"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~
I was asked lately what motivated me to host retreats. I think it started back when I was a teenager going to summer camp. I loved that feeling of having a shared experience in a somewhat isolated place with a group of people. It felt like I bonded with those people in ways that ordinary life didn't offer. I felt like I was more myself in that time than at any other.
The first yoga retreat I attended gave me the same feeling, and I decided I wanted to host retreats to give other women the opportunity to have that experience.
There are two levels of experience on a retreat. One is an experience you have with yourself. You make the decision to attend, you figure out what to bring, and screw up your courage to show. You figure out where you fit in the group, and you have an experience - whatever that experience might be.
The other level of experience is with the other people at the retreat. You'll meet other women there, you'll hear their stories, you'll laugh with them, you might even cry with them. The interactions you have with the other people at the retreat may be the richest part for you.
My retreats don't involve anything "weird". They aren't meant to challenge you. They're designed for your comfort. My main goal is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and included and safe. I always tell the group that everything is optional. No one will be offended if you skip an activity, or go to bed early, or go for a walk on your own.
The memories I made at summer camp have lasted my whole life. I look back at that time as one of the favourite things I've done. I offer retreats so that other people can have an experience like that - whether it's within themselves, with the other people who attend, or a bit of both.
Our lives are built upon the experiences that we allow ourselves to have.