a 5-day intensive to unlock, develop and refine your intuition.
Reclaiming our intuition is a form of self-initiation.
Every quest, (initiation), is ultimately a mission to discover what gifts we’ve brought with us into the heart of our village. For many of us, our inherent gifts have been mocked, ridiculed, demeaned and shunned. And because of that, we’ve faltered in discovering what our greater purpose is in this lifetime. Without our gifts to support and guide us, we’ve been wandering, aimless.
I know that feeling, a kind of free floating anxiety, a worry that your better days are passing by and you should be doing your ‘thing’ by now. You ought to be somewhere farther along in life.
And you go for long stretches of time able to stay a few steps ahead of that worry, diving into projects, throwing yourself full steam ahead into a career, a relationship, some training, childrearing, whatever seems to appear closest to that place ‘farther along’.
But inside, you know.
Your life hasn’t really started yet.
It’s scary, I know. What if you follow your heart and it leads you so far from home that you can’t stand your home anymore? What will your partner think? What will your family say? Isn’t it kind of self-involved, almost to the point of cliché, to have to go ‘find yourself’?
I get all that, I do. I also really understand how a woman’s journey to be true to herself can be threatening to the loved ones in her life, including her partner, her parents, her siblings, her social circle. Because if you change, they’re often left wondering, what does that say about them? Are you not satisfied (with them)? Are you not happy (with them)? What if you “find yourself” and discover you don’t need them anymore?
And so their fear of abandonment becomes expressed on a kind of spectrum that can range from unspoken resentment kept just under the surface, to something more extreme like shaming through sarcasm or judgement. People can throw up a lot of resistance and obstacles to their loved ones growing, because their fear is that you’ll outgrow them.
And that’s understandable, right? Don’t you also share that fear on some deep level?
Here’s the thing.
is stronger than your fear.
When you step towards your soul, it moves towards you. And all of the people in your life are pulled in to a cycle of growth.
Your acceptance and pursuit of something deeper gives permission for all those you love to explore the same within themselves.
And even that is part of your purpose. Not that I think you’re going on a spiritual retreat will somehow make your loved ones unconditionally accepting and supportive, or that it will launch their own hero’s journey. But I do believe that part of a woman’s journey is to understand that she is a conveyer of consciousness and a model for grappling with the mystery.
Let me unpack that a bit more because I don’t tend to like the gendering of spirituality, or the notion that some characteristics are inherently “feminine” or “masculine”. I don’t necessarily buy into the “divine feminine” or “sacred masculine” too much. But what I do believe is that to our primal ancestors, it must have been quite a mystery that a woman can bleed for days and not die. It must have been seen as quite a miracle that a woman can create an entire other human being and somehow bring it forth from her body and, often, not die.
So there is no question to me that females are metaphorical representations of the great mystery. As such, we do have a special role to play in the initiation of our loved ones, especially our men and boys, into having an intimate and reverent relationship with the mysteries of life.
And, (with apologies to dear Joseph Campbell), our she-ro’s journey is a bit different from the male-centric “monomyth” we’ve been taught is universal truth.
Just so we’re clear, one of two things is inevitable in your personal journey: it’s either growth or death. That’s not some New Age-y justification for you to drop a ton of money on a retreat. That’s just the law of nature. Live or die. That’s it. And as a representative of the great mystery, if you aren’t activated on a spiritual level, you aren’t wholly living yet.
This retreat may not be your avenue, but if you’re not moving forward on your journey you will stagnate and you will die a psychological death because stagnation is antithetical and corrosive to the soul.
This is the part where I’m supposed to answer the why Carmen? why this retreat? why now? questions. Frankly, I don’t know, only you can know. But here’s what I think is important for you to know so you can decide:
- I’ve always had a highly developed spiritual yearning, so I am accustomed to being uncomfortable and frustrated on my spiritual journey. Your tough questions are welcome. I will give you no easy answers. I will give you truth and am okay with you being messy and not having your shit together.
- I do not have my shit together and will not judge you if you’re having trouble handling yours. What I mean by that is, I care about things. A lot. So that means I hurt, a lot. Anybody who looks like they have their shit together is faking. Anybody who does have their shit together is either not paying attention or declining to handle their fair share of the shit.
- I have trained with great teachers and have lectured on trance, hypnotherapy, and healing to professional trade associations. I am a licensed wilderness guide with my firearms license, bear safety training and up-to-date wilderness First Aid ticket. Both your physical body and your soul are safe with me.
- I am not a rags-to-riches story but I have experienced business and personal bankruptcy and climbed back to peak earnings within three years. I know how to overcome.
