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  • This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the My Taught You “Limitless Living” Retreat in Cancun, Mexico. For the past two years, I’ve treated myself to personal development retreats in a warm location in January. It’s been a great way to reflect on the year that has just come to a close and a way to plan for the year ahead. (Also a way for my Cali born self to get out of the cold.)

    I knew in 2018 that I wanted to try a new retreat experience.

    Back in July 2016, I listened to an episode of the Happy Black Woman podcast featuring Myleik Teele. I’d never heard of her but I did know her business CurlBox, a subscription box of hair products for women trying to figure out what to do with their natural hair. I’d heard much of the drama surrounding the CurlBox launch seven years and didn’t want to be bothered. What I hadn’t heard about was Myleik herself and her awesome podcast. People always want to share the shade and none of light.

    I added her podcast to my daily podcast rotation and it quickly became one of my favorites. She provides sound, straight no chaser advice for young women growing careers or businesses. Just about every episode has something actionable whether it’s a branding tip or a great lipstick for brown girls.

    In November 2016, I wrote in my journal “I want people to feel about Self-care by Aisha, the way I feel about Myleik’s work. I have bought into her message and I would buy whatever she puts out without a sales page.” At that point, the only things she sold on the personal development side were journals and mugs. For higher priced offerings, normally I pour through sales pages point by point to make sure the value is there. However, I am so certain about Myleik I was sure I wouldn’t need that. 

    Well December 2016 comes along and she announces the retreat, and it really doesn’t have a sales page. The page doesn’t have an agenda, a list of speakers, and very little about what was going to happen. It was basically a mystery event happening in Mexico in January 2018. 

    I said what I said about not needing a sales page and here was the test right in front of me. For me, this was a testament to the power of intention. I got exactly what I asked for so I applied for the retreat. I was one of 1400 women who applied and I was selected along with about 100 other women to attend. I paid my fee and didn’t think twice about it. This is definitely what I want for Self-care by Aisha.

    I have been on plenty of retreats so I expected this one to be similar with the addition of speakers who were well known. However, Myleik and her team went all out and delighted us with the details at every possible moment. A lot of people have been referring to this as Myliek’s Retreat. It wasn’t that by any means. While we were all there because of her, the experience did not center around her. It centered on connections between people, mindset shifts, and treating (and giving treats) others better than she treats herself. It’s almost too much to put into words but here are 11 quick reflections.

    1. Limits are deceiving, self-imposed, and removable. If you read only one of these points this is it. During Myleik’s lunch keynote, she dropped this gem which encouraged us to step back and gain a little perspective on the limits in our lives. Upon reflection, we will see the ways that limits are self-imposed and then it will be clear that they removable. Always be on the lookout for how you limit yourself and work on removing those limits.
    2. More women need to go on personal development retreats. I spoke to a lot of women at the event and many had never been on a retreat. I recommend that everyone go to a retreat. Start small. Most people are able to find a reasonably priced transformational retreat within a short drive from their homes. We need to make space to go deep and work on what is stopping us from limitless living.
    3. Know when it’s time to uplevel. I chose this retreat because I was looking for a new experience. I knew it would attract women who liked the actionable personal development information Myleik shares on her podcast. I knew the women on this retreat would also aspire to kill the game personally and professionally. I also wanted the opportunity to be around people who were further along than me in their entrepreneurial journeys so that I could  learn from them. That said, there were many people with jobs in fields like media, nursing, and psychotherapy.
    4. Always add value. Nizuc Resort and Spa is stunning on its own. You really could just go and be wowed! But not Myleik and her team. They used the tropical backdrop put #blackgirlmagic and Jennifer Lewis type stank on it (ain’t nobody fuckin’ with them in these streets!). There were over the top displays of beauty as well as little touches to make us feel special. Many us of know the deflating feeling of having a “funny name” and never finding your nameplate at the amusement park. I was so very delighted to see a huge display of personalized friendship bracelets at the pajama party. I found my name. It put a new meaning to being seen.
    5. Provide the space to let transformation happen organically. We had at least four hours of self-directed time each day. That allowed for us to connect with each other in smaller groups. We got to go deep and help each other remove some limits. It also gave the introverts time to recharge.
    6. That person who you think has it all figured out probably doesn’t. I really appreciated that we didn’t do formal introductions. We skipped the whole “what do you do” small talk that tends to happen in these situations. At various points throughout the weekend, people shared their fears, doubts, and limitations. Eventually, I would find out that person who was struggling with limiting beliefs or was at a crossroads was an executive at a major media corporation. Someone at the top of her game that was going through the same thing I was going through. Sisters we are all going through doubts and uncertainty.  Find a community to support you to move beyond your limits.
    7. Have a vision and not just a vision board. With my coaching clients and in my courses I advocate that everyone has a written vision based on their values. It should include both accomplishments and details on what type of person you want to be. New York Times Best Selling Author, Luvvie Ajayi shared that in 2013 she wrote the vision for the life she has now. Once you have the vision written, then you can commit it to a vision board. You need both.
    8. Trust your instincts and pivot as soon as you feel misaligned. Nicole Kane shared that 2 years into NecoleBitchie.com she knew that her spirit was not truly aligned with being a gossip blogger. Despite that feeling, she ignored it and continued down that very profitable path for six more years.  Eventually, she stepped away to do something more aligned and started xoNecole. The lesson I took was when you don’t feel aligned pivot ASAP. (Don’t confuse this with letting fear limit you.) You can easily discern this when you check back in with your written vision and vision board.
    9. Your faves are super regular. All of the speakers at this retreat were very accessible. Although Myleik and the staff were fairly busy, they made sure to mingle with us. Myleik hosted a private VIP dinner where an intimate group had a truly cathartic conversation. Karleen Roy, the event producer, and speaker hosted a tequila tasting and awesome girl chat. On the humble, I had a private lunch with the insanely hilarious Nicole Walters. We all connected as equals.
    10. Entrepreneurs in the digital age have a hard time stepping away. While there were a lot of swoon-worthy pics of what looked like relaxation on the gram, many people were engaged in some sort of work throughout the weekend. For many, even the IG pics were work because they are content creators (not influencers) who spend hours editing viral worthy photos. They couldn’t be totally off the grid. Some of the attendees were definitely stressed in paradise and weren’t able to fully let go. I saw first hand what fulltime entrepreneurship looks like for many. It’s not as glamorous as you may think. As Kahlana Barfield-Brown shared in ber masterclass “Get off the burnoff train and make time for yourself.” I encourage everyone to really think about how self-care fits into their personal journeys. Build it in from the start. Holla at me if you need help.
    11. You aren’t bothering her. During her fireside chat with Necole Kane, Myleik jokingly admonished Necole for not sharing her recent success with her. With tears in her eyes, Necole said: “I didn’t want to bother you.” That one hurt. I’ve definitely been guilty of going ghost on my friends and not wanting to reach out in hard times. I don’t want to be that friend who is only around when she needs something so I just push through alone. What I learned is that a real friend will understand and it doesn’t get any better by not reaching out.

    I know a lot of you are putting this retreat on your vision board. If you are thinking about applying to attend the Retreat 2019, make sure it’s not just because our IG pics have given you life and then gave you FOMO (fear of missing out).

    If you haven’t already, write out your vision and make sure the trip will move something in your vision forward. For me this was an answered prayer intention from November 2016 so that made it easy for me to make the leap and apply.

    Here’s to a life with less limits.