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Retreat at the Ranch - Day 2

Time is zooming by and I haven't finished updating you all about the retreat! I wanted to share my thoughts and experience from Day 2. This was the most jam packed, content filled day of the retreat. 

The morning started with coffee and a light breakfast at the main house, then we had free time to go on a walk if we chose. It was such a beautiful sunrise and the morning light on the property was so lovely, of course I took my coffee out for a stroll around the property. There was also a team from Doctor Devon Szczepanski's office who were doing health evaluations as well as a skincare consultations from the esthetician in the office. Part of me wished I had stayed back from the walk to have more time for these sessions because I had to get back to my room to get ready for the day and missed my consult with Dr. Szczepanski. After hearing her speak, I think would have been so helpful. But, I did spend a lot of time learning about skincare which I am really hoping to focus on so that was great. It felt like such a fun perk of the retreat to have that time before the day started! They also gave us some goodies from So Lux Wellness line to take home. She suggested the PH Refresh Solution pray and Skin Soothing pads for me, and I've been loving them! 

Once I got ready and headed back to the main house, it was time for the guest speakers to begin. There was a full day planned with an amazing line up of guest speakers as well as a panel at the end. I was so impressed with Logan and Jennifer for organizing such a great group of women, as well as the questions they asked to lead the discussion. You could see they really wanted all of the attendees to get the most out of this retreat as possible. 

The first speaker of the day was Devon Szczepanski MD., MS. She is a doctor in the area who has built a very successful private practice. She told her story about why she wanted to become a doctor. Of how when she graduated from medical school, she went to work in a large hospital like the majority of her class. But when that hospital had some issues, she wanted to open her own practice instead. She wanted a place where she could focus more on individual patient care. Most people told her not to, saying she wouldn't find success, and warning her that wasn't what people were doing in the medical field at the time. But she did it anyway and built herself a very successful career. It was inspiring how she talked about helping her patients and blending more of an eastern and western medicine approach. One thing that stood out is how she described the way she felt the first day of medical school, and how she said her entire class felt that excitement and passion. But she started to notice that doctors no longer felt that way as their careers progressed, and she has made it her mission for them to remember why they started. I loved hearing how she followed her intuition rather than listening to what those around her were saying. She said rather than chasing her dreams, she always felt her dreams chased her. 

The next presentation was from Dr. Brittany Joslyn, an executive coach and consulting psychologist. Prior to arriving to the retreat she had us take an online assessment to see what our Saboteurs were, so that we could review them together and learn a little more. It was so interesting because I hadn't heard of this assessment before and was amazed at how spot on they were for me. I got 9.4 on both Pleaser and Avoider. When reading the descriptions of these, it was frighteningly accurate. She helped give us some insight on how we can learn from these traits we have. And to overcome the ways they can hold us back, and lean into how they are strengths both in business and motherhood. 

Next was Shelby Clement with Shelby Clement Marketing and Host of the podcast: Damn Good Marketing and Jennifer Palpallatoc of Haute Off The Rack.  I think I was most excited for this presentation because it really applies to the areas I want to focus on for building my brand and hopefully finding success as a content creator.  Plus on the first evening I was able to talk to Shelby and I just loved her immediately. I think I took three pages of notes during their session. A few things Shelby said that really resonated with me were, how can I teach my kids to chase their dreams if I don't? (I started crying when she asked me that, such perspective). And her top three things she wanted to take away from her talk were: 1) Be authentically, unapologetically YOU 2) get comfortable being uncomfortable 3) just do the damn thing. I felt like she was telling me all the things I needed to hear. Jennifer gave such valuable advice for content creation and posting specifically for social media as a business. Times to post, tools that are helpful, tips for content calendar creation, and strategies for what to post. It was so valuable to me at this stage when I am just beginning and want to grow my community.  

Danielle Bayard Jackson was the last presentation before the panel. After having looked at the speaker line up prior to the event I was so excited to hear from her. She is a friendship expert and coach, and since I value my relationships so much and feel so lucky to have such a close group of friends, I was so interested to hear her thoughts. She was an incredible speaker, and really commanded the room. I loved listening to her and was so glad she attended the retreat as a guest as well so I got to talk to her a few times throughout the few days at the ranch. You should definitely look her up and stay tuned for her book coming out next year! I am fortunate to have such long lasting, close friendships. I'm always learning how to be a better friend, how to communicate, and navigate friendship especially in this stage of motherhood. Hearing from her made me feel pretty good actually, that I'm not totally failing at this friendship game. Our group of friends is actually pretty good at prioritizing our relationships and making time for one another. Of course we all have strengths and weaknesses, and I was happy to learn a few ways I can improve as a friend. She three keys in friendship were positivity, consistency, and being vulnerable with each other. Specifically with vulnerability, the key to being vulnerable is that it involves risk. And one take away I'd like to implement was "movie trailer invites." Making it easy to decide and make a plan to see each other. Quickly paint the picture for what to expect. Name the time, place, and duration. I could see how this would help a lot of things actually happen, rather than just an idea that lives in a group text. 

