Here I am, two weeks post She Recovers LA, and it’s only in the past few days that I’ve been able to truly digest the experience.

 

PICTURE THIS
Three days at the iconic Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles with 600 women all of whom are recovering from something. Trauma, grief, workaholism, substance use disorder to name a few.

THE AGENDA
Friday night was the Convening and the excitement of connecting with old friends and new was palpable. Saturday, the Conversation,  was an opportunity to tune in to ourselves and the people around us. The Celebration was Saturday night and the atmosphere in the International Ballroom was electric. Last but not least, the Call to Action on Sunday sparked the flame of inspiration and gave us some tools and motivation to bring our ideas to life.

JUST BREATHE
As a side note, when I first got there … It’s funny how after more than 14 years doing recovery and thinking I’m good, all those pesky shadows show up and decide to tag along with me. They show up and make my hands sweat. They tell me these sophisticated little lies that try to keep me invisible. They undermine my confidence, provoke my anxiety, tell me I’m not worthy, that I’m a fraud. But even though those buggers came for the ride, I didn’t let them drive the bus!

This event turned out to be so much more than I anticipated. So much more than a getaway to meet some online friends face to face. So much more than a little reprieve from my busy life. It was the medicine I didn’t even know I needed!

a group of women standing at a tall table in a garden smiling at the camera

She Recovers LA was all about empowerment, inspiration, and connection — and with creativity, passion and an eye for excellence Dawn, Taryn, Payton, and Dara delivered beautifully.

We learned about ourselves and others and gained new perspectives. We laughed and we ate delicious meals. We danced. Have you ever been to a silent disco? (God bless Payton—IT WAS HER IDEA!)

We watched the sunset over the ocean at Santa Monica Pier. We stalked celebrities in the lobby during the BAFTA Tea Party. We cruised Rodeo Drive with a stop for lunch and a few of us even hopped on the TMZ Celebrity Bus Tour hoping to catch a glimpse. Did I mention we laughed?

And I don’t say this just because she’s my niece, but Saturday morning yoga with Taryn Strong tapped into my heart so profoundly that I could not bear to cheat on her Sunday morning with the celebrity Pilates instructor I had signed up for (Sorry Nicole)! As for the meditation with Biet Simkin, two words: fucking amazing!

We cried. A lot. Cue the Sarah Blondin meditation.

THE SPEAKERS
Over the course of the weekend, we heard from a diverse group of women, all of whom inspired us with their stories. They validated our strengths and gave us permission to be ourselves. They showed us we liberate each other by revealing our true selves. They taught us there is wisdom in every wound and there is no need to hide our insecurities to be loved and accepted. We learned that we are stronger together which invites us to co-create a safe space in order to grow and thrive.

We listened to change-makers who are making a difference, smashing the stigma, and making our voices heard across the globe.

All of us came away feeling invigorated and motivated to do more to support the recovery movement in whatever capacity we can.

APPRECIATION & GRACE
My heart is bursting with gratitude for the connections, the laughter, the inspiration, the shopping (which, I’ll have you know, came in under budget!).

And I know without a doubt, when I’m feeling a little off balance or unsure, all I need to do is reach out and summon the help of my community, and  the women who have my back.

Photo: Liana Kennedy, Kennedy Recovery Coaching

PS: And in case you were wondering, I also learned that you’re an eyelash extension person or you are not. I am definitely the latter.