The Uplands held a retreat in October for “be Morr”, a New York City based therapy practice and wellness community that specifically serves Women of Color. The retreat invited caregivers from many different backgrounds to convene at the Uplands – social workers, mental health counselors, mothers, and mindfulness instructors.
Led by the cofounders of the organization, the retreat focused on self-care for women of color. The retreat honed in on wellness, rest, and joy as radical acts in a society that praises “resilience,” and in a society that constantly demands that women of color sacrifice themselves in order to care for others. The theme of the retreat was freedom— the freedom to cast off societal expectations in order to claim joy, mental health, and wellness as a birthright.
Through a variety of breakout sessions and workshops, participants were invited to reflect on the challenges they face, and how they can better tend to themselves in mind, body and spirit. Through sister circles and workshops, cofounders Regine and Roslyn provided tangible wellness practices, tools, and joy-infused moments that all retreat participates could take with them well beyond the Uplands.
The group also made sure to soak in the beauty of nature and make time for some “pampered moments.” They enjoyed massages, delectable meals, meditation, yoga, sound bowl baths, and guided nature walks. They also enjoyed spa time in the pool and sauna.
The group also held a dinner with the theme of “shades of green,” in which every participant wore emerald to symbolize the heart chakra. The dinner (and the color green) helped participants connect to their hearts, and manifest self-love in abundance. The dinner closed with a dance party (the joy was palpable!), and was followed up by a fire ceremony in which participants wrote down things they wanted to release from their life before throwing them into the fire.
Thank you, be Morr, for your work in the world, and for the beautiful wellness community you have so intentionally created.
All photography is credited to Rashida Zagon