A SPIRITUAL RETREAT FOR WOMEN

September 19 – 23, 2018

Oxford, England

A woman with a voice
is by definition a strong woman.

But the search to find that voice
can be remarkably difficult.

~ Melinda Gates

Maybe you are searching in the branches
for what only appears in the roots.

~ Rumi

Why this retreat and why now?

Every woman I know has experienced being silenced.  Usually, it happens early, and more than once.  The silencing is both personal and cultural. These experiences lead you to conclude that your voice and your wisdom are crazy, not important, illogical, or unnecessary.  You decide, both consciously and unconsciously, to conform to other’s views of who you are in order to make your way in the world.  You learn to hedge, keep your voice private and to doubt its value altogether.

It’s not that you don’t speak.  You do.  It’s that the voice you speak is the voice society wants you to speak.  It’s not the deepest, most true, most alive, most Light-filled voice of your feminine Soul. 

There’s unconscious fear around speaking THAT one.

Please step beyond this fear! 

The world needs your Voice, your Light, and your feminine Wisdom.

Does YOUR Voice hide?

Some women get erased a little at a time, some all at once.  Some reappear. 
Every woman who appears wrestles with the forces that would have her disappear.
  ~ Rebecca Solnit

 

Does your voice hide behind symptoms in your body? 

The silenced voice tries to get your attention in this way.  When you silence your Soul’s expression, the blocked energy eventually shows up in your physical body.  This is always true!  How to tune into this ‘symptom’ as an expression not yet expressed is something you will learn in the retreat.

Does your Voice suffocate from your busyness?

In our world, busyness has become a status symbol.  Yet, busyness is a disease.  It disconnects you from your deepest spiritual knowing of who you are and why you are here. To hear your Voice you must slow down. In this retreat you will be guided into deep Stillness where you experience your most real Self.

Is your Voice buried beneath unconscious shame?  

Shame mutes the tongue.  Culturally and collectively, the female body is shamed daily.  It doesn’t take long for little girls to sense that their bodies are objectified.  By adolescence, it’s quite real.  If you don’t feel safe in your body, you don’t don’t feel safe to speak up.  In this retreat we will discuss this phenomenon in our sharing circle and explore how to resist those forces that would break our Spirit and silence us.

Do you recognize your silenced genius in other people’s wisdom?

And then say, “I said that years ago!”  You may be quite conscious of your own wisdom yet fear standing behind it.  When you stand behind it, you become visible.  The very definition of standing behind your Voice means to share it, to use it to serve others, or to speak it to create greater harmony in your life.  Being visible is scary in particular ways for women.  You may be comfortable with being the ‘nice’ woman, the ‘loving’ woman, the ‘intellectual’ woman, or the ‘business’ woman—yet be quite scared to give voice to your anger, your opinion, your truth, your Soul’s deepest message.  In this retreat we will talk about being visible and how to step through those fears as they arise.

Did your Voice go mute in order to conform to this world?

Everyone conforms.  Yet, when you are on the Heroine’s Journey, by very definition you must throw away the culture’s rulebook when you begin.  Did you do that yet?  Are you still conforming in some way that feels painful to your heart and soul?  For instance, are you distracted from focusing on your creativity because you think you should be married by now?  Do you avoid taking action on your heart’s desire because you are in the third act of your life and think you should just relax and travel or that it’s too late anyway? To arrive at the end of the Heroine’s Journey, where you bring to the world your greatest contribution having visited the depths of your trials and the heights of your Spirit, you must throw away the rulebook.  In this retreat we’ll explore the Heroine’s Journey and support each other to toss the rulebook out!

When your voice hides in these ways
then your life unfolds around silences
until you stop and transform them.

This is where I come in!

