Last weekend I spent the weekend with a small group of women, mostly strangers. We slept, ate, hiked, and talked. It was an intentional weekend of connecting with not only nature but importantly ourselves and as a collective.
We dove deep into the real conversations, left the fluffy stuff for the uninitiated, opened up and spoke our truths, scars and all. We spoke of our stories, in order to better understand them ourselves and share the experience of challenge to growth.
The sharing of stories is what connects us. This is an ancestral connection that empowered women for millennia. It’s time to return to this.
Women are amazing creatures. We are multifaceted, often wearing armour into the world that can deflect the very things that we need; desire to be loved, to be understood, to be heard. So when we show up, disrobe the heavy armour, take the courage and become vulnerable, the most beautiful thing happens. We create space for ourselves to learn, grow and connect to the joy, happiness and truths that build self-confidence, strengthening our collective consciousness.
Our early ancestors relied on a social network to not only survive but thrive by eating, sleeping, hunting and playing together. Women huddled in tents and celebrated the cycles of life, the rhythm of nature and physiologically rewarded with feel good endorphins. They didn’t attack each other, compare or pull themselves apart with jealousy. Rather they celebrated their unique strengths, supported and shared stories. The crones- the wise women- the elders, valued for their years and experience held profound wisdom and insight.
Our women’s retreat was about returning to this, to fulfill our desire for connection. We shared meals at the table, conversed in our intimate setting, couches facing one another without a TV in sight. We challenged our bodies with hikes, exploring the dark before sunrise, shared lessons and conversations focused on self-development. Connecting in this way, feeling supported, heard and understood has a deeply nourishing psychological and biological response in our bodies.
As a modern society, we are experiencing such disconnect from this instinctual behaviour. We have increasing rates of stress, anxiety and depression and although we have more platforms to connect, we are missing the key element of community- human connection.
For thousands of years humans thrived on connection for well-being. It is what has developed the human race into the dominant cognitive species of our world. Through communication, collaboration, connection, we have nurtured the growth of our species.
It is in our psyche, that of our primal nature that we are hard-wired to feel good when connected within a community.
Research has shown that the quality of our social connections impacts physiological functions such as blood pressure, metabolism and stress hormones and subsequently immunity. I know that the past weekend spent hiking, eating, talking, connecting with these women left me feeling amazing.
Cultivating a strong and supportive community is incredibly powerful in promoting optimal holistic health. The sharing of stories is what connects us- this ancestral connection that empowered women for millennia. It’s time to return to this.
With an overwhelming response to the retreat, we will be running these again in the future. Stay tuned for details!