Maritime Medicine Awaits…
At the end of our last Folly Beach retreat, while facilitating our closing session, I felt a subtle yet sincere shift happening. I wrote one simple word on the page I was working on as a result: Refuge. Based on what was transpiring, I could sense that what we were experiencing collectively was a sense of refuge, different from earlier Birds Eye retreats, and that this was the direction we would be heading in for future retreats in response to the needs of our clients and broader community of entrepreneurs and leaders, particularly women.
Our last Folly retreat-turned-refuge took place in the very first days following our national election. The 12 women in attendance had cleared calendars, secured childcare, made to-do lists of what elements of their businesses and projects were in need of critical attention, packed cars, and traveled to honor their commitment to themselves and their ventures. And yet, interestingly, amidst the casual conversations that were taking place as we settled in, it became apparent that many were feeling like the project, the book chapter, the website revamp, the visioning process, the whatever-it-was-they-came-do-do, was maybe no longer worthy. Felt silly. Felt unimportant in the midst of big changes in leadership in the broader world. It was as if their once worthy dream had been hijacked in a matter of days.
And yet, what emerged amidst this challenge was an opportunity (as they tend to do if we are well-rested and clear-headed enough to recognize and engage in them). It was an opportunity to reconnect with our most core values and recenter them in the spinning wheels of our lives and businesses. For some, this looked like getting up before sunrise and recommitting to time spent in the natural world before connecting with the world of social media. For some, this looked like taking the time to reflect on the milestones of their business and life as of late and harvest where there were fictional tales formed that they were actually proclaiming as fact, and then began realigning their decision-making as a result of this new awareness. And for some, the greatest experience of reconnecting to their core values came through cooking healthy meals together, with laughter, in a big expansive kitchen overlooking the marsh. Together some of these participants brainstormed future food-centered collaborations while tasting and celebrating the fruit of their labor at hand.
So, just over three weeks from now, Birds Eye is returning to this beautiful place and space of refuge and we are curious what practices of restoration, reflection, creativity, and connection are in store for each of us. What I know for myself, is that the leader role I play in life will be receiving my tender loving care during this time. The time has come for the pilot lights of leadership out there that feel like they are flickering to be tended to, nurtured, and we believe they will be offered kindling in the form of maritime medicine. Many of us feel that we need to step up in unprecedented ways and reclaim what it means to be a values-driven business owner and employer in the world. I promise you this is quite a remarkable setting to wrestle with ways to do this, while refilling your own cup.
We went on a cost-cutting binge this past week to make this refuge-by-the-sea as affordable as we possibly can so that we can share this space with those of you who feel you could benefit. This refuge is for you and the time is yours to dedicate to whatever feels most important at this junction. There will be Birds Eye’s business planning resources included for those who want to focus and create a structured schedule for yourself. While the box of paints, bikes, and paddle board wait patiently for you to enjoy them too.
I, for one, can’t wait to see who all convenes and conspires in what has become Birds Eye’s home-away-from-home.
Amidst and amongst,