Before The show To The Afterglow…

I just spent the last 7 days in Fort Lauderdale at the Matthew Hussey Retreat and they OVER DELIVERED!!  These last 7 days have been the 7 best days of my life!  HANDS DOWN!  I am struggling with the words to adequately describe my experience.

I guess I will start by explaining a few things about myself, so you can understand how just doing the event is outside of my comfort zone.

  1. I have never indulged myself with a vacation on this scale ever!  My trips are either for work, family, or on the cheap.  This was very selfish and indulgent and you know what….I FUCKING DESERVE IT!!
  2. Since I have been working in accounting I have NEVER taken a vacation in the middle of month-end close.  I only did things that fell in the middle two weeks of the month.  This retreat was all during that time.  When I asked for the time off I went in armed with how I was going to get my month-end duties done and noone would be effected.  I have the best boss…she said YES!!
  3. I have spent most of my life avoiding still pictures never mind video taping.  They asked for volunteers to be video interviewed throughout the retreat to tell about their experiences.  I volunteered and followed through with it.  I am so grateful that I did!
  4. I have not had to share my sleeping space for more than a night here or there.  I am not great with this, but I asked to have a roommate for the retreat.  My roommate was amazing and I have a new forever friend.
  5. I am an extroverted-Introvert, which means that I enjoy being around people and being social, but I have to be alone to energize before and after.  When I have had enough socialization I need to go be alone for a while.  This is a full immersion program and there are about 200 people that are around each other a majority of the time, while being vulnerable.  It was totally worth it!

Here is the link about the retreat I just finished:  Matthew Hussey Retreat

Let me just say one thing here.  I shared this link with my Sister-In-Law and she was put off by the fact that the website is through “Get The Guy”  This is NOT a retreat on how to date or find a guy!!  Matthew just happens to be able to help women understand men on a different level.  This retreat is about YOU, ONLY YOU!!  Whatever it is you are struggling with in life the process used for this retreat will give you the tools to blast through anything that is holding you back.   For me it was ME holding me back!

Does it work?! HELL YES!!

I came on this retreat fully open to taking risks and ready to accept change on an internal and fundamental level.  I learned a great deal about the roles I play, when I  worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  This process was a great break through in seeing how I  behave, better than any therapy session I have every had.   I was gifted with an amazing AA group where feeling safe was paramount.  I had to get used to having female friends and being hugged against my will.  🙂  I have many posts on here that talk about various stages in my growth since 2009.

My personal cast of characters: victim, viking, martyr, judge and jury. I have gotten used to recognizing when these characters pop up, pausing and asking why?  I have a great boss who can help me change my perspective if one of my negative buttons has been pushed.  My viking is always ready to go.

One thing that I have never been able to do is forgive myself and see myself through loving and accepting eyes.  I am always judging the outside and comparing it to others.  I always come up short.  I look back at pictures of when I was 18 – 24 and I really should have had nothing to be unhappy about, but I hated myself and thought I was fat.

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My running partner growing up
My running partner growing up

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This is how I picture myself in my head so when I look in the mirror now it is a struggle between history and reality.  Opening my heart to love myself has been impossible, until now.

The team on this retreat and the women at the retreat are absolutely amazing.  The environment is a safe environment.  I chipped my front tooth on day 0.  Any other time it would have ruined my experience, but somehow I was able to forget about it and get the most out of the retreat.  I just followed through on the video interviews regardless.  I took pictures with various girls on the retreat and with Matthew, way outside my comfort zone.  I am trying very hard not to judge or compare myself.  It is all easier today to do this for myself.

Each day builds on the one before and by the end you have all the tools you need to set goals and create a strategy, as well as instill behaviors to attain those goals.  We identify our obstacles, mine being ME, and address how to overcome those obstacles.  I am being very careful here in describing the process because it is truly unique and extremely effective.  If you want to experience a life changing adventure you have to go on the retreat…Matthew Hussey Retreat.

My experience on this retreat was that I got exactly what a came for and more!!  I finally made that journey from knowing what a unique and amazing woman I am to feeling it.  There are a few processes that we go through that breakdown the walls I put up to protect myself.  I was not only keeping you from hurting me but I was not allowing myself in to love or potentially hurt myself.  I am very practiced at verbally and physically abusing myself.   (i.E.:  harsh words, but all so through anorexia,  bulimia, bingeing or physically hitting myself) I recognized recently that I actually gave up completely on my physical appearance.   We went through 3 processes in the 5 days that blasted down these walls.  These behaviors will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!  When the urge comes to self judge these images come up:

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I AM FUCKING ADORABLE!!  I still am and I just have not allowed myself to feel that way  or see myself that way.  It is going to take work to keep this mindset, but I will, I WILL AT ALL COST!!

I have a huge resource with the other women from the retreat for accountability.  I was called up on stage the first day of the retreat and overcame my fear of speaking in front of strangers.  When that barrier was broken the rest was all down hill.  It took a bit to get used to everyone knowing me and I didn’t know all of them.  I have never felt so much love at one time as when these women cheered for me while I was on stage.

By the end of day 2 I felt like, if you don’t like me I don’t care!  I was now on my side!  I now felt the love for myself that I never allowed before.  Little did I know that it was only going to be come more powerful by the end of day 5.

There aren’t enough words to describe how grateful I am to everyone on the team!  The men on the team have demonstrated the standard for any man that I will allow in my life.  I would rather be amazing and single (I am not alone!) than in a relationship with a man who does not meet MY standards.

There was a wall around my heart, now there is a door, but you have to have the key gentlemen, and I do mean gentleman.

I have only one last thing to share:  In my experience we all have different problems, events that cause us pain.  We are all at different stages, have different experiences that we are trying to over come.  It’s not for us to compare or judge another’s pain or experience it is for us to look inside ourselves and find a place of peace.  This retreat works because no matter where you are in this process, if you are open to it, the process will change your life for the better.

Thank you Matthew for being the “Man in the Arena” and pulling this team of amazing people together to change my life!!  I won’t let you down.

LOOK OUT WORLD HERE I COME!!

Love you all!

Brenda the Brave

 

 

 

 

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