"A retreat that takes your breath away in so many ways. Life changing experiences in a way you cannot imagine. I loved every second about it and you will too. Found joy in every activity, comfortable settings, safe confidentiality, unending support. and mesmerizing views out and in." ~ B. Lebl
"Profoundly healing" is the best way to describe the Women of Wisdom (WoW) retreat. I wasn't sure what to expect, I had never heard of Shadow Work, and I hadn't met any of the facilitators.
Having hit rock bottom physically three years ago, I have since been on an intensive detox and healing journey involving traditions such as Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese acupuncture, Thai massage, energy work, live blood cell analysis, a clean organic diet (free of wheat, caffeine, sugar, canola oil and processed foods), homeopathy, supplements, herbal decoctions, and intense trauma therapy with a licensed social worker.
While much about my health and wellbeing had improved, I still lacked access to passion and a connection to self. I just lacked "want" – any desire or sense of forward motion in my life. My intuition told me working with horses might help. The WoW retreat exceeded my expectations.
From Day One, Cris, Chrissy and Natalie fostered a sense of safety – a "container" – which allowed us to be vulnerable and, subsequently, to heal very deeply. Though the schedule was extremely intense and relentless for them, all three remained present and engaged 13-plus hours a day for each of us. They truly listened, they mirrored back when appropriate, and they deferred to the magic of equine-assisted healing work when words and thoughts became too dominant.
I marveled at the facilitators' fluid ability to share responsibilities, disclose parts of their personal stories, and offer pointed insights when hearing ours. While "the whole" certainly was greater than "the sum of its parts," these women each owned their own power and perspective. They served as unique, individual role models while always remaining human and accessible.
The horses and other ranch animals – Boo the black lab, Ghost the barn cat, and six chickens, as well as bunnies, badgers and birds – catapulted the power of this experience to a divine level. As someone who lives very much in my head, I appreciated and deeply benefited from my interactions and connections with these creatures over the five days there. I carry home with me a "heartful" of these quiet moments which envelope and buoy me as no words ever could.
I accepted the facilitators' invitation to be truly vulnerable in the presence of our group. And the women blessed me for it. I felt grounded to Mother Earth and connected to others. While I may not be able to sustain this feeling in the "real world," I believe the experience with Full Circle Farm Growth and Healing will stay with me at a cellular level. That having participated in WoW, I will more easily be able to experience it again and more often. Eventually I hope to remain grounded, authentic, whole and connected in every area of my life – better able to recognize and achieve my life's purpose, and to serve others." ~ C. Powell, Washington, DC