This past weekend I attended a retreat at the Notre Dame Spirituality Center in Ipswich, MA. The retreat was led by two speakers, Bette Freedson and Michele Tamaren. Bette is an intuitive counselor, a licensed clinical social worker, certified group psychotherapist, speaker and author. Michele is a life coach, spiritual director, speaker and author.
The retreat had the topic “A Women’s Sacred Journey: Discovering Your Soul’s Divine Spark." It was organized through a NH-based group called the Seacoast Spirituality Group for Women, which has been around for the past 30 years.
Anyone (any woman) can join, and they certainly welcome new members. Please let me know if you are interested and I will send you the information. They have very interesting speakers from September through April, providing one seminar each month, except in December.
I was absolutely blown away by the care and depth of this weekend’s retreat. For me, personally, it was perfect timing for this topic. When I find myself in an introspective place, I often need prompts to allow myself to dig into my inner world. I am contemplative by nature, yet it helps to have another person's perspective. The exercises and discussions this weekend were so inviting, asking us have the courage to embark on an adventure: an in-depth exploration of our soul’s essence, our heart’s call, and our true nature. There are things our soul already knows, but we often can’t hear the messages. Who am I? Why was I born? How do I claim the life that is truly mine?
With the guidance of these women, the science of positive psychology, their knowledge of intuitive awareness and their exercises offering spiritual guidance, we had various ways to discover our unique paths. We learned to see our soul’s light, its true essence.
For me, what I found out about myself will be life-altering. I had what I consider to be an epiphany. Something finally came together for me, things I’d been told previously, things I had discovered on my own as well as new realizations. Putting these pieces of soul wisdom together into what they called “a tree of aliveness” created a vivid picture of who I’ve always been and who I am yearning to be. Stay tuned as these new pieces of awareness unfold and I put them into practical use. I think they will make a huge impact on my new career path.
I learned a handful of interesting exercises during the retreat, several of which matched very closely to my own coaching program, especially those that are tools for self-discovery.
Self-discovery is how you begin to understand yourself and your place in the world. Knowing yourself provides a sense of wholeness, which increases your confidence. You stand stronger in your shows when you value and embrace your strengths as well as your weaknesses. You are more able to say no to what doesn’t match your values and say yes to what does.
Self-discovery is the first step to loving yourself and finding happiness. Mahatma Gandhi said that happiness is when what you think, feel and do are in harmony. If you don’t know what you are thinking, or which thoughts align with your heart, you can't take the actions that create the reality you want for yourself.
You can start with your character strengths. The VIA Institute has a free survey on character strengths. When you can build on your strengths, you are more able to achieve positive personal and professional outcomes.
Image source: Unsplash.