Many of you have asked me what it looks and feels like to be on one of my retreats. Or perhaps some intel on my process of how I run a retreat (for those who aspire to run your own). So I thought I would give you a little peak inside what goes down when women come together for a week of deep process, healing and awakening.
And I’m going to use my recent Goa Goddess Retreat as an example.
Firstly, I dream the location and have been reminded strongly that to do the energetic work I do I have to be mindful of the places I choose. This process is much more than choosing the prettiest villa with the nicest pool it is about feeling the energy of the land, the connection to the ancestors (with the deepest respect) and whether it is “my place” to work there. Once this comes through for me I find a wonderful venue with good energy, organic food (Samata Retreat where I hold my Goa retreat has it’s own organic garden - so good!), and all the things I need to host a powerful retreat - like lovely rooms, a great shala preferably with a wooden floor, respectful staff etc. Goa is an obvious choice for me as I have been in India since I was 13 and have a strong connection to this sacred land. Most of my retreat venues comes into my field in divine timing and I act with my gut and heart. Don’t get me wrong though, I have chosen some spaces in the past I really wanted to host a retreat in only to find that it really isn’t my place to work. Not sure if that makes sense but let’s just say I’ve learnt some lessons.
Then the dreaming of the theming comes through. As I am called to work with women the title “Goddess Retreat” was born, however what I do with each group really depends on the energy and needs of the mix of women who show up. Although there is always a schedule (as people really love schedules) I am forever guided by Spirit and the energy of the moment. I have a big tool kit of physical and spiritual practices / processes I work with and am guided by the group as to how deep we dive in. My schedule will always have the frame work of a journey… perhaps we are moving through the goddess archetypes in conjunction with the chakra system as a main back bone. In Goa this year I did something new as my higher self was pushing me to do so and I lead the days by their individual Galactic Mayan energetic signature. This energy became part of everything we did, our movement, our sharing, our processes. Although it didn’t feel as smooth as a usual journey framework - WOW it certainly did feel spot on for the energetics of the present moment and I felt more and more as if I was dancing in harmony with the Universe! We have become so disconnected from our natural rhythms this was such a beautiful was to pay full respects to the energies at play… and boy… was it spot on for all of us!!
Then calling in the perfectly aligned group. I’m not going to bore you with marketing and sales strategies - but yes I have to do this too - but I have been employing what I feel to be “smarter marketing” techniques. I do this with intention, visualisation and prayer to literally become like an energetic lighthouse to call in my perfect group. This works well providing I believe in the process.
In the lead up to my retreats I often get butterflies, hoping that everyone will be happy and that they don’t have too many expectation (as is often the case). It’s not that I think my work is not good enough, its just that people often create a picture of what they think they will experience, or what their room mate will be like etc and when they get stuck in this story they can be faced with some adjustments - and the medicine they receive is ALWAYS the medicine the need as this is really what they are calling in. This is why I usually think of the first 3 days as the "adjustment phase". Where people who often only know me from online get to know me and my style in the physical, they make friends and adjust to their surroundings and ease into the practices and new environment. My Goa retreat was unusual in the sense that we never had this adjustment phase. It was like the women all arrived and were already such close friends. Our first dinner was like we had known each other forever and we laughed our heads off. We also went super deep very fast and I found myself thinking - WOAH - hold on to your hats... we are about to go fully off planet … (and we did!) I blame my highly psychic mother/ assistant for this!
CREATING THE CONTAINER
Creating the container is paramount to a juicy retreat and this is something I put much prayer and energy into. We can do all the practices and eat all the healthy food under the sun, but without the supportive energy behind it and the assistance of our energetic teams it feels meaningless (well not entirely… but mostly) to me. I know I bang on about energy A LOT but this is really what I am doing when we work together. I call in the flow of light, pure love, Chistos, Christ Consciousness, of frequency. I call in my team and your teams and we create a unified field of transformation… and yes things get super charged. And then we do our practices. Really I feel like this is my purpose on this planet - to help you to do what I do as we all have the capacity to do it. When we are working efficiently with energy and raising our frequency we can truly change the world in the most subtle way.
