(Or, what we'd want to know if
we were you.)
I might want to go but I’m nervous about the following things:
Q. Everyone will be connecting and I won’t know how to join in and I’ll feel like I always feel...out of place and left out of something.
A. We can’t promise that this will be different, but we promise not to let that experience go unspoken. We challenge you to speak to that feeling because the other participants that you are viewing as doing all this connecting might feel the exact same--that they’re not actually connecting. We just want to talk about the things that are really hard to say in the moments that they’re happening.
We also plan to facilitate in such a way that each person feels included, but we recognize that sometimes other people’s best efforts don’t address that outsider feeling. We hope you’ll be brave enough join us anyway, and then we hope you’ll double down on bravery by sharing the shit out of your experience of feeling isolated in a group.
Q. You’re going to make me talk about shit I don’t want to talk about.
A. We’re not going to make you do anything. We will encourage and might ask some uncomfortable questions, but we don’t want to force it. We think you’ll get the most out of it by participating, and it will facilitate deeper sharing, connection and trust within the group.
Q. I hate crying in front of other people and I don’t want to do that.
A. Fair enough. It’s uncomfortable. Crying isn’t mandatory, but we’re ready for it and we get that you might hate yourself about it and or/actively fight against it the whole time. We feel you and that sometimes happens to us, too, and we are just very there for it.
Q. Vulnerability hangover.
A. Legit. That is likely, and we will talk about it before we all disperse. We will also follow up as a group and individually to see how things are settling/shifting.
Q. My stuff will be the worst stuff of all the stuff that people bring. Like no one has grosser/shamier stuff. Seriously.
A. We think probably everyone feels this way. And probably, yea...you’re stuff will be the grossest and shamiest of all the stuff TO YOU ONLY.
Q. I will not be transformed by the end of it and it will have felt like a giant waste of time/money.
A. We don’t think two days with us and the other participants is going to transform you, honestly. We’re good at what we do, but not “undo decades of ingrained responses/patterns of behaviors/interaction in one weekend" good, and we’d never try to tell you otherwise. We want this to serve as a starting point, or a place to build upon internal shifts you’ve already been making. ALSO: we don’t want to change you.
You’ll likely get out of Restore what you put into it, and we’re committed to being focused and flexible about what we do and what we talk about once we’re all together to make sure people’s needs are being met.
Q. I will feel transformed in some way, but it won’t translate to my ‘real life’ and in no time I’ll be right back to feeling like I need to stuff down those unsayable-feeling words. I’ll lose momentum and return to feeling like certain parts of me aren’t suitable for the world.
A. We totally get that, and we've experienced that, too, after returning from events feeling ready to be this new version of ourselves only to have it fall flat. You’ll likely experience that to some degree; almost all retreats function as a sort of bubble that requires recalibration as you re-integrate into your life. It doesn’t have to negate anything you felt you accomplished. The work will be to continue to find opportunities to practice owning the shit out of your unique experience of being a person.
Q. Great this all sounds good, I’m definitely leaning more towards being ‘all in,’ but wondering at what point you are going to get me to ‘invest in myself,’ by investing in a future course, program, or package of essential oils to take my restoration to the next level?
A. NEVER! We will continue to offer opportunities to connect with us and other like-hearted people. We will make that information available to you through our site, mailing list, and whatever social media spaces we occupy, but we are focused only on this one experience, and we have nothing to sell you. So, spoiler alert: the weekend will conclude with an opportunity to share food together and reflect on some of our shared experiences and how to carry them over into our day-to-day. And maybe some hugging. But only if you want.
Q. Okay, this has been helpful and informative. I have several more very specific questions I am too embarrassed to ask. What should I do?
A. "No question too weird," is our motto. Also, we can tell we already love you, you feral hearted piece of human perfection. Any weird question you have can be instantly matched with an equally and curiously constructed question by Merideth, so please bring it. Not that #livingthisawkwardlife is a competition, but just pretty please trust us: you're in good company.