“Finding your Bliss” Retreat September 2014

The day dawned bright and clear…  and our team was ‘over the moon’ excited about what the day would hold and the women we would get to meet.  Months of planning, dreaming and being inspired lead up to this moment and our team was truly feeling the beauty this day would hold.

The location: The gorgeous Wilson Vineyards, located in Clarksburg, a rustic barn.

The weather: Blue skies, gentle breezes and 100 degree heat.  (Thank goodness for fans!!)

The woman: Authentic woman that showed up ready to step into their best life.

The message: Find your Bliss.

The day began with our own personal barista Lexi, who prepared gourmet coffee and tea for each of us.  Followed by gentle music played by the wonderful Julie and Kathy. Heather led us in an art experience that engaged the rights side of our brain.  All we needed was  Paper… Sharpies… Oil pastels… and our smudgy fingers. 🙂  Fun Fun…

Then we explored the meaning of the word ‘Bliss’…  Not the light and fluffy feelings around it  BUT how it actually goes so much deeper.  Bliss is about intentional living.  About asking kind questions that move us into a life we want.  Bliss is about listening to what is being whispered to us… Relating to what supports our unique journey… Nurturing who we are and who we are becoming…  Bliss is living confidently… Honoring the truth we will hear in the journey… Bliss is about inviting love in to guide and transform you.

The day was filled with story-telling, creating bliss books, laughter, tears, growth, space within time, beautiful sharing, quiet moments and moving classical music and new friendships.

We asked each member of our team what their favorite part of the day was:

“I loved how the beauty of our environment complimented the beauty of our guests and the conversations we had. I enjoyed seeing their inner beauty so clearly reflected in the bliss books, their art, and their responses to our discussions.” – Heather

“My favorite part of the day was getting to engage with each of the amazing woman that attended.  I am always drawn to the fact that we are all so diverse and unique… and yet, when we share some of the deepest part of our hearts, we come to realize we have the same longings and needs. The same desires to be heard and valued.   I felt absolutely honored to be on this journey with each of them.  Making new friends in such an authentic way was AWESOME!”  – Sharon

“There was a moment toward the end of the retreat where I could see fresh air hit each woman’s heart as they breathed in the energy of the day. I get so excited for each of them as I think about what is ahead… I know their lives will transform so beautifully because they have been intentional about taking a day for themselves. It’s just the beginning, but it’s such an important step. It’s an awesome thing to be able to reflect back to each woman what a worthy investment she is!“ – Meredith

“I can’t stop thinking about the energy that was felt in the room throughout the day.  I am in awe with what is created when you have a room full of women that are all there with the same purpose, the same intention, the same openness and desire to invite goodness into their lives. To try and describe it in words is difficult because it was a feeling that filled our souls, and lifted our spirits.  I guess if I had to narrow it down to three words it would be peace, comfort and joy.  I feel so honored to have connected with each and every woman that came and enjoyed the day with us!  So excited for the next one!  Hugs!“ – Michaela

Thanks to each of the  amazing woman that joined us.  Crystal, Luna, Jennifer, Michelle, Shelley, Kathy, Julie, Lexi, Margo, Erin, Melinda, Mary and Catriona, you each inspired us.  Thank you for sharing this day with us, and for being willing to step into brave and engage better in the life you want.

The Arise & Be Team

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and here are some thoughts from retreat attendants:

“The reminder that I need to take the time to be intentional in nurturing my heart was so important to me.”

“It was beautiful. My soul is more at peace now and has the space to breathe.” – Michelle

“Hearing words put to my deepest emotions via other women’s voices was most significant about this experience.” – Shelley

“You can’t drive a car with an empty tank and today filled my tank to overflowing. It made me realize the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual need to make the time to do this on a regular basis.” – Melinda

“The power of being in a room with so many beautiful women had such an impact on me.” – Michelle

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Such a stunning group of beautiful, open spirits! xoxo!

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Life Lesson From My Mom: SELF CARE

One of the core values of Arise&Be is “living fully: mind, body, heart and spirit.” In order to live a full life, we need to be intentional about something that is a struggle for many women, SELF CARE. So this week, we’re thrilled to have guest blogger, Tami Hackbarth, share her thoughts on why self care is essential

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Arise & Be – The Story Behind its Beginning…

THE LESSONS I LEARNED FROM CHILDREN

We learn so much about who we are, how we view the world, and how we grown when working with children.  They teach us about spontaneous joy, uncontrollable laughter, and seizing the present moment. For this reason alone, I have always loved being a part of children’s lives.  We have boundless opportunities for learning and growth.  Children remind us of this.

But after years of teaching, I began to notice something else, they teach us when we stop believing in our power to be great and live courageous lives.  The older my students became, the more the dreams of becoming a professional dancer or a race car driver shifted to fears of not ‘being enough’ or  fear of ‘failing’.  Not being enough for what?  For who?  Failing in what?  Why all the pressure?  Where was it coming from?  These questions began to haunt me.

Grappling with reality and reconciling dreams is a process we all go through. It comes with the journey of ‘doing life’.  But with age, do we really need to believe less in who as we grow our inner critic that scoffs at the dreams we once had and the hope to accomplish great things?

After teaching young children in private schools, working with junior high at-risk students in East Los Angeles, training teachers in the jungles of Belize to break the cycle of poverty, and teaching educators at universities… I wanted to learn more about supporting individuals daring to believe in more.  I returned to school to research human services with the focus of exploring what influences personal growth and emotional well-being as well as what inspires transformational living.  My Ph.D. focused on researching gifted women transitioning with the purpose of coaching women and supporting them in their journey.

 

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THE ART OF ASKING PRODUCTIVE QUESTIONS

One of the most recurring questions in coaching conversations with women is the question, “What is wrong with me?!?” I hear it asked in moments of acute frustration, overwhelming despair, internal disgust, and sometimes even just out of sheer curiosity.

After noticing how often I heard women ask this, I was struck with the thought of how unhelpful this question really is. In fact, it is actually quite cruel. It hurts the person being asked and does not set anyone up to receive a fair answer. When we ask this question of ‘what’s wrong’, we do harm to our self by not allowing a fair answer to be found…and instead an assumption is made that something is indeed very wrong with us.

The truth is, nothing is ‘wrong’ with us…we are simply at a painful or confusing place in our journey. What we need are helpful questions that set us up for success to receive better answers. I have found that kinder gentler questions such as, “Where does it hurt?” or “Why am I stalled?” to be fairer questions, which eventually lead to answers that guide us.

As I listened one more time to this question being habitually tossed out in our conversation, I found myself saying, “How about we ask what is right with you?”

A STRONG COMMUNITY WAS DEVELOPED

In the belief that we are stronger together as women, I wanted to develop a community that came together holding the valuable belief that so much is right with us.

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Forming a community around this powerful posture of asking helpful questions such as ‘what’s right with me?’ gives us the permission to move forward in authentic ways as we dare to explore new possibilities. To consider helpful questions challenges a whole new level of self-talk. Most importantly, it engages our critiquing abilities to focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses, to find the solutions we need, and build the courage, confidence, and clarity to move forward. Arise & Be is a place for the woman to truly Arise…and…BE.

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