Every one of us has wisdom locked deep down inside ourselves.
Under layers of decisions, work, moments with other people, thoughts and feelings.
We don’t access that innate wisdom enough.
One way to remedy this, as today’s guest host Kris Plachy shares, is to attend personal retreats.
Retreats are opportunities for you to disconnect from your everyday life, peel back the layers, and reconnect with your own personal wisdom.
In this episode, Master Certified Life Coach Kris Plachy guides you through the amazing transformations that can come from attending a retreat, the different types of retreats available to you, and how to pick the right one.
Discover how to get back in touch with your deepest desires and make that reconnection a regular part of your life.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast. It’s the truest shortcut to self development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why people make significant changes to their lives after retreats.
- The 3 different types of retreats.
- How to decide which type of retreat is right for you.
- Why you need a strong facilitator at your retreat.
- How to do a retreat with your friends.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 460.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well, hello and welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast. How are you? I’m Kris Plachy and I’m your guest podcaster today and I’m so excited. I get to have this podcast all to myself, and I promise, I did not hurt Brooke Castillo. She’s fine. But we were chatting and she said, “You should do a podcast just you.”
So here I am, just me, with you. I’m so excited. If we haven’t met, my name is Kris Plachy. I’m a Master Certified Coach with The Life Coach School. I am a female entrepreneur running a seven-figure business and I work exclusively with female entrepreneurs who want to learn how and step more into their beautiful voice as a leader.
I have a podcast called Leadership is Feminine, and I am the creator of our signature program, which is called How to CEO, where we really teach you how to step into your feminine voice as a woman who is running this beautiful business, and also do so where you feel better, you work better, you work less, and you have an amazing team.
So today, I want to talk to you about a little bit of magic. And I want to talk to you about how, over the years, I have come to discover a real truth and that is that everything you need to know, you already know. But wisdom, which is what I’m talking about, is oftentimes locked deeply within you, underneath the layers of life.
The layers of decisions, the layers of work, the layers of moments with other people, the energy of other people, all those feelings that you feel every day and all those crazy thoughts that you think every day. And so in order to truly connect with your own knowing and your own wisdom, you have to disconnect from your life for a little bit. Not forever, not for a super long time, but enough that you give yourself at least one time every year where you get to reconnect to that gorgeous, beautiful wisdom that is yours.
I love believing and knowing that everything I need to know about myself I actually already have. If you think about an oak tree starts as an acorn, and that little tiny acorn has all the DNA in it, it has everything in it that it needs to grow into a beautiful oak tree.
Now, the wind and the rain and the sun and the external environment that this oak tree is in influences that, but it doesn’t change that that little oak tree inside knows what to do. And I believe that that’s true for all of us.
And so that’s why what I want to talk to you about today is why it’s not a nice-to-have, it’s an essential need that I believe every single one of us has to take a personal retreat every year, to step out of your life just for a minute so that you can hear your own wisdom and knowing.
So I’ve been involved with The Life Coach School for a very long time. I took a class with Brooke Castillo in 2005 or 2006. I’m not really sure anymore. It was an If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight class. It was right here in Sacramento, and there were about, I don’t know, maybe 20 people in this class.
And I sat there getting my mind blown because Brooke taught us the Model among other things. And I often think that there was the person that I was before I turned 35, and then there was the person I was after I turned 35 because meeting Brooke and learning from her changed my life forever, in so many ways that are all great. It’s all good news.
I wouldn’t be talking to you. I wouldn’t have built my beautiful business. I wouldn’t have taken what I learned and applied it in the company that I worked for and created an entire coaching team. I wouldn’t have had that whole life had I not learned what she had to teach me.
And I remember saying to her that day, “How does nobody know about you yet?” I’m like, “How are you in this small room in the Residence Inn in Folsom, California? You should be out there in the world.” And she is, which is so good for all of us.
