This past weekend I had the honor of hosting a very diverse group of 25 women for a weekend retreat titled “It’s a Beautiful Life”. I came to the realization that this complex experience was nearly perfect as everything came together – weather, people, food, resources, natural beauty, healing, content and timing. I had created “a little slice of heaven” for these wonderful people! A vision resulted in physical manifestation once again.
I particularly loved how well all of the participants got along. They mingled so comfortably from the very beginning. Groups would form, connect then separate to naturally form new clusters. Cliques did not exist. I realized that everyone felt like they could sit with anybody and feel accepted, comfortable and in a safe place. That is indeed the true definition of beauty and it doesn’t cost a dime. It simply came through my intention. That realization brought tears to my eye as I wrote in my journal this morning.
My life purpose is about creating those slices of heaven.
During the weekend our group watched the powerful film “The Secret Life of Bees” which provided outstanding examples of unconditional acceptance of diversity: observation without judgment and the healing power of love. It reinforced the message of blissful co-existence and helped me realize my gift as a facilitator to create a place where people can be themselves, open their hearts and express their true nature – even in the presence of strangers. The key characters in this film were exquisite examples of the diverse strength and beauty I saw unfolding in our own group at Lakeside:
Lily (Dakota Fanning): The vulnerable one with the open heart. Hurt yet full of hope that love could be hers. She is attracted to love like a bee to honey. She is an incredible intuitive and follows her heart.
August (Queen Latifa): The strong grounded one. Assuring, loving, and patient, she holds the space for healing. She is a deeply present force and a natural leader. Also a confident intuitive
May (Sophie Okonedo): The highly sensitive one. She feels the pain of the world with great intensity. Fortunately she also has a process for releasing her pain. She is equally sensitive to beauty and gifted at expressing pure joy.
June (Alecia Keys): The cautious and judgemental one. She creates enormous boundaries around her to guard her from hurt. She wants love but fears the pain.
Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson): She is the witness and loyal friend. She accepts, listens, and quietly bonds to each of the other characters. She adds the glue that solidifies any group she is part of.
Imagine my delight this morning when I saw this quote from President Obama’s address to the Notre Dame Graduating Class of 2009!
“When we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do – that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.”
YES WE CAN!