“It’s been over two years since I’d facilitated an Image Reborn retreat due to Covid. This summer it will be six years since I first started working for the foundation. I’ve met hundreds of women, all breast cancer survivors, all incredible and influential in their own unique way. But this last weekend was different. We had nine attendees in total, three of which I’d met before at retreats prior. Often these weekends are deeply impactful, but this one sat differently as I drove the four hours home Sunday afternoon. I’ve cried several times this week looking at the photos and reminiscing on conversations, shared experiences and deep connections formed on this trip. I have tried to find the words to describe why it was different than others and what I’ve come to realize is, I felt held, I felt supported and I felt nurtured.
It’s truly an honor and a joy to be given the opportunity in my lifetime to witness some of the most intimate parts of people’s lives. Their stories, their secrets, their fears. My job is to hold space for those moments and I realized this weekend how incredibly honored I am to be trusted by these women to do a good job.
Not only do I get to witness their bravery but I get to learn from their wisdom, soak up the lessons of their lives and although I no longer have my mother, I have many mothers; they are mothers to me.
Every hand I’ve held on a retreat and every tear absorbed in the shoulder of my shirt has held me just the same. The universe has provided me with bold, strong, and powerful women that I feel deeply honored to know.
Thank you to Susan Basmajian for dropping off that brochure and sticky note six years ago saying “we’re looking to add an acupuncturist – give us a call”.”
Written by Amanda Valenti, http://valentiacupuncture.com/