I have been examining a lot of backends lately. No, not that kind (although I did walk behind a man in a suit recently who made me believe wholeheartedly in the effectiveness of tailoring). I mean the behind-the-scenes of my finances, my daily systems, my online presence and my thoughts. Believe me when I say that sometimes these areas are ones that I happily shove under the proverbial rug and do a lot of the mental equivalent of blocking my ears and saying lalalalala loudly, hoping all will simply sort itself out. When I do that, it's because I'm afraid of what I will find there. Usually, I'm afraid I will find Shame. Yes, that old friend; frequent guest of my credit card bill, unswept kitchen corners, and deeply grooved beliefs it holds onto like a binky.
The curious and wonderful thing about intentionally changing my mindset around these areas has been that I now feel like I'm on an adventure.
Am I still scared? Heck, yes. Last night I lay awake with owl eyes at 2:30am feeling all the fear bubble up in me. It was the kind of fear that slithers in with its seemingly convincing 'proof' that you are the type of person who knows how to deal with fear (breathe, witness, pray, move, listen to Ave Maria on repeat), but that THIS TIME, you will fail. Know that one? Yep, also an old friend.
The thing with old friends is, you can love 'em. It's an option that exists.
That's what they want: to be let in, to not be forgotten, and to be loved. So, I say to my fear, my shame, and the areas I'm paying attention to now: how do you want to be loved? How can love quiet your cries for attention that I find quite painful? How can love hear what you have to say?
Last night while puttering lovingly around my website, I breathed deep and clicked on a button that may as well be labelled 'Resistance.' It's actually labelled "Analytics" and I avoid it like the plague because my body does this weird twitching thing around numbers and statistics and it also freezes my face into this unattractive scrunch of dismay.
One of the tabs in my Squarespace Analytics backend gives an overview of which sites referred to my site, ranked by popularity. Way down at the bottom, below the obvious Google, Facebook, Insta and the like, there was a url from the UK I didn't recognize, which had a decent amount of referrals. I clicked on it out of curiosity and was surprised to be featured as one of 5 retreats referenced in a blog post from London's Stylist magazine!
The article itself is purportedly about making money on Instagram thanks to curated feeds (and that some retreats exist to support this kind of self-branded, curated lifestyle). I read it a few times trying to determine what it's actually about and whether or not the author was pro-this kind-of-creativity (which is how I relate to curated Insta feeds) or against (is she making fun?). Either way, it was the kind of unexpected surprise that made me go: "Huh."
The author references Nurture briefly as: "a well-being focused branding weekend in Canada." This statement leads me to wonder if she actually took the time to read anything on my About page, or if I'm being unclear in my own branding.
Nurture, while it IS for entrepreneurs and does focus on your well-being as an entrepreneur, is NOT a "branding weekend".
With the spring retreat drawing near (you coming? We've saved you a spot around the harvest table!), I want to take the opportunity to tell you what Nurture really is.
Nurture is intentional beauty.
Hard work and looking at the real things in life with love happens a lot smoother when there is a focus on discovering, seeing and creating beauty in one's environment, through all the small details. Insta-worthy shots are a bonus.
Nurture is community.
Connection in the face of the struggles we all face as humans - especially as humans who have been listening to and answering the often challenging call of our purpose-filled ventures. Our businesses are not simply businesses - they are mirrors. Mirrors that show us the best of ourselves and the areas we need to bring light to. The workshops for the retreat invite you to access and explore areas of potent creativity where the light of loving self care has yet to shine.
Nurture is a space to gather and to learn.
12 of us will gather over homemade menus crafted from local & organic foods. I spend a lot of time on the menu. It's my favourite part. It gets A LOT of love. Also: Nurture alumni who have been clamoring for a cookbook - it IS happening. I already have Alyssa on board to shoot it. #manifesting
You are in good hands: each workshop has been crafted with care for this retreat by women who consciously embrace their personal creative expressions as a way into themselves and out of life's inevitable storms, unanswered questions, and dead ends. This personal creative 'compass' guides and nurtures each facilitator through the seasons of owning their own business and how those seasons affect their lives as a whole. They'll share how it's transformed their relationships with themselves, their businesses and their loved ones and offer you actionable ways you can embrace your own creativity as a potent form of self care.
You will be replenished by the magic that happens when women gather to make & share in community.
You will learn creative skills, yes, but more importantly, you will be offered the space, the time, and the loving support to start drawing your own map for whichever season you find yourself in.
There is healing in looking at what we sweep away. It is even more healing (and a bunch of fun) when we bring creativity to what is revealed, together. THAT, dear friends/lazy fact-checkers at Stylist, is Nurture.
p.s. Have a gander HERE to register and join us!