Do you have a retreat you go to annually? Do have someone you know that would “just get it”?
As many of you may know, we are going through some anxiety provoking health junk with my husband and are currently stuck in this awful waiting game. So, a weekend away with the ladies was a good chance to clear my mind (as much as possible) and set down my armor for awhile.
In the past I’ve been a bit guarded about what I’ve been willing to share regarding Lovebomb, but this experience has brought me so much that I would like to stop hoarding it and be a bit more open about it.
First off, the setting is amazing! We are lucky enough to access to Anne’s family farm. It’s a historic house full of history and wonder. There is a beautiful wedding shawl that hangs from a previous great, great… (not sure how many) grandmother as well as old black and white photos of stoic old men. That being said, we have the luxury of heat, running water and all the modern amenities. There are acres to walk, a creek that runs through the back, bee hives, fruit trees and total and utter seclusion. Beside the farmhouse is a beautiful red barn and also the caretaker’s cottage and in the woods the remnants of an old log cabin.
When Lovebomb was initially started by Heather and Jacki no one person new more than 2 of it’s members, at most. I went knowing only Heather who had invited me. What I thought was going to be an awkward on the sidelines, I don’t know anybody, now what?! turned into a friendship by nuclear fusion. The group initially consisted of myself, Heather, Jacki, Anne, Jessie, Nancy, and Sarah. Unfortunately, Sarah left the group and so this year Heather was able to extend a welcome to Amy. Unfortunately, neither Jessie or Nancy were able to come this fall. We sure did miss them, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time.
Heather and I hosted the event this time around and to be honest, I think one of my favorite parts of the weekend was just getting to set up with her, have a drink and catch up. Heather is one of those friends that I feel I can say anything too, but don’t often get the luxury to chat with.
In the past, there have been all sorts of wonderful decorations, but this time around we boiled it down to our three favorites: lighting (candles and string lights), fresh flowers, and words (snippets of poetry and the like taped about to read and inspire). We also try to plan activities but in no way push people to join or complete them (unless it’s one of Heather’s list projects… *wink*).
This year I pulled together the Ever Expandable Journal which was a take home project that lead one through a guided journaling experience. Throughout the year I (ideally) will be sending new pages each month to continue the journey.
I also brought with some paints to do rock and leaf paintings like the ones HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Heather brought with items to help us make our own pampering sugar body scrubs. Now we didn’t actually get to that one other than the “test” batch that her and I created, but nevertheless we all had amazingly soft hands.
Heather also lead us through another list project that asked us to name 50 things we love about ourselves or that we are good at. I encourage all of you to give it a try because if you are like me IT IS REALLY REALLY HARD! It took me quite awhile, but I finished mine and hung it near my mirror to remind me every day.
Besides all of the wine, walking, and creating there is at the very base of it the connections. I have never had a group of people like this in my life before and it’s meaning to me is beyond words. This is a group of women that I can say things to without fear of judgement or ridicule. I can say things that I have never been willing to say out loud before- and for an honest, non-editing person like me that’s some pretty deep shit let me tell you! But there is something about knowing that there, as soon as it leaves my lips it will be picked up by someone, brushed off, and shown back to me for what it is. Honest, human, and part of everyone. There is nothing I can say that hasn’t been felt by someone before and all of the shit I use to beat myself up are things they overlook, love or are willing to forgive.
I don’t know how the group was created so beautifully and complimentary, but I think the best way it was described was that we all have some one woman in our lives that we know will “just get it”. That’s who you invite. That’s where you start.