Self-care meet-up for adoptees by On Being Adopted - my review
A wonderful experience with a small group of UK adoptees, including healing yoga and a safe space for sharing stories...
I’d been looking forward to Rachel from On Being Adopted’s mini-retreat for adoptees for a few months. We met on Twitter and connected over many elements of our upbringing. We both have a desire to find more creative and/or hands-on healing for trauma (in addition to talking therapies). And we're both passionate about connecting with other adoptees, specifically in the UK.
This event was to be a mixture of yoga, which is a way many of us manage our feelings, and talking with other adoptees. I was nervous but the location - a Buddhist centre - felt very peaceful and spiritual, and the room was small enough to be intimate yet large enough for us to comfortably move through the yoga sequences Rachel had designed for us.
Rachel took us through a series of grounding poses, mostly standing up, such as the warriors one and two, and several balancing postures. This part of the day was about an hour long. There was enough repetition of the poses to enable a sense of flow, and enough variation to keep us alert. After a series of twists, which help regulate the nervous system, we settled into a long savasana with two guided body scans. Rachel finished the session with some pranayama breathing which is good for calming the mind.
After a break for tea and biscuits we took our places on our yoga mats again and began sharing stories. Each person talked for around 5-10 minutes and it was free-flow so we could talk about anything on our minds, rather than needing to give a linear background to our adoption. This was quite refreshing! Rachel was clear about the ground rules: everything said is confidential, and avoid interrupting and/or trying to fix anyone’s problems. This was crucial for me, as I find it very hard not offer solutions or (some might call them) platitudes. It was great to be let off the hook in this respect.
I was worried that sharing 'into the ether' with no follow-up would be rather odd. But it really surprised me that sharing in this way felt good. The knowing nods were all that was really needed! I found there were many overlaps to our experiences, yet everyone’s story was unique. It was lovely to meet some of the adoptees I have spoken to on Twitter, and see someone I met at the Open Nest Conference 2017.
I left the meet-up feeling lighter and extremely validated. Sometimes I think I’m weak for finding all this hard, or maybe I’m just not trying hard enough to make tricky issues like reunion work. This meet-up reassured me that actually it all is just very bloody hard, and we are all doing the best we can.
Thank you to the other participants and jolly well done to Rachel for making this UK adoptee meet-up a reality. Here’s to the next one!
If you're interested in yoga for self-care, self-worth and helping with anxiety, I really like home practice with Yoga by Adriene
And if you have any ideas for future meet-ups, let me or Rachel know. Or feel free to do one of your own! Rachel has proved there is a big appetite x