Women In The Woods

The Wholistic Women in the Woods inaugural day retreat was filled with play, yoga dance, nutrition, healthy food, creative writing, and forest bathing. Our Wholistic team, experts, and the ThorpeWood staff (and animals) on the farm created a day in nature like no other.

Our group of over 20 women immersed in mother nature connecting their heart, mind, body, and spirit…dancing through the seven chakras and feeling more whole with all the senses. Some of the Women in the Woods who attended had a few things to say:

 

“The retreat was a pitch-perfect celebration of nature, dance, writing, reflection, and play. All of this coupled with delicious food and the company of soulful women was an absolute delight.” Sheila Turybury

 

“Our team loved it. Thank you for everything. What a beautiful day filled with so many nice events.” Debbie Bennett

 

“What a wonderful Saturday with amazing women. Thank you Wholistic Women for putting together a fun, peaceful day in the woods. I left feeling refreshed and renewed.” Melissa Lentz

 

“I am so grateful that I signed up and have always loved all the Wholistic Women programs. There was something even more special with this event, being in ThorpeWood, a magical place, with a beautiful group of women. What a combination. I can’t wait to do it again.” Cindy Williams

 

Well, we will do this event again in 2023! Stay tuned as we roll up our sleeves for more time in nature and please consider beautiful red rock country in Sedona, AZ in October 2022. Thank you for being a part of our community.

THE AGENCY OF ADAPTING (MODIFY-ALTER-ADJUST)

THE AGENCY OF ADAPTING (MODIFY-ALTER-ADJUST)

Have you ever missed an exit while driving and had to adjust your course, or perhaps GPS changed it for you?

How about those of you on a weight loss journey. What happens when you hit a plateau? What do you do?

Do you, like me, practice being conscious of directing and re-directing those thoughts?

The agency of Adapting is all about the choices we make to change and the actions we take. First, let’s look at some of the definitions and terminology:

Agency:
In social science, the word agency is defined as the capacity of individuals to act independently and make their own free choices. Thus, one’s agency is one’s independent capacity or ability to work on one’s will.
Agency, by definition, is action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect.

Adapt:
Is to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly. For example, suppose you adapt to a new situation or adapt yourself to it. In that case, you change your ideas or behavior to deal with it successfully. If you adapt something, you change it to make it suitable for a new purpose or situation. From a therapeutic perspective, occupation adaptation was applied and defined as adapting the self and the environment to provide holistic care or intervention.

So, as Wholistic Women, The Agency of Adapting is the choice to act, and make a change to grow. However, there is something that often gets in our way. It’s called the comfort zone. Here’s a poem I think you may be able to relate to:

adapting

How big is your comfort zone? Our comfort zones are filled with ease, safety, and security. They feel so comfortable like a favorite pair of cozy pajamas. To step outside of the comfort zone feels risky, and scary.

Who remembers Turkish taffy candy and the satisfaction of beginning to pull your taffy apart? It felt so good to feel that stretch, but the taffy would suddenly snap in two and break if you were to stretch it too far.

We feel good too when we stretch ourselves in new yet small ways outside of our comfort zone; however, if we try for too much, too fast, we can become frustrated and fail in our attempts. Change is complex.

Here are a few benefits to being adaptable.

• Leadership
• Happiness
• Satisfaction/Contentment
• Being able to bounce back quicker
• Better equipped to face challenges
• More current and relevant
• Open to new ideas and able to offer more value to yourself and those around you
• Responds and sees growth opportunities.

People who demonstrate the skill of adaptability have the mindset to be continually growing personally and professionally. This proactive attitude helps them be successful in all endeavors of life. Being flexible, resilient, and responsive to change in these COVID times, holiday times, and changing times is a fundamental skill set. Learning how to manage the stress of life is a true benefit to our overall health and wellness.

In this Thanksgiving season, may you embrace this skill and feel the success it has to offer you. Change is constant and inevitable. So, learn to be a change agent and ADAPT!

Happy Holidays,

Wholeheartedly,
Kat
♥️

Virtual Gratitude Circle

Virtual Gratitude Circle

November 17 | 6 - 7:30 PM

Celebrate Your Growth in 2021

Let’s face it, busy women need to take a break sometimes…and we all seem to be busy these days!

Wholistic Women Retreats + Academy has just the right opportunity for you to slow down and savor your accomplishments of this year at our Annual Gratitude Circle and Brunch.

We believe that gratitude is a key ingredient for wholistic well-being. When we focus on what’s going well, we shift our energy to a higher, more positive level. Gratitude is a choice; one that we make collectively in our community.

Now, more than ever, we need to appreciate the Good.

A wholistic approach to gratitude:

  • opens your heart
  • relaxes your body
  • eases your mind from worry
  • lifts your spirit

It brings positivity and love to the forefront of your awareness.

We want to practice gratitude with you!

Each November we gather to express our appreciation for our individual growth as women, and as a community.

