The rhythms that bring us back to ourselves
On Living: Join me for a restorative retreat of immersive guided journaling, meditation, portraits, community, and ceremony
I’ve been thinking a lot about rhythms and rituals, especially since becoming a mother. There’s a pulse to our days, a flow, a continuous moving along that feels both new and predictable. The rhythm I’ve established lets me [us] know what to expect. It makes me feel safe. It brings me a sense of security that I can count on and offers a feeling of stability I can show up for. This soft dependability is something I never had growing up. Chaos and confusion and endless circular longing colored my childhood, and I never could find a healthy flow.
In my teens, I sought after destruction and darkness, and my early twenties weren’t much brighter. I felt like I finally found a rhythm in my thirties that was giving back to myself. Then 2016 happened and then the pandemic and then my son came into the world through, and with, trauma. The meaning behind everything that had made me feel safe and grounded had diminished and I felt myself being swept up in the current of merely surviving.
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I lost myself entirely in early motherhood. Any rhythms or rituals I had grown to depend on were disrupted and forgotten. Day and night held no meaning and I couldn’t remember how to breathe. I gave everything to my son, dissolving into his needs until my body no longer felt like mine; until I couldn’t feel my own beating heart over his. I was hollowed out; a ghost.
This emptying made room for questioning. With every new thing, every new feeling that crept its way into the flow of my day, I asked myself where did this come from? Am I accepting this as part of my rhythm because I want to, because it speaks to me, because it fuels me or am I doing the things I’ve always done? Am I doing what I think I should do rather than what is calling to me? Are these rhythms—all the small things that make up our life and add up over time—even mine or did someone else decide them for me?
The rhythms and rituals we honor show us how we prioritize ourselves as mothers, as partners, as daughters, and most importantly, as women in a world that hardly makes space for us.
It took me a long time to learn the flow of this new identity, to honor my natural state of being, to find and sink into a rhythm that felt safe and true and gave back to my life instead of taking away from it. It took me a long time to pay attention to it. To follow it and trust it and glory in it. To feel it in my heartbeat, my brainwaves, my breath, and in the way I move through the world. I finally feel like I’m coming home to myself, quite possibly for the first time in my life, and this is what I want to share with you.
I’m collaborating with two powerful women to host a restorative retreat next January in these deep healing mountains that are always blue. I’ll be leading an immersive practice of guided journaling where we will be diving into rhythms and rituals and how they bring us back home to ourselves. We will be discovering our truths—honoring the ones that help us become more of who we are and who we want to be and letting go of what no longer fits our emerging self. We will write it all down because everything has the power to reveal and transform and heal. To draw out what you didn’t know about yourself, what you didn’t know was in the way. We write it down to become active in crafting our own experience.
I’ll also be leading a Yoga Nidra meditation and there will be other gentle and healing offerings such as morning meditations, yoga, a cacao ceremony, and a private portrait session for you to honor yourself in this space and time. Over the weekend, you will be forming a supportive and nurturing micro-community of women and will have the opportunity to connect, commune, and be held with and by other women. To build relationships, learn together, rest, laugh, cry (we could all use a good cry, or scream), and nurture each other and ourselves.
If any of this resonates with you, I’d love for you to join me in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina from January 19-21. Early bird pricing is offered until May 31.
I’m here if you have any questions. You can leave comments below or contact me via the retreat site. I’ll be diving more into rituals in a future newsletter—what they are and what they do for us and how we use them to bring us back to ourselves, so stay tuned. I’m excited to continue this conversation.
Ahhhh, yes, I've been watching for this!
Hey Jessy, I am trying to book/send my contact form but it doesn't seem to be going through. If it isn't on your end, let me know how I can get around it :)