2019 Women’s Retreat: Falling Leaves & Forging Bonds

2019 Women’s Retreat: Falling Leaves & Forging Bonds

by Mary Boren

The View from River Road Escapes

What happens when you bring women from diverse walks of life together for an October weekend of gentle breezes and utter relaxation in the lap of comfort on the banks of the scenic Guadalupe? The cumulative effect is indescribable, but I can try to show you in verse …

Falling Leaves

“Don’t say fall to an old person.”

                    Falling leaves us vulnerable
                    in ways we might not choose,
                    but I am here to testify
                    that fall enhances views.

                    I fall in love with others
                    through honest stories shared
                    without regard for ego's lie
                    that souls must not be bared.                    

                    We gather in October,
                    absorb the river's peace
                    and let the healing laughter fly
                    as worldly noises cease.
                    Then Spirit's own agenda
                    reveals itself in songs
                    & words & tears to teach us why
                    each Child of God belongs.

                    In unity with powers
                    that fall like autumn leaves
                    we fertilize the old sod's cry
                    for gifts the spring retrieves.

                    The Universal Oneness
                    we recognize in all
                    replenishes its vast supply
                    of love in leaves that fall.

Unparallelled Bonding

The Unique Capacity of Women

Joann, who emanates peace born of the study and practice of A Course in Miracles, leads others to that discovery in a weekly group setting in the Life Room at 1:00 every Wednesday afternoon.

Foundation for Growth

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Magic of Music

Voices Discovered, Rediscovered & Unlocked

This Peace That I Have
No Longer a Slave to Fear
Ashley Cruz

Ashley’s impromptu serenade literally brought me to tears. If it sounds this good from a face-up cell phone in the middle of a roomful of women, imagine its potential reach from a recording studio! I emailed my thanks and asked if she had any awareness of the impact of her presence and her soulful voice, and she graciously granted permission for me to share this response:

I honestly don’t know how impactful my voice is, but I do know that my soul has been impacted by music, and the words of that song remind me of the freedom that can only come in community with other women and when I release that which no longer serves me.

Thank you for this weekend. This retreat was so powerful for me. I came to this retreat feeling fearful and empty and left feeling hopeful and overflowing with hope and joy and gratitude and peace. I’m grateful that I took a leap of faith and shared my gift with all of you. I kept feeling this nudge in my heart, and ignoring it just wouldn’t have been beneficial. In the end, sharing my gift was really a gift for me and a reminder that we never know how Spirit will show up and the impact that our gifts may have if we allow ourselves to be used.

Creative Expression

Custom Decoupage Lap Desk Designs

Some of the women were surprised at how effortlessly their projects materialized while working together in finding just the right embellishments for their own unique contentment collage.

Mine took a little longer to evolve after I got home as a daily reminder of the Four Agreements, Twelve Powers, and Eighteen Gorgeous Sisters of my tribe.

Boundless Gratitude

For those who lead, those who follow, and those who support from the sidelines.

  • Rick Newell, who devoted hours of loving attention in his woodworking shop to fashion the lap desks from lightweight, durable birch.
  • Kelly Keiser, who provided each woman with a beautiful one-of-a-kind shawl to keep us warm in church.
  • Katie Riedel, owner of River Road Escapes, whose stellar efficiency as a single mom and business woman while making it all look easy mystifies all of us who were born with only two hands.
  • Melodie Fryar, who catered Saturday meals which included vegan options and her famous Fish & Shrimp Casserole back by popular demand.
  • Leslie Woods, whose inspired choices of easy-to-learn and fun-to-sing music were the perfect complement to her soothing guitar accompaniment.
  • Linda Gillispie, whose inspired choice of easy-to-understand and compelling-to-apply tenets of The Four Agreements evoked much fruitful discussion and meditation.
  • All the women who made the physical effort, emotional investment, and financial sacrifice to be a part of this worthy event.
  • The entire congregation of Unity of New Braunfels, whose vision is “a world powerfully transformed by the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening“.

What Do You Think?

Mother and Unity-Raised Daughter Tag-Team It

Lynda and Sofia

Valued Reader, please use this form to send me a private message and/or scroll on down to leave a public reply. Whether or not you were able to attend the retreat, you are encouraged to share an experience or thought that someone may be waiting to hear.