Sister Spirit Retreat, My Daughter, and Me

I knew she was struggling. But, I also knew that it was right for me to keep my plans and go on this women's retreat. I'd been twice before and each time had been monumental. I'd learned so much, grew leaps and bounds, and met some amazing woman. But, she's my only daughter. It didn't matter that she had just turned 22 years old.

I felt guilty.

I thought, 'A good mom would stay home and help her daughter.' But, every time I checked in with my soul I was guided to keep my plans. I knew I needed to go on the retreat. I knew the best thing to do was let go and so I trusted my intuition. I kept my plans. And on the morning I was scheduled to leave she called me in an emotional crisis.

Oh f*#k! What do I do now?

Through a series of difficult, challenging, and emotionally charged conversations, I asked her to come with me to Sister Spirit and she agreed. What a relief! I was nervous about the 600 mile drive together and staying at two different friend's places on the way there and back. But, everything fell into place. Every friend welcomed her to stay and the retreat had space for a last minute registration.

It was all divinely orchestrated and better than I could have predicted.

Under normal circumstances, she wouldn't have come with me. I mean, it was my thing with my peeps. But, she was so overwhelmed and in so much pain that she really needed to get away. It started out tense. We were hesitant with one another. I didn't know what to say most of the time out of fear of pushing her over the edge.

But sometimes over the edge is the only way to truly move forward.

At the opening ceremony of Sister Spirit 2015 she wouldn't even go in the Heart Lodge. She was so overwhelmed with her own emotions and the outpouring of love that was being offered to her by everyone. She sat on a bench out front and cried so I slipped out to check in with her. At first, she pushed me away. It felt like trying to connect with a wild animal that was ready to bolt. But, as miracles have their way of showing up in the perfect moment, she let me wrap my arms around her.

I held my daughter while she sobbed and both of our hearts were cracked wide open.

It was one of those experiences that change the way you live. You see, even just a few days before she wouldn't even allow me to touch her much less hug her. I had felt helpless and scared. But, Sister Spirit created an opening - a safe space for the two of us to reconnect and heal our mother/daughter wounds.

Our relationship is changed forever.

There were many more struggles and breakthroughs at the Sister Spirit retreat. In fact, she almost left like a dozen times. But, she didn't. She stuck it out, made it through, and made some powerful connections with some of the other awesome women in attendance. It was way more than I could have ever even hoped for and it was the beginning of a whole new relationship.

We were wrapped in unconditional love and held in the magic healing energy of women - other mothers and daughters.

It was an incredible experience that seemed to ripple through the retreat and it felt like generations of mother/daughter relationships were being healed. It was definitely bigger than my daughter and me. That's the magic of the Sister Spirit Retreat.

It will change your life if you let it.

I'm so grateful for Sister Spirit, Rev Abigail Schairer, the Dream Team, and every woman who held us in love and faith. Women I had never even met before would tell me in passing, "Everything's going to be okay. She's going to make it." Both my daughter and I were fully accepted, embraced, and loved. No one tried to change or fix us. And it was so powerful. This community of women held us while we fell apart so that we could come together. Our lives our changed forever.

Thank you, Sister Spirit!

{Interested in attending yourself? Sister Spirit Retreat is held in Northern California historically once a year in April. Check out their website for dates, featured speakers & musicians, and scholarships:}