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Womens Circles Network: Heather Wolf


"Last spring was a time for me when the world looked staid, and there seemed little hope of breaking out of the box. I had one specific week I had to get away, and put that week into Google along with the word "retreat". What came up was synchronicity. A group of women from the west coast, it seemed, were gathering for a  "compassionate listening circle" in a place called "Yelapa". Where?? What??

Yelapa, it turns out, is a remote fishing village accessed by tiny boats off the coast of Puerta Vallarta, and inhabited by only 1500 native residents. No cars are allowed, only donkeys who carry your provisions, and wild parakeets who carry your dreams. There are
no brick or cement houses, only "Palapas," palm frond roofs on four or more posts with maybe some bamboo walls for privacy and a sleeping loft. In your loft you are rocked to sleep under the stars accompanied by the insistent sound of the sea.

Many of these ten women knew one another, so I could have walked into an intimidating situation. But from our first circle on the very first day, Linda Wolf pulled out her bag of magic. She is a gifted facilitator with a heart as large and colorful as all of Mexico. As each of us shared our stories, why we had come, where we were in our lives, it was quickly apparent that we were making a family. A FUNCTIONAL, safe, loving family.

And the food! Yum! Linda's partner and gourmet chef du jour, Eric, took Yelapa's abundant local fare and transformed it into such happiness for our tummies. I begged him and his inner Julia Child to come home with me, but he insisted he was already previously engaged.

At night, we cranked up the music, hoola hooped, danced, giggled, became twelve again, or dressed to the nines and went on the town. We went to a waterfall in the wilderness and swam naked, we went on field trips and ate meals at the home of locals who warmly invited us in. We explored deep into Yelapa's amazing abundance. We explored deep into the mysteries of ourselves. It was a magical time. How happy I am for synchronicity.

If you find yourself wanting to get away from this world into an indescribably lush and beautiful setting, and doing something
really really unique with a week, treat yourself to one of Linda's retreats. It's the kind of time that will stay with you. One that you can call up from your heart whenever the world feels impossible and all too much to bear."

--Ally Aker, poet, author, filmmaker, New York

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