A Story About Passion (& an Invitation to Italy)
I got to tell you this story.
It happened 17 years ago.
It was Spring and I was restless.
I was 21 and I only knew two things for sure:
1. I wanted to learn Italian
2. I wanted to watch the sunrise from the ocean
Both of these things felt equally important to my young and passionate soul, and so I let their intersection guide me.
I opened up a map of Italy, put my finger on its coastline, and traced it down till it's Eastern most point.
I had never been to this place before, but I knew it's where I needed to go.
I bought a plane ticket and train ticket. My destination was a city I had never heard of on the Salento peninsula of Puglia, Italy's southernmost region. The landmass of Italy famously looks like a fancy boot on a map, and I was headed to its stiletto heel.
All of Italy is sexy, but this region is pointedly so.
What was I searching for?
Why did I so desperately need to come here to find it?
I didn't know the answer to those questions and I didn't even try to answer them before I left home. Like a devoted pilgrim, I tucked them into my heart, honoring them deeply, and faithfully packed my bags.
Maybe it was this Rilke quote that gave me the courage to act without answers:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
I set out on my adventure, not knowing who I would be when I returned.
- I learned Italian and how to make gnocchi from scratch.
- I watched sunrises and sunsets with new friends.
- I swam in turquoise waters and took in cones of gelato like daily vitamins for my childlike soul.
- I rode my own Vespa for the first time and explored olive groves 1000 years old.
- I fell briefly in love with a boy named Edu from Chile who taught me the word equilibrio.
My one month stay turned into five.
I lived everything.
I lived the questions in my heart and I lived them with gusto.
In that experience I tasted my own talent for life: My ability to do something both whimsical and bold in order to honor and unveil something still unknown within me.
It is now "some distant day" as the Rilke quote spoke of, and I have without knowing it lived into the answer I was searching for.
What I was searching for was my own hidden wholeness. I didn't know what to call it then, but now I do.
I was a young woman and I needed to find my own inner Sophia, that archetype of the sexy and enlightened woman within; a woman who knows how to make perfect peace with her spirituality and sexuality so that she can live in the world confident and free.
I wanted to know the woman within me that was masterful at living life to the full. The woman who was present in her body, awake in her mind, alive in her soul.
A woman who embodied her womanhood with fearlessness and grace.
- A woman who felt everything (the good and the bad) and juiced everything for whatever sweetness it held.
- A woman whose highest values and deepest desires were reconciled and hers.
A woman who discovered the secret: that Infinite Tenderness lived within her...
and she could abide with that Love whenever she needed or wanted.
At 21 I had tasted the deepest truths about who I was as a woman. It lived in me and all of it was mine...
But...I didn't have a guide to explain it to me, or teach me the practices that would help me unveil its fullness, my fullness.
It would take me years (and so much suffering) to understand how to really own the truth of who I am, and the supreme importance of living it.
My life for the last 17 years has been about discovering what it is that makes a woman come alive-- spiritually, emotionally, physically, erotically, so that she can live it consciously, and use it to heal her past and transform her future as a woman.
It's a great privilege to get to compassionately guide other women the way I longed to be guided.
I believe this wholeheartedly:
All women have their own special talent for life.
If we are intent on discovering it, we will.
And if we give ourselves the gift of the right kind of adventure we will discover it sooner rather than later.
This is why I took 4 women to Rome with me last December and why I am inviting 10 women to join me in Southern Italy this July.
This is what I am made for (and you are too): to burn hot for what we love.
I want to give you an immersive and undeniable experience of your own hidden wholeness, one so powerful, it will nurture and inspire you for decades to come.
This kind of experience has the power to shift whole lineages. Its one of the reasons I feel that it is so holy. Chains get broken. Pizza gets eaten. Wine gets drunk. Freedom is celebrated.
Everything you are as woman belongs.
I can't tell you how passionate I am about this retreat. I've had this vision of us coming here for many years and now it's time.
This will be a small group experience. It's not very everybody, but for the ones who are called, I am certain it will transform us into more of who we are created to be.
This retreat immediately sold out when I announced it in January. Now, 4 spots have come open. I believe it's because 4 of you are meant to be there (I cannot wait to hug you in Italy!)
No place in the world lights me up more than Italy. I can't wait for you to see it through my eyes, and for it to help you live everything burning inside of you with love.
Grace & Peace & Waves of Gelato,