My First Retreat Journey
sourced-my-first-retreat-journey

I share the story of my first retreat. Or rather, I share the story of my failure leading up to my first retreat…

April 6, 2020

In my training program, Retreat and Grow Rich, I share the story of my first retreat. Or rather, I share the story of my failure leading up to my first retreat, which is how I got there.

As background, all of my own personal magical breakthroughs had happened during live group experiences. From the diversity coach training I took in corporate to my time in Landmark Education, I watched how live experiences moved me from being a controlling, guarded, and people-pleasing person to someone who could hear my own heart and experience love and connection. 

(Note: I still navigate these waters of transformation at new levels as I grow.)

So during the MANY YEARS between that first coach training and the time I started my business (nearly 10), I was dreaming about myself in front of a group, guiding an experience that transforms. I could see, feel, and taste the possibilities and potential in this modality. I knew, as a living example, the power of retreats to change lives, and once I discovered it, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else quite honestly.

Yet when it came time to start my business, something happened.

I signed up for some free classes. I went to a live event. I joined a business mastermind. And while these were all fabulous decisions for me before I knew it I was looking around at what everybody else was doing and I began to try to do THAT.

I had signed up for the newsletters of all my colleagues in my mastermind and I watched what they were doing. They would send emails about their programs and then within a couple of weeks they would declare the program ‘sold out.’ I was doing the math on how much money they were making based on selling out these programs and I thought I should do that too! 

(I later learned that some people would say ‘sold out’ to save face on programs that didn’t work – ugh.)

So I created a ‘group program’ and wrote pages and emails and all-the-things to fill it… and every day I excitedly checked my email for sales, but nothing happened. Ever.

I was so bummed. 

And then I decided to go within. To take an honest look at the messages I was receiving through this experience, and to be truthful with myself about my failed program.

And here’s what I discovered. 

I didn’t actually want to do that program I developed. It wasn’t the vision I had when I started my coaching business, it wasn’t the thing I was systematically guided by source to do — from being invited to the exact right transformational live trainings at the right time as a model for my future work, to literally seeing visions when I closed my eyes. 

But I wasn’t seeing other people doing what I wanted to do at that time, and I allowed myself to be influenced by that– even by other people’s reported results that weren’t real! 

I followed the formula until I didn’t.

I had allowed other’s opinions to discourage me from hosting my own retreat until I got clear and honest with myself about my spiritual calling. Once I owned my true desire to lead transformational experiences, I was no longer shakeable by external opinions, thus I no longer energetically invited dissenting ones.

And I planned my first retreat!

And all my decisions became laser-focused on that outcome.

I had a strategy for how I would meet clients for this retreat and have them be ready for and interested in retreating with me, which I developed from various ideas I had been studying (I teach this in my Retreat and Grow Rich Program), but my clear intention made all the difference. My internal belief in my own guidance is what had my actions line up for my first big success in business.

I had my first retreat in April of 2011. (My first website and blog post launched November 2009, for context). 

There were 16 attendees, four of whom were already private clients paying me roughly $375/month as their coach. I waaaay over delivered on content (183 powerpoint slides), but I also led with transformation.

I KNEW the people could walk out in a different energy, and that is what fueled me.

At that retreat (after much prayer requesting that the greatest and highest good unfold for all) I offered a $6000 coaching program in which six people in the room joined (and eventually closed with 8). Some current clients actually chose to pay me more because of the retreat.I walked out that weekend with $36K in contracted revenue, and filled with excitement for what would be possible for this committed group! 

But here’s the coolest part. 

In leaving my career as an engineer to dedicate my life to the work of transformation, I assumed I would not be earning much money. (This would go on to fuel me in teaching others like me to make money!) As a result, I had made my financial life as small as possible such that I could ‘afford’ to follow my dreams. In doing so, my income goal I set for myself was $36,000. For a YEAR! I could live with no ‘extras’ on $3K/month.  

And yet I contracted that in my FIRST WEEKEND doing what I had been guided to do! I went on to earn $78,000 in that year and never looked back.

I’ve hosted more than 70 retreats in three countries and all over the US. I have watched countless people physically transform before my eyes as they move old energy out of their systems and consciousness and way of being and invite in a new ‘Sourced’ energy to their world. 

Today as I write this we are experiencing a global pandemic, and all physical events are on hold. The very lifeblood of my work I was guided to develop and deliver has been eliminated at this time.

So now what?

Well, just like I did when my program didn’t work, and like I’ve done countless times since I have had to go within.

If we look around at what we are seeing ‘out there’ and take our cues from that, we might find ourselves saying yes to lots of good ideas – ones that are right for others, but not for us, just as I did.

There is lots of advice right now. Pivot. Stay the course. Give everything free. Focus on high level. Build for when this is over. And all of that advice is great — for someone.

But what is right FOR YOU?

Imagine a world in which each business owner is tuning in to their unique soul’s expression at this time how Source wants to work through them, personally, for the highest good. What a beautiful dance of highest expressions that would be!

For me, I moved each of my live retreats to virtual experiences, and I am training my Retreat and Grow Rich program graduates on how I did this and how they can too for those who want to. I wrote last time about my solid point of view on this – the transformation happens in the CONTAINER, not the specific delivery method.

I have felt called to serve these clients who I already know are doing awesome things in the world with extra support around virtual retreats. I have felt called to write my new book with a renewed passion for the timeliness of the message. (The Sourced Experience – check out my post about the pandemic as a Sourced Experience HERE). I have felt called to nurture my new home (we moved to Austin just over a week ago!) and to send love to my family (my brother is still hospitalized but is healing and we speak daily – more on my lessons from that to come). And I have felt called to allow spirit to work through me with great intention in my last of three virtual retreats coming up beginning 4/18. These are my truths at this time and they feel great.

[There is ONE SPOT LEFT in our Virtual Retreat — does your spirit say it is yours? APPLY HERE]

I sense a few things that have been percolating will move their way to the front burner in divine right timing in the coming months, and I know I am being changed internally at this time to be an even more truthful and energetic leader.

What has YOUR soul been saying about how you are meant to serve at this time?

I am not talking about which advice you agree with or think is smart, or what you are seeing others doing that you like or approve of. Those are head decisions, and more often than not, those things have nothing to do with YOU. 

What have you felt drawn to, what can you see and feel yourself doing, what feels spiritually aligned, and has you feeling alive to think about?

This doesn’t mean you won’t experience forms of resistance, as this kind of contrast shows up as a mirror of our old energy as it leaves our system. Resistance or contrast does not mean you aren’t meant for it. And this is where many have often felt stuck. [We address this illusion of resistance off the top in our virtual retreat experience]. At your core, in your purest knowing, you know how you wish to respond to the pandemic at this time. It’s time to BELIEVE YOURSELF, RECEIVE FROM SOURCE. Mwah!

Love,
Darla

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