Color and Flow: Living the Emotional Spectrum
This virtual retreat is especially suited for female military survivors at least six months out from their loss who can identify a disconnect between emotions and the physical body - i.e., survivors who are feeling numb, shut down, or out of sync.
Grief and trauma can hijack the normal range of human emotions. At times we may feel like we’ve been “flash frozen” and we’re unable to access feelings and memories. On the other hand, we can feel hypersensitive and unprotected, like a raw nerve, where every emotion is extreme. Sometimes we need gentle thawing, sometimes we need to add some insulation.
If this resonates with you, we invite you to consider joining us for Color and Flow, an eight-week virtual retreat focusing on the ways that we feel blocked or unbalanced. Using movement and creativity, we’ll learn new languages for expressing ourselves and for resolving hurt, pain, and trauma. We’ll investigate where we’re closed off and where we’re wide open, working to understand how we can restore a healthy flow of emotions and energy. As we do, we’ll learn techniques for making sure that we can live vibrantly, even while we’re grieving - tapping into the power that comes from being able to function on the entire emotional spectrum.
Each week, we’ll focus on a different energy center in the body, setting the stage with an educational workshop and giving an overview of the week’s activities. We’ll follow with a group session full of accessible movement, color, creative expression, and supportive small-group discussions.
Color and Flow is a virtual Women's Empowerment retreat that will run for eight weeks and includes:
- Group Zoom Session: There are two different time options of zoom sessions to choose from: Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Eastern or Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Eastern. These cohort sessions will be around two hours long each week; we encourage blocking off around 2.5 hours to ensure that you have plenty of time on either side to catch your breath.
- Physical Activities and Creative Projects: Each cohort session will be about two hours. The first 45 minutes will be themed movement and meditation. A short (5 minute) break will follow, leading into 45 minutes of creative work (collage, painting, journaling, etc.) that builds upon the week's theme. This will be followed by 20-30 minutes of discussion, sharing, and summary.
- Weekly Overviews: Live introductory sessions will be held on Fridays at 1 p.m. Eastern and will cover the guiding principles for the week, explain the journaling and homework, and introduce the themes of mindfulness and observation for the next week. This session will be approximately one hour. In case you miss the live session, a recording will be available until Monday at 12 p.m. Eastern.
- Facebook Group: In order to facilitate discussion and sharing, participants will be invited into a private Facebook group for the duration of the experience. Participation in this element is not mandatory; rather, we encourage you to use this platform as another way to share, connect, and process.
All times listed below are in the Eastern time zone.
- Week 1: I am Safe
February 12, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
February 16, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
February 17, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 2: I Feel
February 19, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
February 23, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
February 24, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 3: I am Powerful
February 26, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
March 2, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
March 3, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 4: I am Love
March 5, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
March 9, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
March 10, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 5: I Express Myself
March 12, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
March 16, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
March 17, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 6: I Trust Myself
March 19, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
March 23, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
March 24, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 7: I Am Connected to Something Larger than Myself
March 26, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
March 30, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
March 31, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
- Week 8: More than the Sum of the Parts: Integration and Review
April 2, 1 p.m.: Overview (recording available)
April 6, 6 p.m.: Tuesday Cohort
April 7, 3 p.m.: Wednesday Cohort
One of the most important aspects of virtual retreats is building community and creating connections. This means that your full participation is a gift both to yourself and to the other participants. We expect that survivors show up for themselves and each other and be present for all sessions. Before completing a statement of intention, we ask that you consider whether or not you will realistically be able to make all of the sessions (at least 80%, or 6 of 8 weeks). It is your responsibility to ensure that expected and avoidable disruptions (work, childcare, competing social engagements) are taken into account so that you can share this special and transformational time with your small group of amazing women.
Plan to block out 4 to 6 hours each week in order to participate.
- 2.5 hours for cohort session (with breaks) - this includes 45 minutes of guided movement, 45 minutes of guided creative work, and time to share and discuss
- 30 minutes for weekly overview session (approximate; intro session may be longer)
- 1-3 hours each week outside of session to journal, do homework, etc.
Because of the small cohort size, space is very limited for this retreat. Eligible survivors are at least six months out from loss and are mentally and physically safe in their current environments. Eligible survivors will be able to commit time and energy to a meaningful, thoughtful process.
Survivors with physical limitations are welcome, as we all are challenged in different ways. Anyone with mobility concerns should be open to working with retreat leaders to develop a plan that allows full and mindful participation.
Survivors do not need to be artistic to participate, just open to allowing your creative side to come out and help you process through your emotional journey.
No Cost, Great Benefit: Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we are able to offer this experience to you at no cost.
We ask you to fill out a statement of intention between January 15 and 22, 2021 (look for the blue button at the top of this page at that time). This confirms you're willing to find the time, make the commitment, and show up for yourself and your sisters. After we confirm your statement of intention, you'll receive an email with more information.
If there’s a question of whether or not you can commit the time and emotional energy to this pilot offering, we are happy to answer your questions and discuss whether this is the right time for you to participate. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).
We anticipate that we will offer this retreat again, possibly in Fall 2021.