I was recently asked to write a feature article about WWR for the first issue of Sass Magazine. Created as a collaborative effort by a team of talented Frederick women, Sass Magazine will premier in September 2015. WWR is honored to be one of the featured articles for their launch issue.
As I prepared the article I reflected, ‘Who is WWR…where have we come from…and why we do what we do.’ I believe that it’s good to look back periodically to understand our roots and history. Hindsight offers a new perspective and wisdom can frequently be gleaned from such contemplation.
Wholisitc Woman Retreats was an idea that had been swirling in my mind for over a decade. The idea took root and began to flourish when a fellow coach and friend, Jeanette Eleff, offered to help me put together a retreat designed to both nurture and stretch women to grow. Within a few months we invited four other coaches to help us and the Wholistic Coaching Coalition was formed. Kelye Rouse Brown, Lisa DiScuillo, Laura Hall, Sandie Lynch, Jeanette and I formed the original team.
We hosted overnight retreats in special surroundings where women could relax, have fun, listen, talk, learn, and grow together. We brought in health practitioners to teach about physical modalities that support wellness such as massage, chiropractic, reflexology, Reiki, and more. Vision boards, nature walks, campfires, and markets for shopping supported the central theme which was to practice self-care. We learned that self-care was not selfishness, and that focusing on ourselves long enough to fill our own tanks was necessary in order to give our best to our families, careers, and communities. Self-care was a foreign concept to some and difficult to grasp for many, but together we explored this concept and supported one another’s efforts to practice it.
Over the years we’ve expanded our programs to include a physical adventure retreat each summer and a gratitude dinner each fall. Women responded so well to our variety of retreats that they began asking how they could stay connected between our events. A membership community was formed in response to that request and gatherings are now offered in Frederick on the last Wednesday of every month. Women can come to one or all of these ‘Be You Evening Retreats’ to stay connected to each other, the coaches, and to themselves as we support each other in being our best. An Affiliate Coach Membership program was launched this year to support new coaches in building their practices. This program was well received and we brought five new Affiliates on board. WWR is indeed growing!
At times members will bring friends from outside the area to our events, and when they do it’s not uncommon for visitors to ask “Is there something like this where I live?” I respond that, at this time, WWR is a local organization. But we are poised to grow in our next 5 years and I expect to answer that question differently on our 10 year anniversary. Our dream is to take WWR to new communities and offer our special brand of energy to women everywhere.
What makes Wholistic Woman Retreats special?
- WWR is a community where women feel accepted as they are… yet encouraged to be more.
- In this community women practice non-judgment and don’t tell each other what to do. We don’t ‘should’ on each other but allow one another to process out loud (or internally) and come to the conclusions that are right for ourselves.
- We believe that each of us is a ‘work-in-progress’ and we honor the evolving edge and pace of each woman’s growth.
- We create space for self-reflection and discovery because we know that wisdom revealed is more potent than wisdom taught. We believe that people are more likely to make changes that last if the idea originates within them.
- We are experts at creating nurturing spaces for women to reflect, discover, and grow.
- And last but not least, we celebrate the accomplishments of each woman in our community.
This is especially true as we cheer the founder of Sass Magazine, Kim Dow, to be her best. Kim has been our graphic designer for many years. Her company, Kalico Designs, has provided a consistent, branded, look for WWR that reflects our momentum and energy. We wouldn’t be who we are today without our coaches and our alliance partners. Kim is in integral part of our team. We believe in her, and in her vision, just as she has believed in us and our vision. So be sure to ‘Like’ Sass Magazine on Facebook and look for the first issue in September.
If you want to learn more about Wholistic Woman Retreats be sure to also ‘Like’ our Facebook page and visit www.wholisticwomanretreats.com to join our email list and receive updates about our programs.
Carol deLaski is the CEO and Founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats. She is a professional certified coach, speaker and author of Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith. Carol specializes in strengths development for businesses and individuals. You can contact her at Carol@caroldelaski.com.