• nicolamcdonaldppc

Retreat to Meet your Community

On 25th to 28th April 2019 I had the great pleasure of attending the #LeadFromWithin Retreat for heart centred, Highly sensitive Women leaders run by #NinaKhoo a #PersonalDevelopmentCoach for #HighlySensitiveWomen and #AnnaDeboseHankins

a #HumanPotentialSpecialist.

Nina Khoo & Anna Debose Hankins

It was self care that I had not afforded myself before and time away from my family that I rarely take unless on a business trip. It seemed self-indulgent at the time of booking but, it was the right time for me to take care of myself and needs and with my families support I signed up.


The journey took me to Littlehampton in West Sussex. It was a beautiful day and the countryside greeted me with blossoming tress, endless green and sunshine and the smell and taste of spring as the bird song guided me in.


I arrived at the venue early - I always tend to be - and sat down for a cup of coffee and a sandwich

I love birds it made the coffee fast so much better

and I wrote a few more paragraphs; one or two pages for my next novel as I waited for my check in slot. I was already in a wonderful state of calm before our retreat began.

OMG my attempt at a selfie - thanks daughter of mine for the tip but I'm not naturally gifted at this

The room was large and comfortable with plenty of natural light and I quickly felt relaxed in my temporary, new environment.




The #Baillifscourt Hotel was charming and #medievallooking but, in fact it was only erected in 1927 for Lord Moyne from materials dating back to the 13th Century. The staff were amazingly attentive which only served to enhance our stay.


I have never spent that much time with women let alone women I mostly don't know but, #NinaKhoo and #AnnaDeboseHankins appeared to have attracted a wonderful group that I related to and felt comfortable with. A group of women that were just happy to be their amazing self and take home with them heightened awareness and plans for growth as they selflessly imparted their stories and their wisdom.

My first walk was to the beach by which time the sun was playing hide and seek but, the walk, the fresh air was all that was needed before our first day of learning and sharing.


With Nina's wisdom and coaching and Anna's gentle gifts of recognising that which identifies us as programmed for success, we were subjected to a weekend of learning and emotional growth.


We laughed so much and the odd tear was shed and love was spread around the room and the topics lead to questions of purpose, direction and ever present dreams and what we could do towards our causes collectively, as a community.


Time flew. Sessions bled in to tea/coffee breaks and before we knew it lunch or dinner was served. Conversation easily flowed as we all shared a common trait of instinct and insight into our worlds and the wider picture; our values and beliefs aligned.


Yes I did go there.

Just behind the tennis courts in #Bailifscourt is a woodland walk and I have to confess I found a rope swing and yes I did get on it just as I had on my first day when I walked towards the beach and there in front of me a larger tree swing had beaconed. Well it would have been rude not to obey my calling and that child inside me shouted YAY! as I swung watching a lone blackbird jump upon the grass.


When I booked the Retreat for me it was about growth and learning and time to take stock, it was about time away and working on myself; revitalising energy and finding my #story; the story of my now and where I am heading. If I can be clear in that, then I can convey my path in my #storytelling. We all do have our own story!


What I came away with was all of what I hoped but, also the understanding of how powerful it can be when you meet your community, when you find likeminded people.


When you gain an understanding that you are not an Island and more can be effected by coming together by providing support and guidance for one another then although your conviction, your dream may require that you walk a path alone you will seldom be lonely when people are permitted to come in, long term or short, and provide support on your way.


I danced in a Nia session and connected with every muscle in my body, I truly did, the aching is just subsiding. This retreat was more than I could have imagined and I explored what happens when you trust in others and tell your truth.


Another favourite moment spent was within the #Bailiffscourtchapel where music was played. I'd forgotten just how much joy can be had; spirits can be lifted with song or music.


I went to work on my inner well being and I left with a community to call upon. For me all boxes were ticked and expectations exceeded.


So as you sit with your cuppa ideas whirling around your head, heart and gut, with plans and roads bumpy or winding as you set upon your alone path, where is your community? Do you need to Retreat to find them?








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