And then we begin…
OPENINGS & CLOSINGS
Openings and closings are so important to the container so I always ensure the container is created with strength, grounding and integrity. I always create an altar and a focus for our prayer and an image of beauty to devote to each day.
A DAY ON RETREAT
A usual day will look like this… (for me)..
5.30am - wake up and move into my own practice, meditating, receiving a transmission of what the day should hold and allowing myself to be fluid to the new guidance. Jumping on my mat to feel into our morning practice. Tuning into the theming of the day whatever it may be.
7.15am - setting up our space for morning practices, ensuring the altar is fresh, candles are lit and prayers well poured in.
7.30am - Goddesses arrive for morning journaling, pranayam (sometimes) and meditation. Depending on the energy of the day I will likely bring in new meditation techniques, some I have learned and some I receive via transmission from Spirit. I just get out of the way when I start and allow the frequency to come through. That is where the real magic happens.
8am - Morning movement practices. Perhaps some qi gong, sacred movement or a juicy vinyasa flow (because let’s face it - I still LOVE my dynamic flow with well crafted playlist). Perhaps we finish with a Goddess invocation if we happen to be working with a particular goddess that day or perhaps we meet our energetic team (believe me they are all hanging with us on retreat - it’s quite the crowd).
10am - Brunch. A high vibe smorgasbord of expertly combined dishes for maximum healing and energy. Eaten mindfully, totally infusing our food with LOVE.
11am - Workshop time - this workshop is aligned with the energy of the day. It could be “Awakening the Goddess”, “Sacred Sexuality”, “Moon Blood Mysteries”, "Communing with Spirit" or a breath work session or sound healing with a guest practitioner I bring in to support me. I love to do this very much as it adds a new depth to the experience of the group. Calling in your friends and showcasing their unique gifts feels so good too. (and sometimes I switch this up and offer the workshop in the afternoon depending on the vibe of the day).
1pm - Break time for spa treatments, integration and time to be in nature. In Goa we get spoilt and have a whole kitchen for ourselves stocked with ayurvedic teas, ice cold fresh coconut water, nuts, fruit and snacks. I need to get all retreat centres to do the same!
5pm - Evening practice which is often yin yoga, sacred dance or a 5Elements Dance Journey. I love to call in my soul singing musician friends to provide live music for my sessions. I feel grateful to be very connected all over the world and have many talented beings to call on.
7pm - Delicious vegan dinner followed by a treat (refined sugar free of course)… and sometimes we have kirtan or a song circle after dinner but not every night as we get too sleepy.
8.30pm - Although the conversation often carries on we are usually in bed early, to integrate and prepare for the following day. Big things go down on my retreats. Emotions get stirred up and big transformation occurs so rest and solo time are really important.
Sometimes we go on excursions for sunset beach practices and drum circles (in Goa), high priestess water blessings (Bali), temple activations and past life soul retrievals (Hampi & Mexico) and sunset pujas and soul singing (really everywhere… but I love Es Vedra in Ibiza for it’s full power nature).
And then we close in a beautiful process that you will have to come and experience to find out more. Joined in the hearts forever as we have been on a epic journey together.
The women are birthed out into the world, with a lot to process, perhaps reborn, fresh new energy, empowerment, awakened to their shakti, their life-force… ready to shine their unique gifts in the world.
I feel so blessed to be doing this sacred work. It kind of found me but it is the most natural things for me to do!
If you feel called to join me, my next international retreat is happening in Bali from June 1 - 7 and I still have a few discount spaces left - so jump on it. This will be my last international retreat for 12 months due to some rather exciting life changes. You can probably read between the lines so I will just leave this there.
I will also be offering a national Australian tour of The Goddess Gathering one day retreat series in March & April so look out for the invitation hitting your inboxes very soon.
AND- for those keen to know more about the inner workings of retreat facilitation I have an exciting webinar happening in March with Liesel Albrecht. This will be more technical and logistical so look out for the invitation to this too.
Oh one more thing - that we will also cover in the webinar... always price your retreat in the currency you are paying in. Most retreat spaces will change in USD so, with the ever fluctuating AUD (and global economy) it is much safer to change in the currency you have to pay in so you don't get left in the lurch (I know this from experience).