Affirmation: My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.
On August 4th, 2011, 29 women and 1 man came together for the 7th annual 4 day, 3 night Pink Ribbon Yoga Retreat. I began this retreat and each year I leave feeling the same way. I am astounded at the response of the participants. Everyone leaves feeling uplifted and empowered. In 2010 the survey they took found 100% of the ladies who participated had an increased sense of hopefulness and well being. 100%!! If that’s not a miracle, I’m not sure what qualifies.
I’ve watched this grow and thrive since the beginning. It hasn’t been about me. This is an example of something that is “spirit driven.” Have you ever had an experience like that? You had the seed of an idea and it bloomed into something beyond your wildest dream?
I had this small thought about how nice it would be to have a yoga retreat at the beach for breast cancer survivors here in North Carolina. I mentioned it to a yoga teacher I knew and then to the director of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program. The day of our first meeting, I didn’t have a clue who would come, other than my family and when we began the meeting, there were 12 people there. I began by telling people about my idea and then admitting I was not good at delegating responsibilities. Never once was a suggestion made when someone in the group didn’t volunteer to take care of it. I should have known then that this was something in which God had a vested interest. And, in seven years it has continued the same way. Not only do people readily step up to take care of whatever needs to be done, people find ways to help with the retreat that some of us never dreamed of. This year one of the ladies made comfort pillows for everyone with meaningful words on them. They smelled of lavender and were squishy. The women were very appreciative, especially after they found out this lady didn’t know how to sew until she began the project. Another woman took it upon herself to buy cushy beach towels for everyone there. We had homemade biscotti and pound cake. A local ice-cream shop donated sundaes for everyone and one of our committee members made the supreme effort to go taste several of the flavors beforehand. We raised enough money to help pay for anyone who wanted to come on scholarship. It’s phenomenal how it all comes together and it’s obvious to all of us there that the success of this event is beyond anything most of us have ever experienced. It has to have the hand of God in it.
Miraculous, you ask? What is miraculous about ice-cream and beach towels and homemade goodies? They simply appear, like the manna in the dessert. We never asked for these treasures. But, what is really miraculous is what happens to the mind, body and spirit of each of the ladies and our one man (He’s the breast cancer counselor for the DCPSP. This retreat is only for female breast cancer survivors.) by the end of the four days. A light comes on in each person. There has been healing; there’s been a renewed sense of hope. The women have found camaraderie and acceptance. We have laughed, cried, played, swam, created, danced and done yoga. We have found power, the power in each of us and as a group. Words really can’t describe what happens over the four days. You’ll have to trust me. The event is laced with miracles, many aspects that cannot be easily explained, especially the overwhelming feeling of love that permeates each person as the retreat comes to a close.
If you’re interested in attending, you can look us up on PinkRibbonYoga.org.