Connection, Vulnerability, & Power: A 5 Day Journey of Discovery

Connection, Vulnerability, & Power: A 5 Day Journey of Discovery
Jess Villarreal

Connection, Vulnerability, & Power: A 5 Day Journey of Discovery

Nestled between the serene national parks of Canada, a group of Recovery Beyond women embarked on a trip hoping to foster empowerment within themselves on the first-ever Recovery Beyond Women’s Empowerment Retreat.

The goal? Embracing vulnerability, connection, and the power within.

Hitting the Road

With a two-day road trip from Western Washington to our retreat destination in Canada, what might have seemed like a long drive turned into an opportunity for real connections.

We shared meals, gazed at awe-inspiring views, and bonded over our shared appreciation for nature’s beauty. As we ventured further from the familiar surroundings of Seattle, the landscape transformed, and so did our camaraderie. We reveled in the beauty that recovery allows us to experience.

The Power of Togetherness

The road trip experience set the stage for what lay ahead. Our interactions during the journey set a tone of unity and self-discovery.

We came from diverse backgrounds, some seasoned outdoor enthusiasts, and others new to the wilderness. However, these differences brought us closer together.

The trip wasn’t just about sightseeing; it was a crash course in practical outdoor skills. We learned to split wood, start a fire, and, importantly, the consequences of forgetting to close the grill or leaving a sweatshirt hanging outside.

Living in the great outdoors unveiled the simultaneous beauty of simplicity and complexity.

Lessons We Learned

Margo Talbot and Megan Wright led powerful workshops for the group.

Margo helped us carry the sense of power and connection we had fostered in the retreat into our everyday lives. Together, we worked to create practices and tools for pathways moving forward.

Megan led a workshop on the labyrinth. We reviewed its history and symbolism and it became a sanctuary for personal revelations and growth. Here, we delved into issues related to our relationships with our mothers and family of origin. We learned how to rewrite the stories we told ourselves and take control of our destinies. Our journey inside the labyrinth was a pathway to discovering the powerful individuals we are inside.

Yoga for the Soul

Our retreat was a delightful mix of activities, including invigorating yoga sessions. Guided by a skilled yoga instructor, we embraced learning poses and trying something new.

What began as a hesitant embrace of yoga quickly turned into a profound appreciation for the practice, leaving us feeling empowered and revitalized.

Healing with Nature

Water played a recurring role throughout our journey, symbolizing healing and transformation.

The weather was wet and the rain offered a challenge to living outdoors. Hot springs offered solace and rejuvenation, while our forest experiences were nothing short of enchanting.

Guided forest bathing encouraged us to reconnect with nature, and for many, it felt like their inner child was awakened. As we engaged with the forest floor, the trees, and the fallen leaves, we rekindled our connection with the natural world.

Reflections and Transformations

As our adventure came to a close, we realized just how much we needed this break from the constant buzz of technology and city life.

We returned home with a newfound appreciation for life’s simpler pleasures, a deeper bond with each other, and a strong sense of our own capabilities.

The Women’s Empowerment Retreat wasn’t just a travel experience; it was a lesson in the power of connection, vulnerability, and personal growth. It reminds us that the most profound transformations often happen when we step out of our comfort zone, bond with others, and immerse ourselves in the healing embrace of the natural world.

This retreat is a beautiful example of how recovery allows us to go deeper into ourselves and appreciate the world within and around us.