Thursday, September 23, 2010


Every time I think of LD82, I am awash with really good memories -- the peace and quiet, the belongingness, the quiet rest, the stories, and my brain can go on and on naming the many different things that LD82 weekend was for me. But I think my favorite take away from the retreat would have to be my sharegroup (yes, I think we do have to think of a shorter, cuter name).

JR and Giddi and the back of my head
Mavic and me and my super story

Like I mentioned in a previous entry about the retreat, a rule on silence was imposed on the second day of the retreat. It was a strictly silent Saturday, save for the stories we shared in the sharegroup. After Tom, the first sharer, all our names were called out into groups of 3. I remember my name being called out for group 3 and proceeding to the end of a tiny hallway in Karis. Little did I know, that that group would change the course of the rest of my retreat.

I sat down with my group and we introduced ourselves. Our faci was Giddi and my two other group mates were JR and Mavic. Our group looked pretty regular to me, nothing special with us four. I just thought we'd just, you know, swap some stories and insights, maybe some witty banter, and then part at the end of the retreat. I thought that yes, I'd remember their names, maybe some of their stories, but after the retreat they'd just be shoved at the back of my head as 'old retreat friends'. The kind of people you file under 'casual acquaintances', the kind that you nod and smile at when you see them at the mall, the kind you never call after the retreat.

At our Karis spot :)
Sharegroup Step 1
Our task was to answer the questions following Module 1. The questions were simple. We were just asked 'where we were' and 'why we were at the retreat'. Sounded pretty simple to me. Little did I know that answering those mundane questions would open a gate of opportunity for sharing, for stories, for friendship.

As if on cue, we all shared our stories -- no holds barred from session 1. It was as if someone pushed the 'play' button and we just all went on and on. Our minds knew we were in the company of practical strangers, but the stories just all came out.

 Mav and I like to kid that there was something about that group that made us say pretty much everything and then just feel the embarrassment after. I kept telling them half-jokingly that doing all the sharing made me feel naked. And knowing everyone else in the retreat was sharing something very personal kind of makes me feel we were all walking around naked. Which was an iffy thought, so I always had to add, 'not in a sexy way' :p

I had no idea I'd bare my soul to three random strangers, pour my heart out and tell them things only my journal gets to hear. I sometimes still get embarrassed remembering the things I said. But there's something about saying it out loud that gave me relief. Yes it was embarrassing, but it was also oddly empowering and surprisingly cleansing.

#SentiSabado aka Sad Songs Only Karaoke :p

Sharegroup Outside Karis
It's been 3 weeks and counting since the retreat and no, I haven't filed them under 'casual acquaintance' and no, the expected 'never see them again after the retreat' didn't exactly pan out. Never have I been happier to be proven wrong.

Cheers to our safe place, to our stories, and our always awesome conversations. Thank you, thank you.  Til the next Senti Sabado :p

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