Circles, cakes and magic

guardianThe truth is, I had no idea how the retreat would go. Meg, Sas and I had created a program we felt was juicy and inspiring, but there was no way of knowing whether the participants would get anything out of it. I swung between worrying it was all too simple to fretting that maybe it was too much. There were so many unknowns running alongside the reassurances that the food would be good (it so was!) and the venue was lovely.

As an introvert, albeit a confident non-shy one, I was also worried I’d find the retreat exhausting. I’m so used to being on my own I didn’t know if I could handle the energy of 19 women basically living together for five days. Sharing my world from behind a screen, book page or photograph is extremely comfortable for me — doing that out in public is something else altogether.

But as it turned out, it was one of the most illuminating, connected, nourishing and humbling experiences of my life.

visioning | susannahconway.comfriendship | SusannahConway.comFrom the moment we welcomed the first arrivals to the final farewell on the last day, we were carried along by something much greater than us. The pace of the days was perfectly in line with what everyone needed. The workshops and exercises stretched us all in ways we couldn’t have imagined (we were working right alongside our vixens). We stayed open to the witchiness that circles of women tend to bring, and we honoured our energy levels by retreating when we needed to. When I fell into bed each night I was tired, yes, but not depleted. Personally this was one of the greatest gifts of the week, discovering I can do this work and not be destroyed by it.

Every evening Meg, Sas and I would gather to prep for the next day, lying on each other’s beds, marvelling at how well it was going. It was such a joy to witness my two friends truly blossom into their roles as retreat leaders — you would have thought they’d been doing it for years (SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS!)

Esmeworking it outEach of us had a role to play – every woman in our circle brought something of herself to the group. We were a yurt full of equals, and that was exactly how I’d hoped it would be. There is something so powerful about being a witness to each other’s transformation. I’d seen it happen in my classes and have read about it in testimonials and emails, but to be there in person, looking into a person’s eyes as they tell me their story… I don’t really have words for it, actually.

Each woman went home with a map to her future and a tribe of women walking beside her. I returned home exhausted to my bones, yet also oddly filled up. I have a better idea of what I need to do going forward with my own goals and am ready to take that first step into the next chapter of my future. And part of that includes another Redfox retreat next year. This is just the beginning, in so many ways…

crows | SusannahConway.comyurt magic | SusannahConway.comThank you Amy, Amy Gretchen, Anne, Elizabeth, Esme, Fiona, Gerri, Jenny, Katherine, Kelly, Nicola, Rachel, Sarah, Susanne, Wendy and Yvonne for trusting us to be your guides for the week and letting yourselves be seen so beautifully. I’ll never forget it xo

everyonemess making | SusannahConway.comskystairwaywitchy nightGlastonbury Tor | SusannahConway.com
If you’d like to learn more about next year’s Unravel Your Story retreat you can sign up for the mailing list over here. We’ll be updating the page over the next few weeks, but I can already tell you the dates: November 4th – 10th, 2014

12 responses
  1. Sas

    Love you as much as the gluten-free chocolate brownies at Redfox xx

  2. Gerri Smalley

    Yes… As the tears of gratitude flow, I think about how all of us are forever changed. What you’ve shared conveys the beauty of our sacred time together so well. Love you bunches Hon!! xxO

  3. CJ

    It looks like you all had a wonderful time. I loved seeing the picture of Glastonbury Tor, I do so love Glastonbury. You have reminded me that I need to visit again soon!

  4. Fiona

    why did I not expect to cry? I cried at everyone elses’ ;) this got me in particular: “discovering I can do this work and not be destroyed by it.” yes, yes, yes.

  5. Alicia

    Susannah: This sounds like an awesome experience. I signed up for updates. I remember asking you a few months ago if you would have future retreats. I really would like to come next year. I could not make this one because I am finishing my last year (in November) of my herbal education.

  6. Sarah

    Gorgeously written my lovely. Thank you again you three wise women who led us, we are all changed in the best of ways and continue to be so more day by day as we follow our maps, so much richer for this amazing experience.

  7. xanthe

    I’m so happy for you that it turned out to be more than you expected. It looked wonderful! xxx

  8. Amy gretchen

    I will hold onto our time there and the lovely women I met for a long time coming. It was exactly what I needed to get me through this last week. Thank you for bring us to gather and the safe place you provided so that we could get what we needed and leave empowered. Love you!

  9. michelle gd

    it all sounds lovely. so happy for you and the participants.

  10. La plume et la page

    Thank you for sharing this experience!

  11. Susanne

    Yes, it was a great time. I enjoyed it so much. I came to your retreat because you were so wholehearted in your e-courses I started to attend last autumn… One year being in touch, :-) Love, Susanne

  12. Kelly

    I thought I had already commented on this, but ah well. It is so magic for me that you got so much out of this. It was so miraculous to be part of it, thank you! (I’ve linked my homecoming message, although it feels like only the first).

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