Over the last couple of days, I’ve shared about our journey with the first-ever Spring Women’s Retreat Weekend. Go back and read Part 1 and Part 2, if you missed them.

Why did I decide to share these adventures with the mud? Well, it’s because there was lots of stress around the mud. Some struggled with the mud caused anxiety over not having boots that fit and not sure what to expect. Or having your shoe blown from the mud. Or wearing your regular boots and not being able to zip them back up because the mud dried up on the boots. Or stressing about getting dirty and there is mud all around you. And throughout the weekend, we made many references to being stuck.

This particular Women’s Retreat made me realize why it is so important to have a set time for arrival. Coordinating “shuttle services” need specific times. The service offered by staff at Nature’s Harmony Ecolodge was incredible. They provided a window of 2 hours given not everyone was coming at the same time. We had one guest who didn’t let us know when they would be getting away, so I became worried. I stayed by the main house so that I could call several times. This kept me from being present for the other guests who were already present.

The owner, Jen, offered to take over waiting so that I could go back and support the guests who had already arrived. She was sending an email as well as was prepared to follow up by phone.

Luckily the guest ended up calling given that she received 3 phone calls in a shorter period of time. I will have a different way to manage that better so that we can ensure everyone is safe but also allows me the opportunity to connect with the guests from the onset.

I am extremely grateful that they are so ready, willing and able to collaborate.

I discovered that although I have learned over the years to be more flexible, I sometimes still remain “stuck in the mud”. I get stuck in the details. I have come a long way, however, it still causes me great anxiety when things are not going as planned. I always adjust my workshops, classes, or retreats based on the women that show up and I’m never concerned about shifting those details. I trust my instincts. This comes after I’ve connected with them.

Throughout my personal and professional journey, I’ve had to learn to express myself and talk about what is causing me to feel anxious and why. This allows others to provide feedback about what is causing me so much anxiety. In this case, I was concerned that I would not have enough time to provide the full experience that the guests had signed up for. I wanted them to leave fully balanced. In the end, that’s exactly what happened, but it wasn’t based on what was planned. There were other things we needed to experience and it provided us with different opportunities for sharing.

Following a schedule is important, but we don’t need to get stuck in the schedule. Being mindful of the time and expectations of the group is also very important. This is a fine line that we need to look at as facilitators of events.

In this case, I needed to start on time and twice, we were not able to start on time. One of the times impacted others as we were supposed to be at a specific place at a specific time.

I truly believe that things happen as they should. And I know that on looking back there were reasons unbeknownst to me what that would be. At the time, I was truly stuck on following the schedule. Others had their own agenda that didn’t reflect the group’s agenda. And this happens in relationships as well. It is important for us to look at our needs and follow through on our needs, and I am a strong believer that we need to put our needs first. But we also need to look at how our decisions will impact others.

Many people struggle with being excluded and as a facilitator, we want to be sure that no one is excluded. This weekend allowed me to reflect on how I can bring people together on time to resume the group activities. Getting “stuck in our ways” sometimes has a purpose. We need to look at where we are stuck and figure out what purpose “being stuck” serves. Maybe we need to remain stuck or perhaps we need to change the way we look at things. Taking a step back helps us make that decision.

Tomorrow I will share Part 4 of this journey where I will share some of the lessons that some of the guests learned about “being stuck in the mud”.

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The Art of Living July 22-24

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