The very first Camp Peace Within February 28, 2017 11:03

Where do I start ? Where do I begin ? My heart is still soaring and my mind still reminiscing on an incredible weekend that I am very proud of.  I was taken to many emotions and a little bit of nervousness as I started Friday night welcoming 17 women to a weekend in the Mountains of Coeur d Alene , Idaho. After decorating the day before with Gladys we were spent but felt a great sense of accomplishment when the rooms came together and our meeting place came to life and comfort.  We were ready to see what the weekend would unfold.  Before we set out a few little trinkets and last minute touches, I stood on a bench and looked out at our beautiful lake and took a few breaths.  After months of stress and planning and a lot of meetings at Barnes and Noble with Gladys, I knew we were ready but wasn't sure how I was gonna feel about doing another one.  Fear kicked in a little as the unknown tried to peak into my mind.  The first camper arrived and it was a long time friend, it gave me some trust to see her face and her smile.  One by one campers were pulling up and had big smiles with a trace of  the unknown themselves.  There was a little bit of risk for both parties because they didn"t know what to expect but the most amazing thing was that 90% of the ladies took a leap of faith and courage as they emailed me to say, "I'm coming alone, I"m doing this for myself" .  We settled in with some bloody mary's and wine and cheese.  Those that came with friends stayed together and those that came alone introduced themselves and checked out the view.  The night then progressed to dinner and a art session with Elaine.  Having had very little sleep the night before I headed to bed to attempt a fresh start for Saturday morning and my speech, Changing your story.  I skipped breakfast, I needed to prepare so I asked Gladys to lead the breakfast and have the campers grab journals for the first event of the day.  I said to myself before I started, "your going to rock this" I kinda did, but my heart was sad to learn of the ladies fears and some with low self esteem.  Each women had a story and each of them had beautiful souls.  I looked to some of the elders for wisdom and everyone started to interact.  I started to feel proud of myself as the speech came to an end, not for the speech, I have more fine tuning to do.  I was proud I did something to connect women and followed a dream blindly.  It has taken me years to be proud of myself and really feel it.  I started to let my guard down and breathed a sigh of relief as the hardest part was coming to an end.  As we embarked on the hike and was in nature I felt more confidence and my soul started to swell as we were surrounded by beauty and a light snowfall.  Everyone was ready for some outdoor love and exercise.

As the afternoon progressed there was more workshops and insight to health by Brittany and a short nap before Dinner and a live concert with Robby.  As the music started to flow and we all snuggled close to listen, I was filled with an overwhelming amount of GRATITUDE.  I thought of my Dad who gave me the gift of song and music.  I was overcome with emotion of the songs and the passion of the guitar player, I cried tears of love and I knew I had done it, my very first camp was a success.  I couldn't stop smiling but the night wasn't over.  Games and pajama party and Gladys smores bar closed out the night.  Tons of gut and belly laughs presumed and the bond of the women was ten fold, I love everyone of them!!  It was amazing how perfect each one was and how life works to bring us together.  All of us will take what we got out of the weekend with them.  Some of us had to face tough times going home and some had to contemplate life a little.  I hope I inspired and instilled a little in each person.  We burned the sadness and the insecurities into the fireplace. We said goodbye to low self worth and fear.  As each person tossed their piece into the fireplace, I felt a sense of hope that we would all move forward.  Onward to the next one, never let anyone dim your light! Everyone has something to offer and together we are much stronger than just one.