style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
I believe that the Universe is pretty good at giving nudges. I’m certain these gentle cosmic taps occur to help us keep moving in the right direction. I’m also certain that I’ve missed many a nudge because I was too busy to notice.
Thankfully, I was paying attention last summer when I felt a subtle push…
I’ve mentioned NINE Retreat here several times before, but I’ve never really explained how I got there, what it is and why it’s so important to me. Today, I’m doing just that.
NOTE: This is not an affiliate post. I am not being paid or compensated for writing about my NINE experience. I simply want to share... in case you’re feeling a nudge:-)
I attended NINE Revolution in September, 2017. That week in Vermont was nothing short of incredible. It's hard for me to recall not being a part of the NINE community.
Funny thing is, this time last year, I’d never even heard of NINE.
Oh, the power of an intention. Even a small, vague intention.
Here’s the backstory:
In January 2017, I created a fresh version of my personal Live List and hung it on the back of my office door. I could see it from my desk, but rarely ever read it. Occasionally, I’d notice the list when closing my door and I’d scan the words I’d written. I liked the idea of my colorful, magic markered intentions, but they seemed pretty lofty and unlikely to occur.
One entry always caught my eye.
Attend a retreat.
A few years back, a friend attended a Darling Retreat. I found myself envious as I followed along on her IG squares. It looked divine and indulgent. Peaceful and amazing, but slightly out of reach.
I mean, who really goes on retreats?
What self-respecting mother of three teenagers actually steps away from her life to ‘find herself’? And be inspired? And do yoga? And heal old wounds? And make new friends?
Yet, I longed for what I imagined a retreat could provide. I wanted to ‘search my soul’.
So when I composed my Live List, I snuck it on there… just in case the Universe wanted to drop such an experience into my lap.
Be careful what games you play with the Universe:-)
So, here’s the quick lead-up to my first ever retreat…
~ Morgan Day Cecil (who I'd been following on IG) mentions that she’ll be teaching at NINE Revolution in September 2017.
~ Intrigued, I start to follow @nineretreat.
~ I’m curious, but quickly decide there’s no way I could possibly attend. My daughter will start her freshman year of college two weeks before the retreat. I live in Colorado, Greta’s going to school in Boston, the 2017 retreat is in Vermont. The timing isn’t right. The expenses don’t fit.
~ I continue to follow along.
~ A NINE post mentions there are 9 spots left. I realize I’m in over my head. I really want to go.
~ I’m sad. It’s painful to follow along knowing I won’t be there. I consider unfollowing @nineretreat to make it easier on my heart.
~ Last ditch. I decide to scan the NINE website one more time. It’s torture to read about Revolution. I really want to go. I spy a Scholarship form. I hastily fill it out not even checking for typos… knowing that if I reread my plea, I’ll chicken out and not send it. Deep breath. Click send.
~ Before the day is out, I hear from one of the founders. With not a hint of ‘sales’, Kimberly confirms that the pull I’m feeling is real and I’m the kind of woman who belongs at NINE.
~ I loop Matthew in. Crying as I talk about the retreat. I need to be there.
~ Matthew knows me well. He calmly tells me that we will make it work.
~ I made the decision to go. I committed to attend NINE Revolution 2017. I trusted the crazy pull I felt and the Universe laid out the path before me.
Yes, there were a lot of moving parts. But it was worth every effort and every dollar.
In fact, I’m heading back to NINE Retreat 2018, in Montana!
This time as a teacher! Please, somebody pinch me!
I’ve had lots of women ask me for more information about NINE. I am happy to share… in fact, I could talk for hours about this incredible experience!
What is NINE?
A rad woman who’s attended several NINE retreats (and who will be teaching in Montana) calls it ‘Lady Camp’. Love that!
Mostly, I think NINE becomes what you want it to be. You take away what you need from this special experience.
It’s a very safe space for sharing your darkest secrets and deepest traumas.
It’s a place to learn new things and open your mind to new possibilities.
It’s an opportunity to slow down and listen… to your heart and your soul.
It’s a chance to discover who you truly are and how to bring that badass to life!
It’s a sisterhood of kindred spirits who support you even though you’ve only just met.
It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
In addition, NINE retreats are beautifully and professionally planned and executed. The owners are incredible humans. This is not just a business for them, it’s a calling.
Their commitment to providing a high quality experience can be seen in all facets of the retreat… in the venue, the food, the lessons, the teachers, the adventures.
What it’s not…
NINE is not a cult. It’s not a clique. It’s not religious. It’s not woowoo.
Why did I choose NINE?
In many ways, I feel that NINE chose me. Sounds crazy, but that’s how it seems looking back. The entire experience was so aligned that I know I didn’t have much to do with its unfolding.
That said, NINE appealed to me because it focused on the whole woman.
I’d seen lots of retreats geared towards one specific area of life… yoga, meditation, business, relationships, but I wanted it all!
If I was going to take this big step… then I wanted to explore and expand my entire life!
Give me all the lessons!!
Still want to know more?
Sleeping- I’ve been asked many times about the sleeping arrangements. Seems grown women have some apprehension about sharing a bed with a stranger:-0 I get it. I was open, but a little nervous. I hadn’t shared a room with a stranger since college.
Yes, you’ll likely share a bed with another woman. (I shared a bunk bed with my roomie, Carla… who I’d never met, but who happens to live about an hour from me and I had the pure pleasure of visiting her a few months ago;-) No, it’s not terrible. In fact, it’s actually so much fun that you’ll miss it once you return home!
Eating- Kym and Kimberly work to support all allergies and dietary restrictions. The food is beautiful, delicious and healthy. There are gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options at every meal. You’re asked your preferences when signing up. Whatever you need, they’ll make it work. Mealtime was so special! Nourishing for your body, but also for your soul… like the best possible vacation breakfasts, ladies lunches and dinner parties every day!
There is no alcohol. This experience requires clarity of mind and alcohol would just muddy the work.
Students- The women are from all walks of life. Some have experienced unimaginable trauma. Others have lived safe, comfortable lives. There's no degree of 'broken' that's required. They’re in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. They're all seeking.
One cool thing to remember; the women are like-minded enough to have ended up at NINE together. You’ll be surprised how quickly raw, honest, life-long friendships form. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without knowing these women.
Teachers- I’ll tread lightly here since I’m a teacher… but last year's teachers were nothing short of amazing. Every day was filled with aha moments and life lessons. The learning is easy in such a nurturing and welcoming environment.
Venue- Just for the sake of more information... in 2017 we stayed at Mad River Barn - Vermont. Picture perfect.
This September we'll be at Sage Lodge - Montana. It’s brand spanking new! Like, isn’t even open yet!!
Cost- All the details... right here. Scholarship applications are being accepted until July 15th!!
My experience at NINE Revolution last fall was worth every single penny of the tuition. And then some. I’m still learning and growing as a result of the wisdom and women of NINE.
Have you ever been to a retreat?
There are still some spots left for NINE Retreat 2018.
If you’re even the slightest bit curious… I urge you to check it out.
It’s worth it. YOU are worth it!
I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have about NINE… or anything really:-)
Feel free to comment below or email me. I would LOVE to see you in Montana in September!!
All photos: Jessica Williams of Jay + Jess
Pictured below: NINE founders- Kym Ventola and Kimberly Goeman- exceptional women to the core.