As I walked into the studio in Weyburn, Saskatchewan where Paula and Jennelle were setting up their first-ever mini-retreat, I took a deep breath. As I had so many other times in my life, I knew I had entered a room where I would experience something divine, yet didn’t really know what that something would be.
Being the first attendee to arrive, I settled into a spot on the floor and arranged my pillow, notebook, blanket, and camera around me. Then, I chatted to the hosts as we waited for the other guests. One by one, the women came through the door, each bringing a unique energy and intention into the room.
As I watched the women enter, I felt a sense of awe and pride. It’s not easy walking into a room full of people you don’t know with the intention of spilling your guts. But, as I’m sure each of those women can attest, it’s 100% worth it.
It was 9:30 am when Paula and Jennelle began the retreat, and they did so by introducing themselves. Two women with backgrounds in self-development, Paula and Jenelle complemented each other perfectly in guiding our group.
Paula Haygarth, an empowerment coach and intuitive energy healer (among many other accolades), has devoted the past decade to helping others become the brightest, most authentic versions of themselves they can possibly be.
Fun fact, I actually met Paula at the In Joy Meant For You retreat in May 2018, when she introduced me to the world of limiting beliefs. Since then, I have done so much work understanding the roots of my limiting beliefs, and have done a deep dive into understanding what power I let them have on my life.
Jennelle Periard is a fitness and nutrition coach who helps people break free of negative body habits and beliefs, and sets them on a path towards forging a deeper connection of love and understanding with their bodies. She is also a trained Breathwork practitioner, a title she put to use during the retreat.
Hosted over half a day, the retreat focused on a group of women coming together to combine our energies, understand our limiting beliefs, and support and reflect with one another.
The results were nothing short of profound. During the retreat, I had taken an area of my life in which I knew I needed growth and completely flipped it on its head. I realized that what I thought my limiting belief was, wasn’t really the cause of my dissatisfaction.
Without divulging too much, I learned a lot about myself at this retreat and did a lot of healing in the process.
Paula and Jennelle will be hosting many more of these mini-retreats in the future. To help you understand what they’re all about, here are ten key takeaways from a mini-retreat with Paula & Jennelle.
10 Things You’ll Learn at a Mini Retreat with Paula & Jennelle
It’s Okay to be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path. – Brene Brown
Growing up, I always viewed vulnerability as a weakness. It wasn’t that anyone had ever told me this per se, but I seemed to think that strength came from being as stoic as possible. By rationalizing everything. By laughing off things that, in truth, really bothered me.
It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve learned what it means to be truly vulnerable, and that vulnerability is the root of all connection.
But, let’s be honest, it’s not easy to walk into a room of people (whether you know them or not) and divulge your deepest insecurities.
The spirit of Jennelle and Paula’s mini-retreat was vulnerability. It was about taking time to look at habits and beliefs that don’t serve you anymore and finding alternatives. It was about sharing these insecurities with a group of supportive women. It was about finding comfort and strength in knowing that the people around you are listening without judgment, and are there to support and guide you.
You Are Not Alone
I don’t mean this in a “creepy finger note left on your bathroom mirror after a shower” kind of way, but in a “there are people who will listen and be there for you” kind of way.
As we went around the room, one by one sharing our limiting beliefs, our struggles, and what we’ve done to try and overcome what we know are harmful habits, a connection grew; a bond.
As this happened, we learned about one another and found just how deeply we could relate to each other. What my intention for the retreat was could easily be reflected in another’s. So often as we go through life we think we’re alone in what we’re going through; that we’re the first person in the world to have our feelings — the only person who sees things the way we do.
We don’t see our friend’s bad days on social media, and it’s often hard to find a safe space or an ear who will really listen to our deepest insecurities and struggles.
What Jennelle and Paula’s mini-retreat did was give us this space to share, lend an ear, and find that we aren’t alone. We’re never alone. Our struggles are incredibly human, and there will always be someone who can relate.
Self-Care is Multi-Faceted
One of the most powerful ideas I have implemented in my self-care journey is to always try new things and to do so free of preconceptions or judgments. In thinking this way, I have opened myself up to new ways of thinking, feeling, and healing that I might have been closed off to otherwise.
At Jennelle and Paula’s retreat, I, along with the other women in the room, experienced more than one self-care strategy. Jennelle and Paula emphasized that self-care and healing are holistic in nature, and helped us try and experience different methods of caring for ourselves.
The Power of Your Mind
Our minds create our reality, and it’s entirely possible to change our minds.
Love, connection, hatred, loneliness — whatever you’re feeling, it’s the result of perception; of a story we tell ourselves to rationalize the events in our lives. In some cases, such as with love and connection, we’ve found positive stories to tell. However, with loneliness and hatred, our rationalization causes us distress.
What Paula and Jennelle emphasized in the retreat is that no matter what we’ve gone through in the past, we have the power to create a new story for ourselves with hard work, self-realization, and self-love.
