In step with everything being so different in the last twelve months, this year is marked by the event of the first virtual Leaders’ Guild Retreat the Guidance Panel has ever organised. Whether it will also be the last remains to be seen.
After nearly a whole year of no camps, dance groups or other weekend retreats, there had grown a deep yearning to connect again for a lot of members of the LG, to see each other and to reach out, albeit in a virtual but no less heartfelt space.
Thus from Friday the 28th in the evening to the afternoon of Sunday the 31st of January we met in a zoom room for a retreat under the aptly named theme “Resilience in Troubled Times”.
We had invited contributions from all mentors of the LG as is traditional for our in-person annual weekend, but also with the possibility of offering standalone sessions throughout the year for those mentors who could not join us.
Within this time frame we had 5 sessions with each module being held by one of the GP with an opening practice, chant or dance.
In the mentors’ space we were gifted with one or two beautiful dances, a meditative practice and a sharing space. Also a lovely rounding off by other leaders with contributions of poems, songs and dances.
The GP also arranged for a longer sharing session on Saturday evening, where we split into 3 groups to discuss the themes of the Dances in a pandemic, inclusivity within the Dances and cultural appropriation.
Not to forget an impromptu lunch meeting for informal chatting!
Some of us had already become seasoned zoom surfers, while for others it was their very first virtual experience, but I think from which ever place on the spectrum we came, we could draw something from the well of richness, creativity and love thus shared in this little bubble of togetherness.
It was altogether so wonderful see each other, to make sure we are still “there” even without touching, to share our experiences of the past year and especially to see those of us who cannot normally make a physical retreat.