A Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat

Christina Manfredi

Clinical BSW; Clinical Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapist
Sensorimotor Trauma Therapist, & Embodied Awareness Therapist
Taoist Yoga & Shamanic Practitioner

There comes a time when we stand at
The threshold of a deeper calling within oneself
This is a time when we can, if ready choose
To put aside all the distractions
Of our everyday domesticated lives
To deepen into a sacred journey -


Into the wilderness and stillness of the vast Unknown
Ready to be filled with the Breath of the Present Moment
Then to descend and bow within to the sacred temple of our Soul
In this house of prayer there is no separation
Here we meet the Source of Knowing,
Then that which has been most hidden from our self can arise
From within the womb of darkness, here emerges the crystal clear light of consciousness.

 - Christina Manfredi (2010)

 

A Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat is an empowering spiritual, physical, psychological, and relational process where a woman consciously immerses herself in the solitude of the natural environment for a specific period of time. It involves a conscious retreat from the everyday world of our roles, commitments, and responsibilities in order to enter into the healing possibilities of the Soul, Spirit and the Natural Environment.

In many ways a retreat of this nature can be seen as similar to traditional women’s Vision Quests, and Mindfulness Retreats. There are however some important differences.

Traditional vision quests were undertaken at times of transition and thresholds of experience where deeper psychological and spiritual contemplation and insight was needed.  The vision quest offered an opportunity to evaluate one’s life, gain clarity, purpose and direction, and to arrive an acceptance of a situation before empowered movement forward is possible. In this sense a Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat is similar to traditional vision quests. The key difference is that traditional vision quests were often associated with   ‘ordeals’, and often facilitated by men.

A Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat has nothing to do with ordeals. Ordeals that whilst often stretching an individual to the extreme of coping abilities, can leave a woman depleted and in need of tender restoration.

A Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat takes into account the depths of her unique physiology, psychology, and spirituality and involves an immersion into nature and Spirit in a way that is respectful and with appropriate care for her uniqueness.

The retreat does encourage an attitude of mindfulness and solitude in a way that is encompassing of embodied self and environment awareness. Hence this is an experience of mindfulness that is more than purely conceptual. Rather the retreat encourages the trusting of our corporal experience and ground of our Being.

At a practical level this solitary mindful retreat into nature supports a shift of everyday perception and allows for an experience of expanded depth perceptual awareness. Often our everyday outward engagement into the world means that we compromise our ability to slow down and listen to what resides deeper within. This retreat is an invitation to enter into solitude allowing a space where the ears of your heart can listen inwards to the stirrings of your soul. Here you can discern the healing messages from your immediate inner, and outer natural environment. These outer‘messages’ often meet us from the dryness and moisture within the form of the Land, the heat and illumination of the Sun & Light, the coolness of the Darkness & Light of the  Moon, the Wind, Rain, and the Air that touches our skin. When we enter into an experience of mindfulness and expanded perceptual awareness we open to our innate intuition, guidance,creativity, and healing. Healing often comes by way of an image, sound, feeling, word, memory, or knowing that is like a seed within us, ripening over time to come revealing it’s medicine.

The structure of a Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat is set withina specific period of time and sacred place and involves a careful physical, psychological, and spiritual preparation. It requires a leaving behind of our ‘domesticated’ lives for a conscious meeting between the true natural wildness of body, mind, environment and Spirit.

Upon giving of oneself to the retreat a woman will need to be clear about her intention; what it is that she may require clarity on, or support with, be it direction and purpose, or what it is she needs to surrender before the fertile new can be born.

Finally, there is a period of return, a honoring of the gifts received, and a final preparation for a re-integration to our lives in the everyday world. The experience itself, and the gifts received often have lasting positive reverberations that unfold over days, weeks, months, and years.

Whilst a Woman’s Mindful Visionary Retreat is essentially a deeper spiritual-psychological-physical journey, it is not aligned with any specific religious doctrine. It is however deeply respectful of personal religious faith.

Ultimately this retreat is an intentioned act of personal power and love where a woman consciously and mindfully opens her self to the forces of nature (both within herself and the wider environment), mystery and spirit, and enters into the depths of the unknown.  Paradoxically, it is in this surrender and welcoming of the unknown that the deeper wisdom, knowing, and answers to her life direction, purpose and healing are revealed.

Some of the benefits of this retreat may include:

For further information regarding Women’s Mindful Visionary Retreats contact Christina on 9430 9533 or e-mail:  christina.manfredi@nulliinet.net.au

Each individual woman will be prepared and supported before, and after the retreat.

Next Women’s Retreat to be facilitated between end March early April 2015.Please refer to the Workshops/Groups for flyer.

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