As I’m getting ready to host my tenth-ish retreat with Ryan Montbleau this weekend I can’t help but reflect on how far I’ve come. Over ten years ago I went with my friend to check out a wedding venue she was interested in. The space was a sprawling house on top of a mountain in Vermont with sweeping views of the forest with plenty of room for people to stay and a yoga studio.
I’m not sure why I thought this because I had never even been on a retreat myself, but I asked the caretakers, “Hey. Do you happen to do retreats here?”
“Yes!” they exclaimed in unison.
My wheels started churning so fast that smoke poured out of my ears. Within days I put down a deposit when the reality started to set in, “Um…how do you do a retreat?” I thought.
If I was to go on a retreat what would I want to do? My first thought was that I’d want to listen to Ryan Montbleau’s music. I called him up and said, “I found this incredible venue for a retreat. I’ve never done a retreat before and I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do know I’d like you to be there.” He said yes almost immediately. I was equal parts excited, shocked, and nervous.
What are we going to do on this retreat? I reached out to my friend Jane who had hosted a few retreats and asked her for advice. She said, “If you and Ryan don’t show up, everyone will still have a transformative experience because they are like minded people gathering for a similar purpose. Anything the two of you do is a bonus. Don’t over schedule because so much of the magic happens when there’s free time.” This took so much pressure off of me.
Ryan and I both showed up and it was incredible. Yes, I made a ton of mistakes, but after hosting around twenty retreats for songwriters, wild women, busy people who need a break from adulting, a group of besties that wanted a magical trip, and more, I learned so much and perfected the art of retreat planning and hosting. It’s one of my favorite things to do!!! At the time intimate retreats with musicians weren’t a thing and it was something I was craving so I created it. If there’s something you want to exist in the world and you have a desire to be the one to do it, DO IT!
I’m going to go hop in the car, drive through beautiful Vermont, and arrive at the retreat space early to set the scene for the retreaters to arrive. I’ll let you know how it went next week.
Love you so much!