“As a thank you to you for creating a space for women in the outdoors we’d love to invite you on the Wilderness Retreat – a
Really is there a better email to hit your inbox? I was so excited when Lululemon reached out to me with this invitation, even more so because I had no idea what to expect. The invitation was purposefully vague. We had a date, time and meeting point. A mention that we’d be doing yoga and personal development….the rest was a surprise.
The Lululemon Wilderness Retreat
When I reached the Lululemon store in
- the other women would all be super Instagram-worthy yogis who would not like me
- they probably accidentally sent me the invite because I did NOT belong here
Do you know how you deal with imposter syndrome? You just ignore it!
On arrival one of the staff members gave me a hug, took my bag – ‘leave that with us and we’ll make sure it gets to your room later‘ (oh hello!) – and told me to go pick out an outfit for our yoga session.
I immediately got out my phone and text the hubby Gil who was nosily waiting for updates and sent something along the lines of……’ARRRRGHH they’ve taken my bag. They’ve told me to go pick a gifted outfit. OMG!!!!’. I then put my phone away and acted like I was totally cool with the currently situation.
It was a 2 and a half hour journey to our destination – the Wilderness Retreat. I made an effort on the bus chatting to the other ladies who were TV personalities, sports competitors, podcasters, authors, CEO’s and founders. Everything I’d assumed about what they’d be like was completely wrong. They were just the loveliest and most welcoming bunch of women. I didn’t see a single selfie pout the entire journey!
Hanging out with the founders of Black Girl Fest
We entered the manor house to a fire, hot drinks and cakes….that pretty much set the scene for the rest of the retreat.
The Lululemon team gave an intro talk. ‘The next 24 hours is all about you. As generators, you give and give and give but now it’s time for us to give to you.” And I could tell they really meant it.
I could’ve cried!
After 2 years of back to back expeditions and some of the most demanding months I’ve ever had running Love Her Wild, I was feeling wiped out. I give everything to the women in the community. It felt so good to have someone looking after me for a change.
A perfect evening
We were shown our rooms, set over 3 houses in a large estate. I had a wander around the building taking in its immense luxury while the chefs were busy cooking dinner.
A large sink?!
After a feast, we had a bonfire and I ended the night with a dip in the hot tub.
The atmosphere was amazing. We were all having such a good time
A lot of ‘me’ time
We had an early start the next morning for yoga on our brand new Lululemon mats taught by Annie Clarke. The rest of the day was set aside for personal development sessions combined with excessive eating.
In pairs and as a team we learnt about ourselves. Talked through challenges in our lives and changes we’d like to make. Set goals and focused on what it is that we are here to be.
I took a lot away from those sessions but the biggest thing for me was the connection with others who were driven, determined and leading things and who ‘got’ my life. I resonated so much with what I heard others saying – finding a better work/life balance, not being identified just by what you do, finding friends you can trust who like you and not just your achievements, letting go of guilt, not being so hard on yourself……
And not once did I think about my emails. What a treat!
I was gutted when the retreat ended – and not just because of the luxurious king size bed and the endless supply of vegan cakes – but because of the energy and connection.
I’d never heard about Lululemon before this experience. I found out though that anyone can go into their stores and one of their staff will help you fill out one of their goal setting workbooks!
A few of my favourite moments
Captured by the talented Phoebe Arnstein!