Energized and exhausted.
I’m about a week away from the end of NOURISH, a three day women’s weekend that my friend and I planned and hosted last weekend.
We started planning NOURISH in April 2018. Over the course of the year from the seed of an idea to reality, we both shared a vision of what this weekend would look like. We wanted to redefine retreat.
As the year of planning went by, defining what redefine retreat meant evolved. Over the course of the weekend, it became very clear. What we wanted to build with NOURISH was a space for women to let go of the deprivation and obligation that is not only present in many other retreats, but, even more so, in our daily lives.
As mothers, partners, workers and adults, we move through each day with a to-do list that is seemingly never ending. It’s the care-taking, planning and executing that keeps many of us going each day, but on the aggregate, it it takes up the space for inspiration and creativity and reflection that we, as humans, need.
We deprive ourselves of activities, foods, drinks, time because we “should” be doing, eating or thinking about something else.
By hosting NOURISH, we hoped that our participants could find some time to tap into that sleepy part of themselves. To find the opportunity to make choices to participate or not to participate, to eat freely of healthy real food designed not only to stimulate taste buds and conversation, but to fuel body and mind for activity.
I want to be careful in using terms such as “self-care” as I think the current hyper-focus on this has possibly moved us into a “self-ish” period, but I do want to acknowledge that moments we can find to step away from the daily routine can provide us with opportunities to connect, recharge and find magic and inspiration. (Perhaps that is another blog post…)
That is what we hoped NOURISH would provide to all who took a leap of faith and joined us last weekend.
When I returned home after the completion of NOURISH, I was exhausted. My partner Ally and I had been working non-stop to make sure the entire weekend was a success. I couldn’t believe I had to get up Monday morning and go to work.
A funny thing happened, though. When I found myself back at work, I realized that there was a blanket of energy surrounding my exhaustion. I was inspired, I felt connected. I was completely energized to step into my normal routine of mothering, working, to-do-listing again.
As we saw friendships form, workaholics nap in hammocks, and women share teary and heartfelt goodbyes, we realized that we had accomplished what we hoped to accomplish. And as I moved through the week and into the Memorial Day weekend, I realized that I, too, had benefitted greatly from redefining retreat.
This post is dedicated to Ally Cherins, my partner in the project and friend for life. You are the cherry on top of the gift of planning and executing this event.