Some of you may know that one of my goals in life is to start a Journey House for women. A Journey House (JH) is a place where people come together to learn skills
and seek help with things going on in their lives and the ultimate goal is to come away with an action plan or clarity on how to make a situation or their life better. I
have always envisioned a place by the sea where women who are going through a transitional time in their life can come to stay for a few days. The JH will provide them with tools, support, and encouragement to help them get through this rough patch in their life. It is meant to be a neutral place, away from your everyday life that you can go to, to talk, think, reflect, and just breathe. This is my ultimate end goal in life and my true north; everything I am doing now is to set me up to be able to start my own JH in the future.
This past weekend I invited a few select ladies to come to my house to participate in a mini version of a JH and I called it a ‘Journey Weekend.’ These ladies are acquaintances of each other and have met before and while share some similarities, they are also very different. When I invited them to my home I had the idea what it would be motivating to get a group of women together to talk about their goals in life and how they will work towards them, and reflect on 2018 and what worked for them last year, what didn’t, and leave with an action plan on how to change things up and achieve their goals.
Once everyone arrived I had planned an ice breaker as a way to get to know one another better, but offhandedly I suggested that we start by sharing our stories. One by one each women shared their truth. They opened up and shared who they were, what they were going through, what challenges they face, and how they defined themselves. It surprised me how comfortable this group of near strangers were and how open they were to share the good and not so good parts of their lives. At this point, I recognized that these ladies were being open and vulnerable and while it wasn’t initially part of my agenda, I knew it was important to keep the conversation going so we could each talk through everything and help one another.
I don’t have a degree in counseling but I believe there is value in being able to talk to a group of women who you aren’t super close with and can have a neutral stance and can offer advice based from their own personal experiences. The group was pretty diverse with where we were all at within our lives and I noticed that in a way, we all were battling a lot of the same issues but with different nuances. I was able to see firsthand how they listened to each other’s stories, provided perspective from experience, challenged their thinking and negative self-talk, asked questions, and really validated each other by giving encouragement to take care of themselves.
One major point of the JH is to have women spend the night. I believe in the power of sleeping on things, especially after a deep, vulnerable discussion. I think it is important to recharge mentally and approach things with a fresh look and take a break to be alone and digest everything that was said. I had these women all stay the night in their own room to give them time and neutral space to reflect on the day. The next morning I knew I wanted to get back to my agenda of goal setting but I wanted to make sure everyone was ready to move on. So before breakfast, I laid out these Be Brave inspirational cards by Earth Angel Art. It was amazing to see these women read the cards and start putting them into piles saying “this card fits what you’re going though” or “this message is exactly what I needed to hear.” By the end we each had our own pile of cards that we had picked out for each other that showed an optimistic way to represent where we each were at and what we were going though.
Image from Earth Angle Arts
That lighthearted activity seemed like the perfect way to transition into talking about our goals for the upcoming year and start working on action plans for what we will do once we get back home. Each person wrote out 1-3 goals that they really wanted to work on and then picked one to talk to the group about. Just like the night before, we were able to talk through it and support one another and get down to the nitty gritty of how they planned to achieve their goal. We created action plans and talked about using this new knowledge and experience to help them work through their other goals once they got home. At the end of the day we wrapped up by forming a group message so we could check in, be supportive, provide accountability, and celebrate successes. We have already started sharing supportive messages and celebrated some positive changes!
Overall this experience was an amazing one and it reinforced that starting a JH is
what I want to do in the long term. While I was nervous at first about hosting this I am glad I did and that it was a controlled setting with a really great group of women. I was lucky to be able to create an environment that everyone would feel confident and comfortable enough to share their story and provide the experience we shared. I want to hear your thoughts on this. Have you attended anything like a Journey Weekend or JH before? Do you host these in some form at your house – maybe as a girls retreat? If not, what is stopping you from doing one? I would love to hear your thoughts on this so please contact me or leave a comment below.
This is why I always say True North Beauty is so much more than a skincare brand. We are also a lifestyle brand that has always been about women. Since I started this company I feel like I have been given a second chance at life and I aim to support, encourage, empower, and help other women so they can live their best life and follow their true north like I have been able to.