In Greek Mythology, The Phoenix is a long-lived bird that dies in a fiery burst of flames, and is then regenerate and reborn from the ashes. The home in which you will be spending the weekend is The Crystal Phoenix and your journey over the weekend will mirror that of the Phoenix.
No matter where you are at in your life, there are numerous cycles of death and rebirth. As you prepare for this weekend, please take some time to ponder the phase of the cycle you are in right now. What parts of you and your life you would like to symbolically disintegrate into flames, and what do you want that new, rising version of self to be.
Friday: Check in is at 6PM on Friday and programming starts at 7:00. I’m arriving around 5 in order to get set up, so if you arrive early it won’t be a problem at all!
Please dress comfortably, (we are going to move and dance) and bring something a bit warm for Friday night as we will spend some time outside and it tends to get chilly! Having a water bottle is always a good idea, because it’s easy to carry and if you have any specific snacks or drinks that you prefer, please bring those along too.
You have each been paired with a roommate, and if you are a light sleeper, consider earplugs or a sleeping mask. Remember pajamas and perhaps slippers or socks.
The theme for Friday night is “Into the Darkness, Into the Ash” and we will move briefly into our own shadow. We will unearth and release our disappointment, bitterness, and pain, striping ourselves down to our core essence.
A symbolic death of the old will take place, as you let go and reduce yourself down, preparing for your own rebirth.
Saturday: Breakfast is provided, and will take place at 8:30.
The theme for Saturday is “Into the Light, the Rebirth of Self” and we will spend the day receiving and luxuriating in ourselves. Your job is to relax. To be served. To honor yourself, and each other as the divine Queens that we are.
Throughout history, women have tended to each other. Whether in labor and delivery, in preparation for marriage, in death, childrearing or in everyday life, women have supported and cared for each other. They had their own tents or rooms during their monthly cycles, they lived together in their own quarters and “women’s work” was often done communally.
Saturday we will act as each other’s symbolic doula, caring for each other and facilitating the rebirth of our authentic, divine selves.
In preparation for Saturday, please bring a device you can play music on. A phone, ipod, ipad or whatever. Spend some time putting together a brief playlist.
- Your requiem, lament, or death march
- A song or two that brings you to tears of power, excitement or joy. A song that touches your heart, causes you to well up, and feel all the feels.
I also want you to play around on a computer and print 10 or so pictures that give you the feels. Images of things you want, but more than that. I want these images to stir emption! They don’t have to be literal images either. If your life’s desire is to own a candy apple red convertible, because you FEEL the fun and freedom of driving that car around, you don’t need a picture of the actual car. You can find pictures that represent fun and freedom. Or, you can find a picture of the car. Whatever gets you really pumped up.
I use a lot of imagery from musical theater because I’m a musical theater junkie and those images cause me to feel, deep in my solar plexus. No, I’m not wanting to be Christine and be kidnapped by the Phantom. To me, that images conjures up feelings of magic and mystery and trust, which are feelings I’m going for in other areas of my life. Make sense?
Attire for Saturday morning is really going to be fun! Have you ever bought something that you LOVE, but then you never have the guts to wear it? Or you really can’t walk in the shoes after all, but they are simply too pretty to get rid of? Or you just feel that something is inappropriate or silly or that you don’t look the way you want to look? Too short? Too young? Too matronly, too cowboy, too masculine, too whatever… But you love it just the same.
This is a NO PRESSURE activity, but Saturday is your chance to wear that outfit and those shoes! If you honest-to-goodness have nothing, I recommend hitting up a thrift store and playing around a bit. My “OMG this is the best dress EVER!” came from Goodwill and no, it doesn’t match the shoes AT ALL, but matching is not the point. Wearing things that are extravagant that you love is the point. No, you don’t need a full ensemble either. (No pressure, remember?) Jewelry and shoes with some regular pants works fine too. The point is to wear what you wish you could wear, and to do it comfortably and without shame.