The speaker panel was an impressive lineup. They had Angelle Marix of Dashing Darlin', Rachel Taravella of Minimal but Extra, friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson and The School of Styling Logan Doerries as moderator. I had heard of Dashing Darlin' before and seen her on Instagram, but Rachel was new to me so I was excited to learn more about her. And after Danielle talk prior, I was so excited to hear more from her. She is amazing! Logan did a great job of asking questions and this part really focused a lot on Motherhood and how these women found such success in their business with the demands of motherhood. I appreciated their candidness and insight so much. It was nice to hear how some don't struggle with mom guilt, I always feel guilty because I don't have Mom guilt the way some describe. I am happy to have a weekend away with friends, get a babysitter for date night, or take time for myself. I know it is important to take care of me too. Where I feel guilt is when other Mom's make me feel less than for being comfortable doing that for myself. So hearing from them, they too don't feel guilty making themself a priority was so helpful to me. Not to say they don't prioritize family, they do. I also loved hearing from Angelle about motherhood because her kids are now older. We talked about how she fostered such an open and honest relationship, especially with her sons. Because as a boy Mom I often worry that when they grow up, they won't talk to me as much or be as open. I found myself taking a lot of notes with her tips on how to foster that close bond, open communication and trust. Rachel shared how she thinks 'finding balance' is such a scam, how some times your business will need more and sometimes your home life, there will never be a perfect balance. And I loved that, we're all striving for something that seems impossible, because it is. We should just appreciate the various stages while we're in them. One thing that really stood out from Danielle is how our phones are affecting our children. This has been heavily on my mind, and hearing her confirmed that I would like to implement a no phone zone or time for Andrew and I at home. Where we can be fully present and focused on the boys. I really enjoyed this session and how it brought everything from the day together, with a focus on motherhood. Everyone was so engaged and asking so many questions, you could tell we all found it so valuable. 

After the speaking panel we had about an hour of free time before the Ranch Dinner Party started. I went back to the guest house with the other girls to relax a little bit. We chatted in the living room and just rested after the long day of programming. And I finally got to squeeze in a brief FaceTime with the boys. With the time change and the schedule of the retreat, it was the only time I managed to catch them after they got home from school and before I left for dinner. I sure did miss them while I was away. Especially with the focus on motherhood and how that was woven into the content every day. 

The dinner night two was a party on the patio for all attendees with a ranch theme. I wasn't thrilled with my outfit, but wasn't able to get a denim dress or something I liked more in my Rent The Runway shipment. I ended up in an Amazon dress and added a belt and black boots to make it on theme. They had a lovely set up as usual, and it was catered by a local restaurant with traditional southern cooking. I was so glad to get a taste of southern food! The shrimp and grits were my favorite part! The oysters were good, but I definitely prefer them raw. And the gumbo was great as well. They also had blood orange margaritas served up on a little bar cart for everyone. It was so great talking to all the women and get to know everyone a little bit more. It was bittersweet knowing it was our last night of fun, and I was really just getting to know everyone. Next time we agreed we needed more time!

Day 2 might have had the biggest impact for me. I took so many notes and was so inspired being in a room of women who felt called to do something creative, and they actually DID it. They didn't let fear hold them back, they just went for it and tuned out all the noise. I found it so inspiring. It was so amazing to be able to speak to people like Angelle, Jenn and Shelby who are actually doing it. Who have been since the beginning, and hearing them tell me that there is a place for me at the table. That I can and should follow my heart and set my mind to this meant so much. Jenn was wonderful at providing specific advice on how to grow and find community. And Shelby really lit a fire in me to tune out all the noise in my head that has been holding me back for literally years. I've been letting it stop me from moving forward and putting myself out there, because the fear of being criticized. Now I'm changing the narrative in my mind. I know the people who truly love and support me won't do that. My real friends will support my dreams and cheer me on. And most of my community I haven't found yet. The few people I may know from high school or prior stages of life may say things, but that's about them not me. I am so excited to have found my courage to do this, and finally move forward to what my gut has been leading me to this whole time. 

I'll be back with Day 3 on Friday! I know these posts have been long, but I hope you enjoy them. Mostly, I wanted to document my experience for myself to look back on so I don't forget just how pivotal this experience was. 

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