Today we have the blessing of hearing from my very close friend, (whom I met at a retreat several years ago!) Kimberly Kalil. I’ve asked her some questions about retreating and what it’s meant to her life and also about Grace. Please read on to find out more about Kimberly and to read the interview.
Kimberly Kalil is a mom to two precious kiddos; wife to one cool dude; busy newspaper consultant; artist; crafter; digital memory keeper; and seeker of all things creative. She and her family make their home in Southern Arizona amid the cacti and javalinas. She’s all about the hot, dry weather of the desert – the hotter the better.
Kimberly blogs regularly about her life, memory keeping endeavors, and creative projects at www.kimberlykalil.com.
Question: When did you begin attending retreats and why?
Answer: My first retreat was back in 2011. My first retreat was at the Oregon Coast, somewhere I’d never been, but I was looking for community and friendship. I had moved to a new town, a whole new state, in 2007 and worked from home, both of which were super isolating. I was struggling to make connections and thought going to a retreat would help me connect with some like-minded people. Really, I was just super lonely and going through hard stuff … really, really hard stuff. And I wanted to find people who would love me and cheer me on through life.
Question: How many have you been on?
Answer: As of this year, I’ve been to six … six really awesome adventures.
Question: Why did you keep going to retreats?
Answer: The people … it’s always been about the people. I would get this warm, fuzzy feeling as I sat in a circle with some of the most amazing and interesting new friends.
Question: What benefits have you received from attending retreats?
Answer: Benefits? Oh yes, so many benefits. Retreats have given me strength. Retreats have given me hope. Retreats have taught me to be bold. Retreats have shown me the importance of self-care. It’s actually kind of mind-blowing all the “things” retreats have given me. I’ve made some of best friends I’ll ever have thanks to retreats. I’ve met people who shifted my perspective — for the better — on life. Retreating helped me find my voice and has really helped me understand what it is I want to share with this world. I could go on and on and on … that’s how awesome retreats are.
Question: What is your single best and most important takeaway from a retreat?
Answer: It’s so easy to feel like you’re alone in this world and no one can understand your struggles. But that’s not true. There are so many brave and kind people at there and they can offer love, compassion and understanding if you’re just willing to let them in. Tell your story. Open your heart. And connection will come.
Question: What are your thoughts on Grace and how does it manifest in your life?
Answer: Aah, grace. Such a tricky thing. Or is it? I’m really not that great when it comes to offering myself grace. I spend a lot of time beating myself up rather than offering myself grace. Grace to me is kind. Grace to me is understanding. Grace says I’m enough.
Thank you so much Kimberly for your very honest and personal answers! I’m sure there are many people out there who are intrigued by the idea of retreating, but aren’t certain it’s for them and I believe that you’ve made it feel like a very safe, fun, and life changing-in-the-best-possible-way thing to do!