I could write about the creative and challenging workouts, the hike up the mountain for lunch or the sunrise yoga.

I could tell you about the nutrition seminar or the cooking demonstration or the morning trip through the perimeter of the grocery store.

I could share details of the lobster and ribs on the island or the delicious mountaintop nachos or the farm to table feast on the actual farm.

But that’s not the story of Strong is Beautiful, the weekend health and wellness retreat for women I attended this past weekend. It’s so much more than that.

Life is only as good as the people you get to share it with.

My weekend was full of love, laughter and lifting.

It was full of sweat, tears and sheer joy.

It was full of beautiful women of all ages, sizes, backgrounds and personalities.

It was full of hugs and kisses and encouragement.

It was about strength and having the courage to put yourself first. Because as women we forget to make ourselves a priority, even though we are better mothers, partners and friends when we are happy and whole.

Find your tribe. Love them hard.

My weekend was spent at my gym, my happy place. The place where I feel most connected to myself and to nature. Where I am in most in tune to my body and what it needs to flourish physically and mentally. It is my therapy when my crazy world of single motherhood and writing and nonprofit management just get to be too overwhelming.

What made my weekend so unique and indescribable was the company I was fortunate enough to keep. Forty-five other women who made memories in three days together that will last a lifetime.

What was my weekend really all about?

It was about relaxing pontoon boat rides, swimming and floating on the river.

It was about sharing an outdoor shower with a group of women while listening to silly water-themed music.

It was about suppressing fits of giggles over a loud cricket in the middle of the night.

It was about late nights around the bonfire talking and dancing to loud music and early mornings to gather and learn.

It was about sunset walks and adventure at every turn.

It was about women baring their soul so that others could show them they are not alone in their fight.

It was about holding hands when fear arose.

It was about dirty feet and pine needles in my bra and feeling completely content with the world.

Where there is love there is light.

We all need a place to go when we need to recharge and reconnect with ourselves. A place where we can find and be our true authentic self. Mine happens to be in a wooded setting overlooking a river in central Maine.

Have you found yours yet? What is it like?

Photo Credit:  WolfPack Fitness

Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer Iacovelli is a writer, speaker and nonprofit professional. Based in Brunswick, Maine, she’s a proud single mom of two boys and one Siberian husky.  Jennifer is the author of the Another Jennifer blog and creator of the Simple Giving Lab. Jennifer is also a contributing author of the book The Mother Of All Meltdowns. Her work has been featured on GOODBlogHerUSAID ImpactFeed the Future and the PSI Impact blog. Her latest book, Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day, is available everywhere. Her passions are writing, philanthropy, her awesome kids and bacon, though not necessarily in that order.

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