Bree Watson, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): The trip was unforgettable and absolutely has altered me and my life in such a positive way. I feel strong, confident, healthy, happy, and touched in a soul way that will never change. The Montana mountains are some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen, and I really believe I will return to them many more times throughout my life…
Sean Sweeney, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): The time spent out on the land in good company is best compared to that of a river, ﬂowing free of dams, locks or obstructions with all the temperament that a course can provide. Much like a river the trail was at times patient and smooth, other times wild and turbulent though always moving, never stagnant.
The Sacred Door Trail afforded me the chance to explore myself, the stories to which I have grown with and relied on and my place in community amid the world we live. Challenging both physically and emotionally, the trail is a rare chance to spend ﬁve-weeks together in the wilderness sharing space with one another as we each dive into who we are, our history, our feelings and beliefs peeling off the layers, exposing oneself in order to look deeply at ourselves. We, a group of pilgrims relying on one another for safe travel and as fellow vulnerable human beings looking for a true expression of self.
Peery Sloan, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): To say it was a good experience is being awfully humble, since it changed life. I learned to love myself and how to hold a loving, reflective space for others. I learned to trust myself and to always turn to nature for guidance. I am immensely proud to have Weston Pew and Shannon Ongaro on “my team” as mentors and as friends. They have pushed me physically, mentally, and emotionally in ways I did not think possible. This program helped me reveal my greatest capabilities by continually debunking the myths I have told myself for years.
Samuel Hernandez, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): Months before hearing about the opportunity I had realized I was unhappy with many parts of my life and had the desire to leave. Leave anywhere that would get me away from my problems, angers and my fears. And just when I had decided to leave, I was granted the opportunity to be a part of inner wild. I don’t know exactly how my summer would have turned out if I wouldn’t have decided to go on this journey but I know that this experience not only gave me the gift to express my problems, angers and fears but also deeply explore them. I honestly wish I was better with words so that I could fully express how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of such a powerful experience.
Elizabeth Flynn, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): My time in the mountains was a life changing one and I’m sure I will carry the experience with me forever. Weston and Shannon are incredible teachers and within the community they built I learned more than I thought possible about the environment, wildness, people and even myself. They provided a creative, free and fun landscape in which we could all grow into wiser and more loving human beings.
Robyn Trivette, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): Being removed from my environment: the shuffle, the clouded and clogged thoughts, the stagnation… in it’s simplest form: opened and welcomed new thoughts, new pathways, new possibilities. Combining this sense of relief and uncharted opportunity with the enlightening illumination that nature so easily provides, brought me to a whole new level of peace.
Emily Wheeler, Relational Leadership Intensive (2016): I often hear the word ‘expansive’ to describe the western landscape. I also think of the word ‘expansive’ to describe my time in Montana – expansive in so many ways and for so many facets of myself, my inner landscape. Weston and Shannon facilitated a truly dynamic and transformative journey for the eight of us participants who now feel like life-long friends!
Maggie Hansen, Relational Leadership Intensive (2015): When I remember the beauty of the trail and the overall experience of being one with nature I become calm, introspective, appreciative of what I have and feel a sense of inner peace. It was a life-changing experience for me in so many ways. I learned the importance of ceremony and how it has a long history in so many cultures. I became more aware of my mind, body and soul when backpacking and interacting with those I was living without in nature.
Acceptance of the here and now was an overarching theme for me. I learned to trust people I did not know before our gathering. Most importantly, I bathed in the utter beauty of nature and relaxed into accepting who I am…perfectly imperfect. I highly recommend this journey and look forward to participating in other programs Weston Pew organizes in the future.