Hi!  I’m Nancy Swisher and my entire life has been devoted to this subject.  I understood the voice of my Essence when I was a young girl.  Some of you may know this story from my memoir, The Life That Woke Me Up Was My Own.  When I was five years old, the milkman at my father’s store stopped to ask me a question as he stacked the cartons of milk.  I was playing on the sidewalk that morning, listening to the sounds of the creek across the road.  He looked down at me and said, “What do you what to be when you grow up?”  Without hesitation, I replied, “I already am who I want to be.”  I spoke my Voice that morning—the voice of my Essence. The clear knowing I had then that who I am is consciousness, that who I am is a Being, got lost like it does for all of us: through conditioning, experiences, traumas and the choices made to ‘make it’ in the world.  

I never forgot the feeling, however.  I oriented my entire life around understanding the Voice that got lost and why and how to retrieve it again. My book traces the arc of this journey.  We’ll be using passages from my book as we identify some common areas of the Heroine’s Journey, how women are silenced, and how we reclaim the depths of our voice.

Finding your voice and standing behind it has been my life’s work.  Since 1995 I’ve been guiding women in this exploration and have arrived at this point in time with great clarity about how to do this…..A little more about this retreat.

Your Deepest Soul’s Voice

What is the source of our first suffering? 
It lies in the fact that we hesitated to speak…
It was born in the moments we accumulated silent things within us.
~Gaston Bachelard

As women we have hidden our Voice for fear of ridicule or worse—and yes, we were burned for expressing this Light of intuitive knowing.  This fear is in our collective psyche.  We’ve accumulated silent things within us both personally and collectively.  Now is the time to move beyond these silences, to reconnect to our Voice and stand behind it.

No matter how big or small your voice is—no matter how far it reaches into what we call the greater public—the power of aligning with your own Voice brings to the world an essential piece of our collective consciousness.  In other words, YOU matter.

Each Day at Our Retreat

It is frightening when a woman finally realizes
that there is no answer to the question ‘who am I’
except the voice inside herself.
~ Betty Friedan

These are the four main practices each day at our retreat.

Stillness

You are never more fully yourself than when you are still inside. Each day we will enter into Stillness several times.   You will connect to a Presence and power that is all loving and all knowing.  You will realize the consciousness of the Universe individualized as YOU.  Silence is not easy, but eventually an uncommon peace ensues.  You connect to Divine ideas and to a sense of security that is real.

Writing

Your Essence must be expressed in order to be realized.  The word gives form to the unformed.  The greater the consciousness behind the word, the more power it has.  You will discover your Voice anew each time we write together.  Your writing will both express your Voice and lead you into your heart.  Authentic lives require authentic voices and authentic linguistic choices. 

Healing

The root of the word ‘heal’ is the same as the root of the word ‘whole’.  Believing untrue things about oneself causes all of the emotional pain we typically seek to remedy.  Healing is the process of becoming conscious of these unconscious beliefs.  You will be safe in this retreat to heal what needs to be healed at this point in time. Each person will have the opportunity for one to one facilitation with Nancy.

Women’s Circle

Feeling lonely can be triggering and disempowering for women who walk a transformational journey.  In this retreat you will experience the power of being seen for who you are on a Soul level. Through talking, laughing, eating together, sharing deeply, and revealing truths, we will create a connection of Love that resides in your heart long after the retreat ends.

Remarks from Past Participants

“Incredible, paradigm-shifting writing and spiritual retreat with Nancy and some amazing women. I had no idea what was in store. My heart is now bursting!”

“I was blown away by the effect my own words had on the group.  I had no idea that my voice and my words would ever convey such awesome power.  Thank you, Nancy, for your courage to help me to strengthen and nourish my own.”

“I have left the retreat feeling connected to my Essence, my Spirit, myself.  Calm and ready to move forward on my path from a new place of Being.”

“Thank you for organizing a weekend that more than fulfilled my expectations.  Did I find my voice?  Yes.  Will I be able to stand behind it?  I hope so!  The Abbey was at once silent and peaceful.  We all shared a slice of monastic life.”

