We have just concluded the first 3 days of our flagship retreat programme for a cohort of senior executives. We wanted to share an article written by one of the group to give you a flavour of the life-changing benefits to be experienced.
“Someone said to me ‘you should go on a retreat’, ‘a retreat? have you seen my diary, I barely have time for lunch each day let alone 5 days out on a retreat’. ‘No way. I’m fine as I am thanks’.
(Getting up at 5am, working until 7pm and regularly working at the weekends too. Heart regularly beating beyond the pace it should, snapping at the children in the brief 30 minutes I saw them before bedtime and so exhausted missing dinner as I didn’t have time and going to bed at 9pm before a restless night’s sleep and groundhog day starting again).
No I’m fine thanks – I don’t have time for a retreat.
Meanwhile, friends raising their concern with me that I’m always working and ‘are you ok’ ‘you must remember to look after yourself’, the occasional gut-wrenching comments from the children that ‘you’re always working mummy’ ‘we never see you’ ‘please can you stop looking at your laptop and help me with my reading?’. Family members raising constant concern that ‘you can’t keep going at this rate’ you’ll burn yourself out’.
Time for a retreat…? No thanks, I’m fine. Honestly, I’m fine.
Clients sending me messages of concern, distant contacts from the past noting their concern on social posts, family pleading me to take some time out. Anxiety in my chest, shallow sharp breathing, never taking a deep full breath, sleep getting harder and harder due to a constant busy mind. Restless legs. Drinking a glass or two of wine every night knowing it’s a quick way to get to sleep (despite never staying asleep for long). Changing my diet to try to shift a few pounds but having no luck. Exercising more but feeling more depleted. Running harder and faster on the treadmill but getting nowhere. More meetings, more actions, more calls, ok let’s try getting up at 4am instead then and gaining another hour for work – I’m not sleeping so why not.
I’m no wife, I’m no mother, I’m no business owner, I’m no daughter, I’m no friend. I’m doing none of those things successfully. But then I was told as a young girl, struggling with studies and dyslexia, ‘you’ll never achieve academically so just accept that. Just accept you won’t get high grades you’re not clever enough’.
Time for a retreat…? No thanks, I’m fine.
I’m not fine. I’m far from fine but I don’t have time to take out for myself.
Is that what I want written on my gravestone? Is that what I want my legacy to be. Is that the view I want my children to have of a successful role model and mother?
I met Hilary and Peter through a business group called BoB (Business of Brand) and I helped them shape the strategy and marketing activation for their Retreat business, a new venture they had taken after years of experience coaching and mentoring senior executives and dealing with their fair few personal turning points in life. They were inspiring, they talked about the power and intensity of self-discovery their retreats created and we shared stories from previous retreaters for the website and social.
I’ve just returned from the first 3 days of their flagship 5 day Executive Retreat (split into 3 days with a 10 week period of reflection before the final 2 days) and here is what I’ve learned.
- I am worth it.
- I can break the ground hog day and I will.
- I can be successful without jeopardising my family and friends.
- I am good at what I do. And people appreciate me and see strengths and skills I me I never knew I had.
- I’ve got a strong purpose and I’m value driven, I just never realised those values and how I play them out in day to day life in decisions and relationships.
- I’m not the little girl standing in her head teachers office being told to accept second best.
- I’m not a failed mother.
- I’m someone who is powerful and strong and I now know exactly what I need to do to get the balance I need in life. I need to let the fun back in. I need regular time out, for me, to make me the best version of myself I can be.
- I’m three days in but world’s apart from the women that arrived on that sunny Sunday afternoon.
Set in the beautiful countryside in the Cotswold, surrounded by two ultimate professionals who know exactly what they are doing and the journey they are taking people on – I discovered I have passion, kindness and determination racing through my veins. I’m better equipped now to channel this and I’m on a journey with like-minded professionals.“