I don’t care if you are in a fuzzy leopard robe and those furry heels because you always wished you could lounge around in lingerie (I have a long, black, velvet robe and matching long, black velvet nightgown that is a vintage 1940’s ensemble that I LOVE! I wear it every Christmas morning and it’s fabulous!) or if you have workout gear or stretch pants or a cat suit or a prom dress. It can be tough, athletic, sexy, silly, or whatever. The purpose is not to be funny, (although your outfit might be giggle-worthy) the intent is to honor you, your desires and to give you the chance to admire and luxuriate in yourself and the things you like without judgment!
Saturday lunch will be on your own, so you will want “normal” clothes to walk to town in! You can dress normally for our afternoon activities as well. Saturday evening we will head to the hot springs, so bring a swimsuit, towel and whatever else you need to soak. Dinner will be on your own, and you can either grab dinner at the pool or pick up something in town. The pool closes at 10.
Sunday: Breakfast is provided and will take place at 8:30.
The theme for Sunday is “Into Life, Taking Flight” and we will spend the day diving boldly into life with power, purpose and intention. We are going to do some yoga/freestyle movement, so make sure you are dressed comfortably. If you have a yoga mat, please bring it! If not, you can use your beach towel! Also, be sure to have a pair of tennis shoes, as we will be doing an activity that requires tennis shoes.
Lunch will be on your own, and we will close out and be done with formal programming at that point. However, you are welcome to stay that day and shop, hike, explore or even stay one more night. My family comes in on Sunday, just so you know and aren’t shocked by the sudden presence of large men in the house!
*Keep in mind that we will be walking to and from town, so be sure you have comfortable shoes. No, it’s not far, but you don’t want blisters!
**If you are anything like me, you might want to bring a journal or notebook so you can take notes, jot down your thoughts, or simply doodle!
Please reach out if you have any questions, comments or concerns. This weekend will be truly transformational, decidedly delicious and I can’t wait to spoil you! Thank you for entrusting your re-birth to me! <3
I’m not sure if was the firing of Harvey Weinstein that started the #metoo movement, but reading other people’s stories, seeing the antagonistic comments against those stories, and reflecting on my own experiences, made me realize how my own thought and beliefs about sexual assault and sexual harassment were as much as a part of the problem as the actual perpetrators were. This personal revelation made me realize that unless our society-radically changes the way it looks at sexual assault and sexual harassment, we will never be able to quell this epidemic.
And who am I to talk? After all, I haven’t been raped. I’m not one of them. I can’t write #metoo on my status.
As a former lawyer, and now Life Choreographer™ – my unique version of hypnotherapist and life coach – I’m well trained at listening to other people’s stories without judgment. It has always been my job to listen to people and to accept where they are, without question. Once I understand where a client is at, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, then I am capable of assisting them. Whether in the legal arena or the therapeutic arena, the first step is seeking to understand. Not agree necessarily, but to understand.
To understand another’s pain, whether or not I can relate to that pain, or whether or not I believe that pain is valid, is the necessary first step to creating change or finding a resolution.
When a client had a crippling fear of crossing bridges, I did not downplay that fear as irrational. I sought first to understand how debilitating that fear was.
When I had a client who compulsively gambled away his paychecks, I didn’t shame him. I sought first to understand his compulsion and crippling shame when he failed to control his addiction. When I had a morbidly obese client, I sought to understand his emotional baggage and self-loathing. I did not blame him for years of overeating or accusatorily ask him what he did to cause his weight gain. But that’s not what I did when I first hear about #metoo.
But maybe it’s because I’m not one of them. Maybe it’s because I can’t write #metoo on my status.
When I first heard about #metoo, what went through my mind was, “Great idea, but that’s not something I’m a part of. I’ve never been raped, my life has been blissfully trauma-free. I am the healer, not the victim, this is not me.” But as those words passed through my mind, for the first time, I heard how wrong they were. I suddenly say how my way of thinking was the problem. I saw how my thoughts encapsulated the beliefs of our society and how they were perpetuating the problem.
