by Stephanie Roy
In October of 2011, LJ Wooden left a message on my voicemail asking me if I had any interest in co-leading WLW Retreats with her at Shalom Mountain. It only took a moment before I heard a deep and resonant “Yes” in my heart.
I’ve always been something of a late bloomer and coming into my authentic sexuality was no exception. In many ways, I have the Shalom Process and the incredible Shalom community to thank for my own awakening as a woman who loves women. I first came to Shalom in 1991, with almost 3 years of sobriety, to work on (what else?) unfinished business with my mother. In the ensuing years and over the course of retreats too numerous to mention, the Shalom process held me as my soul attended to the broken places with my parents, my perpetrator, my ex-husband, my Creator and ultimately of course, with myself. This amazing community gave me a perfectly imperfect place to re-play some of my oldest stories to entirely new conclusions. I came ‘of age’ at Shalom, discovering and exploring my boundaries, gifts, power, femininity, and sexuality with some incredibly amazing playmates and teachers.
As I gradually returned ‘home’ to myself, journeying out of my head and down through the chakras into my voice, my emotions, my power, and my sexuality, I found that my heart opened the most deeply to women. And finally, all the questions I’d been pondering about my sexual orientation were fully answered in the spring of 2004 when I began my relationship with Beth, who is now my beloved wife. We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this past October!
From the very beginning of my healing journey I’ve also been called to both study and pass along what I’ve learned. I was part of Shalom’s first “Wizard School” in 1996 (a seed which eventually blossomed into the Shalom Leadership Training Program), attended two rounds of Process Therapy training with Carol Jud, and was among the original four who participated in the first Internship Program in 1997. Since then I’ve facilitated numerous Shalom & Unmothered Daughter Retreats, workshops on a variety of topics (including “The Work” of Byron Katie), and maintained a private Process Therapy practice. (Note: Bonnie Moore and I also have an Addiction & Recovery Retreat coming up August 9-12, 2012 .)
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to co-leading the WLW events with LJ. I have enormous respect for her as both a retreat leader and a fiercely committed journeyer. We each bring a very different set of gifts to the table and together I think we’ll make a fun, exciting and powerful team! Please support us with your open, loving hearts as we explore and develop this new chapter in the on-going story of Women Loving Women on Shalom Mountain.
Stephanie Roy is a Process Therapist and Retreat Leader with 22 years of sobriety. She has a B.S. Degree in Human Services and extensive post-graduate training including two years of Process Therapy and two years of Retreat and Leadership Training at Shalom Mountain. She has facilitated workshops and retreats in the Northeast USA and Ireland and has maintained a private therapy practice since 1995.
The next WLW retreat led by Stephanie and LJ is January 5-8, 2012. For more information or to register, call or e-mail Shalom Mountain: 845-482-5421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.