The Unfuck Yourself Retreat is an annual 4-day event by The Goddess Academy, a Facebook group where women share uncommon knowledge about Goddesshood. The group was founded by life coach and author of the bestselling books; The Goddess Bootcamp and The Goddess Mojo Bootcamp and Founder of The Goddess Academy, Kagiso Msimango.
The event was in its third year this year, there were 22 women attending the event this year. I went to the first one and I was never ready for this one. This year’s theme was Love the Body You Have. The retreat was perfect timing, not only was it around the gender based violence in South Africa but I’m exiting my 20’s in a few days. I’m feeling slightly anxious but excited. I also needed this retreat to seal off unfinished business and to recall myself from the busyness.
The venue of the retreat is a heaven on Earth called Bush Willow in Muldersdrift. The facilitators choose this venue for its amazing nature elements, a Cape Town in Gauteng. There are mountain views at every angle, there’s a river on the other side, a warm pool, a fire utility and an amazing breeze from morning till night.
Day 1 – The Caterpillar
We got there around 4pm, feeling frustrated because of work. But as soon as I entered the Bush Willow, I cried and felt calmer. The first night was easy going, we had time to reflect on our body issues. I went there with none really, but I soon discovered that I did have a few issues to heal and clear. One of them was how ungrateful I was for the many times my body has been there for me. Like how many people do you know who have sat through a silent retreat for 10 days and meditated for over 12 hours a day? How many people do you know model the clothes they make, almost daily? I had a few sistas there to remind me of the “smallest things”, while my mind ran off to search for the “big achievements”. The journey had begun; from self-criticism to self-celebration.
Day 2 – Cocoon
The next day was full of activities, the morning kicked off with a two hour hike and then expressive movement. Part of loving the skin you’re in is acknowledging, loving and celebrating your sensuality. I almost forgot how to be sexy without the approval of a man, I noticed how I often times find myself wanting to do sexy things for him and not for myself. Re-owning that part of me was weird at first but liberating eventually. Hey man, I am sexy though hey. I was telling a friend of mine how buying new underwear has me looking at life differently. I’m now a fan of lacey, bodysuit underwear and I’m exploring with colour. A whole me. I digress.
There were other activities during the day and we ended the day with Shammanic drumming. The drum leader was pleasantly surprised at how we danced a lot and caught on to the beats very quickly. We danced and sung to every chance. It was magical being under the stars while we were drumming away, I caught a shooting star that made it even more special for me. After that, a fire was set up for us and we had dinner by the fire while talking and laughing about girl stuff.
Day 3 – Cocoon/Butterfly
I was looking forward to everything but the breath-work. You see, I practice breath work at home and it often leaves me wanting to take a nap afterwards so I knew it would be interesting (another way of saying, I knew it would kick my ass. And it did!). I appreciated doing it in the presence of practitioners because it felt safer. We take for granted how much (pain and trauma) our bodies hold on to because we don’t breathe properly. A 30-45 minute session will have you crying, laughing, screaming and/or shouting. When it’s done well, you will feel lighter physically and emotionally. But it’s not magic, it requires constant practice in order to feel a shift.
After that, we stepped out of the program and went to the river for a nude pic phtoshoot. Never ever have I ever had so much fun. The weather allowed and the fountain added to the beautiful background. Mother Nature had a full view of everything. There were four of us who bared it all for Mother Nature.
We ended the day with a body celebration. The plan was to have a mini color festival (with colored powder) and then swim with our colored clothes but, skinny dipping sounded like a better idea. Great music, a warm pool and great company. I almost forgot what it was like to party with no narcotics.
We sang and danced in the water until it got cold and moved the party by the fire. The party went on for what felt like hours as we sipped on rooibos tea and water. Those who got hungry snacked on fruit. I thought it was well into the AM’s, only to find out it was 10pm. We were content and went to sleep.
Day 4 – Butterfly
I literally blinked and it was day 4. In the morning I sat by the fire thinking; I need to spend more time in nature. It’s the most powerful healer. Talking about nature, I thought I loved chocolate until I had it in its rawest form, cacao. Not cocoa, cacao. The retreat ended with a cacao ceremony which sealed things off beautifully. Let’s just say, my tribe is a weird tribe and I would do every single thing with them again.
The After Math
I have a new found love and respect for my body and I can see how it’s always been there for me. I look at my body differently and treat it differently. I take my time moisturizing it in the morning, I’m more present when I take a bath and I’m more grateful for it as it is.
Before the retreat I pushed myself to go on but I realised rest is part of productivity and my body knows best. The weekend after the retreat, I spent the whole weekend in bed because my body yearned for rest. I jumped straight into a hectic week of work travel and presentations after the retreat, not that I need a reason to allow my body to rest.
Oh and my relationship with food, I allow myself to have dessert when I feel like it. Did I mention I do a sexy dance when I catch myself in front of the mirror with my new sexy underwear.
I can honestly say; I will walk out of the second decade with a warm and full heart.
I feel unfucked! And loving it.