So I took everything I learned from Brooke and pursued and got my life coach certification, and then I was in her first master coach certification. And then I - just through all sorts of beautiful stories, took the work, wrapped it around my own experience and wisdom as it comes to leadership, which is what I’ve been absolutely called to be a thought leader in, and created my own elixir of work, which I love.
And along that way, one rainy day, sitting in my playroom, I started fantasizing about time away, time at the beach. I had, at the time, it was a rainy day, I was sitting at my computer, I had two-year-old twins and a six-year-old son and I just - they had The Backyardigans on. I’m sure you can all relate to this.
And I was feeling very disconnected from myself even though I was sitting right there in my own house. I just felt and craved the ability to hear my own voice. Women aren’t very good at making time for themselves, as I’m sure many of you listening to this will know. And at the time, the way that women made time for themselves was they went to Bunco parties or some sort of MLM party, Stella and Dot, or Pampered Chef, or like me, I would go to Costco and wander around Costco.
But it was so meaningless to me. Bunco was such a meaningless endeavor. A bunch of women drinking, rolling the dice. Nothing about that was appealing. And so I wanted to create an experience that was much more substantive for women, where we could go and connect and think and share and reflect.
And so I sketched out this whole idea of retreats that I was going to do in Hawaii and I called it A Moment to Think. I built this beautiful website, I did it all. But it was not meant to be at that time in my life, and I do believe that those powerful visions that we get, those desires that hit us, that they don’t leave us, but they know in this case, that desire knew it’s not the right time so here’s what we’re going to do.
We’re going to go out into the future and we’re going to tether you to 2012. This was in 2006. We’re going to put that out there. And it’s going to be there, but you have work to do still to make it happen. And that’s exactly what happened.
So in 2012, that was the year I started my business, it’s the year I did master coach training, and it’s the year that I did my first retreat in Hawaii. And to say that it was a game-changer is just such an understatement, and everybody who came had epiphanous, life-changing insights. People got married, people got divorced, people changed jobs, people moved across the world, all the stories of my retreats are filled with that kind of significant life shift.
And I would love to be able to say it’s because I’m such a great coach, and listen, I think I’m a pretty good coach. I ask really good questions. But the reason why people are able to make such a significant impact on their life after just two, three, four days out of it is because they already know everything they need to know.
They just need a minute to think about it, to step into it, to own it, to vision it in a way that’s doable, to challenge all the limiting thoughts that you have around why you can’t do it. So I can’t emphasize enough, and I’m super passionate about it. Now I’ve been doing my Hawaii retreats every year so I’m in year 11.
I think I’ve done about 15 of them because now I do more than one a year. Incredibly proud of myself for building a business that does this for myself and for others, but we have to take time for who we are. You were given this whole body, this whole brain, this whole soul, and so many of us go through our entire lives never knowing who we are, never truly pursuing what we were kissed with, what we were called for.
It’s so fascinating to me. All these people who have all this equipment to make anything happen, and instead, they separate from it. So let’s talk about how you can have personal retreats, and I’m going to talk to you about three different ways. You can have a personal one all by yourself, you can have a group one where you invite your friends, and then you can go to one. I’m going to talk to you about how to kind of pick one that feels like the right one.
So let’s talk about a personal retreat. So a personal retreat is a personal retreat. So that means it has to feel good to you. Now, my personal retreat involves very comfortable bedding, really yummy room service food. It doesn’t have to be at the beach for me but it has to be somewhere gorgeous.
The thing about a retreat is it can’t be in your house. So if your entire family is leaving and you want to stay home, that’s not a retreat. That could be restful, but I know if you’re anything like most of us, when you’re in your own house, there’s still stuff to do.
You need a new environment. You need to look at new stuff, you need to smell new stuff, you need to hear new stuff. So you have to go somewhere for at least 48 hours, and that’s like, arrive on a Friday night, stay all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and then go home either later Sunday night or Monday morning.
We don’t start a personal retreat on the day we arrive. You have to allow your body and your mind to settle into wherever you are. So it can be at a cabin, on a lake, in the woods, at the beach, in a beautiful house that you rent somewhere, in Napa Valley where I live is so fun to go to. That’s somewhere I’ve gone because there’s beautiful views.
