Photo diary: Retreat Yourself BC 2016

April 11, 2016

YACC’s program director, Karine Chalifour, posts daily recaps on Facebook during Retreat Yourself and Survivor Conference. Here is a compilation of what she saw and felt during Retreat Yourself BC at Edenvale from April 7-10, 2016.

Day 1

We did it/they did it! After some sweet connection time waiting for our bus (on a hot day in BC), we completed the first day of this retreat like champions! An honest two-hour opening circle started us on the “real” foot! Everyone is fully here with fear, hope, anger, love, and openness, which makes for what will be a wicked retreat, no doubt. Ratio of laughs vs tears: 65/35.

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Day 2

After another glorious day of “summer” in April, we are closing the second day of our retreat. It started with some discussions around relationships, followed by some tips around meditation, sleep, essential oils, and yoga to help “calm the fuck down.” We ended the day strong with a chat about finances and the powerful stories of Cheryl and Annette. Ladies you hit this one out of the park!

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Our checkout was raw, honest, and so real. No time or space for bullshit. TBH, I find it very refreshing. (Also, I learned the abbreviation TBH; I have been overusing it with Scott, and TBH, it’s awesome).

Of course, the retreat would not be the same without a fire and some s’mores! Going to bed with a full heart and a full belly.

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Day 3

Today we took a ride on the roller coaster. We started the morning by making space and time to talk about fear of recurrence and dying. There were tears, there were laughs, there were Kleenex.

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We then had the chance to spend an hour with Shannon who came and spoke to us about Holistic Nutrition. Thank you, Shannon, for your passion, your time, and all your props! So glad you came!

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The afternoon also involved some yoga with Melanie and a little session on sleep with Sheila. We closed this sunny afternoon with some artwork around “life planning” and a wicked awesome group chat tonight.

Of course, it is Saturday night, so some games were played. Exploding Kittens was the one tonight; still very unsure about it, and pretty sure I don’t understand it at all, but it was so much fun to watch. It was like reliving the Friends episode featuring Bamboozled. I am pretty sure the group was making up the rules as they were going — they say no, but I am skeptical.

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Very grateful for our group, for the chats by the bowl of chips and popcorn, for the soft laughter during the art session, for the respect of the process and of each other, and for the trust.

Good night!

Day 4

Our last day together didn’t disappoint! Our hearts got cracked open with Hannah and Reggie’s story. Seriously moving, honest, and inspiring [EDITOR’S NOTE: Read their recap from their first Retreat in 2013!]. I then took some time to speak about YACC, and the interest and support from the group to help and get involved was overwhelming.

We had a closing circle as profound and loving as the opening circle, and we wrapped it up with some wicked talent at the talent show. It is late, I am tired but a part of me doesn’t want it to end. They were good retreaters, very good retreaters.

We head back home tomorrow with full hearts and connections that will last a lifetime. Feeling grateful.

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