i came to see others, but in turn i was seen

Photo courtesy of @oliviariddering

Photo courtesy of @oliviariddering

There’s something about dropping everything, packing a bag, hopping on a plane or piling up in a car for a weekend and letting your daily routines be stagnant for a few days. 

There’s something about entering a weekend ready to engage in all the activities that make your soul feel lighter but also so full. 

The moments when you (maybe because you lost your signal) unplug the social media IV (even if it’s just for a few hours until the wifi works again) and really engage in conversation with the people around you.

Bloom Weekend was all of this and more. 

This of course is coming from my one, biased perspective, but I bet if you asked any of the ladies who attended they would have similar sentiments.

You know how sometimes you’ll go to unfamiliar places, meeting equally unfamiliar people and the whole environment feels awkward for so long and the ice seems to never really break? Yeah, that was NOT this weekend. Even for the ambassadors it was as if no moment was missed. The second we were all together everything felt so normal as if that wasn’t the first time we were meeting each other in person (because fun fact for a lot of us, it was!) Once everyone was in the same room, we small talked for maybe about five minutes and then it got real, real fast and the tears came and the doors of vulnerability were opened because there was something that felt safe in that space and we all knew it. We could let all the walls we walked in with crumble to the floor, we could let the various scenarios running around in our heads come to a halt. 

We came to see others but in reality, we were seen too.

Every single lady came for a reason, whether that was to meet new people, to experience something new, to find themselves again, to rest, to get away from their kids for more than 24 hours or to wake up with mimosas and fall asleep with wine.

Though there were various reasons for coming, we all walked away feeling seen, feeling known, feeling heard, feeling refreshed or like me, feeling more whole than when we left. 

What happens when a group of women vow to show up?

Photo by @oliviariddering

Photo by @oliviariddering

When a group of women commit to be present, to dive heart first, head last into vulnerability, something transformational happens. You hear a lot of “Me too” and “I see you.” How freaking beautiful. When all our lives we are consumed with messages to compete, to judge, to ostracize one another- can you imagine what happens when we stand against that? When we finally get the courage to say, “No, that’s not how this is going to go. We’re going to cheer one another on, show up and challenge each other”  and when we do that, we automatically become orchestrators of change and administrators of straight up magic. We become the melodies contradicting all the lies we’ve told ourselves that we are alone and not enough. 

Bloom Weekend was the intimate and earth shattering connection between women all over the world. We laughed, we wined and dined (literally), we made s'mores and cuddled, everyday turned into a photoshoot to some extent, coffee greeted us as we woke and so did the handful of beautiful, bead headed babes. We defined “Tribe” and what it means to bloom and dug into what seasons we personally felt we were experiencing. There was nothing unfamiliar or strange about us all together in the coziest cabin/farm house I’ve ever seen.

It was like coming home to each other but also to our truest selves.

At one point in the weekend, I had the honor of sharing poems with the ladies one night and earlier I had gone on a walk through the crisp Forest area of Northern Minnesota and spilled out this poem after the first two days.

 

This is where the magic happens

This is where the walls break down

And the flood gates open

 

This is healing

This is rebirth

This is where the magic happens

 

And what does it mean

When a group of women vow to show up

Vow to say yes, give themselves permission to say no

 vow to rest, vow to start again

 

And what do you call it

When a group of women declare "Me too"

When we agree to be outstretched hands and open arms

 when we admit we have nothing to give

Learn That it is not wrong for us to receive

 

When we are the mantras of "baby get back up" that we've forgotten how to sing for ourselves

Dive head first into vulnerability

Pull our bleeding hearts from their cages and know that they deserve to be loved

Know that you deserve to be loved

All hot mess, strong willed

Told for so long that we were women who more mouthfuls than people can swallow

And you've heard far too long that you need to make yourself small

Make yourself less

And so you've been trying to shove wings into boxes that were always meant to kiss air

 

And what if I told you that this is where the magic happens?

This is where reality shatters at the abnormal of us

Where on earth as it is in heaven takes place in these tears

In the decision to show up

To look one another in the eyes

To drink much and spill even more

 Carry tribe on our chest because that is where our identity rest

 

To flourish and bloom

To grow and stay rooted

To uproot

relocate

To feel solid ground only for a moment

 

And when we leave here the walls will still break

The floodgates will still open

Because it doesn't end here

No no not even close

This is where it all begins

 

I believe wholeheartedly in this, in the women I had the honor of meeting. It is weekends like these that make us feel refreshed, alive again and ready to come back to “reality.” I truly believe that it was magic, the people were magic, we made moments where “her success is my success” became tangible before our very eyes. Yes friends, magic indeed.