My head is spinning after an amazing weekend at our Power of Moms Retreat. I honestly don't know if it's possible to sum up everything I learned, felt, and experienced, but I at least want to post a few photos and share by biggest takeaways from this life-changing event. I'm thoroughly sleep-deprived, but simultaneously ECSTATIC about the worldwide growth potential of this organization. (I'm writing this as my two-year-old dances around me to a Barney cassette tape, so I can't guarantee complete coherence!)
We started out with some "Speed-Friendshipping" as our 30 participants arrived. We switched parters every five minutes, and everyone received a little list of questions to help get to know one another in preparation for our discussion-rich classes.
This was such a fun way to make fast friends. I had a hard time holding back on the hugs.
Isn't it great to see moms relaxing and smiling together?
I think one of the best parts of a Retreat is not having to cook your own food. Red Mountain Spa had some amazing gourmet food. It was TOTALLY on the healthy side, so I'll admit I could have used a little more "comfort" food, but I lost a pound over the weekend, so that was a nice bonus.
I loved getting to see Saren, Shawni, and Linda together...they are incredible. (During this photo shoot, Shawni was checking in on Lucy who was being babysat at Saren's house.)
Here's what our conference room looked like. It had a nice, intimate feel, and we all took turns sharing our ideas, asking questions, etc. LOVE these women.
Here's a photo of four of our five presenters: Me, Linda, Saren, and Allyson. I feel incredibly privileged to know these women.
We played some games at night. You know those crazy get-to-know-you games you played at camp when you were young? Well, that's what we did. I was giddy with excitement. At one point, when we were all sitting in two rows, holding hands, playing "Lightning," I said, "Do you think there is another group of moms in the ENTIRE WORLD playing this game right now?
It got a little dark, so it was kind of hard to see each other, and I think a few moms felt like we were holding them captive at the game night (sorry, ladies!), but overall, I think it bonded us together. Here's half our group with Saren,
and here's the other half with me (sometimes we had to split up to make the games more manageable). From left to right are Miken, Laura, Laurie, Tiffany, Lindsay, Aubrey, Mary, Me, Megan, Heather, Allyson, Erika, Amber, and Danielle.
Below is a photo I took of one of my favorite conversations this weekend. These three darling girls are part of one of our Learning Circles in Arizona. They told us how their group of 12 women gathers each month--having read the assigned article AND the suggested articles--and they stay on task, discuss how to improve as mothers, and provide an environment where they can all grow into the mothers and women they want to be. I had to snap a photo because this means so much to us. Learning Circles are 100% Saren's vision, and seeing them in action is beyond amazing. If you haven't started one yet, we've got a summer special going on...sign up!
A few of us got up early in the morning and went walking on the Lava Loop trail. St. George is absolutely gorgeous. We all wish we could have stayed there a week so we could have enjoyed the outdoors a bit more.
Below is a photo of one of the best classes of the Retreat for me. Saren, Shawni, and Linda (Eyre) taught us about Family Systems--how to help our children to behave, manage resources, and feel a strong family identity. If you were to search the world for a team of women to teach on this topic, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone more qualified. I've been a new mom in the 24 hours since I returned home (more on that later).
I need to do an entire post on what's going on with Mind Organization for Moms, as well. I had the chance to teach the whole program to our group, and it turned out better than I imagined. I can't wait to get this out to more moms across the world.
When the Retreat ended, I had the pleasure of hearing Mindy and Valerie sing a "Power of Moms Retreat" song Mindy wrote in honor of the event. This great guitarrist was scheduled to play at the Red Mountain Spa restaurant that night, so he graciously accompanied them. I'm in the process of uploading this to YouTube...I'll publish it as soon as I can!
As I was driving home with Allyson and Laurie, we were having such a great time discussing everything we learned that we didn't realize we were RUNNING OUT OF GAS! Allyson literally coasted off the freeway, and we came to a stop 20 yards from a gas pump. What are the odds? As soon as we stopped the car, six men came running over and pushed us up to the pump. Our heroes!
If you think you might like to attend our next Retreat (or one of the Retreats or Workshops put on by our new Power of Moms Trainers), please be sure to sign up for our newsletter. It will be wonderful! You'll return home feeling relaxed, motivated, and truly happy with your life.