the auspicious opportunity to see a few of the wild horses of Assateague.  I stood in the sand and let myself feel the sand beneath my feet, the rolling surf on my legs, the breeze wrapping itself around me, and the run on my face.  I took in those energies and held them deep inside in perfect balance.  I was ready to begin.

Back at the house we began to do some real work with each other and within ourselves.  For me, this weekend was about long-term progress rather than the small and often illusory steps I seem to be reaching for a lot these days.  If Hubby and I are going to be back on our own two feet soon we need to think big and make it happen.  To be able to do my part in all this I need to be strong, confident, and possibly a little creative.  I also need to be patient, and oftentimes more quiet and at peace when I see the opportunity for it to mitigate the chaos and constant doing inherent to putting any plan in motion.  All this is what I needed to get from this weekend.

Part of the afternoon featured a short energy share.  On a normal day my benefit would mainly have been in receiving healing energy.  In that setting, however, I was most satisfied by giving.  Not only did it remind me of my love for hands-on healing and the joy I get from being able to translate messages from a person’s  body, but it also gave me a renewed need to do so on a regular basis and the confidence I needed to know where my real gifts need to be directed.

Having our ritual on the beach that night brought a lot of things together for me.  Since deciding that morning  what specific insight I wanted to get from the experience I had already been receiving messages and feeling the energies changing within and around me.  I have never been on a beach that allowed fires, so having a fire in the sand on a darkened beach was an amazing experience.  It was surreal knowing there were other people on the beach but also feeling like we were in our own space.  Unless I really looked for them I could not see the separations between the land, water, and sky, and it only added to the surreal feel of the night.  The only other people I did happen to notice where beautiful moonlit silhouettes of children playing on the dunes just after twilight.  My spirit wanted to play with them, and my heart smiled.

When ritual was over I wandered towards the ocean and let the water wash over my feet and mingle with the sand between my toes.  Once again I felt the breeze wrap itself around me, but this time it was the moonlight on my face.  I remembered how the energy had felt earlier that day and let the two twist and blend within me, a glorious balance of the masculine sun and feminine moon energies.  There with my feet in the sandy surf and my head in the stars (the Milky Way has never been so bright!) I found myself singing a song of transformation.  I have never felt so moved and full of life-changing, positive energy in my life, never felt so sure I was on the verge of something great for myself and for my family.   It was emotional and almost overwhelming.  I let it flow through me and sang, “well of water, flowing emotion…transformation…we call…” and the ocean answered with one overflowing wave.  Where the other only licked my toes, this wave engulfed me up to my hips.  It happened once, and only once, and I knew it was time to join my sisters by the fire once more.  I was soggy and cold, but I was a new me walking back to them that night.

The ride home was jovial.  We laughed a lot and never missed a chance to kick the laughter up a notch.  I knew then, as I know now, that these women are now an important part of my life.  I hold a new respect and love for each and every one of them.  I know I could call any one of them if I had a problem or question, and she would listen with an open heart and help me find the power I discovered on the beach.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to convey with words how this weekend has changed me, which is a hard thing for a writer to admit.  I can count on one hand the times in my life I have been speechless, but this experience definitely goes on that list.  Now is the time for my next steps.  They will be small, slow, and quiet, but they will change my life as I know it.  We will overcome this situation.  I will not be alone, nor will I fall behind and be carried.  I will not forget I am a woman of Brighid, a woman of the Earth, and my mother’s daughter.  I will not forget that I am often the only one making me weak.  At some point the woman I know I can be got buried far beneath the woman I let myself be far too often. She’s the woman Hubby sees.  She’s the woman the children look to for guidance and nurturing.  She’s the woman who can, and will, and continues to thrive.  She is the woman I have always been, the woman I disinterred on Assateague Island.

Go now, my friends, and find your power.