What Happens In Spain Stays In Spain..I Don’t Think So!!

As we sat around the table near the pool on the final night of this years writing retreat the ladies shared what had happened for them during their stay with us.

Each lady talked, and everyone listened intently and then something happened. It is hard to describe but there was that moment when everyone seemed to consciously aware of what had been achieved. 4 books with the wisdom of these 4 woman had been developed and shared and in doing so a connection hard to describe had been made. What followed was moments of true joy represented with both tears and hysterical laughter.

As the evening of celebration continued at the local restaurant someone said “What happens in Spain stays in Spain right” I found myself agreeing knowing that it was impossible to keep that promise.

How could I leave behind my heart that had been so imprinted by the transformation and change that took place in just a few days?

How could I leave behind that feeling of complete compassion, kindness and trust that had been created by the honesty and willingness to be vulnerable in order to grow of 7 super human beings ?

For sure there were some really funny and cheeky conversations that will forever stay at the dinner table high up in the beautiful mountains that will never be repeated. They are private and confidential. Besides if I were to tell you – it would never have the same sparkle and energy it had that night.  It would be one of those stories where you just had to be there.

There are also those magical moments when a client was truly honest with themselves and those too will stay there in the moment.

And the response and the feeling I gained by being and observing others being free to be themselves will last a life time. It was funny, sometimes even hysterical what happens when the mind is set free of inhibition and feels safe to express itself fully.

At first it is weird, you try the odd thing and discover that no one is offended or upset. Then you try something else and before you know it – you are free to be you.

In real life it doesn’t always happen like that. Maybe you ‘try’ to be you, then others get offended, correct you or object and then what happens?

For many it is often deemed you have two choices:

  1. Be yourself and sod what others think
  2. Change who you are to please others

I believe this years retreat became a space where each person became clear about what they wanted and presented it to the group. Sometimes nervously but eventually with more confidence, hope and aspiration that there was a solution that allowed them to have their needs met without it being at the expense of others.

There were so many magical moments and learning that will live with me forever that cannot be left behind. They are forever embedded in my heart.

Acceptance of self and acceptance of help 

One client had a critic that said she was a work alcoholic, so you can imagine the conflict when you take a work alcoholic on a writing retreat. The writing bit is fine, so long as it is productive, effective and getting ‘stuff’ done. But boy the critic does get confused at the concept of retreating and taking a break.

This author took time on the retreat to tune into her pace and found she did work at a very fast pace and she could also slow down. Noticing her own rhythm allowed her to accept herself and her own way of working. She allowed herself the day off from writing and explored what she needed to do that guilt free. Yes guess what also happens in a retreat – you can stop reflect, rest and re-charge.

This might not seem much – but take a moment now.

Are you someone that is really driven?

Do you find it hard to stop, relax and switch off?

Do you get frustrated with those around you when they don’t look like they are working?

What impact does that have on your body, mind, soul and your connection with others?

Accepting we are a work in progress

Another author was exploring self acceptance and gratitude and as she fully embraced the whole of her, it was like acceptance was sucked up from the ground and rushed through her expelling any fear or guilt for not being the same as everyone else.

She let go of needing to know why she felt how she did and simply accepted in this moment that was how she felt.

The release took place sometimes in the form of tears, other times as laughter and occasionally hiccups. All too often in every day life we have to suppress these feelings when they emerge because it is not appropriate to show them – usually because those around us don’t know how to listen to them without being affected by them.

Imagine being in a space where you are free to be you. That you can express whatever is happening for you in the moment, safe it won’t be judged and that you won’t be loved any less because of it.

Counting Blessings

For many of us – including the facilitators it was an opportunity to count our blessings and be sure that we are asking for what we want. One client received news that a friend’s husband had suddenly passed away and one of facilitators also got news of a bereavement in her family.

Having a moment to count our blessings and to be truly grateful for the time we have on the planet with those we love is often only possible when you create space and time in your diary so that your mind has time to catch up and process all that it has heard, seen and sensed.

If you are thinking of writing or you are writing a book then please do check out this blog where Karen shares Why you have to go to Spain to write a book?

The part I play at these retreats is asking questions to manage the critic. Making sure the delegates and us as facilitators are clear on what we expect from ourselves each other and the space and that everyone feels safe to speak up when it isn’t working.

We often think we have clarity and sometimes it is only when we get what we ask for that we realise that wasn’t actually, what we wanted so we have to be willing and able to change and give feedback.

Have a great week x

Sheryl – The Strength and Solution Detective
Supporting you to do more of what you love and ditch the critic that says you can’t

Feel free to share below your thoughts or join us in the Facebook group Manage your critic

And you can thickpaperbackfront_FinalPurchase a copy of my book here

Discover today the 7 steps to clarity, learn how to ask yourself powerful questions that clarify your thinking.







About the Author – Sheryl Andrews – The Strength and Solution Detective

Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening, is well known for her fast speaking and her passion to make things happen. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough.

That was until she learned the importance of being heard and asking for support. In her book she describes the step by step journey she took to learn how to manage her critic turning her overwhelm into clarity in 7 steps.

Sheryl now runs retreats that encourage you to really listen to what you need to work, learn and live at your best with others and the confidence to ask for those needs to be met.

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Sheryl Andrews, Founder of Step by Step Listening is well known for her fast speaking and highly motivational passion. But what many of you may not know is that in private behind closed doors she was also no stranger to lapses in self belief and an overwhelming sense of not being good enough. Sheryl use to find it difficult when criticised even when she knew they meant well and found it difficult to respond rather than react. A series of 3 events in her personal life exaggerated her emotional overwhelm and forced her to address this problem and conquer her sensitivity to criticism. Today she shares every day stories of every day people and inspires you to discover ways to gain clarity and confidence to change the way feedback and criticism impacts your performance.

View all posts by Sheryl Andrews →

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