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Slowing down and surrounding yourself with positivity

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Young mothers, yogis, doctors and attorneys; women from all walks of life were able to come together and find a common ground during the I Am Enough retreat.

Imagine being able to go back to sleepover camp as an adult. Now, imagine that you are there with 25 of the smartest, most accomplished and intelligent women you could meet. Imagine yoga, tea, gongs and hiking along a stream. Imagine being able to share the joys, fears and frustrations related to being a woman who does it all – balancing work, children, relationships.

The I Am Enough retreat on July 21, 2018 sponsored by Healthy New Albany, Inc. and the Mershad Family Foundation, was this and so much more.

The day began in a drizzle. The setting was an exquisite retreat, surprisingly just minutes from downtown New Albany. With a crackling fire in the fireplace on that cool July morning, it was a day that evoked memories of summer vacations at the lake. Under the capable guidance of yoga instructor Lori Bower, we began our day by getting to know each other.

Easily and immediately, we saw that there was some girl power in the room. We ranged in age from young mothers to grandmothers. We varied in experience from attorneys to yogis, from mothers to doctors. The room was instantly alive with the energy that is often found when women gather in support of one another.

We took time between yoga and gong sessions to write and to share our thoughts about being enough in today’s demanding culture. For me, July 21 landed in the middle of many months of spiritual exploration following a diagnosis and treatment plan for stage IV ovarian cancer. It also landed on my 61st birthday – the day was a gift to me from a dear friend. I had been exploring the balance between giving my all and giving it all away – nurturing others but not myself.

The stories shared throughout the day resonated with me. I heard from my peers that giving permission to take care of yourself and fill your own cup feels like an indulgence, yet is imperative for most of us. One participant stated that learning spiritual self-care was a game changer not only for her, but also for her family. We reminded ourselves that if we take the time to listen for wisdom, we have more to share with those we love, and that the most mundane daily tasks can be fulfilling if we stop to notice.

Sometimes, just the act of being joyful can be the greatest gift.

These are words that, of course, are repeated daily in blogs and self-help books. We are almost bombarded with reminders to be “present.” I know people that even set alarms on their phones to remind themselves to breathe.

But what happened that day was something more powerful. I believe it was the gathering of the collective hearts and souls of the women in that room that raised a vibration level in us all. I know I walked out a little taller – not just because my body was aligned from the beautiful yoga class or because I felt like a 6-year-old girl swinging on the old-school swing set in the yard – but because I carried that collective breath under my feet.

At the day’s end, the clouds parted and the sun broke through. Yes, I know, it sounds like a movie-perfect ending, but it’s true. And it stood to remind us that the blue skies are always there just behind the clouds.

And that we are, most certainly, more than enough.


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