Two summers ago, I ventured to Taos New Mexico for a Writer's Spa, a writing retreat with twenty women, which included yoga, yummy food and daily exercises and inspiration from Jennifer Louden and Suzanne Falter-Barnes. (http://www.comfortqueen.com/) and (http://www.howmuchjoy.com/)
It started me on a path of discovery, and change, as I left trying to publish more poetry books and explored what was next for me. One of the things I am learning on the journey is how fruitful and supportive it is to travel in the company of other women, especially those who are like-minded and thirsty for a deeper meaning.
Jennifer Louden's book "The Woman's Retreat Book - A guide to restoring, rediscovering and reawakening your true self- in a moment, an hour or a weekend", has been instrumental in helping me unblock my creativity, find a truly restful way of holding mini-retreats in my own room, and find ways reach out to share these ideas with others.
Another favourite author is Judith Duerk, author of Circle of Stones, and I Sit Listening to the Wind. The importance of sharing our deepest moments with other women is evoked in this passage from Circle of Stones:
"How might your life have been different, if long ago when you were still a tiny child, long before you began to come to the Women’s Lodge as the normal cycle of your life, you had been brought here especially by your mother and aunts…and you and your girl cousin entered shyly into this place you had overheard so much about?
And after the fires were lighted, and the drumming, and the silence, you heard, for the very first time, what the women called the Naming…each woman speaking slowly into the stillness, sharing her feeling of how she saw her life and what she wished to say of it…sharing it with the women around her…weaving the threads of her life into a fabric to be given and named.
And as the shadows of the day lengthened into dusk and you leaned your head against your mother's shoulder, you pondered in your heart a different sense of a woman's life..."
From Circle of Stones, Judith Duerk