If You Build It...
I am still pinching myself.
It's hard to fathom that after six straight months of focusing on, preparing for, list-making, dreaming, planning, concocting, and organizing, my biggest event ever is now over.
Sort of like a wedding or a bar mitzvah. (I've had one and two of those.) And then the day after. But the good thing about this is I actually feel like it's more like having a baby. Whew, that was hard and a lot of work, and sometimes painful, but OH.MY.GOD. Was it ever worth it! And not only that, but it's only the beginning.
Soul Journey Retreat was my dream come true. Since the very beginning of Unfold Studio, it has been my vision. Creating the container for deep, deep soulful creativity and process, over several days at a beautiful and cozy retreat space, in the beautiful countryside, away from the world's troubles, surrounded by tender-hearted souls, and with delicious and nourishing food to boot.
To say it lived up to my dream is an understatement. It was EXACTLY what I had envisioned. Down to the littlest twinkly light. Down to the last crumb of food.
Oddly, I got pretty sick about three days before the retreat and was forced to stay in bed and surrender to the Universe. My mind emptied out; I had no energy to worry about the myriad details that had been orbiting there. And that is exactly what I would have done given the chance. So instead, I slept, drank broth delivered by my dear hubby, and binge-watched Black Mirror (I highly recommend!).
And that's the first miracle. I actually spent the three days before the retreat RESTING rather that WORRYING. I had to just TRUST that I had done enough already to make it happen. I had to TRUST that everything was in place.
And it was. Oh, my, was it.
Every detail of this retreat was carefully considered beforehand. I knew exactly how I wanted it to look, feel and taste. I knew what kinds of experiences I wanted each participant to be part of. I could already feel, weeks and months before they all arrived...from as far away as Alaska and Texas, and as close by as Sebastopol and Santa Rosa...exactly how I wanted them to feel when they walked in the door of the art studio, when they met their new friends, when they sat at the table for their first meal together. It was my vision.
It was my vision, but I had a most incredible team of women who helped create the container. I love to co-create (two heads are so much better than one!) and my creative wife ;) Nichole Warwick was a dream to work with. We can't wait to create even more magic together very soon. My ebb was her flow. We rolled through every moment of the retreat, nipping and tucking, adjusting, molding. It was our creative process and our work of art. But best of all, it was just so damn easy. Stacy Ito was our awe-inspiring chef who crafted a menu for everyone there to feel held and seen: there were delicious vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo options at every single meal. I literally burst into tears three times at meals when I saw how gorgeous and inviting the food was. Everyone felt nourished inside and out by Stacy's loving attention to detail in the kitchen. Janet-Rae Jorgensen and Shelly Lev-Er were our trusty right hand women, who made sure that every detail was covered, both in the kitchen and in the art studio. They put in hours in both spots to make our experience smooth and delightful.
Last Friday, fourteen women gathered at Yokayo Ranch in Ukiah (south Mendocino county), exhausted, full of apprehension, excitement, anticipation, even trepidation, and more. And five days later, fourteen women left feeling loved, accepted, seen, known, and transformed. Each one lighter, more joyful, filled up, clearer, and more confident. And each with thirteen new friends.
For each participant. And for me. It was life changing for me, too.
Because for me it was not only a dream come true, but a milestone. There is no turning back. My life and work are now on a different path.
You see, until this happened I could only dream of my potential. And now that this has happened, now that I have heard:
"You changed my life."
"I am transformed."
"I feel so blessed that I found you."
"You can't put a pricetag on what happened here to us."
Now that I have heard all this, have manifested all of this, now that I know what I can do down to the last twinkly lightbulb, I know that it's something that I need to do. Often.
So, stay tuned.
Oh, and I've already booked Yokayo for next New Year's Eve.