This is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago. As I re read it, I was struck how resonant it was to be about the retreat. I remembered my own fear at speaking my pain, and observing the look in some of the eyes of the other women. Trying to find the courage and the words to say what our heart wanted to speak, but fearful of releasing them into the world. For some the hesitation was not fear, but the akwardness of the “getting to know you” in a group still wearing their “L PLATES”!
For many years I have been on a path of learning. I left school early, married young and made beautiful babies, and ultimately chose to live separately from my boys’ father after eighteen years. Caring for three young boys required a good return on time invested, so a return to study was needed to lift my qualifications and earning capacity. I commenced tentatively and managed to juggle the demands of work, study and sole parenthood. As I completed each necessary qualification and applied the learning in my vocation, I always found myself presented with new opportunities to explore, new spaces I could enter into and learn to inhabit. New identities I could try on.
Write with an Open Heart
My time spent at Writing with an Open Heart workshop with Heather Plett was a most delightful and empowering event. First of all, the venue, which was held at The Big House in Pomona, Queensland offered a most spacious and unique place to host such an event. The invitation, for me, was to open my own heart and invite a long awaited, hidden companion, to finally come out in the open. It was a writing muse, who has been a part of me for many, many years, yet for various reasons, had remained silent. I now, amongst 20+ other women found a place where my ‘writing muse’ could come along side and be safe and secure. We shared hearts, dreams, hurts, wounds, as well as delights, joys, laughter and lots of hope for writing in the future.
The beauty of this whole experience was that it was held within the context of Heather’s other space; what she calls The Open Circle. The Open Circle is a space where we hold the stories of ourselves and each other within a safe, non-judgment and accepting place. This was quite impacting for me. Through Heather’s sharing and stories shared amongst the Circle, two major shifts occurred in my life. One was a greater understanding of my recent past and present journey. The other one, which I knew needed to happen, was how can I now be different in the world without feeling like I was always fighting the world. I am now am able to carry myself differently in a world, resulting in more peace within myself, and I am sure for others.