I don’t know if you know this about me yet, but I am very passionate about the work I do. It is important to me that what fills my waking hours matters to me. This applies from the people and conversations that fill my personal world and what I do for the work I get paid for. I don’t just want to put in time to get by. Ever.
I’ve been in that place and I know how that feels. And as I’ve developed my faith muscles in time as an entrepreneur I absolutely know that I don’t have to do that again. There is always a way to have your work be in alignment with your soul. Phew.
I want you to know where my passion lies right now and why. Because I believe that you deserve alignment in your inbox! Follow and consume only information from people having conversations that matter to you!
So what is it that keeps ME up night?
Well, nothing truly, I sleep well. But what my personal ‘fun’ thoughts go toward is how to make it easier for people with innately RICH skills of ‘Retreat Leader’ to do their best work in the world, without all of the stressing and struggling to fill their retreats. Because more retreats = more healing = more joy on the planet.
I’m always the type of person who looks for the ROOT CAUSE of a pattern and asks how shift THAT.
I see SO MANY coaches, creatives, and healers learning about autoresponders and opt-in pages and letting this hang them up from doing their work… and that is so uncool… I just want to DO IT FOR THEM.
However, there is SUCH an important piece of learning how to fill your retreat, that I would NEVER want a retreat leader to skip – because it makes them great in front of the room.
So while I KNOW that our market is moving in a direction of making it EASIER for brilliant practitioners to do their best work and earn a great living (you’ll hear more from me on this), you will not be a great retreat leader unless you learn to fill your own retreat.
I know this is a bold statement. And plenty of people could do without all of the pain and heartache that often comes with self-promotion. But there is one key skill that you will learn in filling your retreat that will benefit you over and over for years to come, ESPECIALLY in front of your retreat room.
I’d like to claim this as mine, but I first learned it from a mentor who shared a paper by Albert E.N. Gray called The Common Denominator Of Success.
Gray studied ‘successes and failures’ and discovered the common denominator of success to be, in short, being willing to talk with people about things they may not want to talk about.
If you read the paper you’ll see it’s very old (1940) and as a spiritual entrepreneur you may prefer to simply ‘manifest’ your clients rather than consider his old school advice. Yet I am telling you becoming proficient at this common denominator changed my life. And it will for you too, should you choose to embrace it.
YES, Spirit will guide people right to your door when you’re in right alignment. YES, you can absolutely fill your retreat with total elegance by following your inner guidance and urges. I often have students who meet clients with such synchronicity there must be a higher power at work. (And MANY TIMES on flights home from our retreats!)
However at some point in your personal growth of BECOMING Retreat Leader, you will inevitably need to learn to talk with people about things they may not want to talk about. But let me build on that. You will need to learn to talk with people about things their EGO does not want to talk about. (And their soul is dying to hear).
This means having a conversation with a prospective client or retreat participant about what they TRULY WANT (not what they’ve been settling for). It may mean sitting compassionately and quietly with them in their pain – pain that was opened up by your question about what their life is like right now.
It may be talking with them about money. Have you ever noticed how easy it is for people, especially women, to invest in everyone else yet not prioritize for themselves? This is a conversation many don’t want to have, yet are incredibly grateful for on the other side. It could look like uncomfortable questions like, “What ARE you spending money on that you could reprioritize?” or “What do you think your spouse would say if you did ask to make this investment?”
So what do these conversations have to do with leading your retreat?
Sure, you may need to talk about these things to fill your retreat, but why do they make you a better retreat leader?
The difference between a ‘nice’ retreat where you take time out of your life to journal and do yoga, and maybe collage some pictures into a vision board (ALL things I love so no judgment), and truly powerful, transformational retreat, is a leader who is willing to hold the space for TRUTH.
Think about someone you know in your life (not you of course, wink, wink) who has talked about a goal, a vision, or a dream, for SOOOOOO LOOOOONG that you not only don’t believe it any more, but you can hardly listen one more time.
By the way, in total transparency, this person in my life for many years was me.
Does time out to do yoga and past pictures change their life?
Not very often. (Perhaps if Spirit is REALLY working in their life and they are listening).
What does change their life?
Someone who is willing to talk with them about something they may not want to talk about.
With firm intention and loving compassion, a powerful retreat leader can hold the space for their Truth to emerge.
And this can initially be pretty scary.
Which is why even though I’d love to fill your retreats for you (and I absolutely AM working on additional ways to make it easier), I would never want to help you skip the step of mastering the common denominator of success. Because no one transforms from within their comfort zone (including you).
Had my favorite mentor ever not mastered this skill, he may not have said to me across the table on retreat, “You kind of have the energy of someone who’s gay and doesn’t know it.”
And I might still be fielding emails on Match.com from male suitors with cute dogs and minimal personalities, not knowing that my true love was actually a woman.
Now, hey, chances are you’ll never have to make the choice to say exactly that. But you will have hits. And you’ll have people in your retreat (their ego, not their soul) want to feed you a bunch of BS so they can stay stuck in their victimhood, or their conflict, or their perfectly rational explanation about how right they are about everything (while their life looks nothing like they think it should).
And if you’re not ready to allow them to get just a little bit uncomfortable, they will walk out feeling like they ‘showed up’ yet they continue to get the same results. They may LOVE you and think they had a great time – yet nothing changes. Or they may go on believing that your retreat was another notch in their string of disappointments, and you become part of their victim story.
Now MOST PEOPLE won’t bring this to you. MOST PEOPLE when they register and commit to your retreat, they will come ready to make change.
But if YOU are more committed to being NICE and being LIKED than to DOING THE WORK of transformation, you will attract plenty of those people who are there to help you grow.
So what if you LOVED UP the process of filling your retreat as an opportunity to practice talking with people about things THEIR EGO may or may not want to talk about? If nothing else, you’ll be expanded in the process! <3
If you want to learn more about being the most powerful retreat leader you can be, join me for this upcoming no cost training: BEING RETREAT LEADER: The 5 Distinctions That Will Deepen Your Retreat Results and Quite Possibly Change Your Life!