A moment of reflection before our retreat this weekend
Reflections on and anticipation of our Finding Balance in Business Retreat this weekend
This weekend sees the long awaited arrival of the first retreat Vicky and I are running together. This will be the culmination of 8 months of hard work for both of us and we are so looking forward to welcoming our guests to Brooklands Barn on Friday afternoon for a weekend of reflection, self-enquiry and self-care.
We are very proud that we are the only company in the UK running this type of retreat - offering a combination of yoga and self care through physical movement with the reflection and personal consideration that comes from a coaching approach with regard to business and work.
I really wanted to write this post in advance of the retreat to take the time to appreciate how far we've come, capture the moment of 'the not yet done' before it's lost in the retrospective of the memories of the weekend itself, and share with you a bit of the story that brought us all here.
The idea for the retreat came out of a conversation in a bar on a sunny evening in May or June last year. So many good ideas start in the pub - I can't tell if it's the relaxing affect of the company and location or if alcohol has an affect but something about it seems to get the creative juices flowing.
Vicky had only recently arrived back from 8 years in Sydney teaching yoga, running retreats in the outback (jealous!) and enjoying the sunshine and relaxed environment of Australia. She made the decision to come back to England and was in the process of rebuilding her yoga practice from a standing start, having all your network and experience on the other side of the world isn't great when you move location and start again! Despite 8 years of teaching experience and 18 years of personal practice, Vicky was back at the beginning - or so she thought. What a brave decision and how lucky for me!
I was about 18 months into my freelance life and hugely enjoying the process of coaching others, learning about myself and experiencing what it's like to try to build and run your own business. It was not without its challenges and I had as many 'bad' days as I did 'good' ones - though I was learning that even the bad days were, in fact, good in many ways.
A glass of wine and sunshine meant we obviously got chatting about our experiences of being self-employed and also the content of what we spent our time teaching others. What became immediately apparent was that the philosophy of Vicky's yoga practice and the underlying principles of coaching were hugely complimentary. Yoga encourages introspective tuning in to the body and the mind without actively judging or trying to steer thoughts in any particular direction. This open 'observation' can lead to deep insight and realisation, as a result of not pushing for an answer. In contrast, much of what I spend my time talking to clients about is a process of more 'active' mental introspection and awareness - becoming aware of our reactions and behaviours in particular situations and considering them deeply, reflecting on them and finding ways to move forward. The marriage of these two 'lessons' seemed such a huge opportunity to provide people with a holistic approach to their own self care that we couldn't possibly pass it up.
In addition - our own experiences of running our businesses had left us with the overwhelming sense of 'running to stand still', occasional isolation and a frustration that taking time out always felt like a 'selfish' act. We looked at each other wistfully and said "wouldn't it be amazing to have a weekend of time to reflect and think about your business as well as just having the mental space to relax...".
We nodded and went our separate ways and then the next day Vicky called me and said "we should do a retreat together offering exactly that". I hardly needed persuading.
And here we are - 8 months later and we have real people coming with real life stories to discuss and reflect on. We have an amazing range of activities scheduled for the weekend, a beautiful location in Brooklands Barn and fabulous food on the menu. We also have learnt a huge amount during this experience of getting Relax and Renew Events off the ground which we hope to share in our future events and activities - which is also pretty exciting.
We genuinely cannot wait to meet those of you who are joining us, and look forward to announcing more events this year to hopefully meet more of you in the future!