“While every group that participates in a weekend retreat with Image Reborn Foundation is special, the group that joined us in June of 2022 was very unique.
Most of our groups consist of women coming together from all over the country who have never met each other prior to the retreat. Part of the magic of an Image Reborn retreat is gathering these women from far and wide and bringing them together to support and enrich each other’s journeys with breast cancer. But this particular group had known each other via Zoom for a good year before they came together in Park City, Utah.
This group of women connected through a Facebook group and met online every month to discuss all the facets of living with a Stage IV breast cancer diagnosis. Until this weekend, they had never met each other in-person.
I began my own journey with Image Reborn in 2018, providing crystal bowl sound healing for the retreats during their restorative yoga practices. More recently, I moved into the role of Grief Circle Facilitator, leading circles to explore what grief has to teach us all, how to discuss sadness and loss with our loved ones, and most importantly, how to ask for support and understanding when we most need it. Over the years, I have felt deep gratitude and admiration for the women I’ve grown to know through our time together at retreats. And although I’ve experienced so much through my association with Image Reborn, this was the first retreat that I facilitated fully on my own. Having this unique dynamic and familiarity with this group of women felt extra special for my first facilitator role.
What I learned by watching these women who had already spent time together virtually, is that there is so much closeness and so much trust that can be created online. Making space in our lives to connect, even in a virtual setting, can be extraordinarily supportive. Being able to meet one another face-to-face, and spend an entire weekend together, laughing, crying, hugging, and eating, was pure icing on the cake!
These lovely ladies have invited me to do a grief circle at their upcoming Zoom gathering. As with all IRF retreats, the relationships that are born and nurtured have the potential to last a lifetime. I know these women will be gathering every month for many years to come!”
Written by Mindy Relyea, https://www.mindyrelyea.com/