Last Saturday, a little dream of mine came true! Really.
At the heart of Answers On A Postcard is a belief that everyone should be able to live a life they love and that spaces should exist where there is the chance for us to explore that anything might be possible. For a long time now I've wanted to create that very place and so, in collaboration with Helena Byles, the founder of We Are Wellness in Leeds, we launched the first ever Make Your Dreams Reality workshop last weekend.
A group of strong, inspiring, incredible women came together to share their stories, design their ideal lives, create change and begin taking action ... here's how we got on!
Helena and I first met about 4 years at a yoga studio, but got to know each other better, earlier this year, when she got in touch with me about supporting her with her dream to start a new life in Portugal. We caught up over coffee and quickly realised that from slightly different starting points we both were very much on the same page in terms of helping people to live a life they love that encompasses all aspects of wellbeing AND having fun!
And so our 'Make Your Dreams Reality' workshop was born!
We Are Wellness!
We Are Wellness makes me feel better about life! Full stop!
I don't think I can describe it as a yoga studio, as it feels much more like a home for wellbeing, in the broadest possible sense. As soon as you walk through that big old door, there's this overwhelming sense of calm and possibility, in a Narnia-esque way, and that's why it is the perfect space to ... well... create space in.
With the character and atmosphere of a beautiful old mansion, yet with a modern studio-feel due to the Scandi design vibes and lots of lush greenery to bring about the wellness we need, I was so chuffed when Helena agreed to indulge me in bringing this dream to life at We Are Wellness!
We decided to start the morning (well after a brew of course) with a creative yoga class with a little added positivity. Nothing too strenuous on a Saturday morning, but waking up the body and getting in the right mindset through some vinyasa flow vibes. With our lovely participants ranging from total, absolute beginners taking their first EVER class to qualified yoga instructors, Helena had her work cut out (in the nicest possible way)... but created something amazing by focusing on what we all had in common ... i.e AWESOMENESS and manifesting positivity! Anyway she certainly delivered me a bunch of super happy, pumped up peeps... that much I know.
What happened next?
So ... now it was time to make things happen!
In pretty standard fashion, we started with some intros ... BUT that's when the magic began! Helena and I had been worried no-one would want to chat - oh, how wrong we were!
Encouraged by Helena to share my experience of taking the plunge, suddenly in a moment of nodding heads and affirmative ummms , the beautiful telling of personal stories began and I, for one, was super excited to realise that I was surrounded by SUPERWOMEN; only I'm not sure any of them realised they were ... yet!
Listening to these incredible ladies starting to share their stories, (many of them reflecting similarities), quickly I began to realise that Helena and I had been right when we envisaged the need for this workshop.
The group ranged from those quite clearly set on their future plans, to those who were there to scope out their options ... perhaps not sure at moment about where they're headed!
It's perhaps difficult to 'define' who attended the workshop and in many ways entirely unnecessary. We were a complete range of ages, backgrounds and careers; some single, some married, some with children. Some people were wanting to start their own business, one to move abroad, one 'to get their sh*t together' and some openly happy to rock up without being entirely sure about what it was they were looking to achieve... maybe it just felt like time for something different!
Despite all these differences though, what was immediately apparent was that everyone was there because it was time for a change and the workshop provided a perfect opportunity to dedicate some focused time to themselves, which is perhaps something we don't all find easy in our busy lives ... even if we should!
And that's what we did! Together.
Whilst all the workshop materials were designed around coaching-based activities and behaviour change principles, in many ways the most powerful part of the day came from the simplicity of a group of people sat together talking. It was really all about creating that space and allowing it to happen.
All about that brunch!
Working (and talking!) through the first 90 minutes of the workshop, we reached brunch feeling, a) inspired, b) motivated about working on our goals for our ideal life and c) STARVING!
OMG we were ready for brunch! Thankfully the amazing Antony was on hand with an incredible vegan spread ... a summer fruit platter, granola and dairy-free yoghurt, homemade buckwheat pancakes with ALL the toppings; and freshly baked bread with avocado,& tomato goodness!
We were pretty quiet while we filled our faces, but then spent the rest of the break not only working on vision boards and setting goals as planned, but more importantly getting to know one another, offering advice, swapping book recommendations and generally putting the world to rights. That is POWERFUl sh*t right there!
Making it happen!
Back from brunch and raring to go, we cracked on with our second session. Focused on breaking down our goals for a dream life, we delved into practical and achievable steps for success, teamed with the right knowledge, skills and support to really help you hit the ground running!
We were cooking on gas now! Especially due to the fact the camaraderie of the morning continued ... ideas were generated collectively and contacts were shared. Brilliant.
All too quickly 2pm approached, but it's fair to say that we could have sat there all afternoon! (In fact, we will be extending the workshop based on the feedback so we're not tight on time in future).
Just the beginning ...?
From the moment Helena and I started discussing the ins and outs of the workshop, one word kept coming up ... 'community'. And we were witnessing it happen. The group may have only known each other for 5 small hours, but bonds had been made and we were on each other's team!
Thankfully everyone felt the same and we will be remaining a little team going forward into the future ... being sounding boards, holding each other (and ourselves!) 'gently' to account and cheerleading for one another! #passthepompoms.
"It was a great day - very motivating and it was great meeting new people who are sort of in the same place as me ~ thinking of making a change."
I DID IT!
And there we were ... it was over. Well in some ways at least. In many other ways, we are (all) just getting started.
At We Are Wellness we created space and that's important. When you create space, things shift. It might not mean a magic wand, but something somewhere will have moved and therefore life is different. And that might just mean that anything is possible. And dreams become reality. Think about it ...
Now bring on the next one! Join us Saturday 20th January to start 2018 with a bang! Find out more here
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