As with most things, this retreat came to me at the right time, I was so ready to heal the trauma and grief that I had carried with me, resulting in physical health issues, for over 20 years. Having sat in sister circles for many years with Kate, I was aware of the incredible healing power of women sharing in a safe space, however was still anxious as to how the 4 day retreat would go, what would come up, and how would it be processed. All anxieties were alleviated as soon as I arrived at Gymea Eco Retreat which is beautifully situated beneath Mt Wollumbin, and we met with the other beautiful women participants and facilitators.
These 4 days were the most I have ever felt nurtured and cared for, the process and planning of the days were so beautifully facilitated and the healing started from that first evening. Meditation, sharing circles, ceremony, teachings from Kate and Sharon as to how to better manage trauma and grief, reminders of our survival tools to “de-busying” our lives, delicious nurturing meals, rest, and technology free days…and drumming…oh the drumming was incredible...all set the scene for an incredibly life transforming experience. To listen to others stories and support incredibly brave women who live with sadness and grief in a society that bury their emotions instead of understanding and forgiving ourselves is so remarkable.
It was emotional, of course, however tears of sadness were quite quickly replaced by tears of gratitude for going through this process in such so lovingly supported way. After 4 days I left the retreat feeling lighter, clearer, more at peace with forgiveness for self, ready to get back to my life and my family, feeling like a happier me.
Just over a week has passed, I have had a stress-free working week, unusual for me working as a manager in aged care, however I was mindful of how others drama can drain my energy and result in adrenal fatigue, so I simply didn’t allow it to happen. I have let go of some of my bad habits that I felt would be near impossible to budge – coffee, alcohol and social media – in the past these have really been divers in my life, a focus that was taking me away from my present. It has been effortless, I have so much more time now that social media doesn’t suck me in during my down time. I have created lovely routines in days, my mornings - a quite cup of tea sitting watching the sunrise, where I used to have a cup of tea while looking at Facebook, walking around getting ready for work, I am more conscious and aware. These lovely benefits were certainly not what I expected, but am so grateful that they have arrived. Of an evening, before I walk in the front door with my work day still in my head, I spend 20 minutes listening to lovely music, letting go of any chatter of unresolved issues at work and walk into my home present and ready to be attentive to them. I then make a cup of tea, instead of reaching for the wine bottle!
I am so incredibly grateful, Spirit Babies Healing Womb Grief Retreat has been such a beautiful experience, and so many women would benefit from going through this process of healing. Everyone I have spoken to about this retreat, pre and post, from aged 25-98yrs have a story of loss or grief related to spirit babies. I am planning an honouring ceremony at the aged care village I work at, inspired by the lotus ceremony from retreat, so that resident can honour and heal the trauma that they still feel from these stories that they carry, sharing stories is the way to heal. The healing continues..
Thank you, a million times thank you…….
I would like to share with you the amazing experience of attending the Spirit Babies retreat designed by Kate Reed and Sharon Bolt. My grief is just over 40 years old and it has haunted my internal world for all that time. It has been a deep unresolved pain that changed me. I never returned fully to my old self. My daughter was stillborn and in those days this loss was not regarded as a significant cause of grief. The babies were whisked away and buried in a common, unmarked grave. There was no proper emotional support or recognition of my grief. I was expected to just get on with my life. As a result, with the generally unsupportive attitude of society, I was very alone in my grief. I know I needed the support and understanding of others for me to process this grief as no human can take these journeys on their own and properly heal. So, when the opportunity came all those years later, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to heal that pain inside me.
Kate and Sharon developed and presented an amazing experience for us all. They have accessed the wisdom of more ancient and tribal cultures as well as the current knowledge about the impact of grief and trauma. They created a retreat that was truly healing. The pace of the few days was gentle and this was important as we needed time to rest and integrate our experiences and to grieve in private if we needed to. Our group times in the temple around the altar were warmly supportive and healing. We were informed about grief and trauma and encouraged to develop positive skills to deal with emotional overload and trauma activation. We shared our stories in very gentle ways. Being able to express our grief and be supported by the kindness, acceptance and compassion of others was the greatest comfort.
Most importantly, Kate and Sharon have designed a series of ceremonies and rituals that were informed by ancient tribal and cultural wisdom. The research they had done was impressive and we felt very safe and secure. These ceremonies were an essential part of being able to heal and were organised as a progression from the grief of loss to moving towards recovery. They enabled us to safely grieve, to accept our losses and let our little ones go and then find our own aliveness and joy. I am so grateful for these ceremonies and the work of Kate and Sharon.
Three beautiful ladies supported Kate and Sharon and I would like to thank them for their contribution. Thanks to dear Caitlin who works her magic with food as a healing process, Sally for her beautiful music and singing and Sandrine for her flute playing and marvellous yoga. These ladies were an important part in our journey of healing. All of us felt safe and emotionally held and we all began to heal. We were different ladies at the end of the retreat.
The Gymea Retreat provided a beautiful natural setting for our journey through grief. The support of nature was there for us every day. There was sadness and sorrow but there was also plenty of joy, laughter and happiness. I am deeply grateful.
Many thanks for this special 'Spirit Baby Retreat'.
I came to this weekend quite tentatively, wondering if I should let the past be the past, my indiscretions and serious consequences of unplanned pregnancies followed by abortions, why visit these dark, largely forgotten and deeply buried memories?
Quite a few times, at the beginning of the retreat, I wanted to run away, to leave these women with their authentic grief and leave behind my feelings of being a fraud.
However, I never did give into this temptation because of the wisdom and gentleness which permeated, nourished, and supported each of us participants.
By the end of this retreat I had journeyed to a place of self-acceptance, self-love and so very grateful for the bountiful blessings that were bestowed upon us over this weekend. I returned home with my spirit filled and a deep appreciation of the power of forgiveness and feminine wisdom.
Exert from a beautiful piece by one of our attendees.
My baby has helped me to mother others even more deeply, she taught me the deepest compassion I have ever known.
I tasted being a mother through my baby. She's still with me. But in the spirit world. And grief is part of my tapestry; the grief of knowing her is part of me.
I am at peace with her and myself.
I recently went on a retreat, Spirit Baby retreat - healing womb grief. And that was my final layer of healing. I communicated with my spirit baby during a cacao ceremony. It was profound. It was just what I needed to know and to trust fully that I am in the perfect place for me.
The ceremony included a beautiful honouring and acknowledging of our babies - each woman undergoing her own release whilst loving each other. Also being acknowledged as a mother in the physical world by other women was incredibly healing. The whole experience was beyond touching.
I came home from retreat so ready, knowing and trusting for this next phase of my life. Co-creating in my unique way with my partner and others who are aligned in vision.
As society evolves more women and men question whether or not to have children. I know that traditionally it was expected that people marry and have children. Nowadays we have so many more choices available. Explore that option. Let yourself be free to dream of the life you desire.
When I feel the urge to co-create during lovemaking, my partner and I channel that energy towards what we are creating in our inner worlds and the gifts we contribute to each other and our communities. Co-creation between powerful people can take many beautiful and varied forms.