The theme of our annual one-day women’s retreat on Sunday 12 March was ‘Recalibrate’. Our intent was to create a program that facilitated the time, space and experiences that encouraged resting the body, relaxing the mind and restoring connection. The retreat was a few days ago now, and we’re still blown away by it all – the women who joined us, the GiveBack Ambassadors who generously shared their wisdom and gifts, the intensity of the sessions and that every ticket sold to our sell-out retreat means a young woman experiencing homelessness will get the opportunity to attend her own retreat!
“I came to get my life on track with my health and mind. I was feeling a little stressed before coming to the retreat and now I feel relaxed, inspired and blessed to be shown I can do more than I thought I could.”
“I felt out of my comfort zone before I came to the retreat, but now I feel wonderful!”
Opening circle was about setting our own intention for the day – letting go of what our heads were full of when we got there. For some this was racing to make it to the venue, fear of doing something different and for others it was the unusual sensation of doing something for themselves. The beautiful Ann Boon then led a joyous Nia dance class and movement meditation that got the blood flowing and sweat dripping!
After a delicious morning tea, we were in the hands of Asja Svilans. And what capable hands they were! Using plump green grapes, teeny tiny cherry tomatoes and bitter chocolate she got us to tune into the idea of mindful eating. During the workshop that followed Asja shared was felt like hundreds of useful tips and tricks to add more nutrition to every meal. These weren’t just any tips; they were the kinds of tips that were easy and user-friendly. No ridiculously complicated processes using expensive equipment and generating a sink full of dishes, this workshop was more like listening to a passionate foodie friend chat. Not only did we get to see just how easy her recipes were to make, we got to taste them all in the form of a spectacular lunch buffet. As we were eating Asja posed some interesting questions that got us thinking about our relationship with the food on our plate and kept the conversation going during the break. Lunch was nourishing for the body as well as the mind.
During Asja’s workshop, Kate from Bella Bliss Massage and Rosalie from River Gumtree Healing were offering seated massages to us all. To receive healing touch was such a gift. Between the two of them, everyone who wanted a massage got one and we are so grateful that they were there to add their special touch to the retreat.
The next session was a truly gorgeous, heart-centred and deeply restorative yoga practice with Georgina Siddall. With a beautiful attention to detail, Georgina gifted everyone a little bottle of bliss in the form of an essential oil blend containing Bergamot (the oil of self love, self-compassion and self-acceptance) and Geranium (the oil of love and trust). As we draped over bolsters and breathed deeply, it was almost possible to see the stress and pain from muscle niggles evaporate.
Our final session was nothing short of mind blowing. The gong sound bath performed by Deb Hill and Wendy Kropf was powerful and intense and to be honest, left us struggling to find the words to accurately describe the experience! To feel the gong’s vibrations floating around the room was an amazing sensation that left us deeply relaxed and in a meditative state.
The closing circle was beautiful because of the words the women used to describe what they were taking away from their experience at the retreat. There was a huge amount of gratitude, relaxation, connectedness and acknowledgement of the benefit that came from giving themselves permission to take some time out. The depths of transformation from the start to the end of the retreat were extraordinary!
“I came to the retreat give myself time to nurture myself in a safe and whole environment. I feel FULL at the end of the retreat, a rare feeling. I hoped to feel relaxed but got so much more (as always!)”
“My expectations of the day were more than met. The program opened my mind and heart – so grateful.”
“Every moment flowed! The group dynamics and the facilitators were all wonderful. I feel inspired to contribute to Joining Hands – an awesome concept.”
“What I got from the retreat was the knowledge that time out is allowed is good and benefits myself and those around me. When’s the next one?!”
We purposefully hold our annual one day women’s retreat around the time of International Women’s Day and yet again we were reminded of the power of women when we come together in a sacred space and what we can create and achieve for ourselves and others.
Our retreat would not have been possible without the support of our tribe of GiveBack Ambassadors who made the day so special. We invite you to support these big-hearted businesses that support us to provide access to wellness for vulnerable and homeless young people. You too can inspire wellness and be a change maker for homeless youth!
Big love and gratitude to:
Lucy at Wellwood Health for the beautiful space
Asja Svilans for the gorgeous event styling, workshop, delicious food and prize donation
Kate from Bella Bliss Massage and Rosalie from River Gumtree Healing for the massage
Georgina from Vitalita Yoga for the oil blend, yoga and prize donation
Deb C. Hill from The Drakontas Connection and Wendy Kropf from Vital Vibrations for the gong meditation, sound bath, Tesla plates, sword work, song, oils and everything else you managed to cram into our deeply healing and relaxing session
Our Partners and GiveBack Ambassadors for their contributions to the goodie bags and prizes:
Katherine Maslen, Vibrant Women, Flex Hot Yoga, Fruitful Online, Wholesomeness, Naughty Naturopath Mum, Brisbane Natural Health, Body Generation Therapies, Michelle Shea, Heart Tones, Sharyn Holmes and rtbitz.