How are you?

I had this picture show up yesterday as a Facebook memory. It was taking in a nightclub that I regularly frequented… It was called Pontoon and was an actual old converted Pontoon Barge, which eventually got shut down.

The hole my killer heel punctured in the furniture would have become a hilarious anecdote amongst many for that evening. My life at the time was series of wild, alcohol-fuelled adventures that took me into some questionable (at best) and downright scary situations (looking back with the perspective I have now).

While I have no shame anymore about that time of my life, I still hesitated to share this memory on Facebook. Even though it is a photo that I posted publicly 7 years ago, it feels like another lifetime to me now.

I have a lot of compassion for that version of me, doing the best she knew how while immersed in the underworld of expat life in what was known as the wild west of South East Asia.

When I look at her, I in many ways see the same party girl that still lives inside of me now. The one who surrenders herself into music and loves to be the shining star on the dance floor.

But I also see sadness and pain… a deeply ingrained feeling of unworthiness and unlovability.

I’m still the sometimes party girl who loves to get dressed up and put on heels and dance the night away… when it feels right.

I’m also now the woman who honours herself and her energy levels.
I’m also now the woman who knows when it’s better to stay in, nurture and love myself in other ways rather than go out at night because I *need* it.

7 years ago I also attended my first retreat. It was called Volver and was hosted at a beautiful center called Haramara in Sayulita, Mexico.

Volver means “to return” in Spanish and “Haramara” is an indigenous Huichol word for Mother Sea – the source of everything.

My time there truly was a return to myself.

It was an opportunity to nurture myself, eating the most deliciously prepared foods, pampered in easy eco-luxury, supported by a sisterhood of loving women committed to their own healing and transformation.

And of course, Mother Sea, cleansing with her water and her gentle rhythmic sounds.

 It was a stark contrast to the life I was living in Cambodia. Heart-broken and ending a marriage, working in a job that sapped my energy and creativity, far from the support that I craved and the tools that would have helped me heal in a healthier way.

During that retreat at Haramara, I came up with a mantra that spoke to the healing with soul knew she was called to do.

I still feel moved to tears when I say this mantra to myself.

At the time, it was a stretch to believe the words.

“I am worthy and deserving of love just the way I am.”

Stemming from childhood experiences of abandonment and teenage experiences of trauma, I had always felt that I had to prove myself or earn love.

This led to years of overachieving and perfectionism, codependency, problematic alcohol and drug use and other self-harming behaviors… and years of what I now call numbing, running, and performing.

It felt like an uncomfortable and at times unbelievable stretch to believe I was worthy and deserving of love, just by being myself. Just by waking up, not having to “DO” anything.

To be perfectly honest, it is still my soul’s work.
It is still part of my healing.
But I’d say that on most days I believe I am worthy and deserving of love just the way I am… for at least a good part of the day.

Since that retreat and the profound internal shift that happened, I have stayed committed to my healing.

Though it took me several years after that to disentangle myself from my former relationship and career, and another few years to truly say that I’ve redefined my relationship to alcohol and other drugs, but I’ve kept showing up and kept doing the work.

I’ve continue to seek out opportunities for healing and transformation and have now become deeply committed to creating those experiences for others.

That is why I am so incredibly honored and grateful to be hosting our second Lucir retreat this year.

Lucir: to illuminate, to shine, to make resplendent.

Lucir is a powerfully transformative experience to help you show up for yourself and shine your brightest most beautiful inner light outward.

The next Lucir is scheduled for November 27-December 3th and from now until June 30th, we are offering 15% off. Three spots of the 11 available spots have already been filled, so don’t delay if you are interested!

Check out www.caitlinpadgett.com/lucir for all the info.

Let me know if you have any questions!