This weekend I had the opportunity to attend and speak at Creative Women’s Co first all-inclusive retreat in Chicago. This retreat was designed to allow women to step away from their busy schedule, recharge their creativity and enjoy quality conversations with like-minded creative women. This was a three-day action-packed event in the heart of downtown Chicago. The itinerary covered everything from self-care, stress management to gratitude and finding balance. It was held in an intimate space that supported creating new connections and potential future business collaborations amongst the group. Each woman brought their unique viewpoint and experience to the table. There was so much synchronicity in the room, that at times most women nodded in agreement as each experience resonating across the room.
This was my first time since college sharing a room with strangers. I am very picky about who I allow in my personal space especially since we can be subtly impacted by the words and actions of others. Although I wasn’t initially a fan of the idea, I decided to step out and go with the flow. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I had in common with a young lady from France and another who’d recently moved back to Chicago from Portland Oregon. Although all three of us culturally came from different backgrounds, our stories crossed all boundaries that appeared to keep us separate. Spiritual connection supersedes race, culture and religious background. It moves beyond the limits most of us choose to live by. We sat up late at night after the activities for the day ended giggling and discussing entrepreneurship, careers, family, relationships, culture, and spirituality. Each one of us discussed openly this feeling of knowingness that most people couldn’t relate to. A knowingness that can be discovered by anyone willing to allow it in. My connection with these women was the highlight of my weekend.
Beyond that, I got a chance to share my expertise and experience with yoga and meditation. I discussed five ways to deal with the stress of working full-time and being an entrepreneur. I shared my real life experiences and then lead the audience through a series of yoga and meditation techniques they could use in their everyday lives. I discussed the importance of creating space in our schedule to prevent burnout and manage stress. The key to stress management is being aware of your stress triggers, staying attuned to your body language and using a variety of techniques to help you manage through the process.
I learned from this weekend that retreats are powerful ways to create change in your life. Retreats allow you to have a unique experience that only you and other participants can relate to. Retreats also foster curating lifelong bonds with people from a diverse set of backgrounds. Retreats only require that you appear with an open mind.
Peace and Blessings!