I just got back from The Feminine Mastery Retreat in Maui, where I learned how to “manifest my dreams” and “emerge as a butterfly.” It was led by my mentor from last year, Cyndie Silbert, the author of True Calling.
I decided to work with Cyndie while working on my coaching certification, because I started to realize that launching a coaching business was going to involve a lot more than setting up a website and working from home; I also needed to get clear about what was unique about me and how I could best help people. Cyndie’s mindset practices really work and she’s intuitive too, which I think is part so why she’s so successful at what she does. I wasn’t familiar with terms like the Divine Feminine and manifesting and at first they seemed a bit “woo woo,” but my intuition told me that’s what I needed. Apart from what I’d learned in my coaching program, I hadn’t done much mindset work in the past.
Although I knew Cyndie offered retreats in Maui, I hadn’t considered signing up myself. But one day I announced I wouldn’t mind going and the next day received an unexpected check in the mail. I took it as a sign I should go–I joke that I “manifested” it. I’d never been to Maui and felt I deserved it after suffering so long with my illness, but when I told Cyndie this, she said it wouldn’t be a vacation.
Retreat is absolutely necessary for true transformation to occur best symbolized by the caterpillar forming a chrysalis or safe haven. Without retreat, the caterpillar would never know its full expression and true potential as the butterfly… Women too must retreat. We must turn inward, hear and heed the whispers of our heart so that we can, like the butterfly, emerge as strong leaders primed to take flight and start anew. — Cyndie Silbert
I didn’t really have any expectations of what I wanted to get out of the retreat, because at the end of last year, I felt very clear about everything. When I’d started to follow my intuition a couple of years ago, everything in my life started to flow. But in the first two weeks of 2017, a couple of things happened that made me start questioning my direction, plus I was feeling overwhelmed about all I felt I needed to learn for my business, such posting to social media several times a day, creating programs, doing videos, etc. I realize now that my old resistance patterns of hiding, busyness, and perfecting had crept back in.
The Feminine Mastery Retreat, January 18-23, 2017
The retreat was held at the Lumeria, Maui, which is a small, quiet educational retreat in a beautiful, lush setting. I took advantage of the yoga and meditation classes most days, and the the food was really good and healthy. We ate all our meals outside on the restaurant’s covered patio.
Although the weather was cool, windy, and rainy a lot of the time, it didn’t take away from the experience. I saw more rainbows than I’d ever seen and the Hawaiian version of the song “Over the Rainbow” by Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole is still playing in my head
There were a few excursions: shopping trips, a hike up the Haleakala Volcano (very cold and windy but amazing to be above the clouds), and whale watching and snorkeling off Lanai, which was a fun adventure. I especially enjoyed walking along the beach early in the morning.
The 12 other attendees were different ages and at various stages of their self-development. Some were already following their callings and others were still trying to figure theirs out; everyone had different things they were looking for from the retreat.
Cyndie’s process starts with taking her Archetype Quiz. These are her Feminine Mastery Archetypes:
Chameleon (ego), famous example: Martha Stewart
Honeybee (mind), famous example: Oprah Winfrey
Butterfly (body), famous example: Angelina Jolie
Dragonfly (spirit), famous example: Marianne Williamson
Hummingbird (heart), famous example: Ellen DeGeneres
I am a Hummingbird, who “relentlessly pursues her own journey; she doesn’t rest until her heart is deeply fulfilled. She is haunted by her purpose and cannot rest until she discovers her true calling…”
The six-day retreat followed Cyndie’s practices and some of the time was spent in group sessions, sitting in a circle on the floor, which was a safe, supportive place where the women felt comfortable speaking and sharing. The days went approximately as follows:
Day 1: The first day was short as the retreat began in the afternoon, and from what I remember, was mainly introductions and going over what we’d be doing. The idea to write a blog post came to me after the retreat, so I didn’t take many notes.
Day 2 Liberation (Hummingbird): The focus was letting go of limitations, which begins the process of shifting out of ego (fear) into our true selves. Often things that happen in our childhoods continue to limit us later in life in ways we’re not conscious of. I knew I had to look back to when my mom died of MS when I was 11 and my dad quickly married a horrible woman who hated me and my brother and treated us like we were in the way; my dad took her side over ours. I changed from being a high-energy tomboy, who was funny, outgoing, popular, and wanted to save the world to being withdrawn, secretive, and overly self conscious about how I looked.
Day 3: Embody – Transformation (Butterfly): Whatever we embody, we manifest (good or bad), so it’s important to shift out of things that don’t serve us and to stop being afraid of being judged; then we can show up as who we are. One practice involved sharing what we appreciated about the other women in the group. It was revealing because we don’t really see how others see us, so I was surprised at the following things they said to describe me: sexy, peace of heart, pretty, wisdom, happiness, powerfulness, lovingness, perseverance, bravery, warmth, womanly confidence, forgiveness/light-up eyes, gracefulness, playfulness. Needless to say, these aren’t words I would think of to describe myself.
Day 4: Expand – Creation (Honeybee): We did some group practices to figure out our gifts and unique qualities. On two occasions we were required to stand up and repeat a statement about ourselves over and over until it resonated and also wait and “receive” when finished. My two statements were: “I am a compassionate advocate for healing wisdom” and “I am convincing.” Public speaking isn’t my favorite thing, but I know it’s something that takes practice. We can all benefit from being grounded and present when speaking in front of an audience–this helps to connect and makes us sound believable.
Day 5: Express (Dragonfly): This day was about cultivation and mastery and was short as it was our snorkeling excursion day. When we’re in our true being, we open up to our deepest desires, creating, choosing, allowing, and receiving. Our unique mastery is already within us; we just have to allow it to be revealed. It becomes actualized when all the archetypes are aligned. One thing we did was present something unique we’d created from observing something in nature (like a poem or story). I was very impressed by the unique and masterful things my fellow attendees came up with.
Day 6 – Emergence: The final day was about coming out in our full expression. Emergence is about beginning to resonate and your vibration coming alive. It was powerful to see the other women “emerge” with more confidence and clarity about their callings and unique gifts. Several women commented how relaxed they were and that the chatter in their heads had completely vanished.
My Takeaways from the Retreat:
We are held back by fears, trauma, and limiting beliefs from childhood that we’re not conscious of.
We all have unique gifts and superpowers–we just need to uncover them.
We just need to tap into the wisdom that is already inside us.
Whatever we embody, we manifest (good or bad).
We are all beautiful–the women on this retreat were all unique and amazing.
Once we discover our calling, we become our true selves and inspire others to do the same.
We are never “done” with our self-development. Fear and resistance creep back in all the time, as in my case. The key is being aware of our patterns so we can nip them in the bud.
My biggest personal takeaway: I have to “stop second guessing myself.”
The retreat was a fantastic experience. We all bonded from the experience and will probably stay in touch. Plus, I learned practices I can use with my coaching clients.
Click here if you would like to learn more about the Feminine Mastery Retreat at the Lumeria, Maui.