Dear Africana Woman,
Hey sis hey!!! We have ten days left of August and I am feeling amazing. I told you I was cutting back on activities in my life this month. Just so as I can get a bit more introspective and in tune with myself. Hmm I am taking that to the next level by cutting off social media for the rest of this month. Yeah I am a total over achiever. And my friend once said to me you are so competitive. I actually didn't realise this but here I am trying to beat myself at who can be the most introspective. Insanity. I know.
Ok so you all know that I hosted a retreat. Let me tell you how it started. So I have always wanted to host a retreat yeah. But never had the guts. I told my friend Tonja about it and she said, "of course you can do it. Set a date and do it." I was like ooookkkkaay. She insisted and said I had to give her a date. So I picked a date which was as far out as I could make it. However, when it was about a month out I started panicking like oh people have to attend this retreat, how do I find them. The obvious answer is to jump on social media and tell people about it. Eh! Next thing people are signing up. I was like oh! I need to make a program. Lol. I promise I am not making this up. So I sat down and made a plan. But not only were people signing up for the retreat but others were requesting for an online version.
My retreat is called KNOW your Purpose, and it basically covers resetting your mindset. However, for you to be open to dropping limiting beliefs, embracing an abundance mentality and truly understanding who and whose you are, you have to train yourself to be mindful about your thoughts and emotions. Which basically requires some prep work. I had set the retreat date for 15 and 16 August. Then I decided to do a 14 day Mindfulness challenge from the 1st of August, with anyone that had expressed interest in the retreat be it in person or online. So I set up a whatsapp group. I know, I know I hate whatsapp groups too ... but I had to choose something that people frequently check and are familiar with instead of trying to teach them how to use a new tool. The most important part of this challenge was also to build community and a level of comfortability. Because when we started digging into their deep inner thoughts at the retreat, I did not want the ladies to feel self conscious or that they were exposing themselves to a room of strangers. Therefore, we went through a series of ice breakers, exercises and journal prompts.
Listen, hmm, my big idea was to record videos which I would post every day. Yeah no. That didn't happen. Because the first video which was an introduction, was 7 minutes long and it would not upload on whatsapp at all. Like AT ALL y'all. Plan B I had to break up that video into three shorter videos and then from there on I recorded voice notes. Now the voice notes were journal prompts and after the first day I realised that people were writing their morning pages early bells, so if i sent the prompt out late then they would carry that prompt over into the next day. Not good. Plan C, wake up earlier than everyone else and send the voice notes. I would wake up at 4 am. Read my bible and meditate, then write my morning pages, which was basically the journal prompt. I actually wrote out an outline for the prompts but there were some days I was spirit led to talk about something else. And it would be soooooo good, I would be sitting there saying to myself, "This issa WORD! Somebody needs to hear this today because that did not come from me." And I would record and send it out by 5 or 6 am. Just like that for 14 days.
Yoh! So first of all the ladies came in with fire. There was no pretending like ooo my life is so rosey. Because you know how we do. We always want to put up a front to the outside world that things are just jazz, but if we turn around we are actually bleeding out. Nah these chicks came in saying, listen I am here in this retreat because enough is enough, I am going through a challenging time in my life, I feel lost like I do not know who I am or what I am supposed to be doing, but I am ready to do what I need to do to make a change. I was like che. Sat up straight because I had to step my game up too. I was not going to let these ladies down. That was not an option. This is people's real lives, not a movie or a game. These ladies were amazing. They were participating and doing all the exercises and just being authentic hey. What was really special, was when we had a 'temp check' video call mid way through the 14 days. I just wanted to check how they were feeling about the challenge so far. Guys .... it was such a deep conversation. The love and support they showed each other really touched me. These are high achieving women of varying ages, from all walks of life but at the end of the day, what bound them was the fact, You are not alone. They were speaking life into each other ... I will not forget that night. Elo zesco was out and my chi phone died. But I heard most of it, they even stayed on when I dropped out.
