The Girlvana Summer Retreat 2016: Day 3

Each night, before we head off to bed, we all gather in a circle for a check out question. It’s a final moment to connect, share and cherish the sweet moments the day brought us. Highlights of day 3 were sun kissed beach walks, warm ocean dips, quiet moments on cabin patios, dances next to crashing waves, stained hands from beautiful crafts, deep belly laughs, and the shared experience that in three days strangers can become family.

Creating this kind of heart-centered connection is what happens when you give girls the space to simply be themselves. They share their innermost thoughts when you meet them with love, compassion, understanding, and see them fully, appreciating and valuing them for who they are; unafraid to laugh loud, cry long, or dance wildly.

And sometimes that shifts, and we stop sharing, we push our feelings down, we make ourselves wrong. Yesterday, we opened our hearts and forgave ourselves. We forgave ourselves for self-judgement, for harming our bodies, for numbing, for quieting our thoughts, for not expressing.

As one of our girls shared, β€œI forgive myself for not forgiving myself years ago.” By forgiving ourselves we create space to fill with expression, support, truth, creativity, connection and love.

The sun set on day 3 and the pitch black sky welcomed the stars out, reminding us all before we fell asleep that we all are stars, burning lights that can still shine bright, even in the darkest nights. And we remember:

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. - William Shakepeare