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The Quilt - Story 1

How a Silent Auction Was a Catalyst to Judgmental Freedom by Corinne Cortes (New York, USA)


The Quilt

September 2019 was my second-year attending Gather the Women’s annual gathering. As usual, I didn’t know what to expect yet I knew enough to trust. Trust that I would forever be shifted in one way or another for the betterment of who I choose to be in this world. Being surrounded by beautiful souls creates a space of authentically sharing, listening and growing. Sometimes such growth happens weeks after we say goodbye! That was the case this year, as I was asked to share the following story.


It was the final evening of the silent auction and I had my hopes on winning the beautiful Tree of Life quilt. I had all the “winning” strategies in place. So I thought!


As I waited for the last moment of outbidding anyone else, I turned around to see my cousin outbidding me! A mischievous back and forth of bids ensued and, in the end, she won! I was playfully very vocal about my upset and disbelief. What happened next is the magic of attending Gather the Women. When I turned around, I was greeted by my cousin gifting me the quilt as she said, “This is my gift to you for always being there for me throughout the years.” A mix bag of emotions surfaced. I was grateful, surprised and yet filled with judgement. Judgement is one of the emotions I am most sensitive about because of the role it has played in my personal life and yet here I was judging another. Weeks later I realized there was a greater gift given at that moment.


The events of the evening replayed in my mind as I traveled back home. I continuously reflected on what I was feeling, who was I being. Then I realized I needed to clean up with my cousin. It was the eve of Samhain, a time when we bury the things we are “done with” in our lives. I completed a four step clean up with her and I declared not to be powerfully judgmental anymore. Now in the space of where judgment resided is emptiness. In that emptiness is plenty of space to be filled with love and an opportunity to create authentic relationships.


I trusted that the weekend would forever shift me. Who knew a silent auction would be the catalyst to free myself from being powerfully judgmental in my life? I just wanted a beautiful quilt! Now when I wrap myself in the quilt, I’m reminded of the gift of judgmental freedom that was tucked away inside along with love and unlimited possibilities. How a single event can impact one’s life is the magic of attending a Gather the Women gathering!

~Corinne Cortes

New York, USA

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