It is with openly mixed emotions that I write this heartfelt message to our Wholistic Woman community about a change coming soon. After a great deal of prayerful contemplation, I have made the difficult decision to retire from WWRA at the end of 2021. As you can imagine, this decision is one that I have approached wholistically – checking in with my heart, mind, body, and spirit over the past few years.
One of the many, many, emotions that I’m feeling is peace. God has been gently, persistently, calling me to new endeavors, which are undeniable but not fully revealed yet. During the housebound hours of the pandemic, I spent more time with God, quietly praying for clarity and direction. In the stillness, without the busyness of my pre-pandemic life, I was able to listen more intently to His call within my heart.
To be honest, I resisted the nudge that kept coming to step away from WWRA. I was fearful of the ripple effect it would have on others and myself. I mentally wrestled, argued, and at times ignored the nudge for as long as possible. Eventually, I took some baby steps in that direction and then re-evaluated to see if that was enough change. But it was not. It became clear that a big step is what I’m called to make. So, in a leap of faith, with courage, I am blessing and releasing my leadership of this wonderful organization. I’m curious to see what God has in store for me next and I am ready to grow in new directions.
That brings me to the other emotions that I am feeling.
I feel deep, abiding, gratitude as I reflect on the past 11 years. As a community, we have learned, laughed, grown, and supported each other through good times and bad. Whether you’ve been walking with me from the very beginning, have just recently started attending our retreats, or somewhere in between, I want you to know how much I appreciate you.
My dream to launch Wholistic Woman Retreats began with a similar unrelenting calling that God placed within my heart. I have learned to listen to such persistent messages and to trust that there is a beautiful purpose within them.
As the retreat dream kept surfacing within me, I casually started telling it to others. Women were excited by the idea of holistic retreats that would focus on developing the whole person – heart, mind, body, and spirit. Being a wordsmith, I playfully put a ‘W’ in front of holistic as a visual reminder of my intention to focus on wholeness. To me, becoming whole is a lifelong endeavor. A continual, personal, and richly rewarding journey to deeply know oneself. It inspires us to embrace our unique talents, to be fully ourselves while acknowledging that we will always be a work-in-progress.
As I shared my dream, women were excited. Some told me they wanted to attend the retreats I would be offering. Others said, “I want to help make it happen!” And that’s how this collaborative organization began, with women who co-created the retreats with me, and women who attended, learned, and grew from them with us.
Eleven years later, I gratefully look back and think about the many gifted coaches who offered their expertise to our community. I bow to your talents. I’ve learned so much from each of you.
I think of the talented alliance partners who offered their skills in marketing, event management, finances, and web management to help us fly. I deeply appreciate your gifts and contributions to the WWRA vision.
I think of the wonderful sponsors over the years who gave the gift of financial support to our endeavors. We couldn’t have made such a positive impact without your help.
I think of those who generously contributed to our scholarship fund which helped those in need of financial assistance attend our retreats. You have left a meaningful legacy in the lives of those women.
I think of the beloved coaches who co-founded this organization. You grabbed hold of the dream, walked with me (some for a leg and some for the entire journey) to make it become a reality. You have each been a precious gift to me, and to the community of WWRA.
Most of all, I think of the many, many women who attended our retreats. From our launch in 2010, on the first day of spring at ThorpeWood, to our most recent destination retreat in Sedona, AZ, each one has been uniquely special.
My heart is full of gratitude for all of you, each season of growth we’ve been through together, and for the richness of community and sisterhood that we’ve experienced. You have been a blessing!
And…I believe that God is not done with us yet! WWRA will continue under the expert and talented leadership of my co-founder Kelye Rouse Brown. Kelye has been with me since the very beginning and knows the rich history of our organization. I trust that Kelye will build upon it and steer it in new and exciting directions. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Kelye, her team, and WWRA! I look forward to remaining in an advisory Founder role and be the wind beneath the wings of those who take it forward from here.
As for me, I will continue my private coaching practice, launch my Lost and Found Podcast, and keep listening to the nudges that God places within my heart.
The last emotion I feel is excitement so let’s celebrate these changes together! Understandably, this year our annual Gratitude Circle and Brunch will be especially meaningful. For those who are comfortable meeting in person, please join us at ThorpeWood on Nov 14th from 12:30-3:30 pm. We will follow the current CDC guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. For those who prefer a virtual get-together, we will host a Zoom call on Nov 17 from 6-7:30 pm to celebrate, bless, and release what is, as we open ourselves to receive what lies ahead.
With a heart full of grace and love,