“Self-care is how you take your power back.”– Lalah Delia
I came across the yearly all women‘s here we grow retreat after following self-care guru, Tara Pringle Jefferson on social media. As a now reformed subscription box hoarder, Tara’s Bloom Beautifully Box was a necessary want every other month. In another lifetime, I was even tasked with producing an online interview for a former blog’s Women in Business segment. We can say that I have known of Tara’s ”Where Women Bloom” business for years. It was a pleasure to actually meet her in person during the fifth year Here We Grow Retreat.
I can define my personality overall as being withdrawn and to myself until the music comes on and then I am a social butterfly. Traveling outside of the country without any of these people knowing my people, in case of an emergency was a bit overwhelming but I made it there and back. Being in the same space with like minded women was refreshing. Women who did not judge but praised each other for their accomplishments and lifted them back up for what they felt were shortcomings from the year prior. This sisterhood of friends all developed online by one woman with the thought to socialize with others like herself.
What is the Here We Grow Retreat?
“Each retreat offers soul-stirring conversations to give you clarity on where you are and where you’re headed; opportunities to hear from mental health experts; hands-on workshops developed to create change that lasts when you get home, and massages, good food and sightseeing in a new city each year.” I did not know what to expect beyond the beautiful pictures displayed online. The conversations, experiences, and bonding that I experienced with the groups of women was something I’ve seen on tv. It was lovely to see women who were once strangers exchange tears, laughs and love for the growth of their sister.
What is the point of going to a Here We Grow Retreat?
As I’ve mentioned before, women need time to just be a woman, in peace. Who are you without your significant other, your children, the role you play at work? The point of going to a Here We Grow Retreat or just away for the weekend by yourself is to recharge your mind. The equivalency to taking a deep breath and just relaxing. The feeling of doing whatever you want to do when you want to do it is the true definition of practicing self-care.
Similar to my over packed luggage, the amount of thoughts of what to do and how to do it, who to speak to and about what, during this 5 days, 4 nights were all over the place. It wasn’t until I received an itinerary that my mind was somewhat at ease, luggage is another story. There it was, a timeline of what to expect and plenty of freedom to do whatever it is you wanted. So even if you hop on a plane all by yourself, like I did, the retreat accommodates for giving you what you need and a little more of what you didn’t know you needed.
You can be paired with a roommate months prior, so you can get to know each other or room solo and truly enjoy being alone. For my first here we grow experience, I was afforded the best of both worlds and it was a great experience, especially since I’ve never been alone in a hotel room before – except that one time I did an over night jury duty stay.
Why would I return to a Here We Grow Retreat next year?
I would return to a here we grow retreat next year because I have seen others testimony of who they were before connecting with Tara and the other women in the group. Not only have true friendships blossomed, the women themselves have released their fears, letdowns, and grown into a better version of themselves. I appreciated seeing that we are all imperfect human beings and just need to effectively communicate our wants and needs in order to stay mentally stable and whole.
When I asked my different group of friends if they were interested in attending this event in Puerto Rico, I was met with resistance. Two wanted to really go, but timing wasn’t in their favor. It left me to make a decision, do I not go because I would be attending by myself and not knowing a single person. Or do I just say fuck it and go experience something new? I’ll take fuck it, for $500 Alex! With that mindset, I know I will return next year and will be a little more open to the group of women who have been attending for years. I’ll be among the group that once the tickets open, we buy em up with none left for newbies such as myself. I was lucky to get a ticket.
I no longer want to be that woman who waits for the right time or a companion to hold my hand through the door of a function. Was it scary leaving home at four something in the morning traveling to the airport solo, yes, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I’m not new to traveling, but new to being alone for long periods of time. And I liked it.
How much does a Here We Grow Retreat cost?
In all honesty, I can only say what my expenses were for this year. They are closed lipped when it comes to looking up past details. If social media didn’t exist for picture memories, I wouldn’t see anything. Dag! lol From a business point of view, makes sense to not disclose such information because I could imagine that the cost of going to Virginia would be way different than the cost of going to Puerto Rico. Besides the ticket price, which covered group activities such as the welcome reception, breakfast, planned group excursion, photo shoots, hands on therapists etc… the flight and hotel was on me. And this made sense, since there were ladies coming from all parts of the USA.
So with the ticket, which can be paid in installments, hotel, flight from NYC and pocket change, my overall budget came to about $1500, which is the average amount I spend on a one person trip. If this sounds like way too much for you to spend on a trip without your family, that’s okay. I know for me, at one time it would be too much and I would not go anywhere if I had to turn over $1500 over night. As I mentioned to my friend, “my bank account looks hungry, but my experiences are so full.” lol Using a savings app, I put away a certain amount of money every month to pay for the luxury of recharging my battery.
If you are looking for a community of like minded women, join Tara’s Facebook group, The Self-Care Suite w/Tara Pringle Jefferson. I hope to see you in there and in person at the Here We Grow Retreat 2020!