Last August, I had one of those ethereal, yet deeply grounding experiences that can be so difficult to capture with pen and ink.

Retreat is something I take seriously, as absolute to me as breathing and eating and shelter and bathing…a necessity. A non-negotiable in my relationship to myself. Something that works its way into the budget no matter what because it is that important for me to be able to walk around and do what I am here to do…

I never sat down to share my time at the Matrilumina retreat I was invited to last year…A trial run of what has become¬†this. I’m sharing now because they are closing registration in two days…and it’s important to me that I support my friends, but also…because you might be needing this desperately and I want to support you in the decision to say yes.

Since I’m an earth sign, it feels natural for me to tell you about the place first. Let’s get you grounded… They have chosen to share Esalen Institute with you. A conscious community dedicated to Soul work perched on the cliffs over-looking the Pacific ocean in Big Sur (home to Henry Miller among other artists). Rustic cabins nestled into the hillside, a view to eternity, trees, rocks, rivers, paths, flowers, gardens…organic food grown on the land. A hot spring bath house overlooking the ocean, the spring smells like sulfur, and you come to love that scent on your skin. You walk on to the land and you feel it in your body…the goodness. And it is filled with creatures, fox joined us nearly every day, and as it is just south of Monterey bay, the whales migrate past here in March. Talk about totems for going deep…


What went on in this landscape is harder to put into words. We gathered…

…and our guides each shared practices and prompts to help us connect with one another, get clear on our souls path, feel comfortable with our strengths and vulnerabilities, gave us permission to stop, to rest, to unburden… and we nurtured one another. In the letting go process, some of what we had been carrying in our bodies was released and that energetic detoxing process had a few of us feeling less than tip top…but on hand were healers of all modalities and we were able to witness the way women care for each other so naturally. Because it is what we do.

And the women…there were 21 of us, and we sat in an intimate cocoon of a room on the floor, with pillows and an altar and our pens and notebooks and journeywork and body inventories and mind maps and crafted expanding visions for ourselves. We learned how to shift perception, or grew to commit more deeply to the pathwork we were already engaged in. We could open up the niggling little trouble spots of the psyche and hold them out to say…”do I really need this piece?” or “I need help with this piece.” There was a bonfire…an impromptu dance party…and we read stories and sang songs to each other. ¬†Pixie, Christine, Maya, Melody and all of us present were indelible co-creators of the experience…guides yes, and participants too.

That, I think is part of what helped the circle to be so warm and tight and good…we were in a circle that shifted…each had a voice, something to offer, to share. There was no hierarchy, the energy went around and around and around.


esalen tree


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s