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What I learned about COURAGE after hosting my first retreat.

"What is your BIG vision for your business?" I remember being asked this when I first started out as a coach and going off to the dream land of my imagination. Not only did this vision include things like having my own podcast or travelling the world as I worked remotely, but it included hosting retreats. Transformative and life changing retreats for women across the globe!

After a few years of being a full-time entrepreneur I realized I wasn't any closer to hosting these international retreats with sound baths, massages, and dance parties. But, I saw that my good friend (Vanessa Grace, a Co-Dependency Coach) decided to host a 1 day retreat about the Divine Feminine locally in my hometown. At. A. Yurt!

I bought a ticket immediately, and couldn't believe that there was a backyard spa with a yurt only a few miles from where I lived. I attended her retreat, and I loved it- it was the perfect reset for my soul!

And that's when the lessons in courage started.

During a break I asked her about the price she paid to rent the yurt. The price shocked me- in a good way. An attainable, possibly do-able type way. Maybe a luxury retreat in Bali was not on the menu yet, but could something small and local be?

If my background in marketing taught me anything, its to validate your offer and presell. And if the Goddess Elizabeth Gilbert (you know, Eat Pray Love) taught me anything in her book Big Magic it's to follow your curiosity.

Courageous Step #1

Testing the waters

I needed to know if this (hosting a retreat, without even a topic in mind) was a good idea.

I posted in 2 or 3 local Facebook groups to inquire if anyone was interested in attending a mini women's retreat that could include things like energy healing and something to do with following your Soul's Calling? What can I say, I was throwing spaghetti at a Facebook Wall! These posts received multiple likes and comments of "yes please" and "interested!"

And then. I. Did. NOTHING.

For 3 months. Probably longer than 3 months. You see, I went into a little war with myself. Part of me was saying "live events is the next thing on your journey, just try it!" and the other part was screaming "hahahaha you don't even have a topic, you think you can plan a retreat AND charge money for it!?!"

Courageous Step #2

Doing the d*mn thing!

And by doing, I don't even mean doing the retreat, but aaaaall the planning. Coordinate with the spa owner, pick a date, create a landing page, nailing down a theme/name (Soul Fire!)/rough outline, and advertising. And sharing, and advertising more, and sharing again.

This ginormous step took a lot of mind calming and putting one foot in front of the other without letting myself overthink it. Because I knew if I were to overthink it, I wouldn't do it. I even kept my expectations low- "3 participants is plenty, that's a group and I'll be grateful."

The week of the retreat, I had 4 women signed up and was nervous as hell. But it didn't matter. We got a snow storm, which aren't very common for the Portland, Oregon area, and the spa had to close due to frozen pipes, a mess of snow, and concerns about keeping the yurt heated.

Courageous Step #3

Go with the flow and be painfully optimistic

I won't say I wasn't disappointed, because I was, but I didn't want to let it get me down. The Universe might have better plans and it is what it is.

A bright spot in this journey was receiving a voice message from a friend saying she was so sorry to see I had to postpone the retreat but that she knew I was probably being "painfully optimistic" with not being able to control the weather. I smiled because it was true.

And to be honest I'm extremelly grateful the Soul Fire Retreat got rescheduled because I was able to attend a training for leading Sister Circles (the perfect structure for the discussion portion I wanted to include) and ALL OF THE SPOTS SOLD OUT!

Now for the meat of it. Actually hosting a retreat. For human beings. Who paid money.

Courageous Step #4

Surrendering to the Universe

As the day approached I continued to prepare: final touches, getting the outline down, gathering décor to make the space beautiful and spiritually preparing to hold the space for 7 women.

By the day before my self doubt was wanting to voice her opinion on the entire matter. I don't want to let them down. I want them to get value from the experience. What if I don't have enough prepared?

Luckily, I had an appointment with my therapist the day before who helped me process the anxiety while letting the truth become visible. All I have to do is listen. I have the outline, and be open and connected to my intuition to guide any in-the-moment decisions. The Universe can do all the heavy lifting.

I released the feeling of needing to perform, to meet expectations, and fully surrender to letting the experience be whatever it needed to be for each participant. Each woman was responsible for her experience, and the Universe knew exactly how to deliver.

Courage is taking one step at a time and facing the feelings as they arise. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The Yurt is located at Connect Wellness Spa in Vancouver, Washington.

Disclaimer: Jenne Sharpe is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

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