The joy retreat officially started yesterday morning however guests arrived (and joy of connection) arrived on Thursday night when a few of the women arrived. There is something uniquely fun about godly-spirited black women who are both beautiful and fully self-expressed. They lead with their truth, with their soul, with their honesty. Generous in their nature, loving and just so fun.
Having guests here allowed me to put on my "joy of making meals" hat. And love for making things pretty. These women were so sweet and had so much gratitude it made the experience even better for me.
But then, by the end of the day yesterday, we had such an incredibly full day, I switched over to more of a "help yourself," energy. And again learned the importance of communication. Some of the women didn't hear me when I said its "help yourself," night. And I didn't explain if they wanted something cooked differently than how I like to cook it, they can easily hear something up or put it back in the oven. I didn't explain that the amazing salad I made the night before (which was requested again) was really two different salads layered on top of each other. So when the salads were in two different bowels, all anyone had to do was scoop from each bowel to re-create the same experience from the evening before. But without my clear communication-the result was disappointment.
And isn't that true in any area of life where we don't communicate clearly?
By the time more guests arrived yesterday, the beautiful Dr PK was in her element. She's amazing. Her spirited nature and her ability to make people feel amazing, no matter who they are-is fun to watch.
Here is one group of the women doing their creative writing exercises. They did an amazing job using their joy to lead them in their writing. And it was so fun for me to lead one little part of the weekend's agenda. It was fun to see the women really get into it.
As we headed out for the next part of the retreat, Dr PK had us all write down our misery and leave it at what she calls "the misery tree." It was really hard for me to find something to be miserable about. Even when I was digging deep, I couldn't find anything. That
This may be because I'm in this place of reconstructing my life as I truly want it and each day I'm working on my deepest desires. Finally though, what came up is the reality that I don't have a partner to play and dig deep with right now. It's amazing to me what a difference a month can make.
A month ago, as I was transitioning out of the place I called home-the thought of being in an actual relationship was not an attractive thought to me. I did long to play, hold, touch and be in the energy of being attracted to someone, but the thought of an actual relationship was just not appealing.
Yet now-having the space and freedom to just be-what I desire has shifted.
I had the realization (and this was a slow one-not an ah ha moment) that some place through my 10 year relationship I gained some sort of weird and twisted mindset that true deep fulfilling love may just not be in my cards in this lifetime. As if I was actually willing to settle in-inside of "not possible." And I think when that happens-you find other ways to be in life that brings you a sense of fulfillment. And then you become really good at finding other ways to keep that sense of fullfilmment going. Instead of remaining true to the depth of my heart, love and soul-I molded into the world of "be practical" in your thinking as it relates to matters of the heart. In my 10 year relationship we kept bumping heads. The leading factor for me was heart. Warmth. Connection. For a very long time, I felt our connection was the most important thing in terms of the foundation for anything else we created as partners. The big home was his dream. He wanted the bigness of the property and I wanted the bigness of being deeply connected to be the driving force that helped us manage all other things. We were just different.
I thought about, even though I couldn't come up with a specific misery - I am starting to have consciousness and longing around the reality that having love, being in-love, being able to love someone is a current un-fulfilled thing for me right now. I long for that. It doesn't feel like misery and I don't feel desperate on any level. I am surrounded by live and I am love. But I am longing for that specific level of intimacy that only a partnership can provide. Dr PK sees her life as Super Fantastic and she is clear that she desires a man in her life and only wants a man who brings her already super-fantastic life to the level of super DUPER fantastic. Lol. It's like that for me...
So what I left on the misery tree was that I don't have that deep love yet. It's really all I could come up with.
Dr PK had a limo take us all to a market.
That's when Laura London talked to us about healthy food choices. Laura is the author of "Hot & Healthy." The book. She shared her story with us. Gave us tips and ideas on how to handle eating out when our health is important to us.
You'll notice a man in the limo with us ladies. Lol. That's the photographer Dr PK hired for the day to capture us as we experienced our retreat.
And here is the fabulous-hot & healthy Laura London in "joy," at the farmers market we went to. :)
Dr PK almost bought an entire Salmon!!! It was so funny that the owner of the seafood section (who I believe was flirting and had a crush on Dr PK) had her hold the salmon she didn't realize she was asking for. It was cute and fun
The market itself-all of us ladies fell completely in-love with. Even those of us that aren't really "shoppers." They had anything you would want there. The picture is just one rack of clothing from India. I LOVE the clothing from India. And how they create their clothing in a "fits all" way. Because all you have to do is look to see if something is pretty without having to search through sizes. To see something and just get it. I like that. A lot. And the fabric feels good to me.
We returned home and I felt a nap coming on. As the other ladies went to the cemetery with Dr PK to honor those who lost their lives in war-I opted to listen to my body. From what I understand, Dr PK had unknowingly touched, moved and inspired the limo driver with her prayer as it gave him the opportunity to honor his relatives and it had so much meaning for him. I wish I had seen that but I was glad I listened to my body.
We closed out the day with a toast and a swim in the pool as we danced to the song "Happy."
It was an excellent day full of joy.