flowers

When women take charge

Even though I just returned from Hawaii, I found myself with another week of impending holidays. Holidays that I had booked in at the start of the year so I could spend time in Adelaide implanting for my first child with my husband, we were hoping the timing would fall on his 30th birthday which was on Monday. Instead, I found myself pondering what else to do on my holidays because the husband is now my soon to be ex-husband and the Embryos will remain frozen with an uncertain future.

Do I dare be cheeky and book an exotic overseas holiday even though I had just come back from Hawaii? In my fairness, my soon to be ex-husband was on the holiday too with other couples for a joint 40th birthday. I could look for a holiday romance and enjoy a summer fling? It worked for Sandy and Danny in Grease and they enjoyed frolicking on the beach and doing sing-alongs and I do love a pair of black leather pants. Or do I stay in Australia and just enjoy no commitments for a week and acknowledge that I should probably take some time out for my mental health and just relax at a retreat for a couple of those days?

As much as I wanted some summer lovin overseas it was more important to switch off from even worrying about guys and just get some Mel time in

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I booked myself into Solar Springs in Bundanoon in NSW, a retreat with all the things a woman could want. I could have my massages, yoga, hikes, meals prepared for me and still enjoy a cheeky wine or 2 at dinner. Everything has been fabulous, I couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to unwind and refresh my mind. But the biggest surprise came from the other guests, I didn’t expect to come to a retreat and feel empowered.

There are about 30-40 guests staying here at the moment and the average guest is a 50 year old woman travelling alone. I don’t know about you, but I do get a little bit of anxiety travelling alone and I often don’t want to engage in conversation with strangers.

But at meal time it’s communal and phones are to be left in the room, I was about to have 2 days of good old fashion communication. Conversation at the dinner table. I remember the first time I walked into the dining room, I looked at the menu and dribbled slightly because we were having crab salad as the entrée and salmon for the main YUM. I then gazed around the room, the individual tables were taken and I had to join a group. Within seconds I had a lovely woman flag me over to her table, she encouraged me to join them.

Over the next 10mins I watched her do this for any solo woman walking into that dining room (which was nearly everyone), I don’t remember the last time I saw someone so concerned for everyone else and embracing them in this manner.

Has it really been that long since I have seen women supporting women? It turns out that this lovely lady has been coming to the retreat for 30 years, she makes sure no matter what that every 6 months she takes time out for HERSELF.

I got talking to the other women and they had similar stories, this wasn’t their first time and they made sure that they took time out for themselves. It soon became clear to me that I had hit the jackpot, I was surrounded by a group of independent and resilient women that knew how to not only look after themselves but they thrived on bringing women together and embracing the company. We talked and laughed for hours, I didn’t even think about my phone or how many likes my last post got or if there was a Fabio on a beach somewhere for me that I was missing out on.

This retreat not only refreshed me, it inspired me and restored my faith in kindness. When was the last time you put your phone down and just had a conversation with someone? When was the last time you saw someone at a function that was alone and decided to approach them for a conversation? We need to do this more, I found 30 women who wanted to lift each other and I would choose that environment over a seedy bar any day. Now please excuse me because I am due for my Swedish massage in 10mins and I need to put my fluffy white robe and slippers on.