From Connection to Friendship
At a recent retreat, I had the pleasure of meeting two lovely women from Houston. Carole and Cheryl took a chance and a step outside of their comfort zones, and got to know each other while carpooling to the retreat. They were destined to be friends.
Cheryl, a teacher and a divorced mother of 3 daughters, knew she had to take care of herself if she was going to continue to give so much on a daily basis. She came to the retreat on a journey to renew and rediscover herself.
Carole, having been through her own set of challenges, was coming to the retreat with her cousins for a get away to reset and connect with family.
Since Cheryl didn’t want to make the drive from the Houston area by herself, she reached out to me fo find someone to carpool with her. Carole immediately responded, finding it a coincidence that Cheryl had the same first and last name as her sister.
As soon as Carole got in the car, they hit it off as if they’d been friends forever. They spent the four hour drive talking nonstop. During the retreat, they continued to laugh and talk.
On Saturday night retreat guests enjoy a session of what we like to call pajama Yoga. It’s actually Yoga Nidra, a deep state of relaxation – often referred to as Yogic Sleep. We encourage guests to wear their pajamas so they can be comfortable and relaxed, and maybe even head straight to bed afterwards.
Stepping out of the guest house, Carole was amazed to see Cheryl wearing the exact same pajamas. They couldn’t stop laughing. Cheryl immediately asked if Carole liked Sci-Fi and when Carole answered yes, a true friendship was born.
As Cheryl and Carole returned to Houston, they excitedly made plans of the fun activities they could do together once they returned home.
I sometimes get asked why we don’t have private rooms. I believe sharing accommodations builds community. It may seem intimidating at first to share space with someone you don’t know, but over the years I’ve witnessed many women who, like Cheryl and Carole, discover a connection with another guest and a friendship is born.
I fully support women who need to go somewhere for alone time and I know there are retreats that offer private rooms.
As for Retreat in the Pines, we are about community, connection and the amazing and inspiring women who come to a retreat. And when women connect with each other, we realize, not only do we have so much in common, but we aren’t alone in our struggles.