Why I run retreats for women, and admitting it’s not for purely altruistic reasons
Whilst recently compiling some training for new retreat facilitators I was called to remind myself why it was that I run retreats for women.
And I have to admit there were some selfish reasons, I am not as altruistic as I thought!
My initial reason for running retreats as many of you know is because my partner joined the Defence Force which meant a move for us every 3 to 6 years and I just couldn’t face starting a new private counselling practice every time, (I’m a social worker by profession/yoga teacher/lazy bones). We all know it takes at least 3 years to get a new business off the ground and its hard work. So combining my counselling background, with my love of travel I jumped on the retreat bandwagon, (although 8 years ago it was much smaller, all sorts of experiences are popping up now under the banner of retreats, but I’ll save this for another rant).
So the first reason I started running retreats was really out of practicality. I could plan my work in advance and it didn’t matter where I lived as I could travel to my work anywhere, perfect! I needed an income, that is a given so thats number two, however, I also felt there were benefits for working with groups as opposed to individuals, both for you and me. There is something about the group process I just love, (and its not all hugs and chanting devotional prayers people, some serious shit can take place).
Women holding space for one another creates the opportunity for such profound growth, I am still constantly amazed with each retreat, (and now sight seeing tours) I run, how lives are transformed. Not all capital T Transformations, some are more subtle, a new skill or commitment, a friendship formed, time out to soothe your overworked parasympathetic nervous system so you don’t become, as one mother of four small boys said, “a bit stabby”.
And although I am not running as many retreats, (I only have so much material girls and I like to keep it fresh) I am running lots of Inspirational Journeys – sightseeing tours to inspiring places, such as Egypt, Morocco and India, the level of personal growth that occurs during travel without any personal development activities is also incredible, (and has nothing to do with me). There is something so magical about stepping our of your life, your comfort zone and the limitations you have set for yourself that gives you a level of personal freedom and connection I don’t find anywhere else.
The thrill of something new. We don’t have as many “new experiences” as we get older, but I love finding a new vista, smell, food, culture and although my primary motivation was for creating sustainable work for myself, I now really do it for the connections. I do it for what my participants give back to me. So thank you to all my travel buddies that I have collected over the last 8 years, you mean the world to mean and I love sharing the world with you, Tammie xx