I believe in destiny. I believe in kindred souls. I believe in the healing powers of forgiveness and love. Yes, I believe in it all. During one magical weekend, light and love and compassion washed over me like Holy Water and, yes, I felt reborn. On a three day yoga and writing retreat run by Jennifer Pastiloff at Kripalu, I stood on my mat in a room full of "strangers" and spoke my truth, cried my tears and asked for help. They cheered for me and cried with me. They had my back.
Who are these glorious people? They are entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, daughters. They are my soul sisters. They are my tribe. Everyone should have one. You don't need to head to the Berkshires to find yours. Turn to the ones who elevate you. Look for people who reflect your light.
Throughout my life there have been people who have drained me of energy. Literally. I would walk away from them feeling depleted and sad. I needed to get away from them but didn't know how to shake myself free. I couldn't find my voice. Initially, even during this retreat, I was afraid.
In 2011, at age 35, I was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and endured 18 months of chemotherapy. Having ended treatment a month before, I didn't want to be seen as 'the one with cancer'. But the truth is, it's part of my story. It's not the whole story, but it's a big part and I wanted this weekend to be about getting to the truth. My truth. So, in front of 35 people I told my story and I listened to theirs. I won't share what was said because it is not my story to tell. I honored them then and will continue to do so. What I learned is that every single person knows pain and suffering. Disease may ravage your body, your heart may be broken, someone you loved may be gone or your childhood scars may still open and bleed but you, your light, never dims. And when you truly decide it is time to heal, the universe will send opportunities your way. I trust in that. In my soul I know it to be true.
You may have a business to run, a family to take care of or a variety of other obligations, but know you are deserving of 'me time'. When you are on an airplane the first thing they tell you in an emergency is to put on your own oxygen mask first. If we don't take care of ourselves, we are of no use to anyone else.
As my friend and I drove back home we listened to my Road Trip playlist. As Let It Be played I told her about my connection to the song; how I played it during my chemotherapy treatments and I would give my fears up in prayer. At that moment a flock of birds flew in front of my car, hovered momentarily, and just as quickly disappeared. We looked at one another and smiled. We may have left Kripalu, but it will never leave us.