Episode 15

Retreat Reflection: Embracing Opportunities and Flexibility

This is part 1 of a mini-series I’m doing on retreats. This episode kicks off the series with my reflections on the freedom and adventure retreat in the Outer Banks that I just returned from last week. I share details about the retreat and what my experience was like. But most importantly, I share all the reflections and insights I had from snagging an unexpected opportunity to teach and coach during the retreat. There is nothing more powerful than putting yourself in the room for opportunities to happen, making the decision to ask for what you really want, and then showing up fully to receive it.


About the Host:

Jen is a Dream Catalyst and Business Mentor saving hustling female solopreneurs from the chains of corporate America. Her passion lies in helping women through their self awakening so they can finally break free, turn their side hustle into the business of their dreams, and live a life full of time, location and financial freedom.

Jen is a California girl at heart, now living out her dream in the Midwest, traveling, coaching female solopreneurs and sharing her own story of triumph and empowerment across speaking platforms. When she's not traveling, she enjoys spending time with her college-aged son and her rescued Pit Bull.

After 20 years of various project manager and corporate trainer roles while juggling a wide array of side gigs, she has mastered the ability to help women see what they cannot see, believe they are meant for more and take aligned action to make it happen. With an MBA in Change Management, and a Health and Life Coach Certification from the Health Coach Institute, Jen is an expert at creating both the business process changes and the personal habit changes needed to finally Break UP with corporate and go all-in on your side hustle or long-standing passion project.

Connect with Jen on Facebook or Instagram!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenelleingram/

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wholelottashift/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/midwestvalleygirl/

Free Gift: https://mailchi.mp/4f4ae02ebe45/beat-the-odds


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Jen Ingram:

I wanted to share this with you for a couple of reasons. One, is because when you show up for something, and you decide to truly put yourself in the room, and put yourself in front of the opportunities that you want more of the universe will start giving you the opportunities that you're asking for. And you need to be ready to capture them, and to take them and to show up fully for them. This is so important.

Jen Ingram:

