May 14th, 2017
I have started this blog post many times over the last few weeks and there is a virtual waste paper basket full of crumpled drafts with ample spillage out on to the floor. This is a somewhat romantic image for me, who imagines myself the female version of Ewan McGregor’s character in Moulin Rouge in a garret somewhere trying to elicit the essence of Beauty, Truth and Love on an old typewriter that has a sticky ‘e’.
My struggle is I don’t know how to put into words exactly the magic that occurred as a result of how everything unfolded with the retreat a few weeks ago. Remember when not a soul signed up and it was a week before and I had no idea what the heck to do?
But then I got quiet and the quiet told me: there is still a way. There is ALWAYS a way. Trust.
Trust is not only my ‘word of the year’ this year, but also a theme that has been, let’s say, ‘having its way with me’ since the tail end of 2016. Life was like: “Oh, I know! Let’s make everything unrecognizable and put you on a ledge with tigers chasing you and at exactly the moment when you feel you’ve tamed them fire breathing dragons that can also fly show up and are like: oh heyyy.”
So, in the face of what could otherwise be described as ‘failure’, it was this decision to trust that elicited a miracle beyond my ability to adequately describe.
The miracle was that 11 incredible women showed up to join me around the Nurture harvest table. Their need to be in a nurturing space and my prepared Nurture offering found one another via all kinds of twists of fate and serendipity and we spent 3 beautiful days sharing laughing, creating, feeling, recharging, and eating together.
Part of the arrangement for these last-minute attendees was for them to fill out a feedback form. I sat at my local cafe and read through one of them that popped into my inbox from Nurture attendee Or Har-Gil. After reading it and having a bit of a public weep, I decided firmly that trust ALWAYS wins. Here’s some of what Or had to say.
Nurture came at a perfect time. I’ve been going through a lot personally, and haven’t been making enough space to really process it all, trying to keep it all together so I can get through my weeks. This seeps into my professional life, where I’ve been feeling tapped out and uninspired.
As soon as I arrived, I knew this was a space where I could unfold, unravel, and be with whatever came up because it would be contained, by the space, and by the women who were there.
So, I let myself heave cry in the labyrinth and journaled a lot and took fresh air and walks and got deep hugs and knowing ears. And while it’s still too soon to say, I do feel like I moved through something that I needed to move through. Now, I’m riding high because my urban retreat is getting a good response, and while you know I am a skeptic, there may be something about my energy now, having made some space for myself, that is drawing people in, more than it otherwise would have when I was feeling emotionally blocked.
I’ve described Nurture to several friends and each time the feeling of being taken care of, through the food, the other women, and the space comes through. I described it as a womb-like space. It is a container for you to be. To be held, contained, carried, loved. However you are in that moment, with whatever you need in that moment, you are welcome.
From the moment you walk in, you feel embraced. The food is so special and nourishing and creative. The meals shared over the harvest table rather than hastily prepared and eaten while scrolling through your phone. The time and space to tune in to your needs, to wherever you are in that moment, and to meet those needs through reading, walking, napping, laughing, journaling.
It is for women who sometimes struggle to meet their needs because they’re focused on accomplishing goals, helping others, doing important work in the world. They sometimes forget that they are allowed to have needs, to meet their needs, to realize that their needs are okay, that all of themselves are okay.
For women who have done some personal growth work and are on that inner journey, looking to more deeply connect with themselves and with others in deep and meaningful ways. It’s remarkable that this feeling of safety, of a net, a womb, is established so quickly, and I think that’s because of you and the depth of your inner work.
It is putting it mildly to say that testimonials like Or’s provide me with the fuel to continue growing both this company and myself.
Another goal of the feedback forms was to help me re-frame the money I ‘lost’ on hosting this retreat at-cost as an investment into its future success. I received many helpful insights into areas that are currently experiencing some re-visioning.
Here’s some of what’s planned next for Nurture and how you can be a part of it:
I’ll be offering seasonal mini 1 day Nurtures held in a sweet and cozy space downtown – two workshops, snacks and a fully catered harvest table lunch starting Fall 2017. These will be at a price point that accommodates those for whom the full retreat is still on a ‘wish list’ and not yet a reality. Our next full weekend Nurture retreat is set to fulfill your need to get cozy and create for early winter 2018.
Starting in August, I’ll also be hosting monthly Nurture Harvest Table Dinners in pop-up locations around the city in collaboration with other makers, creatives and artisans. To learn more about any of these offerings and have first access to reserve your spots, please sign up for our newsletter below!
Do YOU have thoughts about the future of Nurture? I’m always happy to hear how this community can best serve you – drop me a line here anytime.