In your power

Fire Pit at the Enchanted Glade. Iron structure with forest design of fir trees and stags.

Hi lovelies,

Apil has flown by with lots happening for me. I wanted to write but was finding it hard to find the time. I think I slipped back into that habit of auto-pilot. Wake, school prep for Dylan, then log into work, a full day of using my brain power then feeling so exhausted and vegging out on the sofa watching rubbish TV. This is a great way to switch off for me, but until being on a retreat this weekend, I didn’t realise, or more like I forgot how much silence and nature really feeds me.

After a busy month at work, which included the first ever lived experience leadership conference, an event which brought 100 blind and partially sighted people together to connect, think about confidence and create action for themselves and the sector, I was ready for a rest! I was a member of the organising committee, and it was an amazing learning experience that gave me so much personal and professional growth.

I am loving the new direction my career is taking but I have felt like I have been missing something or been slipping back into bad habits. So, when I saw that the Sister Stories retreat was happening again I jumped at it and this time invited my sister to join me.

For those who haven’t read far back in my blog I am a trained Sister Stories facilitator. Sister Stories is a movement that inspires, gathers, and supports women in sharing their stories within small circles around the world. It is a space to feel held and be heard. There is no advice given just a space to listen and support other women and find space for yourself to reflect and to sound out whatever it maybe you need to give voice too.

I have done this retreat once before and attend circles online as regularly as I can. Although I would like to do more. The work is so amazing and powerful and was just what I needed. It was 2 and half days in the enchanted glade in Haywood Heath, Brighton on Hove. We stayed in a converted gypsy wagon. It was very country and a lot like the inside of a caravan. The site was a wonderland of enchantment and nature with an outside spa with to tub, sauna and plunge barrel. There were bell tents for Circle and a canopied area with a fire pit and log benches that created the Circle. There is a decking area for yoga with a giant brass gong. There are giant oak trees with hammocks hung in-between, fields of bluebells and wild garlic, the smell of which is out of this world. My sister described mini toad stool lights set up along a flared path, fairy doors set at the bottom of oak trees and bunting and mandalas all around the site.  My favourite experiences during the weekend was eating outside all together. We sat on a long picnic bench that seats up to 20 people. As we passed the food along it reminded me of the scene out of Disney’s Hook with Robin Williams when they are sat at a long table with a feast as colourful.

Photo of the Circle space. Fire in the centre with benches and orange cushions around. Nature surrounds the space and there is a tarpaulin tent roof,

We had Circles throughout the weekend of different formats from introductions to celebrations and everything in-between. There were tears, laughter and lots of healing. I can’t describe the nourishing effects and the way I feel after this kind of retreat. I feel emotionally and physically nourished and overflowing with gratitude.

I wanted to share this experience with you because it has helped remember my power and step back into it by reminding me that there is no rush to anything. There is always time to take a moment for yourself, to reflect on what you want and need and to embrace who you are. No matter your barriers, your challenges, your needs, you always have people to listen and to hold you. It is a space where difference is not a thing and everyone is there to be seen, heard, and held. I only wish the compassion and understanding that is found in these spaces can flow out into the wider world.

I hope that with my training and who this work is helping me to be I can bring a little part of it to what I do and I how I am in my life. I hope it helps to attract the people that bring me joy, support and understanding to my life and help me to stand in my power.

If you want to know any more about Sister Stories or where to find your local circle you can visit www.sisterstories.co.uk Gemma Brady the founder is the most amazing woman I have met and is a genuine leader with so much heart and grit. I thank her from the bottom of my soul for the things she has given to me over this journey of mine.

As always these are my own thoughts and if you want to share any of your stories or have experienced a woman’s circle and want share your experience please do comment below or send me an email.

Sending love

Nina x 

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