Just about every female I know has been sexually harassed. Not just harassed, like one might be harassed in some minor traffic altercation or for wearing an opposing team’s colors at a sporting event, but sexually harassed or intimidated specifically for being a woman. And we – the women out there who have been harassed so routinely that we become so used to this behavior that we don’t even see it as a problem – sit in blissful ignorance claiming that what we’ve been though is no big deal, then things desperately need to change.
I’m deeply supportive of women, but have nothing to share. I’m not one of them. I can’t write #metoo on my status.
My sexual harassment stories were always less than someone else’s. And because my stories were less than full-blown, violent rape, then in my mind, they weren’t relevant or valid. In my warped mind, because nothing had ended up happening, I hadn’t been assaulted. In my mind, unless actual, full-blown rape, with a police report and a trial happened, what had happened to me wasn’t important.
I know that not all rape is at gun point in a dark alley. I know that the vast majority of rape is not the stereotypical image of rape that our culture holds so dear. Yet my thoughts and behaviors reflected that it had to be just that, or the incident didn’t count. Unless it was real rape or real assault, it was commonplace and could be dismissed.
To be clear, I am not counting the numerous creeper, awkward, offensive-but-not-harmful experiences that I have faced in my life. We as humans are fallible, and we make mistakes and to me, those types of experiences are not sexual harassment. To me, a man putting his hand on my hip and whispering, “How married are you?” is a creep. And although I dislike it, I am not intimidated, harmed or fearful. I categorize that as stupid human behavior and I move on. As do many women. So no, don’t tell me horror stories about women who ruin men’s lives by crying “assault!” when all the man has done is asked her out on a date. Like the “How married are you!” man, these women are stupid, fallible humans. We all make mistakes. So let’s not talk about the anomalies, let’s talk about the majority.
The greater, societal problem lies in the fact that our culture still thinks that anything short of full-fledged, violent rape is not sexual assault. Apparently there is a piece of me that thinks this too, or I would have instantly realized that I am a part of the #metoo sisterhood as well.
Could I be one of them? Dare I write #metoo on my status?
I have had men surround me in parking lots while heckling me, and telling me what they wanted to do to me. I have men grab my shoulders and force-kiss me, grab my hand and put it on their secretly exposed penis, and hold me down as they dry-hump me. I’ve had men threaten to tell people that “I did something with them” unless I did, actually, do something with them. I had a boss ask me to meet him in the office at night, and then tell me, “Never mind” after I said my boyfriend was going to drive me. I’ve been offered special projects by professors, making class time unbearable. I have had men expose themselves and grab at my clothing and body. Yet, in my warped mind, I haven’t been sexually assaulted. Just because nothing ended up happening. It’s all magically washed away!
Dude! That bullet missed your head by a full inch! You weren’t actually killed. Let it go! I don’t understand why you are still so upset. You were stupid enough to be walking in that neighborhood after dark without a bullet-proof-vest. What were you thinking? Don’t you dare ruin that poor guys live by charging him with attempted murder. Nothing happened. Deal with it.
This is the kind of thinking that permeates society and keeps us trapped. As long as people think like I did, then there is no hope of quelling this epidemic. The statistics of one of five women being sexually assaulted will stay the same. Men will not learn. Women will not learn, and nothing will change. Until we acknowledge the fact that one can be being sexually assaulted or harassed and walk away, without a full-blown incident occurring, nothing will change. This is not how it works for any other crime except sexual assault or sexual harassment.
And men, maybe you too should be writing #metoo on your status. Maybe none of the men who harassed or intimidated me had any intention of doing anything more than what they did. Maybe they were all good people, making poor choices. But I didn’t know that. Seek first to understand. Understand that women don’t know that you are only joking. That you have no intention of taking it further, or of harming them for real. Maybe you should put #metoo on your status if you have ever inadvertently scared a woman like this.
Because until we all work together, and change our thinking, this epidemic will never change.