love bombers retreat (day 1)

Aug 15, 2008 | Life in Progress

this photo magically captures the intense pride and warmth and beaming of how i felt the entire time (karen has a talent for capturing the essence of who we are, whether we know it yet or not).

tears are welling up over here as i sit on this red couch of mine. i don’t want to be dramatic, but i don’t want to be untruthful either. so dramatic it is. you’ll have to bear with me…i’ll start from the beginning.

i arrived at our love bomber retreat completely exhausted, like a small girl losing her footing on the quickening hamster wheel of her life. this keeping up with the busyness while dispassionately mining the details for heart and hope had left me feeling squarely disconnected, wondering when i would finally crack open and feel my life again.

then i arrived in manzanita, oregon with jen lemen (a small coastal town that holds meaning for both of us). as we waited for all the love bombers to arrive at our ocean side cabin, we held hands and blessed the space with our eyes squeezed shut. we hid colorful hope notes all over the place for our friends and for ourselves to discover later. we bundled fresh lavender and gigantic sunflowers into vases. we asked for kindness to unfold gently, that it would show us the way. we set our artful gifts atop the fireplace and all around, placed fresh oregon fruit onto the coffee table, and spoke extensively about love and how it mysteriously arrives in our lives exactly as it should. we also talked about wanting to invite being seen at this retreat, that this was something i in particular needed. deeps stuff. light stuff. we were tending to our friendship and preparing for the days ahead. jen often declares this is good. and it was. we were ready.

and then they arrived. all 11 of them. and it was magic. and smiles. and deep, deep warmth. and instant connection and conversation. i had no idea that it would be like this. that i would, over the course of a couple of days, receive exactly what i needed and be seen in ways that were profoundly transformative for me. that these women, without even trying to do it, would collectively mirror back to me the best parts of myself, and that i would see those parts clearly for the first time maybe ever, and that it would feel like falling in love. it’s hard to capture here in this paragraph exactly what i’m trying to say but i suppose it is this: these women gifted me sight. sight into my power and hope and brokenness and even my bigness, especially my bigness. there i was, in the cracks, in the wide open spaces, in their hearts and in mine…deeply seen. it is something i wish for every dear heart on the planet to feel. because it is a gift we all deserve to have.

of course in the next breath, i am just about peeing my pants with laughter over wigs and bonfires and new dance moves and booty shaking. all of our soul parts were tended to, even our sillyness.

i still have so much to say and to share. i hope you will stick it out with me, daily stories and all.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (15 comments)
  1. Mrs.French

    every woman should have the opportunity to do this…every one of us…so fitting that you chose “my beach”…that is what I call it. Manzanita is magical.

  2. Katrina

    lovely photo. and post. and a new haircut too? i think change is in the air… i see it in everyone. welcome home to you.

  3. kelly rae

    kelly, oh my, of course i remember you! so glad to see you have started a blog!

  4. Kelly Vaagsland

    Hey Kelly! Remember me? The other "artist Kelly" from Oakland, who also moved there from Oregon, etc., etc. I've been perusing through your blog a bit. Congrats on it all! It all just makes me think – we really do need to meet up!!
    I also noticed you're leading creative workshops – even more reason to meet up! (who knows where the paths could cross?!). Signing off with my latest projects:
    & the latest – (site still in the works).
    Looking forward to connecting soon?!

  5. stephanie t.

    ohhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!
    You look RADIANT!
    Big ole weepy tears vicariously through all of you.
    i am speechless

  6. pen*

    i {loved} the way you wrote about ‘being seen’. i think that is so incredibly powerful, and you encapsulate it beautifully.

    until such good fortune falls my way, i shall enjoy living vicariously through your juicy words!

    ps. any chance of exporting a love bombers retreat to the uk? 😉

  7. stephanie alaine

    jealous, jealous. but OH sO gLAd for you and these women.

    looking forward to manifesting that kind of joy and SEEING into my days…somehow. someway.

    starting to ask for it, starting today. 🙂

  8. Christianne

    I, for one, will totally stick it out with you to hear the whole thing, drama or no drama! Love this. I’m so glad it was exactly what you needed. I love that you took this step, brave girl.

  9. Stacey

    Sounds beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing….

  10. Paula

    Oh this sounds sooooooooooooo good. I feel better just knowing you do. How do I join this club?????

  11. shari

    sounds like such a great retreat. looking forward to more stories.

  12. Julie @ Letter9

    I can actually see the effect of the retreat in your writing. This is a lovely post and so well crafted. I can tell that retreat did you some good, lady. So yay for that!

  13. Brené

    I came home from Oregon thinking, “How did I not know here?” I have a piece of your art hanging in my house. Now that I know you, I understand why I smile every single time I walk by it.

  14. justagirl

    such a wonderful time to share together, and because of the way you write I feel I can share it too… the last bit about silly business made me smile. Am looking forward to reading more.


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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