The next retreat for women is scheduled for October 27, 28, and 29 at the Bend of Ivy Lodge here in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. This will be the seventh retreat I’ve facilitated. If you’ve been reading my blog, then you have an idea of the kinds of things I’ll be presenting and sharing. If you’re new to this blog, click on a few of the related posts at the bottom of this article. They will give you an idea. Below I pasted the text from my last retreat announcement so you could read more details. Contact Nel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more information.
So what is this retreat thing? You’re a songwriter! Why are you doing this?
A few years ago, I had taught a bunch of writing and songwriting workshops all over the country. Several people who had seen these on my schedule had written in to my website to ask if I ever taught “non-songwriting workshops.” I had also been invited to be a Keynote Speaker at a conference called “Following Your Passion.” I realized that I had a lot to teach and to say about the many things I have learned from doing just that. Things that had nothing to do with songwriting or performing.
So at one point, I put a note out to my mailing list that I wanted to facilitate a retreat where I helped women get clear with their own lives and passions and intents. The response was big, and my first retreat had 23 women. It was amazing. The retreats have continued ever since. I fit them into my schedule when it feels right.
I do it because I’m good at it. And I love the challenge of it. It’s different. I’m not just standing on a stage performing for an audience. I’m able to sit down with people and share what I’ve learned. I also do it because when I first decided to take a leap and follow my dreams, I had very little encouragement. I found most of my “yesses” from books and from random people who came into my life briefly to help me. Slowly, more and more encouraging people entered my life. And now, I want to be that presence for other people.
What is the average age of participants?
The age span has ranged anywhere from 17 years old to 66 years old. There’s not really an average. (I also tend to think everyone’s my age – so my guess is that there’s lots of people in their thirties.)
What do you do?
There’s lots of space and silent time. I don’t like retreats and workshops where every last minute is filled with some new and distracting activity. This is really time for you. And so, I allow for lots of reflection and journal writing in between activities. I do some discussion on topics from creativity to forgiveness to setting intent to goal setting. I try to allow for both the “practical” and the “spiritual” elements of daily life in the discussions. (You might want to know that my use of the word “spiritual” embraces all teachings, and all viewpoints.) The group participates in writing exercises and sometimes guided meditations. Because the numbers allow for intimate discussions, many individuals have a chance to get input from others about challenges they’re dealing with in their own lives. The site is surrounded by woods and rivers and streams, so lots of people take walks.
There is a massage therapist on site. Many of the participants get a massage at some point during the three days.
The food is phenomenal. The chef uses all organic veggies from her own garden. The menu is carefully created to promote healthy happy retreaters who aren”t loaded down by fat and carbs! Vegetarians and vegans are always welcome!
On the second night of the retreat, I perform an unplugged very intimate concert. Sometimes participants will read poetry or do some other performance that evening after the show.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Nel at email@example.com. She is the organizing force behind all of these retreats. She’ll send you all the info you need.