I’ve just done my very first retreat – specifically, a yoga retreat.
I’ve been practising yoga at home consistently for a month or two, and I’ve done it off and on for 17 years, ever since my host family in Seattle when I was 15 took me along to a Kundalini yoga class.
I started to practice yoga daily recently because it made me feel good. I was having consistent shoulder, neck, and back issues related to my work (sitting at a desk, hammering, leaning over to examine jewellery pieces). Frankly, physio appointments get expensive, so I thought there must be a way for me to treat myself.
It’s been around the 2-month mark that I’ve been practicing daily, and it’s already making a huge difference. I expected and hoped for the increased strength, flexibility and ease in my body. I didn’t expect that I would begin to crave the physical challenge and mental space that yoga gives me.
Early last week, in order to deepen my understanding of yoga, I decided to search for yoga retreats near me, and found one, just 45 minutes drive away.
It was a fabulous experience, and I will be going on many more in future.
I had some epiphanies about my work, my life, and my mission. I believe you create your own purpose and meaning in life. You do what you feel called to do.
During a 2-hour restorative yoga session, my mind had the opportunity to really settle and open up to the deep thoughts that often get obscured by daily to-dos.
Sinking deep into yourself is for some of us a rare event – we so rarely have the space in our busy lives to stop and think.
I realised that my deep desire to make an impact on the world, to make a contribution – a difference – was something I was already doing.
It’s right here. It’s Create & Thrive. I reconnected to the reason I started this site in the first place.
I want to help you to find…
…the happiness and fulfilment in your work that I’ve found in mine.
…freedom of lifestyle and creative expression.
…the empowerment that comes with building a successful business out of nothing.
…the fulfilment of doing work you love and are proud of.
That is why I spend so many hours of my life writing about the lessons I’ve learnt. Sharing most of it for free here on this site.
It’s why when I do put a course or a guide together, I don’t charge the earth and moon for it. Most of you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a course. Many of you don’t even have a few hundred dollars spare.
I want to reach and help every person who needs what I have to share… while still making enough money to put food on my own table (and in my kitties’ bowls, of course.). But I don’t need a big fancy house or big fancy cars or designer clothes.
I don’t care about any of those things. I never have.
I live and work in a converted shed. In 2 rooms.
Nick and I have lived here for 5 years. To use the kitchen or bathroom we have to go outside and walk across a yard to my parent’s house next door. We have one car – a campervan. All our furniture is either second-hand, hand-me-down from family, or built by Nick.
And you know what? I’ve never been happier.
My entire life and business model is crafted around making quality things that I am proud of, of contributing joy, beauty, and knowledge to the world, while making enough money to live a comfortable life.
That’s it. I don’t care about being rich, because money doesn’t buy happiness. Once you have enough to put a roof over your head, food on your table, pay your bills, and a little bit to have fun with, it’s enough. Funnily enough, we could actually afford to buy a nice house with nice furniture if we wanted. But we don’t. We like our little home.
Happiness for me is waking up when I want. Being able to cuddle my cats whenever I want. Having lunch with my husband every day. Being close to my family. Deciding to blow off work for the morning to go to the beach. Deciding on a whim I’m going on a yoga retreat. Shutting my business down for 2 months to travel Canada and USA like we did last year.
The best thing, the thing I value most? Waking up each day knowing I am the director of my life and work. No-one is telling me what to do.
My own happiness comes from freedom, the time to spend with people and creatures I love, and the feeling that I’m helping others to live a happier life of their own.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I realised this weekend that my mission isn’t just to teach the business and money-making part of helping you grow your own creative business. It’s deeper than that.
It’s about helping you THRIVE in your life as a whole.
Another thing about the yoga retreat? It was a women’s retreat. We spent a lot of time talking about what it means to live as a woman in this time and place. The opportunities, the challenges. And a common thread? That women still struggle to care for themselves.
We so often throw ourselves into our work and end up burning out because we forget to take care of ourselves along the way. We’re so busy taking care of our family, our customers, our friends… that our ‘I’ gets lost in the process.
I’ve been on this self-care journey myself for a few years since hitting a wall and burning out a few years back when I was working 16-hour days to get my business off the ground.
I have tried a LOT of different types of self-care. Yoga is just one of them. I also do other forms of exercise. I meditate. I get massages. I read things that entertain me and make me happy. I walk. I teach. I breathe deeply… everyone has their own way of caring for themselves. But some of us still haven’t found what works for us.
I’m still on the journey myself – but I want to share what I’ve learnt. To teach what I know works. That’s what C&T is all about, after all. Learning from those who’ve done what you want to do, successfully.
I have been dreaming of creating an e-course that takes creative, entrepreneurial women on a month-long self-care journey together. Guiding the group through the process of finding what self-care activities work for YOU and your lifestyle. The things that help you open up, lean in, and power through – to build the business you dream of to support the life you want to live.
Of course – you know me – it will be chock-full of practical, down-to-earth exercises and experiences that have proven efficacy. Nothing woo-woo. I’m not big on woo-woo 😉
Taking care of YOU means you’ll have the energy and passion to do your BEST work – and maintain it in the long term.
So, what I want to ask you is this:
Is a course like that something you feel calls to you – something you NEED to do?
If so, please share in the comments.
I create courses and guides based on what YOU need. So, as much as I feel called to create this course, it’s not something I’m going to pour myself into unless you tell me it’s something you need.
What say you?
Image Source: Coley Christine Catalano
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