The past 2 years have been unlike any other in history, causing incredible stress, fatigue, and loss for many.

In these challenging times we want to support one another and learn what we can, so we ask you to reflect on questions such as these:

  • How have you grown?
  • Who has walked this year’s journey with you?
  • What do you want to remember and continue to practice in the year ahead?

Wholistic Women Retreats + Academy wants to celebrate the good with you.

Please join us in acknowledging the blessings in our lives.

We will gather virtually via Zoom on Nov 17 from 6-7:30 pm to celebrate, bless, and release what is, as we open ourselves to receive what lies ahead.

We invite you to join us for this special time of connection, appreciation, and a celebration of Wholistic Growth.

Let the positive energy that gratitude provides bless and support you.

This event is open to all. Attend solo or invite a friend!

Register Now!

Changes Coming – Gratitude, Growth, & Celebration

Changes Coming – Gratitude, Growth, & Celebration

It is with openly mixed emotions that I write this heartfelt message to our Wholistic Woman community about a change coming soon. After a great deal of prayerful contemplation, I have made the difficult decision to retire from WWRA at the end of 2021. As you can imagine, this decision is one that I have approached wholistically – checking in with my heart, mind, body, and spirit over the past few years.

One of the many, many, emotions that I’m feeling is peace. God has been gently, persistently, calling me to new endeavors, which are undeniable but not fully revealed yet. During the housebound hours of the pandemic, I spent more time with God, quietly praying for clarity and direction. In the stillness, without the busyness of my pre-pandemic life, I was able to listen more intently to His call within my heart. 

To be honest, I resisted the nudge that kept coming to step away from WWRA. I was fearful of the ripple effect it would have on others and myself. I mentally wrestled, argued, and at times ignored the nudge for as long as possible. Eventually, I took some baby steps in that direction and then re-evaluated to see if that was enough change. But it was not. It became clear that a big step is what I’m called to make. So, in a leap of faith, with courage, I am blessing and releasing my leadership of this wonderful organization. I’m curious to see what God has in store for me next and I am ready to grow in new directions.

That brings me to the other emotions that I am feeling.

I feel deep, abiding, gratitude as I reflect on the past 11 years. As a community, we have learned, laughed, grown, and supported each other through good times and bad. Whether you’ve been walking with me from the very beginning, have just recently started attending our retreats, or somewhere in between, I want you to know how much I appreciate you.

My dream to launch Wholistic Woman Retreats began with a similar unrelenting calling that God placed within my heart. I have learned to listen to such persistent messages and to trust that there is a beautiful purpose within them. 

As the retreat dream kept surfacing within me, I casually started telling it to others. Women were excited by the idea of holistic retreats that would focus on developing the whole person – heart, mind, body, and spirit. Being a wordsmith, I playfully put a ‘W’ in front of holistic as a visual reminder of my intention to focus on wholeness. To me, becoming whole is a lifelong endeavor. A continual, personal, and richly rewarding journey to deeply know oneself. It inspires us to embrace our unique talents, to be fully ourselves while acknowledging that we will always be a work-in-progress.

As I shared my dream, women were excited. Some told me they wanted to attend the retreats I would be offering. Others said, “I want to help make it happen!” And that’s how this collaborative organization began, with women who co-created the retreats with me, and women who attended, learned, and grew from them with us. 

Eleven years later, I gratefully look back and think about the many gifted coaches who offered their expertise to our community. I bow to your talents. I’ve learned so much from each of you.

I think of the talented alliance partners who offered their skills in marketing, event management, finances, and web management to help us fly. I deeply appreciate your gifts and contributions to the WWRA vision. 

I think of the wonderful sponsors over the years who gave the gift of financial support to our endeavors. We couldn’t have made such a positive impact without your help.

I think of those who generously contributed to our scholarship fund which helped those in need of financial assistance attend our retreats. You have left a meaningful legacy in the lives of those women.

I think of the beloved coaches who co-founded this organization. You grabbed hold of the dream, walked with me (some for a leg and some for the entire journey) to make it become a reality. You have each been a precious gift to me, and to the community of WWRA.

 Most of all, I think of the many, many women who attended our retreats. From our launch in 2010, on the first day of spring at ThorpeWood, to our most recent destination retreat in Sedona, AZ, each one has been uniquely special.  

My heart is full of gratitude for all of you, each season of growth we’ve been through together, and for the richness of community and sisterhood that we’ve experienced. You have been a blessing!

And…I believe that God is not done with us yet! WWRA will continue under the expert and talented leadership of my co-founder Kelye Rouse Brown. Kelye has been with me since the very beginning and knows the rich history of our organization. I trust that Kelye will build upon it and steer it in new and exciting directions. Quite frankly, I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Kelye, her team, and WWRA! I look forward to remaining in an advisory Founder role and be the wind beneath the wings of those who take it forward from here.

