Starting off my New Year with a women’s weekend away in January, has really helped with keeping me fired up for the rest of the year ahead and all the possibilities to come. There is something powerful when women come together in a positive atmosphere and a supportive structure. If you have read my poem “WE ARE WOMEN!” all about the power of a woman and my celebratory posts on International Women’s Day & Mother’s Day – you will know already that I am all for female empowerment!
In this post I want to encourage you, as to why you should find a suitable women’s retreat or women’s event, for that all important ‘women supporting women’ vibe. I will also share with you a review of the women’s spa weekend away I attended this year and then end the post off with a list of additional sources when we can draw female empowerment from in your day to day lives.
How attending Women led and female focused events and retreats, can help with ‘Female Empowerment’ and give you a much needed dose of ‘Girl Power’!
In my lifetime it was the Spice Girls that brought the notion and saying ‘Girl Power’ to life for me in the 90’s, however women have been supporting each other throughout the ages, just look at the suffragette movement for example and the modern day increased feminist movements fighting for gender pay equality etc. Even standing alone, a woman is a powerful being running a home, looking after a family, supporting a spouse, working hard in so many aspects of life and that is just what they do as an individual. So there is something even more powerful when women come together and join forces!
An all female led event for me, makes it a more safe and secure place for women to be open, be themselves and not have to think about gender issues necessarily. It almost creates a level playing field for us to all meet each other on. Yes, other differences are still present such as class, race, religion, sexual orientation etc but at least we are all on the same ‘gender field’ at all female events. It provides an alternative playing field than normal daily lives in workplaces, university, etc
Women empowering women to be the best version of themselves, to shine in their feminine strengths, to be all they can be and more – there is such a moving element to seeing this around you and feeling a part of it too, at these female events and female retreats. This is exactly how I felt at ‘Activate Your Life’ spa weekend away I attended, let me tell you more about it…
‘Activate Your Life’ Christian Women’s Spa Weekend Away Review
In 2017 I was introduced to a company called ‘Activate Your Life’ who are a Christian female led initiative who “exist to equip, resource, train and inspire Christian women to be active in sharing God’s love in natural, meaningful ways.” through “friendship evangelism” via social media, training days and events.
In 2017 and again in January 2020 I attended their “ever-popular annual spa weekend away” which not only drew me in for the use of a spa (my sore muscles from Fibromyalgia love the heat!) but also drew me in for its agenda of giving women a weekend of inspiring motivational seminars. These seminars “provide practical advice about making meaningful connections on your street, at your school gate, in your work place, in your community. We also help you plan and promote your own events: providing speakers or bringing our Stand Strong training days to your church.” (all quotes off ‘Activate Your Life’ website.) So I was all in!
These spa weekends aren’t cheap money wise, however I believe they are totally worth the money and reasonably priced as you get a lot for your money, so I have attended two of them over the last few years. This is because through attending I know I gained support, encouragement, inspiration, friendship, care, entertainment, fellowship and the subject in hand ‘female empowerment’. They also do a range of ‘Day Delegate’ prices to make the weekend more financially available for those who aren’t in a financial position to attend the whole weekend stay (all pricing details on their website).
Another highlight is that the venue’s for these spa weekends away are so lovely, they take place around England in DeVere Estate Hotels, this year I stayed at Cranage Estate Hotel which is a beautiful Grade Two listed building in Cheshire. The spa is another treat included in the overall cost and the all inclusive breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and snacks at break times – all have me feeling like I get my monies worth in my belly too! (They catered for my dietary requirements so well I am going to do a blog post all about eating gluten-free while staying at this hotel for my ‘Food & Drinks’ section of the blog.)
Each year’s spa retreat has it own theme and this theme is addressed in the seminars as well as in the decoration the AYL team transform the space with. The 2020 decor theme was art deco and peacock features. Let me show you some pictures so you can see just how attractive, pretty and cosy the Activate your Life team make these spaces for attendees:
This year the theme is ‘Day and Night” and telling others about the night and day difference God makes for you. This was of personal interest for me as you can see in the ‘Spiritual Life’ section in my blog menu; I enjoy sharing on my blog the difference my faith makes for me in life, in how I cope with chronic illness and how it helps my mental health outlook on life as well. The seminars based on this theme were an encouragement of how we can go back into our daily lives at home and by shining our light that our faith gives us, can show others the night and day difference God makes in our lives. Therefore, each seminar was packed full of female spiritual empowerment.
When you arrive on the Friday and get checked into your room, you also go the AYL Welcome area where you are given your free gift (this year we got a AYL note pad and pen which I used to make notes in during the seminars) and a station where you can make your own name lanyard (my creative hands enjoyed this part.) This has you feeling welcomed right from the beginning and it has such a friendly atmosphere with female smiles all around you.