- If I tried 10% harder, I could be making six figures doing soul work. Which is not to brag or say, You, too, can be just like ME! but rather, that I know how to live from my passion and my purpose, and I know it has nothing to do with money and other marks of status or “success”. I think being “authentic” is like being a shaman: no one has the right to declare it for themselves, only one’s community can name you as such. But I do live a soulfully-guided life and know how to guide you to do the same. And often, people who’ve retreated with me experience delightful, life-changing shifts as a result.
- On my 40th birthday, I unveiled a creation called The Vanguard Women School of Radicalization. I declared my radical self welcome in my life. I found a community of over 300 vanguard women who were thirsty to do the same. I think this points to something you should know about me which is that I have an intimate relationship with fear; I feel my fears, my grief, my rage, deeply. I know how to hold space for you to do that, too, if that’s what you need.
I’m not more special than you. I’ve just been devoting myself to learning what it takes – from a spiritual perspective – to get to the other side of the darkness. From that other side, I created my business, my marriage, my family and my lifestyle.
I did that, actually, am doing that in spite of the fact that my husband is not “spiritual”, my daughter’s extended family is Catholic, business and spirituality make unusual co-directors, and the world tends to look scornfully down on “spiritual people”. I’m making it all work together. I’ve guided hundreds of others, around the world, to do the same.
I can help you move through whatever it is keeping you stuck by training you to unlock and access your inner wisdom.
The Sacred Made simple Retreat is happening
November 1-5, 2016
So what is this retreat, exactly?
This retreat is five full days of spiritual digging, unearthing your greatest obstacles and releasing the weight that keeps you down.
- It’s daily immersion with intuitive tools and techniques
- Guided exercises to dissolve your fears and inhibitions
- Healing the pain of social scorn that comes from being intuitive
- Releasing internalized resistance and shame around intuition and spirituality
- Connecting with kindred spirits who’ve shared your struggle to accept and claim your inner power and offer your gifts to the world
- Bonding with soul sisters who’ll carry forward your intention and sometimes hold a bigger vision for you than you can bear to for yourself
- An entire week spent receiving your instructions from the Universe to magnify your impact in the world
This retreat is not just a sit-and-listen kind of format. You will go into deep trance states three times a day. You will be cradled by old growth trees. You will allow glacier rivers to carry your tears home to the ocean. You will hone your intuition and expand your capacity to take risks and act from the heart. You will learn how to open up and receive visions and then receive feedback from your tribe of fellow journeyers. You will offer your whole heart to amplify the prayers of others in the group, to help them make their dreams manifest in the world. You will become part of a community that holds dear the value of making a life of meaning.
This retreat is like an incubator where the collective energy of the group, myself, and the Universe will come together on your behalf.
If you are trying to meet your greater purpose, or travel farther with it, or know it on a deeper level, then this will be like a cocoon for you. You will explore your soul’s edges in a gentle, safe, protected, non-judgmental, embracing, nourishing environment where you will absolutely have all the guidance and support you need.
What you can expect to come out with on the other side:
- A stronger tether to your core self-worth.
- Dozens of exercises, meditations, and tools for maintaining your connection when you’re back in the ‘real world’.
- Liberation from persistent fears, your self-doubts, your anxiety and restlessness.
- A new relationship with your spiritual self.
- Healthier and more expanded beliefs about your worthiness.
- A community of like-minded souls who know what you’ve been through and can remind you of who you really are.
You don’t have to have ever been on a spiritual retreat before. You don’t have to have worked with me before. You don’t have to know your Greater Purpose yet. You don’t have to “be spiritual”.
But this retreat is not for you if:
- if you aren’t willing to show up on time and put in the full day’s work. (That means we start at 9 sharp and we end at 4, sometimes there are evening ceremonies. Naturally there are breaks, and sometimes the evening program is optional, but you must be willing to be there for the group work.)
- if the phrase “I have issues trusting other women” resonates for you.
- if you are not able to participate in moderate physical exercise such as hiking in the woods.
- if you are uncomfortable with adult language, moderate alcohol consumption at dinner time, or possible psychic phenomena. (Kind of sounds crazy when you put those all in one sentence – I’m just trying to think of all the possible ‘triggers’ that might make this terribly un-fun for some people).
The Important Details
This event will only run with a minimum of 6 participants. With six participants, this retreat costs $2495.00+GST of 5% (Canadian dollars).
For each additional participant, the cost is reduced by $100 for everybody.
In other words, with maximum registration of 10 participants, the cost is $2095.00+GST.
A $500 deposit secures your spot. The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. (Only put your hand up if you’re serious, ok?)
This event takes place Tuesday, November 1 – Saturday, November 5, 2016, at Soule Creek Lodge in Port Renfrew, BC.
You must plan arrive between 3 – 4pm on Tuesday and stay until 1 pm on Saturday. Late arrivals and early departures are problematic for group work. It’s important to gather and close together, well and completely.