Welcome to a whole lot of shift Podcast, the podcast for multi passionate women with an entrepreneurial spirit, where we provide inspiration, motivation, and education to help you shift away from all the shoulds and supposed TOS to what's truly possible for you in your business and your life. All on your own terms. You ready, girl? Let's make shift happen. Hey, and welcome back to another episode of a whole lot of shift. I am so excited to be with you here today. I am just coming back from not one, but two different retreat back to back. I've been traveling for a little over two weeks. And I've just returned and I have so many deeds to share. And I'm so excited. So this is actually going to kick off this small series that I'm going to be doing specifically talking about retreats, why I go on retreats, why I think that they're so important, what to look for in a retreat, but types of retreats that there are, why you want to go on a retreat versus a vacation, I'm gonna be talking about that, why location matters, and really just kind of diving into all things retreat so that we can be geared up and kind of kicked off for some very special announcements coming up. So this is part one of the series. And really, this is just kind of a recap of the retreats that I've been on so far this year. So yeah, like I said, I just got back from two back to back retreats. This is actually my well, so this would have been retreat number three and four for the year so far. And then I still have, I still have two more retreats, booked and lined up. But there's at least one more that I don't have booked yet. But if I have it my way I'll be able to go. It's just a matter of me working through negotiating all of that. So very exciting. So for these retreats, I the first retreat that I went to was a freedom and adventure retreat. And that was with former guest Jackie Cote. So really excited because Jackie and I have worked together for a few years. And there was a lot of people that were going to be attending that retreat that I knew and have worked with in several different programs over the years. So it was I was really excited to be able to go and make those in person connections. So that retreat was in the Outer Banks in North Carolina, it was in Corolla. And I think I booked that one out probably six months ago. Now, I have to tell you, I already had planned a retreat for the first week of May, that has been scheduled for a year that is kind of a recurring retreat. And I already knew a year ago that I was going to be attending that one again this year in 2023. And I'll be going in 2024. Like it's just it's really becoming a non negotiable for me. And so when the freedom and adventure retreat was announced with Jackie, I kind of just stepped back from it because, wow, okay. All these thoughts started coming up into my mind, right, like, Okay, who the hell am I to be taking two back to back retreats? Like, first of all, that's a long time to be away from my house or my family or friends to be out of town. That's a long time to just kind of be away. There are expenses involved, of course. And I think the question that I get from people is like, really two retreats back to back? And the answer is, yes. These were two very different retreats, and I knew that they would be and I maybe didn't have all the details about the freedom and adventure retreat, but I knew enough about the style of the retreat leader of Jackie that I felt confident in the fact that I was going to get to completely different experiences, and be just completely good with that. So the first retreat was in the Outer Banks with Jackie. And there was, I believe, 16 or 17. Attendees, I can't recall. But it was, it was really, really amazing. What was fun about that experience was I got to arrive at the retreat a little bit ahead of time, actually a couple of days ahead of time, which I have to tell you is not the norm for retreats and retreat experiences. And especially with retreat leaders, oftentimes, when you're booking a retreat, it's the dates are pretty well set. And oftentimes, the venue may not be booked ahead of time. So an option like arriving early, because maybe you have some other business matters to attend to, or something like that isn't typically an option. In this case, it was and it worked out really well for me. So I was really glad that I got to do that. So I actually arrived before all the other participants. In fact, there was myself, the retreat leader, Jackie, and two other ladies that I've been in various programs with over the years, and they were able to get there a couple of days ahead of schedule as well. And it was really nice, because we kind of helped get the retreat set up. And or I should probably say, I didn't do a lot of the helping getting things set up as I was working. However, you know, we really were really there as a little bit of an added support system for the retreat leader is this was her first retreat, although honestly, I don't think she needed it. But I got to get there a couple of days early, and we got to help kind of set things up. And it really did help set the stage and kind of get get me into the mindset of why I was there and connecting to what I wanted to get out of it. And this is something that I'm going to be sharing in this miniseries, because I think it's really, really important when you are looking for a retreat to attend. And by the way, there are tons of retreats out there. And I'll I'll get to that as well. There's all different types of retreats. And you really need to know, for yourself, What are your intentions with attending, and what are your expectations, so that you don't kind of set yourself up for any sort of disappointment, or anything like that. But on this retreat, my goal was just to connect in person with so many people that I have been connected with, via online for the last two or three years and maybe haven't gotten to see in person or have maybe only spent very brief amounts of time in person. And so I knew that I was going to have the opportunity to connect with those people. And and we were all going to be able to spend some time together in this one container, and really work on just not really having a good time because it was the freedom and adventure retreat. So not only having a good time, but really having the ability to do some self development work and really work into, you know, how do we view freedom? What does that mean for each of us? And what does that mean that we have to let go of? And what does that mean, we want to create more of as we look forward. And so that was a really, really great experience. One of the pieces of the adventure I love to tell you is we had an opportunity to go out on an excursion for sunset one day where we went on a guided tour with oh, I want to say there were two Humvees. And I want to say they held maybe eight people each well, they had to have held at least eight if not more, because there was 16 of us, however many. So we had two of those, and they took us out on the beach so that we could see the wild horses that live on the beach, just north of Corolla. And that was just a really incredible experience, not only being being near the water, and you're just driving in the sand, on look, you know, on the beach, and experiencing all that the coast has to offer. But then also being able to experience something like live wild horses that you just kind of take for granted that live on the beach, and we learned so much I have to tell you, our guide, who our tour guide who was with us was absolutely incredible. knew so much history about the horses and how they got there and, and everything but it really it was a ton of fun. But it was also something really great to experience with other women as we were out there and as we were really kind of digging into the experience of freedom and advice insure. That was super amazing. So that was the first retreat. And that retreat, the total duration of that retreat was four or five days. But like I said, I was there a couple days early. But I think the retreat time

