Retreat Recap: Love + Be Loved
Hey there! I am back from the Love and Be Loved Retreat held in Southern California. This was the second annual retreat held by the organization. This Women’s Wellness trip afforded the women chosen to enjoy a weekend filled with relaxation, realization and rejuvenation. The phenomenal women chosen had to apply or be nominated by someone. We read each and every one of their unique stories and when I tell you it was so difficult to decide on the list, I mean went back and forth deliberating for a long time.
It all started Friday, June 21st when we met each other for the first time in person. Then began the road trip from Las Vegas to Southern California. The furthest participant all the way from Chicago. Once we arrived we were met with California sun and warm smiles. We got there late afternoon, had a brief orientation with overviews of the weekends activities. One of the common themes for the weekend was letting go, so we discussed some activities to aid us in that process and were given affirmations to do every morning. Then, we headed out for a sunset hike in Del Amo. I grew up with family in Southern California so I have spent a lot of time there but I have never been to Del Amo park and the view was absolutely stunning from the top at sunset. I highly recommend you visit if you ever get the chance. The rest of the night we were free to do as we pleased which entailed food and drinks in the common area talking and laughing until we were falling asleep.
Saturday we started with a Commit Dance Fit session led by Kara Williams you can find her on ig @thickfitandpretty. Check her out at LVAC Saturday mornings. She is also coming out with a virtual class later this summer. We danced to all my favorite songs. I was pretty much sweating to death within 3 minutes. I forgot how much fun those types of classes are. You get a great workout and don't even realize it because you are just enjoying yourself. Following that we prepared for our trip to the beach.
Who knew there was a such thing as a Butler at the beach. It was pretty cool. We had lunch catered with a beautiful spread that the seagulls fought to ruin. We were right by the water with umbrellas, snack, a place to meditate and lay down to chill. Officially, I was at the retreat for work, so the work began. Gabrielle Burton, LMFT-Intern and I went to work helping the ladies get in touch with what was holding them back. We had everyone lay in a circle as I led a mindfulness meditation to the sound of the waves. Gabrielle taught practical coping skills for the ladies to use immediately. We shared our stories and so did the ladies in attendance. It was truly powerful. Every conversation led to a deeper level of understanding of ourselves and each other.
We wrapped up our time at the beach with groups hugs and running from waves. The trip was quickly coming to a close but there were a couple events left to really drive soak up. We had our farewell dinner at Petros in Manhattan Beach. Mediterranean inspired menu in the cutest location. We looked like an army marching across the street in all white. 18 predominately black women took over the restaurant for a night out on the town. People stopped us to ask what we were doing everywhere we went. We definitely made a statement. After dinner we returned to the hotel for Real Talk. We got in our pjs, ate snacks and had a candid conversation. Whatever was on everyones hearts is what came out. Those who needed it were comforted and given feedback. The whole purpose of the retreat was to slow down and take the time to pour into ourselves and each other, and that is exactly what we did. I unfortunately had to leave so I missed the morning wrap up but I doubt it was anything less than transformative as women who started as strangers left as sisters.
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