LITERALLY, THE NUMBER 10
There are always around 10 participants, making it an intimate gathering where you don't get lost in the shuffle, but still feel the safety of a group. Think of it as a new friend circle of women "who have realized they are not living fully or into their best self and need some solitude," siad Kristen Hunsberger, founder and visionary. This is where women from the business world and stay-at-home moms and any woman can come together to devote time and energy for a new life.
IN GOOD COMPANY
The staff is pretty impressive. The team of professional women on hand has a passion to serve and equip other women in their life's journey. From certified holistic health coaches to an Associate Spiritual Director and a registered yoga instructor with a master's degree in holistic nutrition, you have a safety net of individuals that lovingly work with you.
NOURISH, THRIVE, COME ALIVE
It's not a catchy headline, but an action plan. The goal of the team is to nourish women—mind, body and soul. It starts with feeding them organic and clean food. From healthy food to sustain you during your stay to learning about healthy food options including recipes, what we eat drives our days, so the attention to authentic food got our attention.
MOVE WITH THE TIMES
Our bodies are our temples: We must treat them with respect. Your stay offers physical activity such as walks on trails or optional yoga sessions. Physical activity and mindfulness are a huge part of our daily lives, so doing things at this retreat that guests can take back with them into their regular routines is important. "I'm a licensed therapist, and I realized many people are struggling with anxiety or self-esteem or depression," said Hunsberger. "They don't need just therapy or just meds. If we can make holistic changes, it's so much more effective."
Guests experience six hours of solitary time, to really get that opportunity to sit with what is going on inside them—which can often be scary or overwhelming. "As women, we are so quick to pour out for everybody else," said Hunsberger. "But if we are a dry well, we have nothing to give." There's one on one time to meet with a professional wellness coach or spiritual director. It's good to step away and listen to what your heart wants to tell you.
WHERE'S THE RESET BUTTON?
While some women are motivated to join in order to find balance, start the healing process or identify areas of growth, you don't need to wait for a major life event as a reason to sign up. It's good self-care to take a pause and reflect on life. These retreats are crafted for struggling women with reasons ranging from difficult marriages to children that are acting out. It's for women dealing with real and heavy situations, and those who simply want to give out of fullness and show up and be present in their lives. "We want them to live abundantly and take a look at the dry parts of their soul and water them," said Hunsberger.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT, BE THAT WAVE
Because Hunsberger has four children and works part time, she needed a respite. More important, she recognized that need—and started the journey. "It's so hard to get women to invest in themselves in this way," said Hunsberger, who searched for a women's retreat and came up short when one didn't exist. "I took myself on a solitary retreat and it was fine, but it could have been so much more." This service was born out of a strong need, and the thought that there's a community and culture of women that can identify with its message.
A ROOM WITH A VIEW
A supportive nest sets the tone for a space where women can rest, heal and build themselves back up. The fall event is held at the Suttons Bay House in November. You can expect a big house to accommodate 10 women comfortably, with break-out rooms for different sessions. Past events have been held at farmhouses in the country or overlooking the Traverse Bay, where you can feel at peace. Each site is a warm and inviting space, picked for maximum coziness, right alongside nature.
YOU HAVE CHOICES
It's nice to have options. For those who yearn for a retreat that's similar in nature but can't commit to a three-day stint, there is an alternative. One-day retreats are mini-versions of the longer retreats. Don't fret if three days sounds like an eternity: You'd be surprised what can be accomplished in one day, and almost everyone can squeeze that out of a busy schedule.
Praise is building. When it comes to feedback, women are saying they had no idea how much they needed the retreat. Participants relate how full, alive and clearheaded they feel at the end of the weekend, Hunsberger notes. Many women are going back into their real lives and have goals to live intentionally. "We give them resources and good therapists in the area, too." Check the website for more stellar guest experiences.
For contact information and to dig even deeper into this subject, head to www.khcounseling.com. June and November dates are available.
Written by Missy Black, a footwear fanatic, style child and contributing writer for West Michigan Woman.
Photo courtesy of Christen B. Photography.