Jen Ingram:

everybody arrived, like on a Wednesday night, and then we have to leave Sunday morning, just to kind of give you guys an idea of the time for that retreat. I will say I there we stayed in the amazing, amazing house right on the beach, it was absolutely incredible to wake up every morning and see the sunrise across the ocean. AND, and OR to go across the of the road, maybe a half a mile, and you could see the sunset on the bay area there. It really the outer vase is really just an amazing place. If you ever have an opportunity to go i i encourage you to just go and see it and experience it for yourself, because it's really pretty amazing. And so there were obviously 1718 women staying in one house, I did elect for a single room just for myself, and no regrets about that. And I'll be talking about that experience as well coming up in what when you're looking for your retreats, and what to look for, and how to really kind of dig into what you need. We're gonna be getting into that. But yeah, so it was really great, because we all got to kind of wake up have a coffee or experience sunrise, but yet the house was large enough. And the because there was so many people, we also had enough free time that we were able to kind of explore on our own a little bit. So if you chose to get up early and catch the sunrise, great if you chose to sleep in that was, you know, something that you chose to do. Like, it wasn't set up in a super rigid schedule. Except for free time, we did have a private chef who was on site, and she stayed on site for all five days, and cooked as breakfast, lunch and dinner. And those were set up as buffet style. However, obviously, as she needed to set up and tear down in between that to prepare for the next meal, it was really important that we did kind of abide by the meal times that were pre established prior to the start of the retreat. So but otherwise, the schedule was somewhat flexible. And this is something that is pretty important when you're looking to book a retreat. Because especially if you're going to a retreat that has any type of self development component, you're going to want the availability of adjusting the schedule, and you're going to want to kind of be able to go with the flow and identify your participants and where they are at and when they maybe need a break or when you need to keep going. And so you need to be flexible a little bit in your schedule. So that's something to look for. And we were able to do that. And it was it was it was really nice. As you can imagine, being in a home with that many women, there were times where I was kind of on people overload. And really, it was just too many too many things going on at once a few times. And I really had to connect back to okay, why are you here? What are you wanting to get out of this? How can you make sure that you stay within your own self boundaries that you've created, and that you know, and, and really dig into why I was there and make sure that I was doing things that stayed in alignment with that. And as long as I reconnected back to that, and I stayed in alignment, I was great. I had an amazing time. So I think it's really, really important that you do have that why of why you're going and what your intentions are clearly defined and identified. And we're going to get into that into future episode two. While I was at the freedom and adventure retreat, I was hearing you know, being it was the freedom retreat. And like I said, we were digging into Hey, where you know, Where has our past brought us up until now, in which maybe there's some areas that we don't feel like we are experiencing the freedom that we want and what kind of freedom do we want to create for ourselves going forward? So as you're digging into that, obviously, for a lot of us that can dig really deep like freedom can mean anything for you ranging from feeling heard, feeling seen, feeling represented, feeling loved, feeling and accepted to financial freedom, physical little freedom, freedom within your own body freedom from diet culture, it can range in such a broad spectrum of things. But as you can imagine, then there were there were lots of really difficult topics that came up for people that that were brought up during some of the sharing, sharing sessions. And as I was sitting there, and I was listening to his incredible women and their amazing stories, and stories of, of strength, and ability to overcome obstacles that that some of us pray, we never have to endure, and hearing the stories of these women having overcome it all. I also heard a lot of limiting beliefs, imposter syndrome. And I have to say, even as I was sitting there listening to their stories, a lot of these thoughts of belief of self belief and impostor syndrome, they started kind of coming up for myself as well. Like, as I was hearing some of these stories, I was like, oh, yeah, I've experienced that as well. But then my very next thought was, oh, but not that bad. So I don't want to bring up my experience, because it doesn't compare to none. Right. And so all of a sudden, what we don't realize is, it's those very thoughts that tend to make us small, right, we tend to kind of shrink ourselves like, well, because my experience, I doesn't quite compare to someone else's, I'm gonna make myself small and unheard, and unseen. And in that way, I'm kind of in this safe little cocoon, but what we don't realize is that by making ourselves feel small, we continue to play small, and we're really kind of keeping ourselves in this box, in this cage, that it's really not free. And I could hear it, I could hear it being played out just in the way that some other women were sharing their stories. And I could hear it in my own mind. So I was sitting there, and I knew that this, this was an opportunity to really share something amazing with these women, I could see that there was an opportunity for them to walk away with something in hand that they could then implement into their daily habits, and kind of rewrite some of those self belief stories, and kind of rewrite some of those stories that are causing some of that impostor syndrome, and some of that comparison. And I knew that I had something to share. But just like, with so many other people, just like the very clients that I serve, all these thoughts started appearing my head like sure you have something to share. But this isn't your retreat. Who do you think you are? What are you going to do? Ask the retreat leader, if you can lead as whole session? At her retreat? It's not your retreat? Like, seriously, who the hell do you think you are? And I had all these thoughts appearing, but then I thought, You know what, it doesn't matter. What if I just ask, I don't know what the schedule is like for the following day. I don't know what else is planned. I don't know what the retreat leader has planned. What if I just ask, because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that if you don't ask, then you'll never receive. So if I ask, and I show up for it, and I show up in the mindset that I'm going to receive, there's a really good chance that I just might receive what I'm asking for. So I did I just asked a simple question. Hey, what do you have planned for tomorrow? Here's how I think I could help. What do you think it really was just that simple. And of course, she came back and she was like, Oh, I think this is a perfect opportunity for you to share some of the work that you do. Where do you think, you know, this would fit in within the day? Here are the parts that I have planned, and I and so we kind of talked about it? And I outlined I said, Hey, I think this would really be great here, you know, in the afternoon after lunch, whatever. And she said, Great. Can't wait see you then. And I just thought,


