Real Life: Rising Like A Phoenix

We hear the message over and over about "being tried by fire."
It seems that this life is set up in a way that in order for you to have true strength and success, you must hit rock bottom.
Unfortunately, there's no way around it. Oh, how we wish it were much easier than that!
This beautiful artist painted faces all day on participants.

I was invited back to Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreat for an all day celebration with cancer survivors.

And there is nothing that speaks more to that truth than that!

Wind River hosted their 3rd Annual Wellness walk and hike on a beautiful Saturday to about 50 folks - survivors, their family and me.

I was flattered and honored to be invited back as one of their "special friends." (I have not suffered through cancer.) The hosts Dave and Shannon said they extended the invite because of the energy and love I could bring to the group.
So, how could you resist with such an invite?!
I took the three hour drive from Atlanta to the foothills of North Carolina and drank up all the positivity of the day.

As you can imagine, the start and finish line is symbolic in many ways

We started with a hike. ...More like a casual walk around their beautiful and healing property. I met a couple of new friends along the way who shared their journey through cancer with me.
I shared my story with them too.

Everyone was encouraging, loving, and happy...
because they had survived.

A lively group of women from Lafayette, Louisiana stayed the week. They cooked up some down home food, and by default, the theme of the event was Mardi Gras.
Masks and all!

There was a live band, and wine and beer from breweries down the road. So we ate, danced like no one was looking, sang, played in the river, rest on hammocks.

We were free.

It was a day of escape. 

And everyone treated it as such! 
We were encouraged to walk the trails and property to drink up all of the beauty the place had to offer.

At the end of the event, some folks floated rose petals in the river in memory of those who did not survive.

I am so pleased I took that spontaneous trip back to Wind River. 

Oh, by the way...the Wellness Walk was also a fundraiser.
If you would like to contribute to their cause, click here.

Check out this video of my day there.

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  2. what a beautiful post. great. i love this blog


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