I love to leverage the healing and transformational power of nature and art in all of its forms in my coaching sessions. This led me to create a session I call Journ and Burn where I guide my clients in writing and releasing things that they must let go of to make space for the things that they want to invite into their lives.
I facilitated this experience with the leaders who attended my retreat in Morocco as the final session of our trip at our camp in the Sahara Desert. In preparation for the trip our host told us that the desert was a spiritual vortex. After doing her own healing work there, the very thing she set an intention for became a reality for her shortly thereafter.
Although I was the facilitator, I participated in the work right alongside my clients. I shared some things that I wanted to release that I had never really given much voice to until that moment. Releasing those things freed up emotional space, and not even a week had passed before the miracles that I had longed for began to occur. They came in the form of a reconciliation, a reunion, and rest. Not only physical and mental rest for me, but the eternal peaceful rest of a dear loved one who transitioned from suffering on the day of my return.
The final activity that I facilitated that evening was inspired by the Hallmark movie Girlfriendship. In the movie they were on a healing retreat where their leader facilitated an activity called Burn, Bless, or Bestow. I put my own spin on it by inviting my participants to collect three items that spoke to their soul for whatever reason. It could be something they brought with them, something they acquired throughout our week in Morocco, or they could go out into the desert to collect objects that piqued their interest. Once they had gathered their items, I shared the following instructions…
“You've selected three items that spoke to your soul. Look at each item. As you reflect on your time here in Morocco, assign one or more of the following meanings to it and share why you selected it and what it represents for you."
Here are the explanations of the meanings that we assigned to each object as well as what I discovered in the process. Perhaps these will provide inspiration for strategies that you can use for your own restoration through release.
Burn It. The item that you choose to burn literally or figuratively represents releasing a version of yourself that no longer serves you. I chose a flat rock that I found in the desert because for me it represented a plateau that I’ve been on professionally and creatively. Last year I found myself quite overwhelmed by all the things that I tried to do to support the healing of all of the pain I had witnessed in the world. It led me to take a bit of a break this year to restore my depleted mental and emotional energy and avoid burnout. As the end of the year nears, I’m finally feeling reenergized, especially after that transformative trip to Morocco. So, I placed the flat rock into the fire pit to release that version of myself.
What version of yourself do you need to release?
Bless It. The item that you choose to bless represents reigniting a version of yourself. For this I chose a beautiful black rock that I found in the desert. For me it symbolized who I was before I hit the much-needed plateau. It embodied being bold, striking, strong, and confident, with crazy faith that withstands all obstacles, challenges, and uncertainty.
What version of yourself do you want to reignite?
Bestow It. The item that you choose to bestow represents something you want to share wholeheartedly with another. In this instance I shared a gratitude journal with our host because I was so grateful for how wonderfully our collaboration on the retreat turned out to be.
What is something you want to share wholeheartedly with another?
This week I challenge you to find your own healing and restorative connections in nature, using art, or with whomever you consider to be your community. Leverage the magic and miracles that ensue when you have the right combination of synergy and spiritual power to activate your intentions and hopes for the life of your dreams.
I am releasing the versions of myself that no longer serve me.
I am reigniting the version of myself that inspires and energizes me.
I am sharing my overflow wholeheartedly with my community.