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Start Close In | Women's Retreat

  • Catesby Farm Estate 22282 Catesby Farm Lane Middleburg, VA, 20117 United States (map)

On a beautiful day in June, we hosted a group of women from the Washington, D.C. area women for a mindfulness retreat in the Virginia countryside. Each woman took a day to connect with the ground, to find her own question, her own voice—and returned home with a renewed personal focus and some friendships and tools for the second half of the year. Our time together was filled with reflection, deep listening, generous questions, individual and small group activities and time in solitude, silence and nature.

As facilitators, we were honored to witness the authenticity, courage and kindness that each woman brought to the retreat. And creativity flowed—resulting in songwriting, poetry and letters to ourselves.

During the retreat, participants:

  • Explored the connection between solitude, mindfulness and cultivating inner clarity, deep connection and resilience in our lives

  • Connected with like-minded women who seek to live with intention

  • Reconnected with nature in the beautiful Virginia countryside

  • Explored simple tools and practices to embed mindfulness into our work and life

The retreat included:

  • Delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals: light breakfast, full lunch and snacks

  • Participant workbook and materials


START CLOSE IN
by David Whyte

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own question,
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something
simple.

To find
another’s voice
follow
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
listening
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first thing
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.