When does a girl become a woman? Is it when she gets her first period – doubtful. Her first sexual experience- ehhh… When she moves out of her parents’ house- maybe? When she gets married -could be? When she becomes a mom, possibly? It’s difficult to put your finger on it and it’s different for every woman. Some, maybe most, can’t name a specific event that transformed them from girlhood to womanhood. I have to say that without a doubt that my two week ‘Sacred Feminine Immersion’ retreat was when I became a woman and learned how powerful and thrilling it really is to be a woman.
This experience was life-changing to say the very least. I have a 40 page single-spaced word document chronicling these two blissful, intense and powerful weeks, but trying to truly capture the essence of it in words is quite the feat.
Sofia Sundari, our fearless, beautiful, wild, loving and truly divine teacher aimed to enliven our innate divine feminine power, reconnect us to nature, our desires and our essence and unleash our inner wild woman. I would say she did a damn good job.
Sofia took 20 women (16 participants and 4 assistants) from all over the world, spanning across a 20 year age range, with very different backgrounds and pasts, who to the unknown eye have nothing in common and she transformed us into a sisterhood. She cultivated a powerful, safe, supportive and loving space – a place to be seen, to be heard, to heal and to grow. She broke down our barriers, striped us of our differences and reminded us that we are all one.
My heart was completely cracked wide open during this experience. On the first evening, almost immediately, without knowing anything about these women, barely catching their names, I felt a deep love for each of them. I loved them just for being themselves. I didn’t need to know anything about them. I saw them all as beautiful daughters of God and I extended to them the unconditional love that He has for them.
I was opened up to a woman’s capacity to love and the resilience of a woman’s heart. I was so touched and blown away by each woman in the group, her journey, her strength, her light and her love.
Some of these women have faced some real traumas in their lives and to witness the pain and hurt a woman can hold in her heart was intense, but to witness how she can release that pain, those past stories and open herself up to love and healing was beyond empowering. To watch these women heal themselves and transform before my eyes is something that has undoubtedly changed me.
The realness, the vulnerability, the complete rawness these women had the sheer bravery to expose and share was incredible. The strength that comes from baring your soul and being vulnerable is not only insanely powerful, it honestly became addicting. By the end of this retreat, I was doing and experiencing things I would have never imagined I would be able to do.
The first day we were approaching a new moon, which is a time of darkness. It can be scary and unsettling for some people. Sofia asked us if we could sit with this darkness? If we could have faith when we didn’t know what was coming next? She challenged us to trust in the face of the unknown.
These words immediately struck a cord with me. Trust in the face of the unknown. It was a concept that always appealed to me. An ideal I’d to love to say I lived by, but one I couldn’t quite grasp. It resonated with me, yet I couldn’t hold it as a truth in my being. My intention for this retreat was to integrate that concept into my mind, body and soul. To really learn to trust the universe and myself even in the depth of darkness, even when I don’t know what lies again.
This retreat gave me the immense gift of feeling and witnessing my own power and my own light. I allowed myself to really be seen and honored for who I am. I felt so complete and whole during this retreat. I no longer felt the need to improve, to strive or to force anything. I could just be, as I am. It was exhilarating.
The concept of being a soldier of love came up quite a bit. That is really what it felt like. I felt like we were in this intense boot camp and the purpose was to open ourselves up to more love, to receive as much love as possible and to give as much as love as possible, continuously surrendering to this great force.
It was an intense two weeks. A lot of emotions, like alotttttt. Sofia challenged us each day to keep our hearts open, to feel our emotions deeply and fully, to stay present with ourselves and our process, to lean more into our vulnerability, learning to find strength in it, to become clearer and more centered in ourselves and what we stand for, to confront past wounds and false beliefs, to heal them and ultimately rise above it all to be a soldier of love.
On our last day when we were activating a temple that was no longer in use in the jungle of Bali, Sofia told us being wild can mean many different things, but the wildest thing you can do is to experience a connection to God. I felt that stronger than ever during that ritual. I could barely stop the tears from flowing from my eyes and man was it wild. I am a divine, sacred, powerful, loving and wild woman.
Sofia informed us that as awakened and conscious women we have a great responsibility to this universe. It is time now to rise up. I am committing to myself and to this world that I will keep my heart open, continuously loving as deeply as I can. I will shine my light, never allowing it to dim. I will trust in the face of the unknown. I will nourish my wild woman. I will allow all that doesn’t serve me to fall away. I will celebrate and honor my divinity and my femininity. And above all, I will surrender to the Divine.
I’m aware that this is very descriptive but still vague, but to reduce the practices, rituals and experiences to words would be an injustice to this sacred journey. It was truly beyond words. I will be eternally filled with gratitude and love for this blessed time.