Last Autumn I was privileged to co-facilitate our inaugural Intimate Leadership Retreat for Women. As I prepare for our next women’s retreat, I can’t help but reflect on some of the special moments with a fabulous group of women last year.
The space to explore…
One of the significant elements we wanted to design into the Retreat, was plenty of time and space to explore. We devoted space for deep exploration – of the beautiful environment at Pebble Ledge Ranch which hosts a variety of diverse eco systems, but also the inner environment – within ourselves. Time to explore those inner depths – and that which is trying to emerge but just needs some breathing space?
With life being as hectic as we know it can be for professional women…we concentrated on providing our group with a safe platform to also explore that which might be holding them back from realising their full potential/their dreams and visions. We provided a range of catalysts and experiences as stimuli for their emerging futures to present themselves.
Allowing space for our body intelligence to be felt and heard…
One of our goals for the programme was to leverage and ignite all of the intelligences – in the mind, body, and spirit. Often we invest in the intellect /mind, and pay less attention to the intelligence deep within the body – our sensing and our instincts.
Our energy can be blocked for many reasons, including a build-up of stress over time, as well as unreleased trauma. We were committed to a holistic and integrated experience and on one of the days, we incorporated two professional ‘body healers’. The group was able to work on, and release any ‘blocked’ energy within their physical body through personal sessions. By dedicating space to release this blocked energy, space and capacity is freed up to fully explore the identity and future that wants to ‘emerge’.
We learnt as a group, but also as individuals…
In addition to activities as a group, Jackie and I felt it really important to include the time for a variety of one-to-one sessions – this included systemic coaching sessions whereby participants had an opportunity to explore that which needed attention to flow forward.
For some people, this requires some respectful acknowledgement of what has happened in their history and the ‘unpacking’ of any entanglements that have formed over time (potentially, over generations and/or within their organisations).
For others, this session can be more about creating precious space to deeply explore the options for the future that are starting to emerge as a consequence to the stimulus of the previous days.
The significance of ceremony…
In this programme we incorporated rituals and ceremonies to mark the end of each day, which worked really well. The one that particularly stands out in my mind was our beautiful fire ceremony.
One by one, we each took the opportunity to share that which we wanted to add fire and energy to, in our lives in the context of our emerging future and vision. This beautiful poem from Judy Brown (which we shared at the Retreat) reminds us all, of the importance of providing enough space in our lives for the fire to grow:
What do you want to give fire & energy to? Would you like to create some precious space to explore your emerging future?
The benefits of taking this kind of time out for yourself
I have to say that the retreat was a privilege to run and I am so looking forward to welcoming a new group of women this year. An important aspect for both Jackie and I, was in listening to the beautiful, individual feedback from the group about their experience of the Retreat. There were two that stood out for us which I’d love to share with you:
“The time and space that opened up on this retreat had a customised yet collective brilliance to it. We seemed suspended in another place where the trees and horses and wild women spoke to us, whispering or shouting or stomping messages that were exactly what I needed to hear.
The balance between individual and collective time was spot on. The ease into the depth, although frustrating for me at the time, in retrospect was wise and well managed. I came with several intentions and questions, and left with the answers and so much more. Tess and Jackie know how to create a powerful learning and transformation space in beautiful partnership with the horses and mother nature. If you are looking for a space to be held as a woman on your journey, to be met where you are and taken farther than you thought you’d go, sign up now!” Cari Caldwell (pictured below)
“The time at the women’s retreat was one of those rare occasions where I really got to stop, reflect and spend time on me. The environment and the way the days were structured providing a feeling of complete safety to do and be who I needed to be and led me through a wonderful journey of exploration. I would highly recommend to anyone who is journeying to find their true soul purpose” Tracey Gray (pictured below)
Please do go and have a look at our Facebook Album of memories from previous Retreats, if you haven’t already.
Do you want to create a precious space for yourself?
We are busy putting the final touches on to this year’s agenda, although the structure, flow and objectives will be the same for this year’s group of women. Would you like to join us? We would be so honoured to have you.
Take this opportunity to create the precious space you have been craving – to take stock, reflect, inject energy back into your passion and walk away with clarity around your emerging future & vision, as well as a sense of renewed calmness and alignment.
Please do drop me an email if you would like to know more.