FALL SESSION COMING SOON.
It’s time for camp!
Forget hot girl summer.
This is the summer of
embracing who we are.
Are you exhausted?
You’re trying your best to get it all done — work; the kids; all the emails; making some kind of space for movement or even a little tv time — and you fall in bed every night tired? You tell yourself to be logical and count down the hours until you have to wake up and start it all over again. You say to yourself, “I’m going to sleep now, because I’ll wake up tired again.”
But the phone calls to you. It’s easy. You can scroll through a hundred photos and videos on Instagram or funny cat videos on TikTok. It’s mindless. It’s sort of fun. It’s easy. And damn it, it’s the only time you’ve had to yourself all day.
So you wake up tired the next day. Again.
Who isn’t anxious right now? Spend too much time with the news and your brain starts to spiral with the overturning of fundamental rights for women, corruption in government, the war in Ukraine. And of course, lurking behind all of that is melting ice caps and what will happen due to climate crisis. It’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed.
Have you been trying to find some space for mindfulness in your life?
A little meditation outside? A walk in the woods? A few moments of silence while you sip your coffee? You know you feel better when you can pause and be present. You’re working on it.
You’ve learned a little. But you keep forgetting to make time for yourself.
It still isn’t a muscle memory, this need to make time for yourself and find your calm mind. You still put yourself last on the list, because you’re trying to please people and be a nice person. And this is who you were taught to be, by your family, your society.
You’ve spent your entire life using all your energy trying to be nice all the time.
Have you started to realize just how much of your exhaustion is from that worrying? That pleasing? That trying to fit in?
Maybe you have ADHD. Or you’re on the spectrum. You’ve suffered from trauma. Or these last few years of COVID have left you with anxiety as your first response to everything.
You keep going to that lunch, even though your brain says you’d feel more at ease at home. You keep having the in-laws over for visits, even though they’ve made it clear they don’t want vaccines and won’t wear masks. You keep saying yes to summer gatherings that overwhelm you.
Because you can’t say no.
A Letter from Your Camp Director.
Here’s what I know now.
Joy comes from embracing who we are.
I know this, deep in my heart and my gut.
I know difficult times. I know them well. My childhood was deeply traumatic, which stayed in my body and my habits for decades. I’ve struggled with my own mental health struggles, including being suicidal in my twenties. I’ve had major physical health challenges in my life. So have my kids.
And yet, I have become a grounded, powerful woman who practices fierce kindness.
How did this transformation happen, over time?
I wrote my way out.
22 years ago, I joined a Buddhist sangha and finally learned to sit meditation. I sat scared. I sat blaming myself. I sat anyway. Eventually, I turned that act of mindfulness into a habit of mind that keeps me remembering that my thoughts are not who I am.
When I realized that my body was keeping the score of all those years of trauma, I learned to move my body, joyfully. To sing. To dance. To give my body the primal rhythm that helps us move out of the dark tunnel of fear.
I learned that so much of what I thought was my fixed story was actually anxious responses to my trauma and to having ADHD. When I let go of the need to play a part in a story written for me long ago, I became myself.
I became free.
And I want that for you too.
And my goodness, I’m no guru. I never want to be a guru.
I still have overwhelming moments as a parent, a wife, a woman, and as a human in this world right now.
But I can be your guide.
My approach to joy isn’t superficial.
I’m never going to urge you to be happy! And I’m never going to suggest that you practice gratitude as a way of suppressing what’s truly not working in your life.
Instead, I want to help you to do what I have learned to do, deeply, in my life.
Here’s what we‘ll do together at Camp Curiosity.
Find your calm.
Learn to practice mindfulness. That means different techniques to pull you into the present moment and stay there for awhile. To let your mind be full of the present moment and nothing else.
That means learning to work with your own mind. To realize that looking at the world through an anxious lens is a bad habit we can slowly learn to change into a wider-mind lens of being curious about our story.
And to find community with other women who are doing the same.
Understand and honor the mind you have, instead of wishing you could be different.
It’s hard enough in this world to be a woman, in a culture that has trained us since birth to be nice and polite, instead of encouraging us to be direct, fiercely kind, and speak our minds.
It’s even harder to embrace who you are if you’re neurodivergent.
If you’ve endured trauma.
If you’ve grown up with the intergenerational trauma of growing up in this culture Black, brown, or anyone who is more melanated than the standard pale.
If you’re physically disabled.
If you’re overweight in a culture that hates women’s bodies unless they’re sexual decorations.
If living your own true life makes other people uncomfortable because they’re so damned rigid about gender, not realizing that it’s all a social construct.
If you’re anything other than the perfected ideal of what this culture wants from women, you’ve probably spent most of your life trying to break yourself so you can fit in. And let’s be honest, if you’ve been working all your life to be beautiful, you’ve also broken yourself to fit in.
You don’t have to live that way anymore.
Enjoy your life.
You may be so exhausted that you feel like you don’t have time for joy. Or you don’t know where to start. Even the inability to feel much joy makes you feel like you’re failing.
But when you begin to realize that joy is waiting for you, any time you can find your calm and be present, you feel more joy.
When you can begin to embrace who you are, not needing to please or dim your shine for others’ eyes, you start allowing yourself your own, weird interests. The little activities that gave you joy as a kid. You begin to give the passions that fill your mind time during the day to bloom and grow.
You begin to realize you’ve been sold a bill of goods all along. You don’t need a shiny new car, a facelift, or a side gig that finally makes enough money to allow you to relax before you can feel joy.
Joy is available to you. Right now. And I want you to know that joy.
This is why I’ve created Camp Curiosity.
And for women together, in community, feeling like they belong.
Take a deep breath.
You may be drawn to this camp. In fact, if you’ve read this far, your body knows you need this experience.
But it already sounds like a lot. And you haven’t even read all the activities we have planned.
You don’t have to show up for every single activity and event. In fact, we’d be worried if you did.
Camp Curiosity is flexible. I already know you’re exhausted.
• Come to any online sessions you want.
• Watch any mindfulness video you want.
• Take a week or two off for vacation.
• Decide you’re only coming for the variety shows.
Learn something from every morning bulletin and don’t come to a single meeting.
• Choose the path that works for your sensory needs and schedule.
You make the choice.
And — here’s another reason I created the camp this way — choosing what works for you in this virtual camp experience is a chance to practice standing up for what you need, in the moment, every single day.
This camp is for you.
This experience will give you the chance to learn how to embrace yourself, as you are.
Here are some of our Camptivities.
you’ll receive the
daily schedule, with suggestions for
creativity and joy.
you’ll receive a link to a new
mindfulness video I’ve created for you.
Let’s be present.
Every Monday, at 5 pm, Pacific time,
we’ll have an online conversation
about the topic of the week.
Let’s share our stories.
Thursday creative time
Every Thursday, at 5 pm, Pacific time,
we’ll have a conversation
with a powerful woman artist,
then hold space to create.
Let’s make art.
Saturday watch party
Every Saturday, at 11 am, Pacific time,
we’ll watch videos
and share memes that felt accurate.
Let’s learn and laugh.
Every 4 weeks,
we’ll each offer a talent or story
to each other online.
Let’s share ourselves.
Every day, any time,
you can log onto our
camp social media network.
Let’s learn to know each other.
Once a week,
women who can be on Vashon
will gather together in person.
Let’s meet each other.
Inclusive pricing model
Participating in this virtual summer camp is an emotional investment in yourself.
It shouldn’t cause you the emotional stress of financial worries.
That’s why we offer inclusive pricing for this virtual summer camp.