‘questioning’ the nature of women

i’m so very much looking forward to the women’s visioning retreat this coming weekend.

 through the process of my planning and preparation, i have had the opportunity to notice even more keenly how the natural world has played a vital role in my healing and whole-making.  observing and communing with the natural world, bathing in and receiving her wisdom, has helped me to claim parts of myself as very good that had been heaped onto the very bad pile for so many years, has taught me to see myself as Beheld in the same way i behold the beauty surrounding me, has offered me lessons about darkness and light, life and death, humous and nourishment, inwardness and blossom (to name but a few:)

spending time in and with nature has helped me to fall in love the feminine self i experience there…both without and within.  it is only natural i suppose to turn that loving gaze upon the beautiful wild women in my life.

in preparation for our retreat, i passed some questions (see below) along to the women who will be joining me, to pray over, to notice. i’d love to think of you as praying these questions with us too.  i welcome your responses.

what is your relationship with nature?
is it one of communion or estrangement? when in nature do you feel unsafe? or do you experience nature as sanctuary?
do you find nature healing / whole-making? if so, can you name why?
how does it speak to you? what does it speak of?
 
what is/has been your relationship with women?
have you been friend or foe… or both? can you name why?
when in a group of women do you typically feel safe? do you experience communion or competition?
are there places where you can recognize your love for women as embrace of self?
are there places where you can recognize your contempt for women as denial of self?
 
what is your relationship with your feminine self?
have you been friend or foe? can you name why?
are you safe with yourself? can you find sanctuary within, or are those conditions harsh?
 
how do you experience the sacred in all 3 of these places?
is there one that is easier or more difficult than the others?
how do you understand the relationship between the 3?
may we,  as rilke reminds us, 
‘ live the questions now. 
and perhaps someday, 
gradually,
we will without even noticing it,
 live our way into the answer. ‘
all is well,
vicki

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