Do you want to walk? Do you want to hike? Do you want to swim? What do you want to do? What do you want your personal retreat to be like? And listen, it can be down the street at the Holiday Inn or the Marriott Courtyard. It does not have to be in some elegant Four Seasons, so don’t put that limitation on yourself.
The goal is that you find somewhere to go that you can be on your own and it’s different. And then you want to bring your comfys. You want to have comfy clothes, if you have a favorite robe, do you have a favorite pillow? Do you have a favorite kind of food? Do you have a favorite kind of drink that you like to have? Do you have a favorite bath oil? Do you have a favorite shampoo? Do you have a favorite candle?
Bring all the things that you know will make you feel yum. Bring the book you’ve been dying to read. Just really do all of that. And then we also want to get a really gorgeous journal. And there are so many beautiful journals on the planet.
So my recommendation is you source that and you pick the one that just feeds you, and a beautiful pen. A beautiful, beautiful pen. I give all my clients Swarovski pens because they’re so gorgeous to look at and they write beautifully. Swarovski? I never say that right.
So then when you get to this retreat, you’re going to want one more thing and that’s some really good questions. And so there are questions everywhere. Questions are all over the place. You could open a book and find questions. Self-Coaching Scholars, so much of that content, incredible questions.
Watch some calls and write down what the coaches ask. Amazing questions. Look for books. There are journal books. The questions are honestly not that relevant because what we’re doing is as soon as you start asking yourself some questions, you’re going to unlock a lot of insight.
But to make it easier, I’ve actually created a list of questions for you also. So you can just go to KrisPlachy.com/RetreatQuestions and I’m going to send you my list of my favorite questions. And just in case you don’t know how to spell my name, it’s K-R-I-S-P-L-A-C-H-Y.com/RetreatQuestions. So don’t forget to do that so that you can take those with you.
And then when you start your retreat, you’re going to have your cup of tea, or your coffee, and you’re going to sit with your journal and you’re going to put your phone in airplane mode because we’re going to check out and then you’re going to set your timer for three minutes. And you’re going to write a question on the top of that journal, and it can be any one of the questions I’m going to send you.
One of my favorite questions right now is what is the promise of this lifetime? I just did that one in Hawaii. Such a good question. What is the promise of this lifetime? So you write the question on the top of the journal, you set your timer for three minutes, and then you write.
And the first few questions that you do this with, you will not know what you’re doing. You will not know what to say, you will feel like you’re doing it wrong, you’ll be annoyed, you’ll think Kris Plachy is an idiot. And all I want from you to promise me is that you don’t stop writing.
We have to settle that prefrontal cortex that wants to be in charge, wants everything to look right, wants everything to be perfect, doesn’t want to make a mistake, and we got to let her get all the junk out so that then we can start to really reveal wisdom.
So my recommendation is you do about five questions, take a break, walk around, move your body, then you do another five, and I would suggest you do about 15 questions a day for two days. And then after you’re done, you go back through that journal and you take a highlighter or a different color pen and you really allow yourself to follow your intuition, to reveal what you want to take with you.
Of all of the discovery through the questions, what landed? What is the thing that matters most? What did you learn about yourself, find about yourself, see inside yourself that you want to remember?
So if you’re going to do this with girlfriends, you do everything I just said. So everything else is exactly the same, where you go, where you stay, do you want to stay together in a house, do you want everybody to have their own room and you meet up every day? Do you want to go to the mountains, to the ocean, to the lake?
You set up the schedule exactly like I said. If you want to facilitate the questions, you can read them and everybody writes them in their journal. The key, if you want to do this with friends, is to go with friends who share your same desire for reflection.
Because a lot of times, girlfriends get together and they want to have a little bit of a party. And listen, I think if that’s what they want to do, they should do that. But I think if you’re really trying to do an internal seeking experience, you have to go with other people who share that.
So be selective here with who you invite for your personal retreat so that you have the meaningful experience that you want. The only other difference I would add is you ask about five questions, and then take time between those five at a time to talk to one another.