That’s not to say we can all change our lives overnight through the power of positive thinking, but rather it means we hold the reins in our hands, and whatever we set our minds to, we can achieve.
How to Identify Limiting Beliefs
Do you often find yourself stuck in cycles of negative thoughts and actions, wondering why you aren’t living the life you desire? If you’ve never been able to achieve your truest goals and dreams, despite knowing you’re capable of so much more, then you are probably holding onto what are called limiting beliefs.
When you think about your goals and desires, what mental blocks arise? Do you find yourself complaining about your current situation, making excuses, procrastinating, or having pessimistic thoughts? If you do, then recognize that you’re subconsciously using these techniques as a distraction from taking steps forward.
When you attend Paula and Jannelle’s mini-retreat, they will guide you through how exactly to identify these limiting beliefs. They will have you set an intention, or think of an area in your life by which you feel stuck, and then talk and work with you to identify the root cause.
How to Overwrite Limiting Beliefs
Then, once you’ve identified your limiting beliefs, Paula and Jennelle will help you overwrite them.
To do this in a group setting, Paula took us through an MER (Mental Emotional Release) session that had us identifying an event during which the belief was born, going into that event, and then taking control of the situation.
So, here’s the thing, MER is an awesome tool to use to find out where your beliefs originated, but you might find out some stuff about yourself that you either never knew before, or that your brain blocked out due to trauma. Because of this, it’s important to either not re-insert yourself into a potentially traumatic event when in a group setting, or book a session one-on-one with Paula to go into the heavy stuff a little deeper.
In a mini-retreat with Paula & Jennelle, they will help you to dig into your subconscious to further understand your limiting beliefs and do so in a controlled, supportive setting.
The Physiology of Breathwork
Before I had my first breathwork session, I was admittedly anxious about the practice.
I was nervous about what exactly would happen to my body during breathwork, which is essentially breathing in a pattern that changes the levels of oxygen in the body. I was nervous about the hand cramping I heard would happen during, and I was nervous about any effects I would feel after.
Before I committed to anything, I had to make sure it was safe.
And, after talking to a few people about the subject, I realized I wasn’t alone in that fear.
What I loved so much about Jennelle’s breathwork session is that she took plenty of time before the session to completely explain what would physically happen. Her background in studying the body made her a trusted resource to be conducting our session, and she immediately put any fears at ease with her explanations.
This was my second breathwork session (the first being at a friend’s house this summer in California) and, though I knew what to expect, I was very impressed that Jennelle took the time to address everyone’s questions beforehand.
The Spirituality of Breathwork
The “why” of breathwork. I first heard of the practice as a way to get a deeper meditation, clear limiting beliefs, manifest, and dive deeper into the self. After my first breathwork session, I knew that this was going to be a profound practice for me.
To be honest, I didn’t even know that we were going to be doing a breathwork session before I turned up at the mini-retreat. And when I found this out, I was ecstatic. I knew how beautiful a breathwork session could be, and I was ready to give it a shot for a second time.
In preparing us for the spiritual element of breathwork, Jennelle took us through the history of it, how breathwork helps with clarity and understanding, and how we can use breathwork as a self-care practice.
In the breathwork session led by Jennelle, I was gone. I went deeper into myself than ever before. In this session, I could feel myself in my body, but I was spiritually and mentally open. I saw myself and my life with absolute clarity and an abundance of love.
Immediately after the breathwork session, the six of us in the room all held hands, closed our eyes, and felt the energy flowing through us. It sounds bonkers, but I could actually feel the energy swooshing through me.
This session was a reminder of the power of our bodies, the strength of our minds, and that we are all connected.
To Always be Kind With Yourself
Growth and change are processes; they don’t happen overnight and they can only come when you’re ready for them.
Signing up for a mini-retreat is a great step forward, but no matter what you’re going through, or what you will go through, it’s so important to remember to be kind to ourselves during the process. How we treat ourselves determines how others treat us, and self-kindness is essential to growth.
Whether you’re currently experiencing self-love or on your journey towards it, always remember that you’re a human figuring it out, and not knowing all the answers is allowed.
There Is Always Support
Attending a retreat like this is an excellent reminder that there is always a way forward, and there are people around you who can help you through whatever it is you’re going through.
Further to this, Paula and Jannelle don’t just help identify your limiting beliefs, guide you through them in an afternoon, and then send you on your way. Following the retreat, there is a group call where you can report on how you’re doing with your limiting beliefs, and catch up with the other people who joined.
Once again, you are not alone.
Overall, a mini-retreat with Paula and Jennelle is a great way to meet some like-minded people, learn more about yourself, and give yourself a gift of an afternoon spent on YOU. There will be many more retreats just like this to come, and Jennelle and Paula welcome friends old and new with open arms.
Have you ever been to a retreat like this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Disclosure: This retreat was gifted to me in exchange for a review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.