ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Accountability group helps women achieve goals

FARGO-While bending, stretching and focusing on cleansing their meridians while they practiced qigong, some women at a Vision to Reality meeting held here recently couldn't help but laugh.

Shauni Hekkanen, second from right, instructs a session in spiritual exercise at the Vision to Reality Initiative in south Fargo.David Samson / The Forum
Shauni Hekkanen, second from right, instructs a session in spiritual exercise at the Vision to Reality Initiative in south Fargo.David Samson / The Forum

FARGO-While bending, stretching and focusing on cleansing their meridians while they practiced qigong, some women at a Vision to Reality meeting held here recently couldn't help but laugh. "We open to receive, that's huge in qigong," said Shauni Hekkanen, the instructor. "This is letting go of all grief and letting in joy." The practice continued, in a sense, throughout the meeting as both laughter and tears flowed freely. The dozen-plus women are part of a women's goal-setting group called Vision to Reality Initiative, which meets the second Saturday of the month at Winds for Change Healing Center in Fargo. They learn and talk about issues related to physical and emotional health, spirituality, abundance and relationships. They spend 45 minutes to an hour listening to a speaker and another hour or so talking about areas in which they want to grow and how they can help each other do it. It's like a goal-oriented accountability support group. "The purpose is for internal growth and to be a support system so women can move forward," said Saree Reveling of Moorhead, who co-leads the group. Dawn Finn started the group in the spring of 2014, awhile after moving to Pelican Rapids, Minn., from Iowa. "When I came to Minnesota, I lost a valuable support system," she said. "I was pretty lonely for awhile." Finn had been through domestic abuse and alcoholism and said a group of women helped her through it. "I had women who loved me for who I was and inspired me to be great," she said, adding that Vision to Reality is doing that now. Finn started out inviting women to coffee, and the group grew from there. "There's a lot of women's groups in the community, but this one is different in that we are really focused on helping you move forward and giving you tools to do that at a nominal fee or free," Reveling said. "You have a wealth of knowledge here if you want to move forward and do something different in your life. We're not just a monthly networking group or a coffee group. We're so much more than that." The group became a nonprofit organization in May. It's open to all women, and Vision to Reality hopes to eventually start a group for men.

Shauni Hekkanen, second from right, instructs a session in spiritual exercise at the Vision to Reality Initiative in south Fargo.David Samson / The Forum
Shauni Hekkanen, second from right, instructs a session in spiritual exercise at the Vision to Reality Initiative in south Fargo.David Samson / The Forum

"I kept seeing this as a nonprofit," Finn said. "I kept seeing it could be bigger than ourselves." The group has been evolving ever since, she said. "We're all connected in a way that's supposed to help us grow," she said. "I just love to give and I want to see people grow and in that I know I'm growing." Reveling said she's made so many friends through the group. "This is a really positive atmosphere," she said. "It really encourages growth and change." Nissa Nystrom of Fargo, a Vision to Reality founding member, said the group is a good place to go for unbiased support. She said it helped her reach her goal of reinstating her social work license and getting a job in social work. "It was exactly what I needed at the time," she said. "It helped me go full speed ahead." Without the group, Sarah Jacobs of Fargo, a Vision to Reality founding member, said she might lose focus or commitment in achieving her goals of building a part-time business as an energy healer and spiritual coach. "I know I can come here and tell people what I'm working on and I can receive resources, I can receive feedback from people," she said. In addition to monthly meetings, Vision to Reality plans to hold retreats and workshops. Their first symposium, where speakers will talk about physical and emotional health, spirituality, abundance and relationships, is planned for Oct. 24 in Fargo. "We are all social creatures," Finn said. "When we have that support to be able to be ourselves, make mistakes, learn and grow, then there isn't anything we can't do together." If you go What: Vision to Reality Initiative's "The Power of a Woman" Symposium When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24 Where: Avalon West, 2525 9th Ave. S., Fargo Info: Tickets are $55 through Friday, $65 Saturday through Oct. 22, no ticket sales the day of the event. Includes speakers, lunch and swag bag. Donations of new pajamas in all sizes will be collected for people in need. Online: www.vrii.net or www.facebook.com/vriifargo What: Vision to Reality Initiative meetings When: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. second Saturday of each month Where: Winds for Change Healing Center, 3402 15th St. S., Fargo

What To Read Next
Columnist Tammy Swift says certain foods have become so expensive and in-demand that they outshine the traditional Valentine's Day gifts like roses or jewelry. Bouquet of eggs, anyone?
This week, gardening columnist Don Kinzler fields questions about planting potatoes, rabbit-resistant shrubs, and how to prevent tomato blossom end rot.
Columnist Jessie Veeder shares her reflections on the passage of time during a recent stroll of her farmstead.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.