Recently I offered a Mini-Retreat course at Oaklands Community Centre. Two days prior to the workshop, I received an e-mail from Oaklands, asking whether I wanted to go ahead with the workshop despite the low number of registered participants. Only three people had registered for the course. Usually my minimum is six people. The logical next step would have been to cancel the course.
I am not sure why, but somehow I knew I needed to be there and provide the course. Saturday afternoon at Oaklands, four women showed up, all very eager and excited to participate. Two of them were girlfriends who had registered two months prior and had been looking forward to this course ever since. Both were dealing with extremely stressful life situations and were looking forward to learning stress relief techniques .
I was glad I had decided to go ahead with the course. I very much enjoyed providing a safe space for these women to learn stress relief techniques. I knew this workshop would help create more joy and relaxation in their busy lives and face their very challenging situations with more calm and ease.
Here are some of the Mini-Retreats we sampled throughout the workshop:
Red Light Relaxer: Anytime you stop at a red light drop your shoulders, breathe, shake yourself loose and smile.
Wash Away Your Worries: When washing your hands, imagine your worries flowing down the drain with the water.
Cat Walk: When feeling anxious, push your feet slowly into the ground like cats do before they settle on your lap.
Because of the small group size, it was easy for everyone to relax, participate fully, share their challenges and discover insights and opportunities. It almost felt as if we had gathered in a home and were sitting around the kitchen table.
Each of the participants created two petals with their favourite Mini-Retreats. Together we assembled a Mini-Retreat flower that now serves as a reminder for all participants to give themselves permission to relax daily with their favourite stress relief techniques (see image to the left). When I asked the participants to think about a person who could hold them accountable to take Mini-Retreats on a daily basis, the two girlfriends looked at each other and instantly decided to be buddies.
I left the workshop feeling grateful for the opportunity to give so much to these women. The next morning I woke up with the wonderful idea to offer Mini-Retreat Home Parties.
A Mini-Retreat Home Party is a workshop on effective stress relief techniques offered in the comfortable environment of the hostess’ home to an intimate group of up to six of her friends.
I am excited to share this idea with you! Now you can receive Mini-Retreat workshops in the comfortable environment of your home, surrounded by your favourite people. It will be easy for you and your friends to integrate Mini-Retreats into your daily lives after the party. You will be connected with friends who can support you in honouring your commitment to self-care and stress relief.
A week after the Mini-Retreat workshop at Oaklands, I received an e-mail from one of the participants that made my day. “I’ve taken lots of Mini-Retreats. The best thing is that I no longer feel guilty doing what I’ve tended toward anyways!” I hope that Mini-Retreat Home Parties will help many more women to let go of guilt, release stress and embrace self-care.
If you live in the Victoria or Vancouver area and would like to host a Mini-Retreat Home Party, give me a call at 778-433-5558 and take advantage of my new stress relief offering. As the hostess, you participate for free. In addition, I will give you a special gift for opening up your home and inviting your friends for this fun and relaxing gathering. Enjoy!
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Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.