What did you find out? What did you write? What did you write that surprised you? What did you write that bothers you? Is anything that’s coming up for you inspiring? Is it upsetting? Where are you limiting yourself? Where do you think you can’t go forward? Have some questions that you guys can chat about. When we’re with girlfriends, we go there, right? So let yourself go there.
And lastly, there’s going to a retreat. Picking a retreat that someone else will facilitate. And everybody’s retreats are different, so if you’re choosing to go, here are some very important things to factor. First of all, it has to be somewhere you will love.
I don’t want to go to a retreat in the desert. I’m not a desert girl. I want to go to the ocean, maybe a lake, but it’s usually the ocean for me. You have to decide what kind of experience you want. Do you want - I was just looking at one down in Costa Rica and it’s like, yoga every day, meditation every day, burning things, all the stuff. That’s okay, get it. Vegetarian food, the whole thing.
Or do you want a really rugged retreat where you’re moving and hiking and running and jumping? Or do you want a celebratory retreat where you get dressed up and you have fabulous dinners and you dance? Or do you want to make things together? Do you want to build things together?
Listen, there’s something for everyone. This I know for sure. My retreats are incredibly casual and informal and personal. They’re intimate. They’re small. So we wear comfy clothes, we go out into the woods at the beach, we wear our comfy bathing suits, we bring journals, nobody gets fancy except for our one dinner out.
The most important thing when you’re considering a retreat is to go with a facilitator, coach, who knows what they’re doing, who has proven experience doing this work. I can tell you, by leading as many groups as I have, it is no joke what happens to people during a retreat, during the opportunity for self-reflection.
People get sad, they get angry, they laugh a lot, they get worried, scared, and you have to be with someone who knows what they’re doing. Because first of all, if you don’t have a strong facilitator, someone in the group could take over. And if you don’t have a strong facilitator, they won’t know what to do with the heavy, heavy movement of emotions and energy that’s happening.
So it’s very, very important, if nothing else, that you really think about that. How the facilitator chooses to run that experience has to align with your desired experience. And the same thing is true for whether you do your personal one, you do this with friends, or you do this with a group.
The first step is really making this decision and saying, “Yes, I matter, my own knowing of myself is a priority to me.” So actually just beginning that process is a huge step in the direction of honoring this time. It’s really interesting when I host my retreats because we usually get together the night before we start and people have been flying in from everywhere.
And inevitably, this just happened again in the retreat I just got home from, before we’ve even started, women are saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m doing this again. I’m totally doing this again.” I think it’s so funny because we haven’t even begun. Well, listen, that’s good news, I haven’t even started yet.
But it’s the process of making that commitment to yourself and saying yes, I’m going to do this for me, I’m going to buy a ticket to Hawaii, I’m going to come to Hawaii alone and stay in a beautiful hotel room, I’m going to get there and then I’m going to see all these incredible women like me. As soon as you realize that and you experience that, it’s so empowering.
So when you make this commitment to yourself, I always want to invite you to also remember that there was a reason you were called to do it. And all that wisdom that gets revealed to you through these questions that you consider, allow that to show you what is next.
I’m an action-oriented person and I like to believe that you were invited and called to do this experience because whatever comes up for you wants your attention. It wants to go from a nudge to a whisper to a clear voice. And so whatever it is that really sticks for you, I want you to take that and figure out how you’re going to now integrate that into this beautiful life that you have.
So this retreat experience isn’t about learning a hundred things. It’s honestly about distilling down the one vital thing that wants your attention right now. Is it your work? Is it your body? Is it your love? Is it your family? What is it? And let it speak, and honor it, and then translate that into action.
This is a vital exercise and experience, and I believe critical for all of you that are listening to honor time alone, to honor time where you reconnect with yourself. So as a reminder, if you need your own questions, go to KrisPlachy.com/RetreatQuestions. Download mine. And I’m so glad to have had this time with you today. Have a wonderful, wonderful day.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.