Essential Information for Women Attending the Retreat
Dear beautiful mamas,
I am so glad that you will be joining me for the Return to Zero California Women’s Healing Retreat at Bell Valley Retreat Center. I am also honored to spend this special time with you.
My hope is that the openness and sacredness of the land supports us as we open up, dig deep, move our grief, and find ways to grow and heal.
I have put together some important information regarding the retreat. After reading it, if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
Betsy and I very much look forward to meeting and spending time with all of you!
With love, Kiley
Phone/text number: 310-403-3856 (Kiley Hanish)
Dates: March 7-10, 2019 Arrival: 3:00 - 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 7 Departure: 11:00 am on Sunday, March 10
Venue Contact Information Bell Valley Retreat Center 12378 Boonville Rd. Boonville, CA 95415 707.895.2572
Link to Retreat Agenda
Sharing Your Story
We spend the first afternoon/evening sharing our stories with each other. Opening up and being vulnerable can be scary, but there are so many rewards.
First, you are honoring your child by talking about him/her and saying his/her name.
Your experience is validated. You are in a room with other women who have been through a similar experience and truly understand you.
You find a small (or large) piece of your story in everyone else’s story, which connects you all to each other. You are not alone.
By creating a story/narrative, you are weaving together different pieces into a whole, which allows you to make better sense of your experience.
In preparation for this, I am asking you to write a 1 page story about your and your baby’s story, which you will read out loud to the group. A one page limit may seem a bit strange—however, we have learned through experience that if we don’t limit it, the stories go on past bedtime and people are both physically and emotionally exhausted.
Honoring Our Babies
On the first day, we will create a sacred memorial area in which to honor our babies. Feel free to bring a few items that remind you of your baby: a photo, footprints, special blanket, etc. Only bring what you are comfortable sharing—you will get to take your mementos home.
Facebook Retreat Group If you are on Facebook, can you send me a friend request (Kiley Krekorian Hanish)? Most of you have done this, but wanted to include it here if you haven’t. I have created a private FB group for the retreat attendees so we can communicate before the retreat as well as support each other after we go home.
Items Recommended to Bring
A small to medium-sized suitcase (we are sharing rooms) – however you will be taking some extra items home with you, so leave a little extra space
You will be taking home a yoga mat (see above)
Shoes that slip easily on and off and sneakers (if you want to do any hiking)
Warm socks or indoor shoes (no shoes in indoor areas)
Toiletries (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.)
Hair dryer (if you use one)
Small flashlight or headlamp to get around at night
Clothing Attire Bring what you would wear to a spa or the gym. We want you to feel comfortable while you are there. The weather varies, so bring items that you can layer.
Gifts for Others This is completely optional, but in the past some women have brought small gifts to give to the other women. It doesn't have to be something you purchase - it can be a poem, card, something hand-made. Sometimes it represents the local culture or environment where you live. Right now we have 13 women + 2 facilitators (this will probably increase to 14-16 attendees).
Resources and Book Swap We will create a resource area for you to put out materials as well as any books you’d like to swap. Totally optional.
All meals are provided by our personal chef. The menu will be guided by the seasonal vegetables and fruits that are available. Our goal is to create nourishing and comforting meals. We will eat 3 full meals a day, but if you feel the need to bring extra snacks, please do so (we do have a small refrigerator that you can use).
Massages I am trying to arrange for two massage therapists to come on Friday afternoon. This is not included in the retreat price, but could be a nice addition. I’ll update you once I know more.
Alcohol and Drugs There will be no alcohol or drugs allowed at the retreat. This is a time dedicated to deep emotional work, and use of these substances would be unhelpful in this process. In addition, smoking is not allowed at the retreat center. If you do need to smoke, they request that you do so in the parking lot, away from the main retreat center structures.
Possibility of pregnant women Though the Return to Zero Healing Retreat is a retreat for women who have experienced the death of their babies, please understand there is a possibility that some women may be pregnant while at the retreat. We ask that you mentally prepare yourself for this if you feel like it may have an effect on you, and we also ask that these women be treated with non-judgment and compassion.