About eight miles from my home, where I’ve lived for 27 years, is a retreat called, Tree of Life. You’d think I’d been there before, right? Being so close to home? Well, I’d never been. But what a treat to finally experience this gem near me, tucked into the Kettle Moraine.
Yesterday I took part in my first activity with the Horizons 4 Girls since signing up to become a volunteer with this organization that helps young girls navigate their way in this world with positive resources.
“Heart Matters” is the theme I took part in helping come up with during the planning stages for the retreat. The things we talked about and shared yesterday isn’t what is taught in school. But what seems to happen as most of us go out into the world where we are bombarded with what society deems as “important,” we find ourselves pulled in so many directions. We can lose our way.
What I love about Horizons 4 Girls is that the organization is about giving these girls many resources to pull from. But most importantly to instill in them to listen to their own hearts and intuition. To follow their inner guidance.
We had an instructor come in from Milwaukee who taught us about Tai Chi and we learned Tai Chi walking, which we did around the pond that is on the property. Can you say, divine and lovely?
What I enjoyed about Tai Chi, as well as, what I’ve also learned in regards to my yoga practice, is that it is a reminder of how to live our lives – consciously, and from our heart. It reminded me of my yoga practice and one of the biggest things I’ve come to understand about it. While it is a daily practice of balancing my mind, body, and spirit, what is important is that I take that best me off the mat and out into the world. When we live from the center of who we are, we no doubt impact the lives of those around us in a positive way– often without even knowing it.
What was truly inspiring to me, (and I felt a wave of emotion overcome me), was watching the young girls Tai Chi walk around the pond. It had me thinking back to my younger days when we didn’t have these resources. These girls will now have this to call upon when they are feeling lost.
Pam, one of the facilitators who works with horses and helping people through the lessons of horses, shared with the girls how horses live in the moment. They don’t worry about the past or what’s ahead, but live in the here and now. It was inspiring to hear Pam talk about horses and their powerful teachings, while I shared with the girls we can find many of the same lessons from the dogs, cats, and birds in our lives, too.
When we did our last “heart matters” exercise of the day by building each other up and saying what we liked about each other, I just had to tell the girls how proud I was that they were there. I shared with them it takes courage for them to be who they want to be.
As I drove home, not only did it feel good to share the wisdom of what I know at the age of 51, but to also hear the the wisdom of the other facilitators. But seeing my younger self in those girls was a reminder for me of how far I’ve come, too. And such a beautiful reminder for me to continue to follow my own heart.
When I got home and was checking my email, I believe it wasn’t a coincidence that I found this quote in my inbox from a blog I follow:
And every day, the world will drag you by the and, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!”
And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” -Iain Thomas