Questions & Answers

Gaylie Cashman

What does “befriending my body” mean?
Befriending your body is to be present to yourself and listen more deeply within. Even up to the last 200 years, people were not overtaken with devices, social media, jet pace, and noise. Our ancestors engaged with their bodies to make it through the day. We easily lose touch with our bodies as our ancestors experienced them. We don't scrub clothes, chop wood to heat our homes, or walk across the country like the pioneers. We sit comfortably as we fly across the country, drive-through for a meal, hear music as we shop, and our clothes wash by themselves. We befriend our bodies when we slow down our movements to pay attention to them, which anchors us in the present moment so we can listen to our innermost selves.

How would I know if I have disconnected from my body?
We’ve all had experiences that evoke a certain reaction, or felt sense in our body. If we are embarrassed, our face turns red, and if we are anxious, we might get a knot in our stomach. But when overwhelmed or shamed about feelings, especially early in life, and you silence authentic parts of you, you may find yourself numb and disconnected. Experiences stored in your body memory in an unintegrated way may show up in a particular posture or health symptom like fatigue or aches and pains.

How will befriending my body help me hear my still small voice?
As you bring your attention and intention to listen to your body’s felt senses you enhance your capacity to hear the voice of your spirit, a knowing deep within that is beyond words. We now know our heart and gut have brain cells. These are God-given resources to help us navigate our lives. When we are disconnected, we cannot access these resources, including our sense of the Spirit of God in us. 

What does ‘embodied spiritual formation’ mean? 
Embodied means ‘alive’, ‘in the flesh,’ or ‘come to life.’ Embodied spiritual formation is listening and paying attention with your whole self. Spiritual formation is growing an authentic relationship with self and God. It is not intellectualizing God, or knowing about God, but about experiencing and awakening to how God is indwelling, or embodying, your whole self. God seeks to encounter us in our humanity.

Why call it a 'group retreat' instead of a 'workshop?'
The intention of a 'workshop' is for people to engage in extensive discussion and activity with a mental focus. The intention of 'group retreats' is for people to participate in a community with the intention to slow down, be present, and prayerfully reflect in the solitude of their innermost selves. It is a wholistic approach to support the process of reconnecting within. 

What are the benefits and results I can expect from group retreats?
Outcomes will vary from one person to the next, and from one session to the next. This quiet and deeper way of listening leaves an imprint on your brain to be more conscious and present in your everyday life. Happiness cannot exist in unconsciousness. These practices reset our souls. Just like each gym workout impacts your muscles beyond that session, dedicated time for slowing down and being present gives you more capacity to return to that state in your daily life.  

Here are some benefits that others have experienced and that you can anticipate: 

  • Bring healing and meaning to your life experiences.

  • Become aware of the root of habits or patterns that hinder you.

  • Learn to handle stress with more tools and new perspectives.

  • Accept yourself with less judgment and more love.