Well, that was simple. All I had to do was show up and ask, right. So as that evening went on,

Jen Ingram:

I was thinking in my mind, wow, I didn't really prepare for this. But I also knew that this was a topic that I could probably do off the cuff. It's something that I really work with my clients quite a bit on and so I knew it was something that I could cover. When I got up the next morning, I then realized One of the things that would make it just that much more impactful was if I introduced all the participants to something called EFT tapping. Now, I want to be clear on this, I am not exactly an expert in this. I learned about it in school, I learned about it, I should say, when I say in school, I was working on my masters. And it was a very brief introduction to it, if you will, then when I was worth working on my coaching certification, I learned about it a bit more in depth. And for that I actually worked with a partner. And we did a session where we practiced going through an EFT tapping session with each other. Now, again, this is all in schooling, I have never actually taught anybody how to do this, or really done this or practice this was anybody else. There are some YouTube channels that I follow. And so I'm very familiar with it, but not something I regularly do. So I was sitting there that morning, as everybody was waking up, and I was getting ready for breakfast, but I and I just kept thinking to myself over and over. As I had just wrapped up my nighttime meditation, every night, I listened to a guided meditation that is about seven, seven and a half hours long. And it plays, I play that in my room while they sleep. And naturally, at the end of that guided meditation, I automatically wake up, oftentimes I don't have to set any kind of alarm. And so I had just finished that meditation. And I woke up because the meditation was over and thought, we need to do a tapping session. But I've never taught a tapping session. And I just could not kick this feeling that I really needed to do this. So I went out to breakfast, and I took my journal with me. And as I was at breakfast, I started just jotting down some notes of some of the things that I was going to, to save through this through this session and some of the thoughts that I had around. Okay, what are the thoughts that we want to release? And what are the some of the thoughts that we want to bring in? And how can I tie this back to what we've been working on the two days prior at the retreat in so I was taking some notes, I had brought up a couple of the YouTube channels that I follow and kind of listen to some of the tips that they gave. And then, and I just started kind of quizzing some people that were at the breakfast table, you know, Hey, guys, tell me some what are some affirmations that are really meaningful or powerful to you? Because I kept thinking in my mind, one thing I know when we're trying to really tap into the subconscious, if we start using our own words, the words that resonate with us, that our clients or I should say, if I use the words that my clients would use, that it's that much more impactful. And so I just started asking those questions. And later that afternoon, when it was my turn, all those thoughts of limiting beliefs, and impostor syndrome definitely crept up for just a minute. And all those thoughts of I have no notes. I am not prepared for this. It's not like I have a prepared speech. I don't have you know, a slide deck, I don't have anything that I have prepared for this. However, if there's one thing that I've learned, it is this, to be considered an expert to teach on something, you don't necessarily have to know every single solitary thing that there is to know about that subject. You simply need to know more than the average person in the room. And this is something that I was taught by Lisa Johnson, who's another coach that I follow. And it is the absolute truth. If you think about it in those terms, when you're having those thoughts come up of well, heeks, I might not be an expert yet, because I'm not as good as such inside your I don't know all the things that there is to know about it. Stop for a minute and ask yourself, Do I know more about this subject or topic than the average person in this room? If the answer is yes, there's a really good chance you could probably go ahead and teach on it. And