Until four years ago, I considered myself a very meat & potatoes kind of gal.
Not that meat and potatoes are necessarily a bad thing!
But I was always quite pragmatic, in that I rarely looked deep inside myself, instead focussing on what was immediately on the surface. My day in one sentence: “Right. Time for work! What will I be having for dinner tonight? My leg is itchy. Better scratch it. Home time! Shower time! Sleep time!”
Now that I look back, it is quite a dull way to live. Of course, it’s important to be grounded and present, but I had unknowingly reached a stage where I was no longer chasing my goals or exploring life.
I was merely existing.
I can remember when this all started to change for me, when I reignited my inner fire and started to recognise how much more of life was to be lived. But I’ll talk about that another time.
Apologies for the tangent. I thought I’d give a quick background into who I used to be, so you can see how much has changed between now and then.
Four years ago, I would’ve rolled my eyes at the mere mention of a Red Tent event. “A bunch of oogedy boogedy mumbo jumbo” or something to that effect. I was such a granny! 😉
New ideas and new experiences terrified me, and I was quite happy to stay nestled in my comfort zone.
Well, let me tell you: that is no way to live. That is a way to exist, yes, but not to live!
Just quickly, I’ll give a brief history on the concept of Red Tent.
The RED TENT was a place where women would traditionally gather each month to meditate, consult oracles, share their experiences and channel wisdom for themselves, each other, and the wider community. It was a place where women cherished, nurtured and supported one another, where they could rest and rejuvenate.
In early September 2016, I went to a Red Tent event hosted in NSW, Australia. I was originally to go with a dear friend of mine, but circumstances beyond her control meant she couldn’t make it.
So there I was, the most ginormous introvert, going into a strange building and having no idea what to expect. Oh I might add, it was one of the windiest days I had ever experienced. My impersonation of The Flying Nun was coming along nicely, walking from my car to the front door!
In I go, to be greeted by the event organiser, the absolutely lovely, convivial Belinda of Ocean Soul Sanctum.
The first thing I see, after laying down my yoga mat, is the altar adorned with candles, oracle cards, crystals, jewellery, singing bowls, figurines and fresh flowers.
I was handed a little complimentary goody bag, as the only first timer of the little Red Tent circle, thanks again to the awesome and generous Belinda!
We are just about ready to convene, so I placed my items on the altar — a Saraswati necklace and a Citrine crystal I carry with me everywhere I go — and we were all called upon to light a candle whilst silently expressing our intentions / hopes / wishes for the coming month.
At first, I was very intimidated, as the other ladies were discussing crystals and dream recall, among other things outside my scope of knowledge. Early on, I felt like there was a flashing neon purple sign on my forehead saying: “You don’t belong here, you amateur! Why did you even bother leaving the house today??”
Don’t get me wrong: it was all relaxed and informal, with a bubbly and charismatic atmosphere, but I had nothing to contribute to the conversation, and part of me just wanted to run out the door and never come back.
But I pushed through the panic, and I’m ever so glad I did. Otherwise, I would have missed an amazing experience!
My Red Tent experience, in bullet point
Every Red Tent event is unique, depending on where and which month you go, but I will lay out what this particular day was like for me:
- We had a guided meditation designed to fill our Red Tent circle with energy and love. It is still a bit blurry to me, and I can’t remember all the details because I was very relaxed and zoned out the entire time. All I remember is feeling completely safe and nurtured.
- We introduced ourselves.
- During some group discussion, I bit the bullet and admitted I didn’t know much about Mercury Retrograde. Belinda then patiently explained it to me, without making me feel like a dumb arse for not knowing 😉
- I drank lemon and ginger tea. It really hit the spot.
- We drew goddess oracle cards from the pack, and here’s where it gets weird. This is what I drew, and when I turned it over I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here’s what jumped out at me, and was the brightest card in the deck:
- We all went through and described our connection to the cards we’d drawn. I explained that “PLAY” is my word of the year: my theme for 2016! (Once again, it’s a long story as to why this is my word of the year. I’ll go into that some other time, too) I then placed my card on the altar, and learned of a meditation exercise where I could get in touch with the goddess Bast. I can’t wait to give it a try! 😀
- We had another guided meditation with Belinda’s soothing voice, themed around Aphrodite. It was very descriptive and rejuvenating, and focussed on washing away negative self talk and seeing your beauty, internally and externally, and letting your gifts and your light shine.
- Tea break. Home made bliss balls were the bomb!
- Chakradance. At the time, this was where I felt the most vulnerable, and I had never heard of the concept, but I felt amazing when it was over! There was a guided track for each of the seven chakras. Here’s an example of the dialogue: “Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, you emerge a warrior: empowered, energised, unique. take up your rightful space in the world…” You close your eyes and allow your body to move however it feels compelled to move. There are no rules. I let myself go, listened to the words, felt the beat and filled my soul. (Here are the Root Chakra and Sacral Chakra to give you an idea. I highly recommend listening to all seven of them. I’m even planning on buying a copy!)
Conclusion, take aways, and lessons learned
So, I finished the day with sore hips and feet but a renewed spirit!
There was a lot more in between, with various discussions and so on. I’m not really doing it justice in my bullet point descriptions, but that will give you a general idea of the kinds of things you can expect — or not expect — when you go to a Red Tent event.
Nearly four hours later, from when I first started the day, I felt like a new person! I was emotionally exhausted and rejuvenated at the same time. Work that one out! 😛
I realised I haven’t been taking care of myself nearly as much as I should be, and realised my own cup was bone dry.
I am, at the moment, slowly refilling my cup and I know now just how important it is to continue to do so. I have emptied my cup of the festering dregs of negativity, given it a rinse, then brimmed it with vibrant positivity.
I grabbed my now enchanted trinkets from the altar, pocketed them, said an emphatic thank you to Belinda, and bounded out the door with the feeling of walking on air and imbued with the flight of a phoenix. I can’t really describe it any other way. I was reborn, pure and simple.
My advice to all the ladies out there: go to a Red Tent event! Seriously, just do it. You really have nothing to lose, and shit tonnes to gain! I know the concept may be terrifying, to allow yourself to be so vulnerable and I don’t mean to sound like a walking cliché, but if I can do it, anyone can.
You will meet amazing women, discover something new about yourself, and remember things about yourself that make you the unique, beautiful woman that you are!
Until next time…