Day One: Coming Up for Air
Today started off with a ball of nerves at the pit of my stomach. I can’t believe I’d not only agreed to go on this retreat but actually followed through and showed up at the ferry terminal. I'd done the packing, and the mental preparation for five days of brand new people in brand new situations.
Walking out of the parking lot towards the gathering group of girls, a million thoughts are racing through my mind. Will they like me? Am I wearing the right thing? What if this was one big horrible mistake that I have to deal with for the next five days? All the background noise starts to fade as I walk towards the benches and hear the hushed chatter and stifled laughing of the other girls. I’m greeted with a warm hug and I feel my head come up from under the water I’ve been drowning in for so long.
The next little while passes by in what feels like a second. We’re off the ferry, in a wide array of cars that give off a road trip kind of feeling, we’re eating, chatting, eating again. It was a good morning.
We arrived at the lodge to take a bit of a breather with some crafts and good music. Another wave of anxiety suddenly washes over me. I feel the water rising up again. One of the mentors takes notice of my, albeit ill-disguised, discomfort. We sit outside for a while, taking in the breeze and the ocean ahead of us. We talk about a lot and I walk away feeling relieved. It’s only the first day but I think I’ve found my people.
A quick yoga practice follows, where we focus on being present in our bodies. We spend the day focusing on the moment and simply being what we are, nothing less, nothing more. I am optimistic for what the rest of this week will bring, knowing that no matter what shows up I will be supported in the journey.
Written by Girlvana Girl, Mia
Photos by Mentor, Anita Cheung