when people know ALL your #secrets, #wounds, #dreams, #goals, #fears and still #love you enough to let you sit in the process of figuring it out – just not alone. yeah… that part. i parked the car and RAN to these women!! @youthmentoring truly transforms lives of the mentors and mentees. I began my training and lovefest with YMC in 2010 and was paired up with Griselda (below). The work they do pushed me to leave entertainment and pursue a new career in health and wellness !
my 4th retreat with this group. we tear things apart and build it back up! this initiation ceremony is an opportunity for women, mentees and mentors, to ‘leave it on the mountain’. a chance to cross a threshold into adulthood, leave pains of the past, and be held up by community in the process.
the practice of ‘circle council’ or a ‘talking circle’ is implemented here and Juliana Wells aka Hoolie, Youth Mentoring Director, is a master at bringing people into the space and selecting mentors who offer perspectives on mental health, coming out, abusive relationships, health challenges, gang life, motherhood and the immigrant and artist experience.
it’s DEEP. and HEAVY. and there is CRYING and laughing and realizations, and vulnerability for days… for some it’s too much and they observe, taking years to open up. others, jump at the chance to unload. neither response is wrong. there is time for internal reflection, self care and rest, community building, and physical challenges (many girls did the ropes course 40 feet up! Hoolie only asks we show a willingness to try. that might be enough to get someone in a harness and put their feet on a rung. if it’ll all they do, it’s fine!). I needed this trip, this community. After back to back 21 hour days and being on 3 planes in 24 hrs, landing, renting a car and driving 2 more to the mountains… every step was worth it.
relieved to be with my tribe for the annual Young Women’s Initiation Retreat in Big Bear, CA.