After the evening meal on Friday there is the first seminar of the weekend which gets you ready to be open, challenged and empowered over the weekend of seminars ahead. We then had the option of choosing to watch the chosen movie accompanied by popcorn and sweets or go to the quiz accompanied by hot chocolate and munchies too. I think added this type of thing into all-female retreats is a really laid back and relaxed way to get to know other women in a chilled and fun environment.
The main focus on the Saturday is the day of seminars which cover many aspects of life and womanhood inline with the weekends chosen theme and chosen Bible verse. I feel that Activate Your Life really do achieve their mission here of providing that practical advice we can take back with us into our daily lives and the empowerment to implement it in our surroundings, homes, workplaces, etc.
What better way to unwind after a day of seminars than an afternoon of free-time to enjoy the spa, hotel and the surroundings. The evening is a time to let your hair down with a three course gala meal followed by a disco. I think this really gives us women the time to relax and give our minds and hearts time to take in all that we learnt and discussed in the seminars. After all it’s important we get the right balance between work and play in life! 😉
Sunday’s main focus around seminars is ‘Create’ which provides creative arts and craft activities for all to try, from ring making to colouring in your own bookmark. The range of activities is so much fun and everyone joins in helping each other through the instruction lists etc. I think this is a create idea to let women be creative, try new things, chat together, learn skills and have fun together.
If peace and quiet is more your thing you can go to the prayer room or the chill out areas that the team so beautifully decorated to create a tranquil space for all the scenes with essential oils, a Himalayan salt lamp, bean bag area, colouring station, advice leaflets, nail painting station and lots of other lovely touches. These retreats provide women the space and opportunity to relax and reflect, which we don’t always give ourselves in the busy schedule of every day life.
Throughout the weekend there is also a ‘marketplace’ where there are a number of stalls selling books, art work, crafts, clothes and other items of interest. This provides a great outlet for women who run their own businesses selling this items to hire a stall and showcase their business. Another great way Activate Your Life supports women in their professional journeys as well as their private and spiritual journeys too.
Another reason I wanted to do this review was to spread the word of this all-female Christian retreat to make the weekend more accessible for women all over England from any ethnicity, as when you look at event photos and you don’t see that many people that look like you in ethnicity, it can put you off attending. So may this review help in reassurance that this company and its events are relevant, open and accessible to women of all ethnicity’s (The hotel is disability friendly also).
Activate your life has another spa retreat weekend happening in March 2020 in Milton Keynes, all details can be found on their website by clicking HERE. As well as their 2021 spa weekends, again one is Cheshire and the other in Milton Keynes. It really is an event I would recommend to other women!
My Top Sources of Female Empowerment for our every day lives:
As women, we can give out astonishing amounts of love, care and provision, even if we don’t show ourselves the same love, care and kindness back. I’d like to share with you some of my other blog posts that can help us as women, to be better to ourselves, to encourage ourselves, to forgive ourselves, to help us grow and look after ourselves on a deeper level:
- Self-Care Isn’t Selfish! Read about the importance of looking after yourself!
- Survival Tips For When Life Feels Overwhelming!
- The Dangers of Tunnel Vision & How to Break Down the Walls to Widen your Perspective in Life!
- “TIME, REST, BREATH” The important need to simply stop, rest, just be & breath! A slogan to remind us esp when we are stressed out or having a manic time, that we also need to take time to stop, de-stress and calm our minds and bodies down!
- HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK when life makes you HARD ON YOURSELF! Including a FREE printable – an affirmation, I wrote to encourage Self-Love, Forgiveness & Letting Go…
- “You are…” a SELF LOVE AFFIRMATION to reaffirm how amazing we actually are & a reminder of the importance of talking positively about ourselves. in our heads & out loud!
- A celebratory post about the power of a woman.
Here is my Pinterest board ‘GIRL POWER & FEMALE EMPOWERMENT‘ full of images that encourage me in my womanhood daily:
- Maybe images such as those on my Pinterest board above help you and you can have one as your screensaver on your mobile or computer or save to your own Pinterest virtual noticeboard.
- Maybe quotes help you and you recite the quote to yourself as encouragement as you face the day.
- Maybe there is a Bible Verse you have printed out to read, for many it is Proverbs 31 that talks all about the virtues of a noble woman’s character that many Christian woman like to work towards each day.
- My Sister runs her own Art Buisness ‘Created To Create’ and she actually had her own stall in the marketplace at the Activate You Life weekend away. She does commissioned artwork and people give her the verse, quote, saying etc that they want on a piece of her artwork (paintings, drawings, etchings, chalk work, etc). Many of her clients then hang their artwork up in a prime place in their home, others had her put it on a magnet so it can be read every time they go to the fridge. Others chose a coaster that they could put in their places of work for others to see and also be encouraged. This personal touch can help touch our hearts and in turn give us that dose of empowerment when we look at it and read it. Here is my sister’s Instagram, if you’d like to look at some of her work just click on her Instagram handle: @libby.artist
Whatever it is that works best for you, put something in place as your go to when you need that dose of female empowerment! Why not share what that is for you in the comment section below this post. For me, I read my poem below “We Are Women!”
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