Needless to say the 14 days flew by. It did not feel like a whole 14 days. Then I was getting ready to welcome the ladies to KuMushi Gardens for the actual retreat. Mmmm didn't it became wild. Suddenly health issues came up and that Rona, she has absolutely no chill. But guys I had prepared everything. I made a journal and there was a program. I was like, eschoose me, somebody is going to do this retreat by force and by fire because I have already worked this hard. So I said to all the ladies in the Challenge, "guess what the retreat is now an online retreat. Surprise!!! Hahaha. If anyone wanted to join the retreat, let's do this." Guys, overnight this retreat not only became international but I had a sponsor. So the ladies were physically in Zambia, UK and South Africa, plus my friend let me use her paid zoom account so as I could record the sessions. Boom! I got a sponsor. Ati what's that song .... When Jesus says yes, nobody can say no.
Gurl, Friday night I could not sleep. I was nervous. I was thinking. Oh my goodness, will this work, what if they think I'm boring, what if they don't connect with the content. All sorts of what if's. Shaking my head. So you remember my friend Tonja, the whole reason we are hear Tonja. Mm yeah her, she called me, prayed for me and spoke life into me. At midnight another friend sent me a message of encouragement. I just love my sisters, they are amazing. These are the types of friends you need in your life. So Saturday rolled in. Six people had said they would want to join the online retreat. But you know how it is you never know who is actually going to show up. Oh! wait I woke up and power had gone! QUÉ (ke)! I had to hot spot the ipad from my phone and said I have everything I need. I set up in the living room by laying a yoga mat down and some cushions. Then I used a reed mat as my background. I laid out all my paperwork in front of me and logged on at 9am.
Low and behold three people showed up. I was like YASSS Lord. God is faithful. And we started. We did two sessions per day, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. If you break it down, basically the 14 day challenge was to gather data but the Retreat was to assess the data and come up with a game plan of how to start moving towards our best life. There is no wrong or right answers. The ladies just had to show up authentically and be honest with themselves, the rest would flow. It is definitely systematic and they had to trust the process. Yeah! So they showed up READY! Because we had practiced for 14 days already and they had gathered their data. Mmm it was beautiful. There was revelation, there was release and there was renewal. You know one of the ladies, on the Saturday night went on to launch her website which she has been sitting on for months. And again the way they showed up for each other was powerful. We did this exercise called Level up on the second day, and the women spoke up about the vision they have for their lives. Followed by the group enhancing the vision by levelling them up with dreams we sometimes don't dare to dream. Mike Drop! When these women do what they are destined to do, I can't wait to come back and write, see what I told you.
So we did it. We sat through two days of an online retreat and came out transformed on the other side. What I realised for me was that this was not work, it was my life, it was like breathing. I was exactly where I needed to be. Speaking greatness into these women's lives and reminding them of who they have always been. I am so humbled that they trusted me to be their guide. Because clearly this is not how you should organise a retreat hahahaha. But they did trust me and I took that duty very seriously. By the way on both days power would come back around 12 o'clock so I could charge the ipad during lunch then use the wifi for the afternoon session, and not once did it glitch. I have so many take aways from this experience. I hope you have learned something about resilience, and just taking the next best step. You do not always have to know every single detail. All you have to do is show up and be your best in whatever small action you do.
To the ladies who were in the challenge and the retreat, I am so proud of you. In all of time, no one has ever existed who is like you and no one ever will. You are the best thing that ever happened for the people who you were called to serve and whose lives you are meant to touch. Remember to always shine your light and show up authentically you. I Love you. Go on and do you Boo.
Alrighty. I gotta bounce. You guys are simply the best hahaha. Let me know what you thought in the comments. If you are new here please do subscribe and join this amazing sisterhood of Africana Women. We are found over in facebook. So if you ever want to dive deeper into these topics, we are here for it. Of course, I am also found on my other playground called instagram @chulu_bydesign. Please do follow me and drop me a line, I love to meet new people. By the way if the KNOW your Purpose Retreat has peaked your interest and you would be interested in knowing more or potentially participating in the future, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or any of my social media. So, darling, remember to love yourself, flaws n all and attract the life you desire. Have a fabulous week.