S E V E N - 5.15.21
Seven Ch8sers of Ch8sing Waterfalls were invited back to Brevard, Transylvania County, NC for what felt like a VIP edition of a photo shoot. You see, Ch8sing Waterfalls has a connection, a special connection to Brevard. It sits in the land of waterfalls. Of course, we have a special connection. This special photo shoot experience was so freaking dope, it has left me nearly speechless.
The fun was unscripted, the vibe was amazing, and the memories, OMG, priceless. The seven of us individually and collectively were filled with overwhelming emotions. We pivoted from excitement to joy to amazement all while entangled in love, peace, and happiness.
There was so much positive energy and beautiful healing experiences that alone, I could not, and did not want to leave this blog to just my words, or just my perspective. So I didn't. This one of a kind blog is a compilation of personal moments shared by myself and the six pack who joined me on this special adventure.
Buckle your seatbelts. You are in for an emotional roller coaster.
At the end of our journey, I asked each lady to deposit whatever it was about the weekend they wanted to express in this way, and the lines that follow is what each had to say. Allow me to introduce you to six of the most dynamic women I know. Marionette Allen-Audifferen, Alicia "AyJay" Jones, Paula Dobbs, Kimberly Jones, Lynn Jones and Rhonda Stover-Griffin.
For me it was all about allowing myself to not just Embr8ce but to be Embr8ced. I am a giver by nature and try to be intentional about sharing my gifts with others and have always found it difficult to receive. The initial trip to Brevard and this one in particular showed me that I deserve without apology all the good that the world has to offer, and I was willing to open myself up to receive it.
Others see us and want to Embr8ce us. We certainly have broken barriers and allowed them to experience some of what we as Blacks in this country, and in particular Black women have to offer. We deserve a seat at the table and deserve to enjoy the feast.
The sisterhood for me has always been and will always be priority . That space is so sacred to me and this weekend did not disappoint, my heart is so full of gratitude for every single moment we spent together, the joy I felt is indescribable. My soul was and still is on fire. The delight I saw on that little girl’s face when she said, "hey pretty ladies," was so heartfelt from her and while she may not be used to seeing brown faces she knew in her soul that it was real, and it was good! I felt that same emotion both in town and on the trails from the locals. There were a few wtf looks but overwhelmingly we received looks, comments and questions of acceptance.
We have opened doors and shattered ceilings about who we are, and we represented well. I am so honored and eternally grateful to be connected to all of you! Love you guys to life! @Deborah McGlawn, your gift of sharing your journey has made room for all of us and I will certainly be a catalyst for giving to others what I have received ! Thank you sis, in Dynamic Deb’s voice for sharing your shine! I pray your endurance moving forward. The growth of your vision will be far reaching, globally! Get ready, get ready, get ready for more mind-blowing blessings! - Lynn Jones
It was the encounters with locals and my sister ch8sers that impacted me the most. Focusing on goodness, humanity and shared experiences is sometimes more important than sharing an opposing viewpoint or perspective. Reflecting on this, all the goodness and joyful moments, made me well up inside. But nature was my healing salve.
On the last hike to Moore Cove, I stood on a bridge and closed my eyes. With my face turned toward the sky, I thanked God for His tender mercies, and I prayed for forgiveness and healing for rushed and ill-timed words. In the end, I found my peace in nature.
As for Brevard, I'm in love! I can't wait to return to the "land of waterfalls,'' the people and the hospitality of places like Foggy Bottom Cabins. - Marionette Allen-Audifferen
I wish I had profound words to capture my weekend experience.
The pure joy that I always feel when I ch8se is a bonus gift from the universe! I thank the Lord for placing me in the path to be able to share these experiences with each of you!
Deb your vision has not only healed you it has allowed others to be gifted of that release of baggage needed to lighten their load. I was a bag lady for sure carrying around some "stuff" and it is a great feeling to be able to let go, breathe in fresh air, see the beautiful green around you while walking the trails. And the best...hearing the roar of the Waterfalls!!! When I hear the sound, it makes my cheek bones rise and an instant smile comes on my face!
All I can say is I just love to #embracethech8se! - Kimberly Jones
To Ch8se or not to Ch8se, I have chosen to Ch8se and boy was that the best decision of my life.
This weekend’s Ch8se was nothing short of magical. The healing that came from the sisterhood, the lessons and the hospitality filled my cup and turned on the waterfall of gratitude in my heart.
From the moment we pulled into Foggy Bottom Cabins to the time we left, I felt at home. The welcoming spirit of Khaled and his family made me want to book my next visit immediately. The cabins at Foggy Bottom are so welcoming and stocked with every essential need. The vegetation surrounding the cabins had me memorized. Thank you for sharing this amazing property with us.
The nerd in me truly enjoyed our drive with Nathan as he so easy rumbled many facts about Brevard and Transylvania county. The fact that there are 250 plus Waterfalls to Ch8se, 1000 miles of trails, white squirrels, mountain biking trails, that bring world renowned riders to town and wonderful food has me calling Brevard my new home away from home. What truly spoke to my heart were the friendly conversations that were had with some of the locals and the hospitality of MJ, Clark, Bren and Nathan.
