To my Tahoe sisters, with love ~
This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of leading a teacher training on the crystal clear, aqua blue waters of Lake Tahoe, surrounded by a group of strong, smart, kind, and powerful women. This particular certification retreat was designated for all ladies –
I basically put a “No Boys Allowed” sign on the registration, and at the time I did it, I wondered if that was really OK.
It’s sexist, right? And unfair to exclude the dudes? As a lover of men (most especially my amazing, generous, and hilarious husband) – I felt mildly conflicted as I redirected a few would-be participants to our San Diego training instead. Yet something inside me said this training – this particular event – needed to be solely for women. And I listened to that little voice… and I am so glad I did.
Training started on Thursday, with ladies trickling in from as far away as New York, and as close as up the street (literally – one girl lived down the street from the lakefront estate which was our home for the weekend.) As they arrived, a sense of nervous and excited energy charged the air. I could feel the trepidation with which some of the ladies were approaching our weekend – unsure if they would be welcomed, accepted, and loved.
Too many women feel this way – unsafe around their female peers – and I can’t quite figure out why. I know the mean girl tactics of junior high and high school were all too real, but haven’t we outgrown that?
Haven’t we blossomed into loving, compassionate, encouraging women who build each other up, rather than tear each other down?
With sixteen women in one house for four days – (sharing three bathrooms, by the way) – we would certainly discover the answer to that question. The answer was a resounding YES.
YES, we need this time apart from our husbands, and boyfriends, and sons.
YES, we find solace in the company of the water, and the moon, and the stars.
YES, we cry unpredictably, from the emotional release that comes from yoga – if we feel safe, that is.
YES, we need to talk it out. Just sit. And talk. For hours.
YES, we laugh hysterically as we talk about sex, and love, no different from when we were thirteen.
YES, it’s chaotic, at times disorganized, corralling sixteen women – like herding cats, I often say.
YES, it’s glorious, and ridiculous, and wonderful. It is the company of sisters. And it is oh-so-valuable.
We are women. We live by the moon and the tides, by intuition and emotion, by faith and fortitude.
Amongst our sisters, we can be soft yet strong, wild and wise, vulnerable but invincible. Buoyed by the collective energy of each other, we dove into the clear blue water, and let ourselves be washed of the trappings of our day to day lives – and after being submerged, we emerged – stronger, more powerful, more loving, and more free.
I stand for sisterhood. I stand for a few times a year, saying “No Boys Allowed.” I stand for healing the wounds of our youth by loving each other so fully in the present that we begin to trust again – trust that sisterhood exists, and that we can rest in it.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to each woman who gave herself to this weekend, and opened up to the experience. You make me proud to be a member of the fairer sex.
Tags: girl power, sisterhood, stoked yogi, SUP yoga, tahoe teacher training