that was exactly what I did. So no, I didn't have notes. No, I wasn't prepared. I didn't really have a workbook for for the participants to use. I literally took a sheet of paper. And I wrote out the statement that we were going to be creating on in a bright colored marker and I held up the paper so that they could see it. And I talked them through it and I said what we're first going to start with this tapping session and I bring If we explained what's happening was, and then I showed them and we did two or three rounds as a group altogether. And then I started guiding them through an EFT tapping session. And you know what? It was great. I mean, it went really great. It was so great that after we did the tapping session, we then spent probably about an hour or so of work on creating some affirming self belief statements for ourselves, which turned out amazing, these women are so incredible and powerful. That I mean, some of some of these ladies were saying things like this statement meant so much to them that they were going to put it on their LinkedIn profile. And I've never had anybody say that. And I have to say, that was a whole new train of thought for me, because I've never thought of creating a statement that could also go on LinkedIn. But what an amazing epiphany. And so after we created those statements, we were out of time. And I sat there for a moment. And I was like, Okay, I really wanted to do a second tapping session, again, using all using a lot of the words that everyone had just used, and that they had shared with me as they just spent the last hour creating their self belief statements, I wanted to use their words within my tapping session that I wanted to do to kind of close out the session and to make it that much more impactful. And we ran out of time. And so I stopped for a minute and I said, Okay, I'll leave it up to the audience said, we're out of time, we can end it here. Or if you guys are okay, we can go for an extra three to five minutes. And we can do another tapping session. And unanimously, everybody was like, yes, we want to do the final tapping session. And I was shocked. I was like, Okay, I mean, I had hoped you all would enjoy it as much as I do. But I really had no idea, I really had no idea. And so we did. And I incorporated their own words wherever I could into this session. And I put my own little spin on it, as well. And the most incredible part of it all was when we got to the end, and we completed. And I was asking everybody to take a couple deep breaths, inhale, exhale. And I stopped, and I opened my eyes. And as I looked around the room, I saw a room of 1718 other women completely relaxed, completely present, with their eyes closed, almost like


in another state, like coming out of something just refreshed knew. And I told her when they could open their eyes. And it was just overwhelming, the amount of peace and calm that was in that room in that moment. It was really, really fucking amazing.

About the Podcast

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A Whole Lotta Shift

About your host

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Jen Ingram

Jen Ingram is a Confidence Catalyst and Business Mentor saving hustling female solopreneurs from the chains of corporate America. Her passion lies in helping women through their self awakening so they can finally break free, turn their side hustle into the business of their dreams, and live a life full of time, location and financial freedom.

Jen is a California girl at heart, now living out her dream in the Midwest, traveling, coaching female solopreneurs and sharing her own story of triumph and empowerment across speaking platforms. When she's not traveling, she enjoys spending time with her college aged son and her rescued Pit Bull.

After 20 years of various project manager and corporate trainer roles while juggling a wide array of side gigs, she has mastered the ability to help women see what they cannot see, believe they are meant for more and take aligned action to make it happen. With an MBA in Change Management, and a Health and Life Coach Certification from the Health Coach Institute, Jen is an expert at creating both the business process changes and the personal habit changes needed to finally Break UP with corporate and go all-in on your side hustle or long standing passion project.