Five very nervous but excited participants arrived at Yumoto Station in Fukushima Prefecture, a little unsure of what lay ahead of us all for the next three days.
Our first stop was the foot spa. Soon we were all chatting and you would never have guessed we had all just met not 10 minutes earlier. This was the mood for the whole weekend. Everyone bonded instantly and shared from their hearts, without shame or embarrassment. With clean and refreshed feet , we headed to the first of many delicious meals and the start of the first Sasuga You! Self Discovery Weekend!
Where we stayed
We stayed at Iwaso Ryokan (Japanese inn), where we were welcomed for the long weekend wholeheartedly. Our workshops were held in a lovely Japanese-style room with tatami mats and sliding screens. We relaxed in the hot spring baths, slept on comfortable futons, and ate delicious food using local ingredients and famous foods from the Iwaki area.
Helen and Rebecca involved us in many different activities on topics that we had identified as important to us. We did group work, pair work, and individual work. We listened to lots of English, but there were also plenty of chances to check understanding and discuss in Japanese. Rebecca and Helen usually work with non-native English speakers, so they were able to speak to everyone in a way that we could all understand.
Why I joined the retreat
I had already agreed to help organize the venue, meals, and equipment. I then decided to join as a participant too because I wanted to find out exactly what it was that was holding me back from living my best possible life. That’s a fairly lofty goal!
Rebecca and Helen took us through some emotionally challenging and insightful exercises to help discover the underlying beliefs that hold us back from being the best version of ourselves. We then learned how to let those beliefs go.
What I learned
I’ll be honest, it was hard to let myself even think about those uncomfortable ideas. I even cried! I discovered that a lot of my behaviors relate back to one of my beliefs, which is:
“I have to be a ‘good girl’ to be loved”.
This belief helped me in some ways, but has also held me back. After working through this with Rebecca and Helen’s help and support, I realized that the belief is in fact not true. I can even love myself without needing other people to love me! That was very empowering. Now I let myself do things that make ME happy, instead of prioritizing making other people happy. When I do things to make other people happy, I make a conscious choice to do that. This makes me feel more in control of my own time.
If you’re thinking about joining next time, but not sure…
I’d say, whatever your excuse is: I don’t have enough time/money/confidence to speak English, there is never going to a PERFECT time to join something as amazing as this, so just DO IT!!!
We were so blessed to have facilitators with the level of expertise of Helen and Rebecca in Japan! I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work with these women who travel all over the world doing their work. If you invest in yourself by joining next time, not only will you have an amazing refreshing and relaxing weekend away from your daily life, but you will go back home with a fresh pair of eyes and the support of your retreat sisters who will help you to make the changes you know will make your life even better than before (we’ve created a private Facebook group and are all posting about our successes and encouraging each other). I’m excited to see what I can do from now on!
If you'd like to join the waiting list for the next one in early 2018, you can sign up here,
Places will be limited to 8 participants, so don't miss out!