I took a break from work today to stand outside and put my bare feet on the ground. On the real ground: dirt, grass, rocks, maybe a bug or two. I took some deep breaths and looked at my toes — two black-and-blue toenails — as they pressed into the ground, still warm from the morning sun though now in the shade.

I tend to be a rather analytical human. I love data and numbers, started reading Science magazine in middle school, and am vaguely nervous every time anyone uses the word “spiritual.” But, as I look at my toes in the dirt, I am thinking about how it gives me power, how it calms my job-driven stress, and reminds me to focus on the bigger picture.

Over the last two weeks since the Summit Sisters 2017 retreat, I have been trying to imagine a way to communicate the experience that I had there, but haven’t had any idea where to begin.

At first, I wanted to shout from the rooftops: “ALL WOMEN! So many women!” And it’s true, I’ve never been in a group of people so large — about 130 or so — that was all women and people of non-binary genders. That in itself was powerful for me, since I met so many strong, brilliant people who had experiences I could relate to.

The location near Allenspark, CO also came to mind. It sits just a few feet away from the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park and spending any weekend there would be a delight. I woke up early to see the miraculous sunrise and go for a cool, quiet hike:

Sunrise with Frost on Tent
Even in June, there was frost on my tent at the high altitude.

And the tranquility of the place was perfection:


But without the community and connection that I felt, even this stunning place can’t fully capture the experience.

The people that I met at Summit Sisters 2017 absolutely blew. me. away. So many powerful, brilliant, fascinating humans, so many understandings of how to view the world, how to process emotions, how to believe in yourself. Speaking to these women at our workshops was paradigm-shifting for me, in more ways than one.

Since returning to my work and daily life, I’ve started incorporating a mindfulness practice into my morning and I’ve been taking some time each day to do what I am doing now: putting my feet on the earth and thinking about how I want to build my life.

The Summit Sisters workshops not only challenged me to be open about my most audacious goals, they also gave me strategies to work toward and focus on those goals as I move through the world each day. Based on my reflections during these practices, I have implemented new projects at work and have found clarity about huge decisions about my life, both painful and joyful.

Thank you so, so much to everyone who attended Summit Sisters 2017. It was amazing to meet each and every one of you, and I hope that you all had an experience as unique and as powerful as you are.

Don’t be too much of a stranger! Stay in touch with the Women’s Wilderness community by coming to one of our Meetups or taking our summer courses!


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