The daily program is:
Session work from 9-4 with an hour for lunch
Cocktail hour at 6 followed by dinner
Some evenings have a program session from 8-10pm, some evenings are free.
Transport to and from Soule Creek Lodge is your own responsibility (but connect with me if you need a ride – I will make sure you get there somehow!)
The Fun Details
Soule Creek Lodge is run by two good brothers named Jon and Tim, who are award-winning chefs and simply the sweetest hosts a group could ask for. Each day they prepare us incredible meals and are happy to accommodate dietary preferences like vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low carb, low sugar, whatever it is you need.
The daily Cocktail Hour is hosted by my husband, all round smooth operator, Ruben Anderson. Each signature cocktail has been crafted to reflect the energy of the day and highlight the best of our local ingredients. Plus, he adds a thoughtful and sensitive male perspective to our dinner conversation. Many participants have noted how nice it is to be served so warmly and attentively by the men on the team.
We will be playing The Transformation Game together one evening. This spiritual board game is so fun and addictive, there’s usually at least one group that rolls over into the next day!
Registration is now open and will close on
September 30 October 15.
To ensure this experience is really what you’re looking for, we should arrange a brief Skype or phone chat before you register. Simply send me an email and indicate your interest. If you don’t already have my email address, sign up below for my newsletter. You’ll get a confirmation email. Simply hit “reply”.
As a side note, if you’re not feeling a really strong pull, I don’t think we should arrange a call. To be honest, most people who want a discovery meeting first don’t end up coming on retreat. It’s almost like they’re wanting me to sell them on it somehow, say the magic words that will reveal what it is they are wanting and confirmation that I can give it to them. It’s not going to go that way.
The people who come are mostly the ones who don’t know why they want to come, they just feel a strong, strong urge. Our call is mostly about finding out how much we’re already really digging each other’s energy, kind of a little lovefest to confirm that yes, this is going to be fun!
If you’re not already kind of feeling that, then you haven’t been around my work long enough and maybe you should listen to some of my podcasts first. Or you have been following me but we’re just not that great a fit for this big of an investment. Don’t worry about it – you’re perfect person will show up for you at the right time.
How many people are coming to this retreat? The minimum to run the program is 6 and the maximum is 10. All rooms are single occupancy.
Do I get any one-on-one time with Carmen? There will be plenty of individual focus within the group program and you will definitely have the chance to chat with me over dinner and in the lulls throughout the day. I’m not doing one-on-one sessions like I do in my office, but I will be very available for feedback and debriefing as we move through the day.
Who else is coming? Usually we have a variety of ages (generally 25-65 years old). We’ve had retired elders, mothers in the throes of child rearing, renown authors, healthcare administrators, intuitive practitioners, PR professionals, film industry veterans, women in recovery, women in career transition, folks from as far away as Helsinki and Hong Kong to neighbours from my ‘hood – it’s always a very motley crew! Put it all together and there is an immense amount of wisdom, creativity and spiritual power in the room. You’ll definitely make friends. You might even meet your soul twin.
What exactly does the intuition training entail though? You will learn how to work with your intuition, practice, test, and take action on it. Once you’ve got the hang of that, the next natural step is to use your intuition to access information about your greater purpose and how you might like to contribute to collective healing and cultural reconstruction. But of course, all the fun stuff happens too: working with the chakra system, oracle cards, pendulum charts, plant medicine, power animals, shamanic journeying, overcoming doubt and censorship, and learning to do intuitive readings for others. Fun stuff!
Ok, but what are we doing for all that time? Each day builds on the one before so the entire week has a cohesive narrative arc; the week unfolds like a miniature journey of the self. Day one is about release and severance. Day two is about handling fear as you cross thresholds to new ways of being. Day three is about your own journey, finding what is yearning to be discovered, embracing what you’ve not been able to accept or appreciate about yourself. Day four is about incorporation, integration and mastery. Day five is about surviving the return to everyday life and synthesizing your newfound self with your current life situation. Morning sessions are usually spent in the yurt learning new concepts and practicing them through experiential exercises. Afternoons are either spent in the forest, at the river or at the ocean, doing personal rituals that you’ve learned about and had some time to prepare for. Usually there is a mid-afternoon break before the cocktail hour. Evenings after dinner are either spent playing the Transformation Game together in the Lodge, doing group ceremony, or free time depending on the day.
You say the deposit is non-refundable, but what if the retreat doesn’t run? In the event that the event doesn’t go forward, you will absolutely receive a full cash refund – no bait-and-switch nonsense or “would you like credit in my new program?” BS. Let’s give it until October 1 – if there are not six participants registered by then, I will cancel the retreat and send you your refund. (Note: As of late July, there are
five seven women inquiring about securing their spots so things are looking pretty good.)