This programme marked a clear deepening of our work with women. The month taught me deeply that as we live through pain, challenge and trauma alone, we often shut down; we build walls for protection, and inhabit a smaller safer space in ourselves. However this smaller safer place is also a place where less of our unique gift and shine can show up. It may be safer, but our gifts, our lifeforce and our vitality are compromised.
The beauty - and the struggle - of undertaking this journey back to the place beneath the hurt, beneath the mistrust, beneath the pain is immense. To get beneath, we have to move through.
There were times when we thought we might not make it. There were times when we thought that it would not be worth the struggle. But we did. And it was. We made it to a place beyond the masks built to safeguard hearts. We found a sweetness, and a joy and a willingness to re-learn how to begin to show up again, simply as who we are. Simply as who we are.
I am reminded by the great resource that is right here, in each human heart. A resource that is not accessed, not utilised, because it is hidden, tucked away. Women purposefully being less than they are. Not out of spite - but simply because that is what they have learned is the best way to survive.
Together we saw women uncover. We experienced hearts stretch; and I myself felt the expansion of what becomes possible when we choose once more to inhabit a fuller version of ourselves.
An important beginning has happened. A beginning that has already led to new and real experiences of self worth, to a softening into the support that can be available, in a community of peers, in a circle of sisterhood. And it is of course a long journey - both for these women and for many more around them.
The call is already there to offer more of these programmes. Next year, we will additionally offer a facilitators training for alumni who wish to bring this work to wome in their communities.
The work is also spawning a desire among the men in the village to find ways of developing something similar for men. 'Yes, Women are Medicine' they say, 'and perhaps Men are Magic.' We hope it will be possibly for these two streams to develop alongside each other.