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I am home from a girls’ trip to Sanibel Island, FL where my dear friend, Ally, hosted us in a beautiful, sprawling house on a cove, tucked inside a nature preserve.
There were 7 of us, all carrying different histories, personalities and pursuits. We each had preferences on wake-up times, music, heel height, meat, men and bathing suits. I had not been on a girls’ trip like this in ages where we shared a house with no kids, no agenda and no poolside staff. (We got our own drinks, thank you).
Now that I am home, I realize how much I needed that trip and how fulfilled I truly am. One of the main topics that rose up between our laughter and tears was this collective belief: everything finds its way of working out. In fact, the song, “If It’s Meant to Be, It’ll Be” became the trip’s theme song.
I needed to keep hearing that.
Many times throughout the day, between Yahtzee tournaments and dating conversations, my mind would try to hijack me. I kept feeling stress sneak up inside my body, disturbing my ability to be present. But I was determined to be there. Only there.
I practiced exhaling and letting the negative thoughts go. I would close my eyes, walk out to the inlet point or just turn quietly inward. But worry-thoughts can be pesky creatures. They try to take away moments and make us dread our real lives. I did not want to dread my real life (I love my life!). But when you are staring at the sun setting over the bay with a frozen drink in your hand, you kinda don’t want to go back.
Real life: I have a house that has not sold, a book proposal that is not done, a course that needs to be completed (by yesterday), people to please and a giant checklist of home and kid-related tasks waiting. Like little woodpeckers in my brain, the stressors kept tapping away.
Then . . . magic would happen. These women would bring me back in without even knowing it. We would come together, enfold each other like a group of mama hens – each taking care of the one next to her because she likely was not doing enough of that herself.
We all had all been divorced. Six had children. One wanted to adopt. Three had twins. Six were blonde (but three, not really). One was engaged. Three were not in relationships. Seven loved to dance. All wanted to be heard, and all wanted to listen.
We shared stories about loss, letting go, finding love, losing ourselves and finding ourselves again. One by one, each of us would give her version of how important it is to give what is worrying us up to God and know that everything is going to work out.
We ALL had something hanging in our lives that we were not sure about. But in our shared reassurance, we each felt stronger about the positive forces on our sides. This weekend – it was each other.
As I looked at the lives that surrounded me – some new friends, some old – I felt an overwhelming sense of love and pride for the strong women in my life. The amazing, been-hurt-but-got-up-again-anyway women that reinvented their lives when something, or someone, was taken away. Each of us had stories of surviving pain, betrayal or loss. Each of us found her way back to her own strength.
Moments were simple, complex, light, heavy, hilarious, serious and life-shifting – all within 72 hours. Life does that for you when you open up and share what is really resting in your heart.
We opened up a lot sitting on the deck and floating in the pool, where we were joined by several osprey (a type of hawk – my spirit animal). One, in particular, would come down daily from her nest and perch above us. We were convinced she liked our music, but I believe it was something more.
This mama bird knew we were all mama birds – taking care of our families, animals and each other. She would listen to us for hours, cocking her head intently and making noises on her own. She also wanted to be heard. She was a part of our tribe, our feminine Earth family and our experience that weekend.
She reminded us how we can choose to be present with each other, perched with full awareness, being fully content right where we are. We can – and should – leave our home nests for a time, roost in a new place and open to new experiences that are divinely lined up to change us for the better.
And because of these seven female souls, a beach house and an osprey, I returned home renewed -resting in the unwavering belief that no matter what is bothering me, I have support around me, above me and within me. And, just like that weekend, everything is definitely going to work out exactly the way it should.
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