As for me, I will continue my private coaching practice, launch my Lost and Found Podcast, and keep listening to the nudges that God places within my heart.

The last emotion I feel is excitement so let’s celebrate these changes together! Understandably, this year our annual Gratitude Circle and Brunch will be especially meaningful. For those who are comfortable meeting in person, please join us at ThorpeWood on Nov 14th from 12:30-3:30 pm. We will follow the current CDC guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety. For those who prefer a virtual get-together, we will host a Zoom call on Nov 17 from 6-7:30 pm to celebrate, bless, and release what is, as we open ourselves to receive what lies ahead.

With a heart full of grace and love,

Carol 

Mindful Happiness

Mindful Happiness

The pursuit of happiness has long been the goal of humankind. But, what is happiness?  For us, it could be a feeling of calm and security. For others, it may be a feeling of success on a professional and/or personal front. Happiness is truly subjective! One of the keys to unlocking the path to being happy is to practice mindful happiness.

Mindfulness is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as, “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” So how does mindfulness increase our feelings of happiness?

By utilizing the power of awareness of the present moment, we allow ourselves the opportunity to connect with our heart, mind, body, and spirit with crystal clear transparency. When we allow our thoughts to be focused on the “now,” we invite our clarity to serve as a compass, guiding us toward the happiness that may have eluded us in the past.

When practicing mindfulness, we pay close attention to the signals that our bodies are sending us, those pangs of guilt, shame, regret, and learning to bless and release them through allowing those signals to remind us that we are a work in progress. Through the mindfulness practice of breathwork, we empower our bodies to cleanse some of the adverse biological reactions that our bodies and minds have created in reaction to our perception of the lack of happiness. 

Mindfulness is a skill that takes practice! Our bodies and minds have a natural tendency to fight stillness. If you have tried meditation and find your mind racing with that list of “to-dos” or constant distraction, it’s not your fault! Our brains are designed to be the operating system that we rely on both consciously and subconsciously. Taking some small steps in quieting your mind will lead to training your brain to power down temporarily. Here are some steps to try when working on quieting the mind:

  1. Find a space that will allow you solitude and quiet
  2. Start with an intention of a short time period, perhaps 5 minutes. You can always increase this as you increase your skill level!
  3. Pay attention to your breath. Using this awareness as a focus increases the release of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, and increases the “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine: both of which are “happiness hormones.”
  4. Notice your body: find a seated position that is comfortable to you and that will allow you to relax.
  5. Allow your mind to wander. Remember, when your mind is sending you messages, it’s doing its job! Work on recognizing the thought without judgment.

Mindful happiness occurs when we align our mind, body, and spirit with our unique strengths. Happiness is not a destination, but a journey of the authenticity of our truth, a lifelong practice of pursuing a wholeness that is genuine and unique to each of us. Each moment in our life gives us the opportunity to be keenly aware of the path to follow, even if it’s one that you need to create. By following your individual journey through mindfulness, you will own the key to creating a life of fulfillment, which in my view is “happiness.”

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

As an Occupational Therapy Professional, one of the many things we do every day is to help people with their activities of daily living. Things like grooming, bathing, and dressing.

In the upcoming BE WASHED Event, as your Evening Coach, I will be helping you in another activity of daily living…the area of your thinking.

Imagine if you will, that voice that sometimes sits on your shoulder. Is it whispering words of TRUTH and LOVE or FEAR and LIES?

We will begin the evening retreat by exploring the book, Girl; Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Here, we will learn to STOP believing the lies about who we are so we can HONOR and become who we were meant to be our true authentic selves.

Have you ever found yourself saying things like “I’ll start that diet tomorrow.” Then several pounds up on the scale you hear yourself repeating those same words weeks later? Me too! I can’t tell you the number of times I have started my diet tomorrow, Monday, or the first of the New Year. Or how about…I’m going to take that spin class at the Y, or I’ll start walking around the block every day from now on.

WELLLLLLLLLLLL Lies, all lies we tell ourselves. We like to talk about all the things we are going to do, learn about the things we are going to do, but somehow, we never get around to DOING all the things we say we are going to do. Ugh! Can anyone out there relate?

Many of us can. The Be Washed event will expose more of the most common lies we tell ourselves and offer new strategies to help us be honest with ourselves about what we are blowing off.

The second half of the event we will be taking a look at the book Change your Mind, and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey. Her book showcases 12 principles that guide us towards LOVE. Who out there doesn’t need more of that?

Thirty years ago Karen Casey wandered into a support group and learned there was only one thing she could change—herself! The result of this change was so profound she dedicated much of her life to teaching others about it.

I, like Karen, believe if we change our minds, our lives WILL follow. I want to use the opportunity I have as an Occupational Therapy Professional and a Coach to help others grow in this area of thought. Let’s face it; it truly is an activity of daily living.

Let’s think better, do better and feel better. What do you say?

Hope to see you there!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.