As some of you may know, I have been taking part in a free on line woman’s ‘retreat’ which consists of many workshops (each taking about 30-60 minutes to take part in). See www.womanunleashedretreat.com . As part of this I have been creating a journal (as is suggested) and writing and doodling and having fun with colours and shapes, as I listen, reflect and visualise during the workshop time. It’s an amazing experience and I look forward to finding an hour for myself each day and then picking a workshop that appeals to me. For me playing with art materials also gives me great joy and now I have an excuse to do it!I’ve made a nice space in my studio, with candles and have pulled out all my art supplies. Just using what I feel like, in each moment.
Each day I learn something new about myself or get a deeper understanding and some clarity around issues that have been affecting me. There are a lot of topics to choose from and I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a try. And did I mention- It’s free!! I am so amazed and grateful about the level of wisdom that is being shared and available for us women (provided by women), world wide, through this process.
The exercise I have done most recently (and am still reflecting on) and which I really wanted to share with you because it is so appropriate at this time of year; is the one about reflecting on the past year, letting go of what you no longer need and planting intentions (” seeds’) for the coming year. It was presented by Dr. Mary Pritchard (www.drmarypritchard.com) of Goddess Awakening fame.
The things that I found most useful was; making a list of the things I want to celebrate about last year (things I liked, was grateful for, was proud of, etc). Thinking about what was my biggest accomplishment and my greatest life lesson in 2015. I have made a list and that is now up on the fridge. I keep adding things too!
Next she asked us to reflect on what we would like to let go of. To think about: What habits, beliefs, and/or behaviour patterns do we not want to carry forward to 2016? I again wrote a list. She then encouraged us to hold a releasing ceremony. I tore my list into strips and burned the strips (I used a candle and put burning strips into a fire proof bowl-and had water on hand!). I then flushed the burned bits down the toilet. It felt great to watch the words shrivel up as they burned :-). It felt very powerful.
Finally we worked on Intentions for 2016. She asked us questions like: What is your heart’s desire in every part of your life? What are your goals for the year? What do you want to love more about yourself? What do you want to have accomplished, if you look back at the end of next year?What would the woman you would like to be look like? (I am still working on that one-and want to draw her). What would your theme be for next year? I personally find that an interesting question and am still reflecting. Think it might be something about being more centred and grounded (less knocked around, by life events). She also asked if you believe you deserve everything you want. I find that such a deep and important question, and an indication of more deep work needed if the answer is NO. I was happy to find my answer was mostly YES! Which is different from years ago when it would have been leaning a lot more to NO. Thanks goodness for all the work I have done for myself and the help I have had from counsellors and other support!
She spoke about seeing our intentions as seeds, so many women (including me) did some art work on seeds being planted and sprouting. See my picture below. She also asked how we would fertilise and water these seeds so they would blossom. Another good thing to reflect on, as we it doesn’t help (in my experience) to just set goals or intentions and then not look after and nurture them. She asked us to consider one thing we could do often, to nurture these ‘seeds’. For me that would be loving myself more, being more gentle on myself. So I drew hearts around my pot of planted seeds.
Altogether it was a very powerful experience for me and felt it was the right time to share it, as the year is very close to coming to an end.
So do any thought s come up for you, as you read this?? Let me know if you do give it a go. Even just a small part of it. Or if you look up her session (or any other session) on the Woman Unleashed website. If you do check it out, there is a FB page women can join and then you see, hear/read what others have got from the workshops. It’s been nice to be involved in that too. More connected in the work. Not so on my own! And so nice to see other women have similar challenges and things they struggle with and find ways to work with.