For most of my life I craved connection, but I had this beautiful knack of going about it in all the wrong ways. I spent heaps of time, energy and effort trying to fit into some mould that I thought would be more accepted, rather than connecting from an authentic space by finding my people. It didn’t matter how many “friends” were in my life, nothing felt satisfying because it was all built on this mountain of inauthentic fluff, and it left me with an even deeper longing for something more meaningful, it had me craving realness.
When I finally woke up, dusted myself off, and got to the meat of who I was, Hello self love journey, I cleared my life of those inauthentic connections, and was ready to find a space with more real, raw, unapologetic women, women I could dive deep, run long, and go hard in conversation with. I started making point of getting myself places that I was drawn to, places where I could make and foster these kinds of relationships. I started attending women centred organizations, events and retreats, and then I found Womyn’s Summit and suddenly the world got a lot bigger, brighter and a heck of a lot bolder.
My eyes were opened to a new community of beautiful soul centred individuals looking to live their most honest, wild and wonderful lives. Bringing up radical topics allowing empowering, challenging and deep conversations to unfold, offering knowledge by sharing the wisdom of our experiences, life and elders. I was completely blown away by the beauty of community living and support that’s so effortless shared at the summit.
I had found my people.
This was my third year hitting up The Summit, and as heart opening, soul connecting and incredible as each one has been, they’ve also all been completely different. This year I found there was more breathing room between sessions, and everything seems to flow with ease. The teahouse addition, and slower track made for ample connection opportunities, and I thrived in the space of welcomed conversation and intimate connection.
The biggest highlights for me are always the riveting conversations and unapologetic truth bombs that are dropped on the daily, both in sessions, and the spaces in between. This year there were a few other highlights that left me feeling renewed.
This year there was an ample opportunity for chanting, singing, and lifting our voices as individuals and a collective tribe of sisters. As someone that’s been leaning into the power of self expression, I soaked it all in, I thrived in it. Our first night together we had a powerful session of Goddess Kirtan led by Maryz and Michelle, of SuryaChandra. The energy in the yurt was palpable, and the vibrations carried us long after the chanting was over. We sang, we moved and celebrated together for what seemed like mere moments, and also an eternity in time. We set intentions for the upcoming days, and rooted ourselves in this higher vibration allowing us to better receive, speak and love throughout the coming days. The only word that can accurately describe what I felt is Magic, pure universal magic and intense love.
In the morning when I woke I still felt as if I was floating. I gradually pieced my belongings together, grabbed my mat and headed towards to big yurt in preparation for my first Kundalini Yoga experience in many many years. Leading the mornings class was the wild, wonderful, no BS queen herself, Anastasia Akasha Kaur. She led us through a series of mantras & kriyas that left me feeling invigorated, empowered and alive. Everything was presented in a way that allowed and encouraged honouring where you were. She enthusiastically encouraged us past our comfort zones, while allowing space for retreat and rest when needed. I felt held in her presence and it allowed me to go deeper with my practice, getting more in tune with myself. Previously when I’ve tried kundalini I’ve not felt connection to the practice, and often experienced frustration, agitation and fear. This was my first chance to fully slip into the practice, and it felt incredible!
There were so many beautiful workshops led by empowered wise women, like the closing of the bones ceremony led by Alison Capstick, a photography workshop and early morning walk with Chantal Richard-Mercier, Ecstatic Dance, a Twerkshop and so much more. The entire experience was empowering, enriching, soul nourishing and left me feeling reconnected and fulfilled. A highlight of my summer every single year.
One thing in my years of personal development, self love, and journeying that I’ve come to deeply understand, is that in order to accelerate our growth, we need a tribe. We need a community of like minded souls that we can connect with, that we can be real with, that we can grow with. In the same respect we need experiences. We need to be allowed the space to shut out the world around us for a few days, to dive deep into space of self care, soul nourishing, passion igniting experiences.
Much like our beloved technology that occasionally goes on the fritz, sometimes we just need to shut down. To unplug from it all, and reset. Recalibrate, reground, reconnect and get back to what we love, to fill our cup, and set us back on our path to growth. You owe it to yourself to gift yourself at least one big experience a year, to enrich, deepen and expand your growth.
If you’re ready to dive deep, connect to tribe & reignite a love connection with self then join me, Lindsay Umlah for our upcoming signature Loving Myself Loudly Yoga Retreat. This magical weekend experience is happening on the beautiful sacred grounds of Windhorse Farm, October 27th-29th. Enjoy self love coaching, yoga magic, meaningful connection and a weekend thats guaranteed to fill your cup, and leave you overflowing with new energy and appreciation for yourself.
Early bird prices are still available until September 18th, with prices starting at just $370 + HST. So go ahead and treat yourself, give back to you and set the tone as we prepare to wrap up the year.
xx Lindsay Umlah
All photos are by the beautiful Melissa Boucher-Guilbert