Reset and Renew – It’s time to Let Limiting Beliefs Go!

March 1st – 3rd I was blessed to participate in my second Living Life the Happy Way’s Reset and Renew Women’s Retreat. Again, I found myself at the historic Lasker Inn in Galveston, Texas with Rachel Stokes, a certified Life Coach. While the retreat had new attendees and a spirit team complete with a musician, artist, and Reiki healer, it still followed her successful structure that produced healing for everyone in attendance. I left not only remembering and cherishing the friendships I made last year, but completely embracing new “soul” friendships from this year. Below are a few of the profound experiences and life-altering moments from the weekend.

“The only limits you have are the limits you believe.” – Wayne Dyer

The topic of the retreat is limiting beliefs and how they affect the trajectory of our lives. Limiting beliefs are statements made by others or even yourself that prevent you from making different choices in your life, seeing new opportunities, and recognizing your talents. They prevent you from acknowledging the good things that occur, but instead train you to focus on negative aspects. Limiting beliefs can come from family members, religion, teachers, and society, and they were mostly taken on during childhood – although you can adopt limiting beliefs as an adult. The child repeats those thoughts and accepts them as fact. Children’s brains are not fully developed, and it is easier for them to grasp onto a limiting belief from people they are close to. It is hard for them to know the difference between what is real and what isn’t, so a child has an experience, an interpretation of that experience is made that leads to making a meaning, and a meaning leads to a thought that is believed. While last year I confronted limiting beliefs that I pertained to things spoken over me as a child, this years’ experience was completely different — it became about words that I had allowed adults to speak over me and how it has held me back from pursing the life that I want to live.

As with last year, there were stones scattered throughout the rooms, and we were requested that we write our limiting beliefs as they came up through the weekend on the stones and place them into a pail (our burden) that we carried everywhere. Throughout the weekend, ten of us did hard, emotional work, trusted the process, and let our authentic selves bloom like a lotus flower from the murky waters of what has hurt us and held us back.

The first night the women and I experienced the soul sister bonding ceremony. Rachel groups the participants through paired crystals, and then we spend the rest of the weekend sharing with them. I am always amazed at the partner I am assigned to because they are always the perfect match for where I am in my life. After we find our partners, we have a bonding ceremony where we open our hearts to those that are there. We promise to seek understanding, be supportive, and uplift our new sisters. We learn that a soul sister relationship is built on a spiritual connection, which is much stronger than just having a companion to pal around with. Your new sisters celebrate your successes, they are your cheerleaders when you face challenges, and you do the same for them. Their bond of unconditional love becomes a part of your journey – always enriching it.

Saturday morning Rachel created a labyrinth on the beach. Unlike a maze, which is complicated by confusing pathways and dead ends that require numerous choices to navigate through, a labyrinth has a single route with twists and turns, but it doesn’t contain any branches. The significance of this is found in the spiritual aspect of our lives because it represents the complex and sometimes long path it takes for us to reach the Divine. Rachel invited each of us to meditate on what was coming up for release or what wasn’t working in our lives and lay those down when we reached the center. At center, we expressed gratitude to the Divine for guiding and protecting us through life this far, and then we set intentions for what we would like to manifest. As you watch each of the other participants walk in and out of the labyrinth, you walk with them as they review their past, hold space while they release and give thanks, and then walk with them as they set their intentions. Angie S. shared that when she walked to center, she was revisiting situations from her childhood that impacted her, and when she walked out of the labyrinth, she was walking with her younger self (inner child), and she promised that while she wasn’t kept safe when she was younger, she would protect her now.

There were many sessions throughout the second day that were powerful in different ways to each of us, but Rachel really builds a momentum that culminates in releases starting with the Saturday night moon ritual and ending with the final release on Sunday morning. On the beach Saturday night, she led the participants through a guided meditation that encouraged them to let go of the accumulated burdens, and then the celebration began. Many of us middle-aged women, felt free enough to let our inner children out to enjoy the present moment that was made complete with dancing and sparklers. I’m going to be honest; it is hard to beat that!

The last morning at the retreat, we made mandalas with driftwood, sea glass, flowers from our rooms, and shells. The purpose of the activity was to let our inner child out to play and connect to the Divine. At the end, we each swept our designs one-by-one into the middle of the floor, and it symbolized that nothing is permanent, not even our struggles. Each year that I participate in this activity, it deeply impacts me. I view it as these ten women with their inner children creating individual art separately, but it’s connected to a bigger, collective art piece. Last year I struggled to find the right words, but it’s a metaphor for the entire weekend of our spirits joining together for some hard, but spectacular healing work. Each of us working separately but also working in tandem to create this beautiful picture of chaos of who we are collectively in this moment. Next, one by one, we take our limiting belief rocks that have hurt us as children and adults, and lay them down on top of the beautiful, combined mandalas. All those negative emotions swirl together with the collective beauty. I see these beautiful women, who I just met two days ago, laying down and releasing negative words spoken over them. It always brings to the forefront how powerful words are and that the ones who hurt us are usually the people who should have loved us the most.

I am sure next year, we will gather again and fill up our new buckets with newly discovered layers of limiting beliefs, but I know the outcome will be the same – we will leave lighter, with new soul sisters, and an opportunity to change our lives and the lives around us. But today, we each leave the Lasker Inn with empty buckets and a choice for how we chose to fill them. We can add the burden of more limiting beliefs or fill it with beliefs that enrich us and propel us weightlessly forward. To all who attended this retreat and the previous retreats, “I celebrate you!

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