I'm Celebrating This Summer by Hosting a Spiritual Retreat For WOC in Puerto Rico

It is said that "If you build it, they will come." This year, I put that statement into action and they came! After years of dreaming about it, I am finally hosting my first Mindful Living With Z spiritual retreat in August, and of course, it had to be in my ancestral motherland, Borikén, known to many as Puerto Rico.

I visited the island in February with my mother and two sisters to honor my maternal grandmother, Mama, who transitioned on the island 20 years ago. On Feb. 21, the day of her anniversary, we walked to el Río Mameyes, a magical body of water where the river and the ocean meet. As we stood at the edge of the water, looking down the valley, I walked into the water knee-deep and began to sing "Wind Beneath My Wings," a song I sang 20 years before at Mama's funeral. I've always loved to sing. These days, I find singing to be one of my most powerful ways of connecting to Spirit when doing healing work.

As I sang by the river, I could hear the echo of my voice in the valley answer back to me. Mama was there. She was listening. And the way she communicated with us was through the breeze, the trees, the birds, and the sky.

Mindful Living with Z

We all watched in astonishment as the valley began to fill with white, long-necked birds. I'm assuming they were the snowy egrets that live on the island. Before we knew it, a tree in the valley was covered with these birds, making the tree appear to be white against the vibrant green of the neighboring trees. We marveled at this as our eyes welled up in tears. We all knew then that the love pouring out of ourselves into that sacred water and land was being received by Spirit, by our Taíno ancestors, and by Mama. It was pure magic!

It was as if we were frozen in time. The moment was so beautiful, we wanted to stay in its womb forever. As we began walking away, we took one look back at where the river and the ocean met, and it looked like the sky filled with fire. It was simply the reflection of the sun against the clouds, but it formed what appeared to be a human figure.

"Thank you, Mama," I said, knowing I had to share this place with others.

Mindful Living with Z

The night I returned home, I sat in my living room under dim light and reflected on the powerful ways we can communicate with the universe and our ancestors. That water was medicine for me, and I wanted to share it with others. An hour later I had a three-night, four-day retreat planned out completely down to each day's agenda. It was as if Spirit was leading the way, and I was simply the conduit to bring this retreat to life in our physical world.

I had no expectations about what the reception would be. But everything in my soul told me to keep walking forward into this unknown territory because it is my calling to serve and support people on their healing journeys. Pair that with my in-depth knowledge of event planning, and I had my first retreat planned. I even named it after my three children, using their middle names to create Mindful Living With Z's 2023 Summer Luna-Sol Spiritual Retreat.

After one month of promoting the retreat, it was sold out! For days I was spinning with excitement and disbelief that I had actually pulled it off. Questions began flooding my mind: Why didn't I do this sooner? What was I waiting for? Why didn't I think I could do this?

Mindful Living with Z

Through breathwork, meditation, and my Kundalini yoga practice, I was able to straighten my crown and own up to my power. I am divine and my work is divinely led. This August, I have the honor of hosting eight women of color en la Isla del Encanto (the island of enchantment).

During our three nights and four days together, we'll begin the morning with yoga by the river and end the evenings with storytelling. As we exchange personal stories, we will see how closely related we truly are to one another. Now, when I reflect on the "If you build it, they will come" statement, I give thanks to Spirit for using me as a clear channel of healing energy for so many women. The retreaters are coming from all walks of life, and reflect the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s in age. It is beyond beautiful! Had I not watered that little seed Spirit planted in my mind, I may not have ever seen the magical, powerful, divine garden that has started to grow.

Let this story be a message to you. What is that seed Spirit planted in your heart that you have yet to water? Allow yourself to truly grow through connection to Spirit, detachment from the outcome, and to surrender to the will of the cosmos. When you do, you'll arrive at where the river and the ocean meet in your soul.