Is it possible to be haunted by Angels…it must be, because I am.
It’s been a week since the Angel Faces Retreat ended, yet every day I still see each of their faces, and it seems impossible that all of our lives are now going on separately from each other.
I look at the clock at 7:00 am and my first thought is “Oh I have to get to the big lawn for yoga with the girls.” Then I realize, that was another time and definitely another place.
I miss breakfast with them, reading a little pearl of wisdom that I found that day in my favorite book, “A Deep Breath of Life,” by Allen Cohen.
I miss seeing the girls practicing Balanced Breathing and feeling so grateful to have been able to teach it to them.
I think about how peaceful they all looked after their massages and facials. How beautiful they were after their professional make up sessions. I think about those wonderful girlie moments on the last day when four generous, talented stylists, from Salon by the Cove, in Solana Beach, came, set up shop and gifted each girl with a beautiful haircut and styling.
They felt and looked so “glam,” as they dawned their party dresses and went off for a final, special dinner at Glen Ivy Spa. They flirted and giggled up a storm with the very cute servers we had taking care of us. That wonderful night they were just teenage girls feeling happy and very beautiful.
So many lovely moments, so much raw courage, so much hope; it was a transformative experience for all concerned. This includes the amazing women who took a week away from their lives to volunteer at the retreat. They became Dorm Moms, Art Teachers, Make-up Artists, Nurses, Yoga Instructors, Role Play Facilitators, Therapists, Tennis Teachers, Life Guards, Logistics Coordinators and countless other jobs that made the retreat happen. They had wisdom and humor and a generosity of spirit that was an honor to behold.
This ‘Tribe’ was led by Lesia Cartelli, founder of Angel Faces, who was awesome in her ability to talk to the girls in a direct, down to earth manner. She spoke from a voice of experience and understanding that inspired the girls to break through their fear and pain and open up to transformation. In Lesia they found someone who ‘got’ their reality, because she too has lived through the trials and tribulations of burn trauma. No guess work or theory, she has been where they are, and has emerged from the ashes, an amazing human being.
She gave them concrete tools to help them face the taunting and staring that is an every day event in their lives. She taught them grace instead of anger, enabling them to disarm others with the kindness and compassion that the fire seems to have forged into their souls. It’s incredible to behold. Almost without exception, each of them wants to become a helping, healing professional, in order to give back what was given to them by nurses, coaches, teachers, doctors, family and friends.
It was a privilege to be in the presence of all of these beings, to see what’s possible when we all remember that love is all that really matters. And that love unleashed, is the most powerful force in the Universe.
Haunted by Angels…yes I am, but most beautifully so.