BENEFITING: Courage Beyond
Together with Her War Her Voice, Courage Beyond hosts military spouse retreats throughout the country. There, Courage Beyond offers healing and support for the spouses of active duty service members. These retreats usually last 3 days and include counseling opportunities, assessment, coping skills training, rehabilitative efforts and group support.
We recently asked former retreat participants to describe the parts of their retreat that have impacted them. These are some of their answers:
“The moment I knew I was in the right place was on the last day as we were leaving and were gathered together. That's when it occurred to me that "I have the power!" It wasn't taken away. I GAVE it away! It was the quintessential Ah-Ha moment! Then everything we'd done throughout the weekend made complete sense at that moment. Instead of going through the motions and doing and saying what I thought was right. I KNEW I had just went through an experience that would stay with me forever!” – Anonymous
“The last day. When everyone stood in a circle, said what they learned, and then walked away from the circle. I was the last one. I was terrified to say what I learned, and have no one come and hold my hand. Then, against the rules of the exercise...they ALL came back for me. So I wouldn't be alone. That, was the pivotal moment in my journey. I was worth coming back for. People ACTUALLY cared about me. They came back, held my hand, and held me up.” - Anonymous
“The 1st night for sure. The shift in body language....we all came so guarded and so weary. I had never had a place in my entire life to feel safe. To not feel judged. To be accepted and most of all....supported. Believed in. The first tears that fell and didn't stop all weekend....real, uninhibited, unashamed tears. For the first time in my life. Soul Cleansing, body renewing tears. *Being* in the moment, in the now....breaking the chains of PTSD assault domestic violence and a war torn relationship with my husband.” - Anonymous
“Yoga. I listened and listened and it stared really coming together during yoga...breathing in and blowing out all the crap with the exhale--I needed to literally hear it blowing away. That's the most vivid moment and keeps feeling like it's at the very center, stretched out on a yoga mat exhaling with a purpose. It tied what I'd heard and was, I think, my turning point that I (bold face, underline, exclamation point)really am strong and more than enough. It was amazing, to me, to have the ladies leading the retreat on the mats with us...it was my realization that this is a process, not just a weekend...that the weekend is great but, like these ladies, I need to make the "exhale with a purpose" a way of life and important if I'm to do more than just survive this journey.” - Anonymous
How to Get Involved:
Any donation will be useful to provide military spouses with the opportunity to attend a retreat. However, if you’d like to give to cover a specific portion of the retreat experience, here are some examples:
$10 provides each spouse with her retreat shirt
$20 provides each spouse with a journal
$28 provides a canvas and paint for each spouse
$30 provides each spouse with a yoga mat and yoga class
$200 provides each spouse with meals and snacks during the retreat
$223 provides a spouse with one night of lodging
$1,000 provides the counselor for the weekend
Additionally, some spouses will need to fly to attend a retreat. We welcome the donation of funds or air miles to cover each flight. Please contact Melanie Riddick at email@example.com for further information if interested in this opportunity.
For more information on Courage Beyond, our retreats or on making a donation, please visit www.CourageBeyond.org or email Development Manager Melanie Riddick at firstname.lastname@example.org.