As a woman, who has literally been afraid of the woods, forest, outdoors....with each Ch8se, I am embracing my healing and allowing myself to truly fall in love with nature and all that it has to offer. So, when the say Embr8ce the Ch8se, they are saying embrace all that will come from Ch8sing Waterfalls. Thank you all for being so amazing and welcoming. Thank you for creating a space for my mom to heal and push herself to live life. Thank you, @Deborah McGlawn for sharing you story, your passion and your healing. Let’s get it!!!! - Paula Dobbs
Our six pack plus one took a road trip to Brevard NC. The traffic was light, and the weather was perfect. Our goal was to rock the photo shoot, explore Brevard, taste some amazing food and ch8se a couple of waterfalls while embr8cing the ch8se. By the end of the weekend, we had achieved.
all our goals. What a time what a time!!!!
I honestly do not know where to start. I always enjoy attending the ch8sing waterfall events and bonding with these amazing ladies. However, this weekend kicked it up a notch and allowed me to see the world from the eyes of others and to help me see that life is meant to live in the moment and not the what ifs.
I felt a different kind of positive energy from the moment we arrived at the Foggy Bottom Cabins on Saturday and was greeted by Khaled. This positive energy continued throughout the weekend as we explored Brevard and all that it has to offer. The locals were so happy to see us and greeted us with open arms and some pretty Colgate moment smiles. They were interested in the Ch8sing Waterfall history and provided meaningful conversations. They offered recommendations on restaurants, hiking trails and of course waterfalls that we should visit.
The lunch at Marcos provided some of us with outdoor seating where we were able to engage in conversations with the locals and witness a couple of stare down moments between two friendly K9’s. The food at Macros was absolutely delicious and reasonably priced.
I would have to say that my breakthrough happened at Noblebrau Brewery. This stop showed me how important it is to live life in the moment and enjoy everything that life has to offer. This is important to me because I realized that I have been living to die and not appreciating or truly embracing life.
The short time we were at Noblebrau Brewery I participated in beer sampling which is completely out of my character. We started a girl band that was named the Ch8sing Diva’s. I played several games of corn hole with Awesome AY Jay. This helped me to realize just how competitive we both are. I honestly do not know who ended up winning, but that really did not matter because we were able to build memories and enjoy the moment that included a couple of down deep belly laughing moments.
As I looked around, I saw just how happy and relaxed the other ladies were they appeared not to have a care in the world. They were truly embracing the moment. This visit to the brewery ended with my daughter and I taking a photo shoot by a beautiful mural across the street from Noblebrau Brewery done by artist Billy Smith.
Thanks to the six-pack plus one crew for helping me start my healing and having a breakthrough moment. The shopping in downtown Brevard offered various options and unique shops. Nathan and Bren provided us with some interesting history of Brevard, including those beautiful white squirrels that can be seen around town. Our visit to downtown Brevard ended with us having dinner at Ktchn. We are still talking about those salads, fried green tomatoes and that apple crisp dessert, yummy.
The night ended with an evening trip to the Looking Glass Waterfall. Here we were able to enjoy the powerful yet gentle waterfall. It was absolutely breathtaking and we could feel the energy bouncing off the waterfall as the mist gently blew against our bodies. You must experience a waterfall at night to genuinely appreciate the power and energy that it offers. After visiting the waterfall, we carried the party back to Foggy Bottoms to close out the evening. All I can say is that we saw a different side of a couple of the ladies. But what happened in cabin 33 stays in cabin 33! I hated to see the evening come to an end. So, until next time, peace love and waterfalls.
- Rhonda M. Griffin
The beauty in my mom’s post is that the last photo opportunity (outside at Ktchn) that you all allowed us to have together was filled with emotion. We went from laughing to crying and back to uncontrollably laughing. That moment we shared was what this trip was all about for me. - Paula
Dagnabit!!! I thought I was thru with the tears, and then I read @Rhonda Stover Griffin post and @Paula Dobbs response! I love y’all. Thanks to the Six pack, plus one for giving me one of the most important gifts I ever wanted in life and that is the gift of sisterhood! It wasn’t meant to be by birth, but it is just as sweet to receive it by choice! Thanks for choosing lil ole me!
Once AyJay saw everyone's input, she said "use a pic of me embr8cing the ch8se ........ everybody summed it up. Hell, I'm speechless! Oh wait... waterfalls are already Stupendous but being at the base of Looking Glass Falls at dawn was totally majestic!" - AyJay Jones
Now do you see what I meant? There is no way I could have articulated any of that without these amazing women. This trip, this experience, the memories were all exactly as they were designed to be, far before we knew it to ever be. Every encounter, and every person we impacted during the short time, and definitely those who impacted us were in the exact place at the exact time they were supposed to be. They were positioned for themselves and for us.
I even know that the fact that there were seven of us there was also orchestrated far before we ever knew it would be so. I did a lil digging and discovered that the number seven is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual).
Seven derives much of its meaning from being tied directly to God's creation of all things, a blessed angel number, and usually, it brings happiness. In the Sumerians civilization, seven appear as a powerful number and reflects achievement. Enough said.
Head over to our Instagram and check out our story and the Foggy Bottom highlights for more pictures from this amazing experience.
Love, Peace & Waterfalls - Deb