When it comes to leading retreats, especially the first time, retreat leaders can often experience an underlying fear. As the event draws near, the anxiety builds as they picture themselves in front of the room. “Will I be able to bring the magic?” “Will they get what they came for?” and more race through the back of the retreat leader’s mind. And this is true even after having led many retreats.
The good news about this if you’ve had this experience is that it means you have a big commitment to creating transformation for your clients. You know the difference it makes to have empowered and aware human beings walking around this earth loving themselves and sharing their gifts! And you will do what it takes to facilitate that transformation.
The downside of this is that some times we can feel that we have to always be ‘on point’ in order to make this happen. We can see ourselves as the magic, rather than recognizing that there is so much more to the magic than meets the eye! You are actually one fourth of the equation. I’ll walk you through exactly what I mean.
Introducing the 4 Pillars that create the container of support for your participants at your transformational retreat.
You are absolutely important to the transformation that happens in your retreat. You just may be less important than you thought. 🙂 I find this to be great news because it takes a bit of the pressure off. I recently came down with an ass-kicker of a cold the day before my retreat. My body was clearly focused on healing, and pulling a lot of energy from my mind. I wasn’t 100% on top of my game. Yet I was clear that it was spirit giving me even more opportunity to own the Truth of this teaching. The retreat is quite simply just not all about me!
That being said, who you are being in the world and in front of the room has a huge influence on the outcome of the retreat. In my programs where I teach retreat leaders how to develop their retreat-based business, I always encourage them to develop THREE KEY INTENTIONS for their retreat. Being intentional as the leader will help you create a very specific energy in the room, through the power of your focus.
I am also very clear that we retreat leaders MUST do a good job with our own energetic hygiene. That means keeping yourself in a good space in your life (which can be true even when you have a cold!). When you are in a powerful energy space in front of the room, people FEEL the energy you hold and they suddenly access very different thoughts than they had before they walk in the room. A powerful energy space is one in which you are committed to an outcome but unattached, holding an energy of clarity and non-judgment.
The very structure you create in your retreat is a key component to the results your participants will receive. What is great about this is that you will PRE-DECIDE your structure so that on the day your retreat begins, that is already set in motion – nothing to remember or do!
So what do I mean by structure, exactly? You are creating the structure of your retreat the moment you decide on things like the dates, the location, how many days the retreat is and how many hours each day. The reason this has such an impact is that as soon as you make these key decisions, you are creating the CONTAINER for the transformation to happen. (I talk a lot about containers – these 4 pillars actually apply to ANY container of support you create for clients!) A container has specific confines. The sides and bottom of the container define what can take up space inside.
When you define the container of your retreat, and the participant steps into it, suddenly you have created an opportunity for them, in partnership with Spirit, to channel their energy and intention into that specific time frame. Just by having set aside the time to achieve a specific outcome, their thoughts, intuition, and the world around them begins to go to work on creating that outcome – often even before they arrive at your retreat! They are getting themselves ready and Spirit begins lining up the right experiences to have them be prepped for transformation.
Your knowledge (or knowledge you have learned from others and are spreading… with proper credit of course) is the third pillar of your container of support called your retreat.
Your knowledge gets expressed in the form of the content you develop for your retreat. It also gets expressed in the way you handle the questions that come up in the room. To me one of the key aspects to delivering the right knowledge in your retreat is to have absolutely clarity about where you COME FROM in your work with clients. This is the OWN IT stage of the Retreat and Grow Rich™ Business System I teach. When you can own, in every cell of your being, your personal approach to what you do and the outcome you stand for, then responding with the right knowledge and information becomes second nature. It’s one of the reasons I love retreats so much for the intuitive and aligned entrepreneur. You can show up, respond to the room, and have plenty of content available to you with very little prep work.
That being said you do want to have some content developed to take them on my journey. In my live retreat, participants get to experience just how the flow of transformation happens in their retreat, and how much content they need (and DON’T need) to get the outcome they want. In short I recommend you think about CONCEPT over CONTENT. You don’t need to teach everything you know. Leave space for the participants to INTEGRATE the information.
The fourth pillar is the participant and their full commitment to the outcome you are promising at your retreat.
You are never responsible for your participants. You are responsible to them, and to delivering on what you’ve promised in terms of structure and knowledge. But you can’t create their transformation. They must be “all in” on the outcome they desire.
When your retreat is properly designed and marketed, you will be attracting clients who are already aware of the transformation they seek, and have energetically agreed to surrender to that process before they even walk in the door.
And then we cannot forget the power of community. One of the reasons I am a raving fanatic about retreats is that being seen in community, telling the Truth in community, has a healing and transformative quality that is unparalleled. Properly designed retreat marketing will invite in a like-minded tribe. Often your participants will have rarely or never experienced the energy of a room of people who get them before. Don’t discount the value of this! You’ve done the work to magnetize the right people, and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor as your participants connect and grow!
THE GUIDING HAND OF SPIRIT
I cannot forget to mention this knowing that Spirit guides it all. Whatever your beliefs about God, Spirit, the Universe, Source, Energy, etc., if you can create for yourself a knowing or a faith that we are being divinely guided – you and your participants – you’ll be able to breath a big sigh of relief. All is unfolding perfectly and the Universe has your back!
I’d love to know YOUR thoughts about this topic… please share your experience below!
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