As promised, here’s a deep dive inside look at what goes on at a Perfect Avocado Retreat:
Thursday evening, goddesses begin arriving at The Talbot House/Berry Manor Inn. As they arrive, we show them around our comfy accommodations - the living room, our dining room for our sumptuous catered lunches, and the ROOMS! After the rooms are toured, each is chosen according to personal style. The cozy deep blue room vs the splashy orange room or maybe the downstairs easy access room. The oohs and ahhs are so rewarding. Amy and I have set the stage in each room with a Perfect Avocado journal, welcome letter and goodie bag. Here’s a quick video that we posted last year so you can see for yourselves the lux of it all. After that, it’s ladies’ night out. Since we’ve already had the private Facebook group up for a while at this point, everyone has a sense of who they’re on retreat with. This first night is an opportunity to get to know each other a little more deeply. For later, also on hand is our library of transformation literature to peruse and inspire before bedtime slumbers.
Breakfast is served between 7 and 9 in the morning and I’m here to tell you, each day is breakfast Fantasy Island - omelets, and homemade apple sauce and muffins, and the menu changes daily so you will not be bored with the food! But hold yourself back, because there’s pie all day every day in addition to the mouthwatering breakfasts and lunches.
Friday at 9 am, our beautiful group convenes in the living room which has been transformed into a Perfect Avocado paradise. The coffee table is decked out in an avocado print tablecloth, there is water, tea, tissues, a full array of colored pens and markers to let the creative juices flow. Pillows and blankets abound - this is meant to be just super comfortable and easy. We start out by lighting a candle and writing our intentions for the retreat and the day. Amy and I regularly use the Tarot of Transformation, and card decks by Gabrielle Bernstein and Abraham Hicks. We like to invite the ladies on retreat to use these cards as a way to tune into their intentions and even the hardcore cynics wind up being amazed at the way these cards get at the real underlying, unsaid issues. This is magic. As we move through each segment of the retreat, Amy and I take turns facilitating. So, I begin to guide the group into an understanding of what our stories are and how our lives and choices and even our dreams are shaped - are all affected by our stories. This takes some time and we go slow, because this is the foundation of the rest of the weekend. Our stories are the long held limiting conversations in our heads that keep us in our stuck places. Stories can be about money, or commitment, what we think marriage is about, health and time. Whether we’re good enough, or whether we even allow ourselves to have needs. This is focused work and we use meditation, journaling, and very compassionate coaching to bring everyone to understanding. For many, this is the biggest aha moment of the whole weekend. It’s a real mind-blower. As you can imagine there can be a fair amount of resistance - this is not the side of ourselves we’re comfortable with knowing better.
Then we break for lunch where we all dine together in our own private dining room. Which is cool because we’ve been working on some serious sh*t! There’s still time for a well-deserved nap or quick run before we reconvene. We’ll relight the candle and restate our intentions for grounding. Then, my favorite segment - the break-up letter! This is where we look at what the story is costing. How much you have been attached? How good it feels to let it go and to let something else drive? To not be responsible in that same old hard way. This is a really sweet time in the retreat - it’s vastly liberating! This is personal as hell, but it feels superlatively good to throw down that weight. Then, we burn those letters in effigy! Sayonara baby!
Our reward for all this work is a fun excursion, the last time we went on a tour of the local woman owned chocolate bean to bar factory. Almost better than wine! Then there is free time until we get back together for dinner at one of the local restaurants. Rockland is a recognized foodie haven - no one goes home hungry! After dinner there is more free time for processing, visiting, snoozing and plain ol’ relaxing or spontaneous dance parties. This is your time!.
Again after breakfast, we’ll meet at 9 to light our candle, pull cards, and journal. Our group has taken their big breakthroughs into their sleep, so a check-in is in order. This is time to ask clarifying questions, and get reassurances. And deep listening. Recognizing that this story that we just broke up with is old and has some deep hooks, we work together to create personalized mantras to tame the inner critic for when the need arises. This is key to keeping the work alive upon leaving the retreat.
Then begins the dreaming! We talk about our someday life. The dream life that makes our spirit soar! We’ll talk about it, then we meditate on it - seriously this is the most fun you’ll ever have in meditation! Then we write it all down in as much detail as we can muster. The thing is, this is dreaming in living color, no longer hampered by the albatross that was your story. This is freedom dreaming, out loud dreaming, no barriers dreaming! Then we break and everyone is free to walk, exercise, shop, mani-pedi, massage, snooze for two to three hours. The afternoon is devoted to creating vision books using the hundreds of magazines that have been provided for just this purpose. Then more reflection time till dinner time for another sumptuous meal included in your retreat.
After yet another yummy breakfast, we begin in our little Perfect Avocado love nest and light our candle to the day and each other, then write intentions for the day and pull cards. This is the day that sets Perfect Avocado Retreat apart from others. This is the day where using the dream writing and the vision boards and Amy’s strategic planning background, our goddesses design a plan toward that dream life that feels so real in this moment. It’s been said that without a map, you don’t know where you’re going. Today is the day that the map becomes real and dreams begin to manifest. We have our secret sauce that goes into this part, so, we’ll just keep that under wraps for a big reveal at the retreat. But this day also includes a wicked fun girlie adventure - more on that in a later post. And together we go far out to the lighthouse - what could be more metaphoric? Lighting our own way!
Same great beginning. Breakfast, candle, cards. But these are our last hours together! So special and bittersweet. We come together as changed women now. Women who see the future in a wholly different way. We have a sweet bonding closing circle. Then while everyone is packing, Amy and I meet with each goddess in a one on one coaching session to address any open issues and to schedule a post-retreat session which is also included as part of the retreat.
With that, each of us makes our way home towards a brand new someday!
Next week, The Big Change - a catalyst for going on retreat.