A Mother Finds Healing at Empowerment Retreat

Author: Belinda Barron

The setting in Sedona was spectacular — it felt like heaven met earth. I stood in awe in of the surroundings, which helped me feel alive, grateful and blessed. The landscape changed moment to moment according to your perspective.  As our perspective went to a more gracious and giving place, our soul’s happiness grew and our ability to trust and love grew accordingly. The beauty was indescribable. We stayed outside in wonder at all times during the day and night. We watched intensely the sunrise, sunset and the moonlight in the middle of the night. This made me feel so different, alive, full of reverence and loved. I learned to feel calm and at one with the universe again which filled me with great peace.

Earlier this year, I went to the TAPS Women’s Empowerment Retreat in Sedona, Arizona. I am a surviving mother who is working through her grief one step at a time. I lost my son, Cpl. Joshua Barron in 2011. In Sedona, I have found a community to grow with and heal even more.

In this place I found myself in a community of giving women where we learned to trust universal power, humanity and ourselves again. We learned to laugh and love again, and learned that it was good to be happy and whole without guilt.  We reaffirmed our loved ones are with us in a different way and they were glad we were happy and whole.

Belinda Barron is shown with new survivor friends she made at a TAPS empowerment retreat Belinda Barron is shown with new survivor friends she made at a TAPS empowerment retreat in Sedona, Arizona. She is seated in the back row, center. Photo courtesy of Belinda Barron.

We learned to take care of ourselves — we need to walk, hike, commune with nature, exercise, meditate and have a balanced life to feel happy and whole. We learned to heal ourselves by tapping into our inner power once again being present with God or the universe.

8 Lesson I Learned

I brought lessons home that I would like to share with other grieving mothers:

  1. Through meditation, become firmly rooted in your true self in your core of existence. This allows you to move through your changing emotions and not get stuck in them, even in the midst of change and chaos.
  2. Your true self doesn’t change; keep rooted in your core self, as this is how you overcome obstacles and fulfill your dreams.
  3. When things are hard and confusing, be still, breathe and find strength within. Meditate on these words, “I am loved. I am amazing. Everything will be OK.” Your soul will become at ease, your body will rest and find new strength.
  4. Do yoga to stretch your body, connect with the spirit and heal.
  5. Exercise because mental health is connected to exercise—it helps with grief, depression, sadness and anxiety.
  6. If you’re anxious, tap your feet together, focus on a body part with movement and purpose and you will get out of your head and anxiety will be reduced. This will also improve insomnia and release pent up energy to allow you to be calm.
  7. Learn to smile again. Practice, it makes your soul happy.
  8. To quit an addiction, you have to have a dream or purpose. If you have a dream or purpose you will treat your body well. What is your dream or purpose? 

If you have never gone to a TAPS women’s retreat I would recommend going to one. The TAPS team and the other women survivors truly help you to grow and heal.

Belinda Lynn Barron is the surviving mother of Cpl. Joshua Barron, USMC.