You will recall in my last post, some very many days ago now, I referenced my overall “happy camper” feeling, having mainly to do with summer, yoga and life in general. Now I’m here to talk about a real happy camper. As in, this is about a real camp that makes some very special people feel special and yes, happy. It’s called “Camp Widow.” Sounds happy, right? Believe it or not, it is!
You may or may not know that I’m a widow, 5 years running now. I’m not going to dwell on it, if you’d like to learn more about this, you can read all about it here: www.lessonsfromlou.blogspot.com The important thing is that over the last five years, I’ve moved from depression to pretty much “happy camper” status. It took a lot of work to make that happen; false starts, experimenting, good times and bad, soul searching, family, friends, kitties, lattes, music, writing, nieces, etc etc etc. And yoga. Yes, I believe yoga played a very big role in this journey back to life. And because of it, I’ve wanted to help other women, through yoga, who may be experiencing similiar life transitions.
Enter Camp Widow. http://www.campwidow.org/ Camp Widow is an amazingly unique weekend of support for widowed people. Now in it’s third year, 275 people convened for it this past weekend to participate in workshops, a 5K marathon, and to bond and enjoy each others company. To meet new friends and old. To get a bit of R & R. To cry and laugh. To feel like a human again, even if just for a few days. And some did some yoga, led by yours truly. I was honored and humbled to be a part of this awesome weekend and to bring a little hope and good feelings, through yoga and meditation, to this special group of people. We did “Warrior Widow” poses (clasp hands behind back, stretch chest upwards toward the sky, open hearts, feel strong), we focused on the idea of hope. We didn’t have music due to a last minute change in venue, but “hope is the music of grief” (author unknown), and it seemed to work for us. Later in the day, I led a session called “Meditation Moment”, sharing some simple breathing and meditation techniques that are easily accessible to all.
Yes, there were tears. I heard some very sad stories of loss, young women left with babies, hopes and dreams dashed, reminding me, yet again, to be grateful for what I had, and what I still have. But there was happiness, too. Lots of it. I met some fantastic people, including the founder of Soaring Spirits, an inspirational woman who started all this just four short years ago after the unexpected death of her husband in a biking accident. She saw a need to provide support for widowed people and she has made it happen.
I’m so grateful to have been able to share yoga in this way. I’m hopeful I helped someone. But really, I think I’m the one who was helped. I left feeling uplifted, it’s so great to be able to reach out and connect in person.
If you know of anyone dealing with spousal loss, please share these links with them. They do not need to feel alone:
http://www.sslf.org/ (Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation)
http://widowedvillage.org/ (Widowed Village, a great resource for widowed people to chat, share, find each other.)
Thanks for stopping by today!