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Dancing with the feminine

Women’s retreat at Kurlana Mallee Sanctuary April 2024

For a number of years a group of Lifeflow teachers discussed the possibility of hosting a retreat especially for women. The conversation was always full of life and a seed was planted that eventually came to fruition in April this year. Our inaugural women’s retreat! Nine women came together to explore their meditation/spiritual practice in the beautiful natural environment of Kurlana Mallee Sanctuary in the Riverland.

While we expected the retreat to go well, albeit with learnings for next time as always with a first try, it completely surpassed our expectations and something very special was created. It was both joyful and liberating to be able to acknowledge and share a range of topics relating to women’s experience in a safe, non-judgmental setting.

We began by carefully setting up the space for the retreat, with an opening and closing circle that connected us to the landscape and each other, and also created a safe environment for our work to unfold. The effect of this highlighted the importance of ritual and ceremony, often forgotten in our culture.

Together we explored a wide range of topics and practices, which all rested on cultivating a deep appreciation of Mother Earth as a living ecosystem, connecting with and opening to the natural elements of the environment around us.   

How Different Meditations Suit Different People Blog Lifeflow 2

We looked at the benefits of balancing masculine and feminine energies within ourselves and as they relate to both men and women, and particularly how an imbalance in these energies can lead to a mistrust of our own unique natural gifts and talents as women.

We flowed with the powerfully healing work of American writer and Jungian psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estes, connecting with nature, each other and ourselves through meditation, story and ritual.

Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

We explored the wild, fierce feminine energy of Vajra Yogini, a deity from the Tibetan tantric tradition, and how to use that energy to cut through our conditioning as women. The way the wild feminine is labelled in our culture often leads to its repression – waking up and embracing those energies in a healthy way can change lives.

We gained an appreciation of past trauma, explored different theoretical approaches and practices that can help, and discussed how meditation can transform painful experiences into deep compassion, empathy, gratitude and appreciation for life with all its warts and wrinkles.

Above all, every woman generously shared knowledge, wisdom and experiences from their own meditation work and so we all learned from each other. By the end of the retreat we had a large library of resources to share, which added to the richness of the experience and ongoing treasures to discover.

A huge amount of trust was generated in the group which enabled us to share difficult life experiences that resonated with all present. Whether a teacher or participant, the retreat had a profound effect on everyone there due to the relationship that was developed.

There was also music, dancing, lots of laughter, and a profound appreciation of each other as women, free from judgment and self-doubt, feeling the joy of being fully oneself.

Thank you to all the teachers who put so much effort and planning into making the weekend so special and to each woman present who wholeheartedly gave of themselves. 

Some feedback from our participants included:

I am still full of the richness of our profoundly moving time together.

I’m still feeling the calm from the retreat. The one word that keeps coming up for me is “compassion”.

Again, just want to say how lovely it was to share that retreat and all those experiences with you.

A deep bow of gratitude and love to you all.

 

Enjoy a retreat just for women this September!

If you like the sound of a retreat especially for women, you might be interested in our upcoming weekend at Tara Hills retreat centre ‘Empowering women through meditation’, 20-22 September. We will explore the question: what does empowering women through meditation look like, sound like, feel like? – from a feminine perspective.

As women we are often conditioned to put others’ needs above our own, and are usually rewarded for doing this – being the ‘ideal’ mother, partner, daughter, friend, care-taker etc. Self-care is often overlooked or perhaps we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves at a deep level. We can also feel guilty about admitting that we have needs or don’t want to do something that is expected of us.

This retreat is a deep dive into self-care from a feminine perspective and will include how to balance a quality life – with time for self and time for others, and getting in touch with what we genuinely need to maintain healthy boundaries.

As always, most of your time on the retreat will be resting, deepening your meditation practice, gentle yoga, and enjoying the natural environment of our Tara Hills retreat centre and delicious food.

Find out more about Tara Hills Retreat Centre 

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