After all the excited nerves, joyful anticipation, and celebration of Day One, we dove straight into Day Two of the Illume Retreat with purpose and verve. This retreat experience is designed for creatives who are ready to build businesses that operate from a clear place of purpose, refining the very core of their work so they can create sustainably and authentically from a place of Truth. Their decision to take time out of their lives and businesses to gather around the table with us here in Waco is one I honor, so I walked into Day Two feeling hopeful for all that was to come.
Our speakers work hard to not only bring actionable content to guide our attendees through, but they truly engage and invest with every single woman over the course of the retreat! The beauty of having just eight attendees and four speakers is ample one-on-one time, and I was so blown away to watch this incredible speaking team pour into our attendees so fully.
After we all settled into my living room for a morning filled with sessions, Katie O. Selvidge kicked things off with a session that dug deep into our hopes, our fears, and the core of why we do what we do as creatives. This is my third time walking through this content with Katie as she’s shared a variation of this talk every year over the past three years. And every time I walk through this content alongside our attendees, I uncover new truths, refine my heart, and marvel at how far I’ve come in my own creative journey from the year prior.
During this session, there were plenty of tears, honest truths, and brave vulnerability. And I can confidently say that I was overwhelmingly proud of how these tenacious women walked through this content with Katie.
Shanna Skidmore ended our morning sessions with a session about defining enough within your finances and how to realistically find freedom within your money mindset. Shanna’s approach to finances and the often hard conversations that surround money is so filled with grace, permission, and wisdom that I’ve seen attendees walk away feeling empowered to take control of their finances in a new way.
Together with Shanna, we explored what “enough” truly looks like in our businesses and how we can devise strategic ways to make that happen. She gave us the permission to pursue whatever is sustainably and realistic for us rather than chasing blindly after large sums of money that don’t truly bring comfort.
After our morning sessions, we broke for lunch to soak up some sunshine outdoors, stretch our legs, and externally process some of what we’d just learned. Once we wrapped up with our lunchtime break, we dove back into an afternoon session with Katie all about wellness, self-care, and how to realistically build self-care into our routines. More than bubble baths and Netflix marathons, self-care involves the discipline to care for your mind, body, creativity, and all the facets of yourself that make you unique. Katie’s approach to this topic was backed with amazing scientific observations and gentle challenges to encourage us all to build more true self-care into our lives.
I loved that we hosted this casual session in my office, curled up in comfy chairs or on the floor in our yoga pants! This setting made for such a warm, laid back atmosphere that allowed us all to really engage with Katie’s content.
After Katie’s breakout session, we offered an optional yoga class thanks to Angelika Rankin of Yoga Pod Waco! We transformed our meeting space in my living room into a blank slate for yoga mats and energetic movement. Angela’s class was such a great way to get our blood flowing, tune into our bodies, and practice mindfulness in an actionable way. I especially loved that this yoga session was the perfect complement to Katie’s breakout session on wellness!
While the afternoon wrapped up, we took a break to give everyone ample time to rest, change for dinner, and process more of what they’d learned that day. When we regrouped for dinner Kat Schmoyer, who so graciously served as my right-hand gal and day-of coordinator throughout the entire retreat, and I had created a cozy setup of floor tables, antique rugs, and comfy pillows and poufs for our outdoor dinner!
Complete with another delicious meal from MILO Local Provisions, wine, and the best of company, we savored the evening. These dinners were so special to me, not just because it felt like we were having the most intimate and luxurious dinner parties on my patio, but because these dinners were such a shining example of what community can look like! Women from all over the country, gathered together to celebrate their highs, be honest about their lows, and choose to walk through this all together.
Be sure to join me tomorrow for a full recap of Day Three of Illume Retreat Waco, friend! I can’t wait to share more of this heartfelt experience with you then.
Photography: Shalyn Nelson | Rentals: Birch + Brass | Florals: Lovely Leaves, Flower & Ink Designs | Wine: OneHope | Catering: MILO Local Provisions | Yoga Session led by Angela Rankin of Yoga Pod Waco | Styling and Day-of Coordination: Kat Schmoyer | Gift bag sponsors: Plumtique, Cottage Hill, and b is for bonnie design