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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Retreating...

It started with a postcard in the mail, an invitation to the Wings Cancer Foundation's summer Retreat for gynecological cancer Survivors. It was a fun surprise to get that kind of mail. I immediately thought it was an awesome idea and wanted to go. Then after a day or so, I started wondering if I wanted to dredge up all those cancer emotions again. I am moving forward and creating a happy successful new life, and I didn't want to lose my momentum or trip myself up.

My soul told me I should go though, and I've learned to listen. So, I went even though I was a bit afraid. I pictured lots of hugging, sad stories and crying. While there was hugging, and we did share our 'sad stories' and some of us cried (yes me) it was a marvelous experience. I'm so glad I went despite my fears!

It was wonderfully comforting to be with women who have been though what I've gone through, understand how I feel about it, and get introduced to some new methods of emotional healing. I didn't know anyone there, but I left with many new Survivor Sisters.

I also started the next phase of my healing process. My body is mostly healed. I thought my emotions were mostly healed up, too. I was wrong. It happens every now and again. Surprising, right?

The Retreat started with a light breakfast and finding comfort with people who were as outside of their comfort zone as I felt. Amazing women. Inspiring women. Strong women. Beautiful women in different stages of Fight and Survivorship. We share a deep bond, even though we may not have realized it at first. We felt it... 

The first session in the Retreat was Yoga. The Yoga instructor artfully led us through 90 minutes of gentle and calming Yoga poses. Her Spirit is full of graceful Light. Through the session she reminded us to only do what our bodies could do today, and showed us many alternative moves. Yoga is so calming, centering, empowering and healing. I'm thankful that Wings offers so many free Survivor Yoga classes.

The second session was led by an inspirational writer and speaker with a beautiful calm energy who gently led us through some Journaling therapy. That 90 minutes unlocked the door to my next level of healing. I've always loved to journal. Since I was about 9 I've found peace, problem resolutions, stress relief, and self acceptance through journaling in the past. Ironically, sometime after my second diagnosis in January of 2010 I stopped journaling. The emotions and thoughts were too raw to face at the time for me. I thought that over time I had dealt with these emotions, and moved on from them but no. I buried some of them. It was a surprisingly and disconcerting realization.

It's time to start digging them up, looking at them, feeling them, and releasing them. Wings very generously gave each Survivor a beautiful blank journaling book and journaling therapy guide book. The book is absolutely amazing... if you enjoy journaling I highly recommend it. It's not just for Survivors, it can be applied to any and all issues. I feel so richly blessed...


We shared a tasty lunch and fabulous conversation. After sharing very personal and deep journal entries we were bonded and spoke like old dear friends.. and knew that we are indeed Sisters in Survival. 

The final session was laughter therapy. Do you know much healing power is in laughing? I think it's safe to say that everyone at the Retreat felt happier, and emotionally lighter after this final session. The speaker was absolutely wonderful, and is a 3 time Survivor herself. She knew what she was talking about... and made us laugh heartily. 

Thank you, Wings Cancer Foundation. You have empowered and soothed my healing process more than my words could ever say... 
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