This weekend marks the 9th annual Restoration Weekend. Founded by entrepreneur Michelle Hargrove, the four-day getaway held this year in the British Virgin Islands provides women an opportunity to renew and prepare to leap towards their dreams. “For four days you get to go away and turn off the noise of life. You get to reconnect with women such as yourself, revive your spirit and do something new in a place that is exotic and luxurious, Hargrove says. This year’s speakers include Dondre Whitfield, star of the new hit OWN series Queen Sugar, ESSENCE editor-at-large Mikki Taylor, Exponential Living author Sheri Riley and yours truly.
What has grown to a weekend of sisterhood and support grew from Hargrove’s own need to renew. “Restoration Weekend started because my son was born weighing 1 lbs. 7 ounces at 24 weeks gestation and zero percent chance of survival,” she says. “He will celebrate his 21st birthday on November 4TH. I knew moms who had been through having a sick child needed restoration. And now I know we are all restoring from something. ” Michelle Hargrove shares how you can discover your own restoration:
Restoration isn't something that just a mother with a sick child needs. We all have something going on in our lives or that we already walked through, that we needed to restore from. As women, we sometimes just keep going. We rarely hit the pause button and just take a time out just for us, unapologetically. That's what this weekend was designed to do. Every woman can take a moment to rest and create an environment for clarity, and to refresh and revive your spirits. Put some downtime on your calendar and get close to nature. You can't continue to run and do everything for everyone else if you're not taking care of you.
Be with Your Sister Circle
We get so caught up in our own world and juggling, the children, the spouse, the job, church and everything else, that sometimes we don't make time for girl time. We need each other. We are a force to be reckoned with when we truly support each other. I have been blessed with the most amazing girlfriends in the world. They truly are my celebration team. I'm theirs as well. We need that. This weekend is about women coming together, and every woman can use girl time.
Be of Service
Helping others soothes the soul. I live a life of service and it’s a major part of Restoration Weekend. As we travel, we partner with a local organization, church, orphanage, or group that needs our services. We have restored hope to over 400 children in South Africa and 250 children in Haiti. This year our goal is to make 1,000 Love Boxes to give out during the holidays.
Silencing ourselves and the outside noise can give your inner voice a chance to speak. We have to take a timeout and listen to that spirit within. Sometimes we miss opportunities that are right there in front of us because we're too busy to catch it. After a weekend of stillness, we've had some women recognize that they were just existing and step out and open up a new chapter of life. They had dreams inside of them that were lying dormant. They had other goals and things to do, but they got caught up in the busyness of life and didn't take time just to be still. While they were here for the weekend they realize, "You know what? I can do this," and went back home and made major life changes. There is nothing you can’t do. Follow @restorationweekend on social for inspirational updates from the weekend and save the date for the 10th annual Restoration Weekend in 2017.