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EWP Retreat 2019

The Power of Your Self-Worth

On Friday the 8th of March, I packed my bags and headed down to Werri Beach, Gerringong, a beautiful little coastal down, south of Kiama, to attend my third EWP Retreat with a small group of women, of varying vintages. Some new faces, some old.

As usual, we arrived in dribs and drabs at the magnificent house booked for us by the EWP Team, and sighed our collective relief, to be leaving our individual lives behind for a couple of days and nights. Husbands, children, cats, dogs, chooks, work, and various other responsibilities successfully set up to survive in our absence. Provided our absence was restricted to only the allotted time of course.

Typically, we organised ourselves immediately. Our home-baked food was spread out on the benches, crockery, cutlery, cups, glasses, wine; we were set! We’d even filled out the duties roster for the next two days, before the second wine was imbibed. No stopping women on a mission. As Amelia Earhart said, “Never interrupt someone doing something you said, couldn’t be done”. Clothes were in the wardrobes of the allotted bedrooms, shoes under the right beds, and toiletries all set out and ready to go! We were blitzing it!

I looked around and knew that I was once again, in the company of very organised and competent women. And of course, the piece de resistance for me, was to hear their peals of laughter ringing throughout the house.

I love to feel the energy generated in a room, from women scoffing on the fruits of their labour, gorging on healthy discourse, and shrieking and snorting, deliriously happy and intoxicated on the fumes of their shared humour.

Some partied on for a bit, enjoying an evening dip in the pool, but well before Cinderella’s carriage returned home, we were all tucked up and ready for a big day tomorrow.

Showered and dressed we invaded a lovely little local café for a delicious brunch, before we split up, did a spot of shopping and then, on time, turned up for our workshop on “The Power of Your Self-Worth”.

Tisiola Lear was the facilitator and presenter, and she was straight into it, with her opening question; ‘Who here, really knows themselves?’

There were no takers to that first question, which I guess meant we were all where we should be for the weekend. She then went on to stress to us, the importance of preparing our mind and body to be present, so we meditated for about fifteen minutes to engage with our Inner Power.

Opening up the content of “The Self-Worth” workshop, Tisiola referred to an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author, John C. Maxwell, who believes there are really only three kinds of people when it comes to finding your direction in life:-

· Those that don’t know what they want, or want to do.

· Those who know, but don’t do it.

· Those who know what they want, and do it

To that list, Tisiola added another kind of people, and those are the Fakers. The Pretenders, who hover around in the shadows of life, afraid of their own light.

With this in mind, we agreed that our intention was to awaken ourselves to our self-worth. To evaluate ourselves accurately, in a measurable way. If we had blockages, we wanted to identify them in order to effectively unblock them, and then commit ourselves to staying true to ourselves.

As Richard Bach said, “We can only transform our lives, in the split- second eternity that is our Now”.

So we had some work to do, and to help us do that we needed strategies.

The first thing required, was to clearly know ourselves in order to recognise that we are worthy of every breath we take. Without this inner-knowing, we are forever at the mercy of everything and everyone, and our focus is on all the external crap in our lives. We need to know what we are doing, and why we are doing it, and it needs to be because we choose to, not just to satisfy or conform with external pressure. In a lot of cases, we have neglected ourselves, and let others intentionally, and unintentionally, rule our lives. We need to stand tall and reclaim our being.

An important part of that reclamation process, begins with our power of awareness, and this is developed through “Quiet Time”. But it must be a daily, habitual practice, of quietening the mind, shutting out the loud destructive ego, and surrendering to all you don’t know. Because the magic of this, is that inevitably in time, the unknown will be known. Or as Jesus said, ‘Recognise what is in front of you and what is hidden from you will be revealed”.

In order to love and accept ourselves, we really do need to forgive our mistakes. That’s a big one. And yet it really shouldn’t be that difficult. Mistakes and failures are valuable lessons. We should embrace what we learn from them and move on to greater challenges. Our mistakes are often valuable lessons for others too. So be philanthropic, I say.

Another great strategy for increasing your feeling of self-worth is to daily practice gratitude, for all the wonderful things you have in life. This also has the flow on effect of boosting your positivity. Attitude really does matter. And our ability to know our strengths and weaknesses goes a long way to countering negative, self-doubting feelings of insecurity, which cancerously eat away at our sense of worthiness.

Mind your language! Remember being told that by your parents? Well it’s true. Be very mindful of the language you are using. Often we degrade ourselves with things like, ‘I’m only… It’s only me’… etc.

Let go of trying to be perfect; turn up, do your best, and strive for excellence instead! That’s great enough! And if you really want the best for your children, teach them the importance of self-worth. Be it! Live it! Speak that language and embody who you are.

Speaking of bodies, take care of yours, and your mind, and your heart. They are very precious. Unique. And yet so many women, lack self- confidence, because they have let marketing and outsiders convince them they are not worthy. Not worthy?!! How can this be? Your worth and value, can’t be defined by someone else!! End of story!

Not quite.

Before donning our dress-up gear and heading out for a delicious Vietnamese meal in Kiama, we ran over the main points to enable us to embrace our self-worth, and to show up a hundred-per-cent for ourselves and others in this life.

· Acceptance, in the knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses, of who we are. Evaluating ourselves correctly. On our scales, no one else’s.

· Appreciation, of our miraculous opportunity to live Our Life, to fulfil our true destiny on this planet, at this time, in this body, with this mind and heart and soul.

· To celebrate our small wins, knowing that the law of process is that what matters is what you do over the long haul, and that it takes a lifetime to become the manifestation of our true and best self.

· To embrace and embody wholeheartedly, with love and grace, who we are. Become the beacon of light who others will want to be around. Because this beautiful, magnetic self, is the one that cannot be stolen, or taken away by anyone, or anything.

That was the crux of the workshop, as I remember it.

There were of course, plenty of disturbing facts and figures gleaned from studies in this field by Wiebke Bleidorn Ph.D. from the University of California, the American Psychological Association, Jennifer Crocker and Riia K. Luhtanen from the University of Michigan, Andrea E. Mercurio and Laura J. Landry showing how, and why women have allowed themselves to be totally unappreciated and undervalued, in a world that hitherto has been constructed by limited consciousness. A world that all too often equates self-worth with money and exterior things. It’s no wonder why women seem confused about their true identity and their self-worth.

And so it was, we had listened, talked, laughed and cried enough for one day. It was dress-up, dining out time. Time for us to treat our beautiful selves, to a night on the town. Even if it was, a very small seaside town. We all knew, that from small things, big things grow.

But, alas, we also knew, that the end awaits us all, so after another wonderful, night, retreat and workshop, we were all woken by Ann ringing the bell at 5.00am the next morning, to sit in our P.J’s, up on the top deck of the house and witness the most majestic sun rise. Ever! We all decided, before packing our clothes, memories, and learnings, and driving to the local seaside in a bid to hold on to our together-time a little longer. Which we successfully did, paddling in the warm sea water, laughing and talking, and imbibing the last of our Friday nights home-made eats, before we hugged and kissed, and made our separate journeys, back to our waiting lives.

Hopefully, all of us, realising that the real pilgrimage starts today, continues tomorrow, and little by little, we get to know and love and respect our true selves, a whole lot more.

Bella H

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