(photo by tracey clark)
1. partner up with a friend to co-lead your gathering - someone who is a good balance to your personality and who has a similar vision for what you'd like to do. it's helpful to have a partner so that you can share all the responsibilities and it makes all the planning that much more fun.
2. think about where you'd like to hold your gathering. what's a special location that holds meaning for you? we chose a sleepy beach town in Oregon because it was a place that we had both been to and loved deeply. we knew any soul on the planet would love it, too. but it was special because it already felt familiar to us and held meaning for both of us on different levels. it's important to choose a location that will inspire, nurture, calm, and ignite adventure.
3. find a great cabin or house that can sleep lots of peeps in the location you've chosen. having a great space is key in setting the stage for a cozy, intimate gathering.
3. dream up a list of all the people you want to invite. who do you want to meet? are there people you've been chatting with online that you want to meet in person? are there people out there in the world that you admire? are there local friends that you can't live without? who are you being called to? get together with your organizing partner and dream out loud together about who these people are and create your dream list. be sure to let your heart guide you. you already know your tribe deep down, we're sure of it.
4. send out a lovely invitation to your dream list via email - an invitation so juicy (with photos + descriptions of where, when, why) they would be crazy to decline.
5. squeal in delight when most of them say yes, they'd love to come!
6. introduce everyone via email. include their websites/blog addresses so that they can all begin to know one another a bit before meeting one another. some of them may already know one another and some may not. it's important to address the natural concerns that come up as people anticipate being in a brand new group for the first time. keep sending lots of love and welcome out to your group and invite them to create a safe space for each other.
7. collect $ from everyone attending that will cover the rental fees of the cabin/house and all food/drink/and other surprises. you'll be surprised how doable this kind of weekend is when you share the expenses between 10-12 women. it's also a good idea to ask for a small portion of the $ close to the time of the invitation so you can feel confident about your RSVPs.
8. plan to arrive with your planning partner at least one day before your time together as a group begins. this will give you time to shop & get ready, but more importantly it will give you both time to connect and talk in person about what you're dreaming for your gathering. we've been very specific about what we wanted to create and have been amazed at how powerful those intentions can be. whatever you ask for for your group, you WILL get, so put your best wishes out there.
9. on your first night together, welcome your friends to a shared communal meal and the warmest introductions you can imagine. there's nothing like gathering around a table and eating together like long lost friends to get your weekend started on the right note.
10. plan one or two shared activities and let the rest unfold naturally. we decided early on we could trust these women to make our time together magic, and we haven't been disappointed. being honest with the women you've invited about how much you trust and respect them is a beautiful place to start. from that place, true friendship and real connection can blossom and grow.
11. come up with a name for your group. this could be really fun and silly. we call ourselves the lovebombers after one our ladies said she was going to bomb us with love. what can you call yourselves? we're sure you'll come up with a meaningful name specific to your gathering!
we hope you go for it. that you create what your soul needs. that you reach out to all the women in your online circles and otherwise. that you create something so powerful with your friends, that it sustains and transcends.
kelly + jen