This Way to Eden

by Rachel Eden January 3, 2018


women-communityI emerged from the Redemption Retreat a new woman. It was as if I had indulged in a luxurious spa – despite the bunk beds and cold tile! My facial muscles were so relaxed; I had a breakthrough and transformed a threatening competitor into a true friend while triumphing over my own internal lower voice. My worldview melted away to produce a more authentic picture of what I loved and where I was headed. It was as if I had lived a life with limited oxygen up until that point and could finally breathe deeply for the first time. My biggest worry was: How can I hold on to this incredible feeling?

Spending three days with 60 women at the Redemption Retreat was like nothing I had experienced before. What kind of woman puts her whole life on hold – job, family, obligations – for three whole days? Was it an act of pure self-indulgence or insanity? As it turned out, these women were responsible, intelligent, successful, happy and grounded. They were Jewish, non-observant women who made the decision to put everything on hold in order to take stock of themselves and their lives, so they could make decisions with mindfulness and clarity.

Consider a Fortune 100 company sending out its top executives and investors for a three-day conference to evaluate business affairs and strategize new and better approaches. Assuming the conference actually facilitated creativity and innovation, the decision to invest time and money into such an experience would surely be rewarded with an increase in sales and revenues. In a world where Corporate America is being disrupted by Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb, we may want to consider what puts us (as individuals) out of business? What inhibits our success in personal and professional  endeavors? What virtual reality are we creating that is skewing our perception of who we interact with and how we spend our resources?

Whether the crossroads is a difficult decision, a weighty concern, or just balancing all that life brings our way, the retreat I attended carved out the time and opportunity for discovery and revelation. I was invited to attend as a coach, but I was very much treated like a participant and I allowed myself to benefit from all of the wisdom around me.

Generally, my moments of insight come in bursts in the shower, during a long drive alone, or while cooking. Something opens up for me when no one else is around and my body is on autopilot. Suddenly, my mind is free to wander where it chooses. There are no other voices but my own and no distractions. The retreat offered me amplified versions of those moments – glimpses of my own inner wisdom and intuition – with a three-pronged approach.

The first aspect that was in stark contrast with my regular life was the luxury of time. I didn’t have to rush anywhere or busy myself with professional or personal demands. I never realized how free my mind would feel when not busied and burdened with commitments of time.

The second aspect that made the Redemption Retreat so impactful was the connection to other women. These women were so invested in growing and discussing how to live life more mindfully.  The atmosphere was intentionally set up to be open, non-judgmental and positive.

The third and last aspect that made the Redemption Retreat special was the wisdom. Workshops were modeled so that the participants could work alone or in pairs examining how to best act and react to our unique life circumstances. From a place of gratitude, we tackled what was getting in the way of progressing at work, building a happy home, or maintaining extraordinary relationships with family and friends.

With these three supportive pieces of time, connection and inspiration, I was able to tap into an expanded part of myself. I left the Redemption Retreat wondering how I could take some of the magic home with me and have tried to carve out more of these three crucial supports in my daily life. I have processed it, written about it, and coached others using the same strategies and found it’s made all the difference in continuing to live a thinking, inspired life. Α


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