Last month I wrote about my best friend and her illness and how it was effecting me, how I felt so shattered but held a space of love and light for her, the outpouring of support – messages from strangers and friends was amazing. This month I have had to step into this even more with my beautiful friend passing suddenly and unexpectedly. We knew it would happen eventually but with cancer, I expected a time of deteriation, a time to say the things we needed to say. But it wasn’t to be. She and I had a great last night at the movies and dinner with lots of laughs, and the feeling of normality was settling in again, and the next morning she was gone.
I was completely blindsided, and it has felt a bit like clawing my way out of the abyss – now some time has passed and the dust has started to settle and I have had time to reflect, grieve, and try to understand this journey a little better. It has also allowed me the space to address my regrets, those conversations I should have had with her instead of not wanting to confront the elephant in the room. Those conversations we all wish we had had with people that have gone too soon from our lives.
By trying to understand all of this I contemplated on some of her greatest qualities and mix them with my own path and combine them with part of a shared vision that we had. We both wanted people to feel free – particularly women: free from their past, free from their demons and free to make the choices in their
that allowed them space to be who they truly are meant to be. Because of this, I have spent time defining my vision for my business and my life, and I have a BIG DREAM – I want all women to have the chance to go on a Retreat that will transform their lives, that steps them into the path of their destiny, that reconnects them with themselves and with the earth around them.
In 2015 Kathryn went on the Saint Ignatian Pilgrimage – a new pilgrimage, one that is not as common as the Camino de Santiago. It’s the route St. Ignatius walked in 1522 after his conversion. It begins at his family’s home in Loyola and ends in the town of Manresa, where he began to put together the book that would become The Spiritual Exercises. The route is 340 miles long which is about 547km – an amazing route for anyone. It is through that walk and finding herself again that she came home transformed and had stepped into a higher power and truly amazing strength. The strength that enabled her to travel her journey with grace and dignity.
Last year I went to Mexico to the Riviera Maya, it was a Retreat that I was running with a facilitator from New York State, and I came home changed, I met a part of me that I never knew existed. This was a place I had no ties with, no current history; and it was that freedom and connection with the energy of the earth and the ancient traditions that allowed me the space to reconnect with who I was without being a partner, mother, daughter, sister or friend. I could just be me, and I basked in this feeling, and while I held a space for others, I made room for myself within that.
This really confirms for me how life changing going away and reconnecting with yourself can be – whether it be with a group on a planned Retreat or alone with time to hear the silence, time to hear your heart beat and find a peace with the noise in your head that often comes with our everyday lives. It is stepping you into a different reality so you can realign your body and your soul so that you can go home feeling whole.
We deserve this and as leaders in our fields, we are the ones that can make this happen. We are the ones that can create this Retreat space for ourselves, individuals and groups – a space of peace, harmony, and connection.
In memory of my beautiful friend, I stand firm in my path of creating this and know that she is with me, watching me, protecting me, and guiding me.