I was invited to attend the retreat by one of my dearest friends, Danielle. And, while I was not sure what I was expecting this experience to bring to my life, I knew it sounded like a lot of fun. Plus, any stretch of five days that I was able to spend with Danielle - without the muss and fuss of everyday life and families - I was all for. As a full-time RN, wife, mother of a two year old daughter, and expecting another baby sometime in January, something was drawing me to go. What I found was a truly eye-opening, and heart-opening, experience that has changed the course of my life. Most of the women attending the retreat were some form of prenatal, birth, or postpartum worker- be it midwife, doula, yoga instructor, or simply mother. I myself had trained under a local midwife for two years in my early twenties, hoping someday my work would return to include mothers and new babies. And my passion for empowering holistic pregnancy, birth and mothering, for myself and any other women around me who will listen, has never dwindled. Being surrounded by 14 amazing, strong, beautiful, soulful women, connecting in sisterhood, returned me to an inner place that I had been yearning for. One that I was almost unaware of, but at the same time so aware of that I was almost afraid to speak of it- to myself, much less the rest of the world. My mornings started by watching the beautiful sunrise and an awakening yoga practice. Each day, my belly was filled with delicious, clean foods that nourished our bodies. And more and more, each day, my heart and soul was fulfilled by listening and sharing, uncovering and discovering, crafting and creating. Most importantly, it made me realize that all of those things I had stopped doing for myself. It was then I realized this was why I was here. To get re-grounded. To start taking care of myself again. This in turn will make me a better mother, wife, care provider, WOMAN. I left this experience feeling rejuvenated and empowered. Ready for and accepting of changes that I knew needed to happen. And I can say with absolute certainty that it was from the magical work that was created by and through those 14 other women and Myself that brought me to this place. I am forever grateful for these women and the lifelong friendships that were created. I am forever indebted to Danielle for bringing this to my life. I am a changed woman. And I will forever be proud of that.