“The retreat was a revelation for me.  The atmosphere of the Abbey has vastly contributed to the comfort and well being of the wonderful shared experience of our group.”

“The wealth of emotion, creativity and life experiences we all shared re-affirmed for me that our spiritual connection transcends all differences.  Please continue this great work!”

Our Beautiful Retreat Center

The Abbey Sutton Courtney

The Abbey is a unique medieval building, set in extensive grounds, tucked away in the small village of Sutton Courtenay, just 10 miles south of Oxford.

The Abbey is surrounded by 4 acres of beautiful grounds that include mature trees, a woodland path, a labyrinth and tranquil sitting areas, which all guests are welcome to explore and enjoy. There are also fine walks through the old village and along the nearby Thames.

All meals are vegetarian and prepared from fresh ingredients, including produce from the Abbey’s kitchen garden. Fresh fruit is usually available and you are welcome to help yourself to tea and coffee throughout your stay.

The meeting room for our retreat is comfortable, quiet, and has a fireplace with a fire! 

Upon registration, you will receive details of directions and what to bring.

Time Investment for the Retreat

 

Our retreat begins on, Wednesday, September 19th.  Our first meal is dinner at 6:30 pm. We will have our first retreat session after dinner.

Three sessions each day—morning, afternoon, and evening on Thursday, Sept 20th, Friday, Sept 21st, Saturday, Sept 22nd

We end the retreat after lunch on Sunday, Sept 23rd.

 

Accommodations and Monetary Investment

The rooms at the Abbey are simple and sweet.  All rooms have shared bath; however there are a few private rooms available.  All other rooms are double with twin beds. Prices listed below include: Accommodation for three nights, all meals, retreat sessions and one Skype session with Nancy after your retreat for integrating your experience.

Retreat with private room:  £997

Retreat with double room:  £797

Email Nancy at nancy@nancyswisher.com if you want to ask any questions to make sure this retreat is a good fit for you.  

NOTE:

Attendance is limited to 12 women so that deep healing, writing, and transformation is guaranteed!

Cancellation Policy:

There’s a £290 non-refundable cancellation fee for all registrations. If you cancel prior to August 1, you
will be refunded the full fee minus the £290. Any cancellations after August 1 will not receive a refund.

Endorsements of Nancy’s ‘Find Your Voice’ Programs

Based on my experience, I think Nancy’s coaching is so profoundly effective because she has developed authentic authority through devoting her own life, time, money, and attention to her own path of development. She has done the work to Find her Voice.  She has cultured the commitment and self-love to Stand Behind It. From there, her own life has been beautifully shaped into an instrument that naturally empowers others in her sphere of influence to make their own unique contributions to changing the world!

So, if you have a chance to work with Nancy, TAKE IT!!!  She is a true master, and she will help you become the true master of your own life and work!

Susanna McCann

Founder, www.radiantembodiedwoman.com

It is hard to put into words the immense impact Nancy’s Find your Voice program has had in my life. Through my work with Nancy, I was able to identify how my silencing occurred and the impact it had on the trajectory of my life. I have come to live my life from a deeply conscious place, in alignment with my life purpose, connected to my inherent joy and deep understanding of my own voice and wisdom.

Nicole Wettemann

Holistic Life Coach and Spiritual Mentor, www.nicolewettemann.com

Since intensifying my practice and work with Nancy, a miracle has occurred—-I’ve transformed my consciousness from feeling like a victim of what was happening around me to being an advocate and taking up the space I need; I’ve stopped suppressing my true expression and found my voice; I’ve moved from resignation to being the co-creator of my experience… A massive shift!

Ingrid McGuffog, PhD

Professor

We meditate and then begin to speak and write from the depth of our truth, whether the truth is despair or hope, bliss or fear, love or anger.  All of it is part of the whole—the whole of the feminine psyche and heart. 

We heal the world by healing our Self.  We find our Voice from knowing our Essence. We change the world by standing behind our Voice.