Click here to see Mary Kent's video footage of going back to camp!
It's such a cute video!I made it myself! hee hee!!
This week, The Heart Beet reports from the heart of a wooden mountain. Mary Kent literally goes back in time, revealing how powerful it can be to reconnect with your childhood!
My apologies for being a bit absent this August! I was on a much needed mental break from the computer. But, I'm back in action revived and reconnected like never before. Mainly thanks to a special trip I took towards the last days of August that lead me down Memory Lane straight to the heart of a wooden mountain to a place that helped me remember who I truly am. This trip back in time was filled with so much joy, just thinking back on it brings tears to my eyes. Always up for a moment to learn more about myself, I journeyed to the mountains of Brevard, NC to attend a reunion at a summer camp called Rockbrook that I went to as a child from 1985 to 1988. I can only say that if you ever get the opportunity to do such a thing, please jump at it because it will be one of the most important reconnections ever to be made.
I now truly believe there are moments in time kept tucked away in our past that unlock much of who we are meant to be today. It's simply a matter of remembering to look back into our childhood or visiting a place that we once loved or just re-reading a letter from a long lost, loved one. Of course, I believe in the power of now, but the past holds powerful memories and the thoughts and feelings that are connected to those memories are what we must connect to in order to grow closer to the true essence of our soul. Many of us steer clear of childhood events from a fear of feeling the pain associated with such memories, but I really do believe that only by feeling our way through them will we come out better and brighter on the other end. No pain, no gain, right? It's part of our spiritual homework that we all must do at some point or another and we truly will not develop and unfold into who we are meant to be until we do a little soul searching in reverse.
So, knowing there was a deeper reason behind it all, I went back to Rockbrook to reconnect to the part of me that had forgotten I had grown in such a bold and empowered way since my days as a frightened little camper. I also went back to see and experience what had kept me coming back for those three years. There is definitely something to be said about girl power and boy did I feel it at the reunion! I was never a tom boy, probably the girliest of them all, but somehow during my older years, I tended to follow my own way, kind of doing my own thing, leaving behind the gang. I was never one to do a sorority and dropped out of the Junior League, but I now know why women do tend to stick together! It's empowering to bond with the similar gender. Guys do it over beers, football games, and hunting. And, women do it over knitting, shopping, and baby talking. But, I know now, thanks to camp, it's very powerful to feel the feminine energy unite, laughing without a care in the world, singing songs under one roof and doing boy-ish activities in the field like Riflery and Archery. But mainly, I felt like there was a part of me, calling me back to see that Rockbrook held the key to such incredible memories of friendship, growth, independance, leadership, innocence, and wisdom that I just simply needed to remember. It was as if I had completely forgotten all these incredible things I had once learned to do and courageously face without anyone to hold my hand or to judge me if they didn't turn out right! I had faced my fears of being away from home for a month, spending nights under the stars, paddling down white water, and living in close proximity to scary critters like snakes and ticks. I'm sure all my years spent in the city helped cloud out these memories of 'roughing it', but no matter how hard we try, our spirit always comes knocking to show us the way home. And, I was certainly being shown the way!
As time ticks by, we forget the foundations that help us grow, develop, and unfold, due to the stressors and fast paced activities of life. We forget the people who were there cheering us on in our path to growing up, up, and away. It's as if our mind blocks out the major achievements we completed as children that got us to where weare today! I boldly admit I forgot about the camper in me and forgot the powerful part camp played in my early years of being a little girl. But, the beauty is that when we let our spirit take over, trusting that we will be guided to what we need to re-learn about ourselves, we always end up in the right place - no matter how long it takes to get us there! I volunteered to speak at chapel and gave a speech on the last day to the girls at the reunion. I was terribly nervous, but made it through without completely breaking down into tears, well sort of. Here's the speech, as you may find it a bit empowering. You can also view a part of it here:
"Dr. Albert Schweitzer, theologian, musician, and philosopher once said 'In everyone's life at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flames by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who re-kindle the inner spirit.' I don't know about you, but thanks to this reunion, my spirit is now blazing bright. But, I wouldn't be being an honest Rockbrook girl if I didn't admit it was not so long ago that I was a bit too dimly lit. You see, I forgot about something very important. As I look back over the past few years up until this very minute, I can see that my spirit was definitely doing everything it could to help me remember. I now see as plain as day the incredible work the Great Spirit, the Divine, God - call it what you will - has done in sorting, aligning, and synchronizing the stars and planets to get me back to the place I had obviously forgotten held such a dear and special piece of my heart.
I believe we are guided by a force beyond the understanding of the mind, yet totally comprehensible to the heart and it was my heart that was pulling me away from the confusing, hectic, and isolated life I once lead in London to the familiar place of home and back to Rockbrook Camp that holds the key to so much of who I am. But, it was going to take a special friend and a special time for that reconnection to transpire. The funniest thing is last year I tried to visit Rockbrook Camp with a guy friend of mine. But, as we turned left to drive up the hill, sadly a chained gate barred our entrance. I now see he wasn't the one to accompany me back to my grand reconnection. I trusted I would come back to Rockbrook when it was meant to be. And, just about that time I reconnected with Marilee Taylor, a camper from New Orleans that I knew from 1987 who just happened to live near me, and that's when the gates began to re-open. The real gift is Marilee and I weren't close friends back in 1987, but that didn't matter as we had a very special past in common that reconnected us through spirit. It was obviously going to take the true heart of an old Rockbrook friend to accompany me back inside the gates into the magical wonderland I had long left behind. Thank you Marilee for being that friend. I came to Rockbrook 24 years ago a scared, awkward, and skinny 10 year old afraid of ticks, snakes, and mostly herself. I have gone through much inner transformation since my days here, but I can honestly say after this weekend I stand boldly before you, remembering what Rockbrook taught me - to be an empowered, bold, and fearless girl. To just be who I am!
It is thanks to the girls this weekend who have finally helped me reconnect fully to my Light. You helped me feel like myself again. It is thanks to the girls who aren't hear this weekend, but are here in spirit, who helped me face my fears right by my side and helped me emerge into my true self, and, of course, it is thanks to the spirit of Rockbrook for staying with me, patiently waiting, guiding me home, never giving up, and reminding me again and again who I am. You have given me so much. And, my repayment for you is to never forget!"
Of course, we were all boo hoo-ing at the end, but it was the happiest cry I have ever experienced. And, one very worthy of its earning. Today, I challenge you all to reconnect this weekend with an aspect of your childhood, whether it be happy or sad. Delve into the feelings and allow them to teach you something powerful about yourself. It truly is such a rewarding experience and one that I am sure you are never to forget!
It's time to remember who we are! Reconnect to that child within! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Mary Kent is wearing top from Rockbrook Camp. Shorts are by Esprit. Shoes are Bluchers from the 80s and knees socks are some woolly good ones from I have no idea. Watch is a Strawberry Scratch 'n Sniff by Swatch. Photo was taken by the extraordinary photographer Tommy Hearon in 1985.
PSS. Click here to download Windows Media Player if you can't view the videos.
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