Saying “Yes” to Yourself and Your Business: Your Guide to the 2016 OneDoula Retreat

As parents, doulas, business owners, and community leaders, we are often so focused on meeting the needs of others that we forget to make time to dream big for ourselves. If you’re contemplating attending the Thriving Together OneDoula retreat September 17-21, 2016 but are unsure you can say “yes,” read on. As an attendee of last year’s retreat, I want to share why I knew I had to come back again this year!

Location, Location, Location
Our resort, Maya Tulum, has a peaceful, secluded atmosphere without being completely devoid of access to civilization. During down time, you can easily walk to shops and restaurants. It’s a nice balance between tranquility and convenience. Our beach was perfect for napping in hammocks and cooling off the toes—exactly what we needed. We also had a spontaneous oceanside experience that only last year’s retreat attendees will recall! Let’s just say it was nothing short of magical!

Based on feedback from last year’s attendees, this year’s retreat is extended one more day to allow for more free time in the schedule. As the retreat coordinator, I’ll be mapping out opportunities for excursions. These will be optional but allow for additional adventure outside the resort. Last year we enjoyed a trip to nearby cenotes where we swam/snorkeled in a cave, a sublime experience indeed! The cost of a shuttle and equipment rental was less than $30/per person. Since Mexico in general is such an affordable vacation spot, you won’t need to spend very much beyond your all-inclusive retreat registration. I’ll cover all the juicy details of what your registration includes below.

Return on Investment
But first, let’s explore from a business standpoint the ripple effect of choosing to attend. We’ve all heard about the idea of “filling your own cup first.” But have you really sat down to think about what this retreat has the potential to do for your business growth?

New growth can come only when you’re not burned out, so when we’re talking business, we always have to start from a place of self-care. A retreat with other doulas is the optimal environment for sparking renewal, reigniting passion, and laying groundwork for sustainability. As you brainstorm during workshops and chat during free time, you’ll learn about new approaches, give form to novel ideas, and explore what is and isn’t working. The result? Returning home feeling challenged to consider new ways of caring for your business, yourself, and your clients. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this retreat has the potential to positively impact not only you, but also your family, your clients, your colleagues, and your community. Talk about a ripple effect!

With that in mind, the theme for this year’s retreat is Collaborative Entrepreneurship. The final workshop of last year’s retreat was a business session that inspired us with new insight and ideas around fine-tuning and building our practices back home, so DTI decided to take the feedback from that workshop and dig deeper into the concepts of community, self-care, and business. Collaborative entrepreneurship means having access to a group of like-minded people who understand the experience of being in the role and enjoy both receiving and providing guidance. It’s a dynamic exchange. All of the workshops at this year’s retreat are built on this foundation.

You’ll leave the retreat with a new artistic vision of your brand. DTI co-founder Gina Giordano will lead a two-hour visual branding workshop, where you’ll dive deep into exploring the look and feel of your brand presence on social media, websites, and other materials. We’ll explore tips and tricks for developing your brand and push you to think about new ways to market your business. Through hands-on exercises, all participants will be given tools to evaluate their current marketing strategy and become clear on what needs to be created, modified, tweaked, or enhanced.

Learn from a local legend of sustainability and innovation in birth work. Britt Fohrman, a yoga teacher, photographer, body worker, and doula in the San Francisco Bay area, will be sharing her model for achieving greater ease within your doula practice. Britt will share a range of hands-on tools for creating a more nourishing, empowering experience for both client and doula. And as our yoga instructor, Britt will also lead our group daily in yoga sessions. Whether you’re a total newbie or an experienced practitioner on the mat, Britt will meet you where you are and nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga sessions are optional for participants, but even if it seems intimidating I encourage you to give it a try. It’s not about experience or ability, but rather stretching and growth from where you start.

You can read more about the workshop schedule here. As we get closer to the retreat, we’ll be sharing even more in-depth information to whet your appetite for the well-rounded learning experience you’ll be getting. It’s sure to leave you feeling excited, fulfilled, and ready to dive in back home.

Bang for Your Buck
Maya Tulum is a boutique resort, so the whole property is basically beachfront. I opted for a cabana “off the beach” this year. My beachfront cabana last year was very nice and I did enjoy falling0004_MT-Gardens-13 asleep to the sound of the waves, but no matter where your room is located, you’ll have easy access to the beach and common areas. Here’s the description of the garden view cabana, the least expensive option (all rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and each option has a limited number, so register soon!):

0004_MT-Rooms-15Each Garden View cabana is set like a jewel in lush, green gardens that are alive with birds and the scent of flowers. Under the thatched roof, you’ll find immaculate beds with crisp white linens, draped with shimmering gossamer netting, ceiling fans, a fully-appointed tiled bathroom with an open shower area and walls hung with original art. There’s a safe for your valuables, a generous supply of linens and drinking water but no televisions, phones or clocks. Big windows open up to sweeping garden views. The Garden View cabanas are set right behind the Ocean View cabanas, steps from the yoga halls, spa and beach. 

0007_MT-Rooms-21Three delicious and healthy meals per day, all of your on-site activities, and transportation to and from the airport are included when you register, so it’s not just a relaxing cabana you are paying for. Your airfare, the optional excursion(s), spa treatments, and alcoholic beverages/souvenirs are the only added expenses. Just so you know, the margaritas at the resort were amazing and about half the cost or less of what we pay here in the U.S.

If you want a room to yourself, you can choose either a garden, oceanview, or beachfront cabana for $2,025, $2,110 or $2,240 respectively. If you have a roommate, you can choose a garden, oceanview, or beachfront cabana for $1,845, $1,885 or $1,950 respectively. DTI doulas receive $200 off. Remember this cost is all-inclusive, covering all on-site workshops and classes, three meals each day, accommodations, and a shuttle taking you to and from the CUN airport.

“Now that I know I want to come, how do I make it work?”
yogaretreatdoulasIf you are a DTI doula and you charge $1,000 per birth, you can enjoy a getaway that’s both restorative and productive for the price of attending two births! TWO births. That’s it. (This is calculating $100 spending money for incidentals, a $225 flight from Atlanta to Cancun, and a double occupancy garden cabana. Prices vary depending on which options you choose.) But it’s safe to say this retreat IS do-able from a cost perspective.

And if you’re worried about being away from clients during the month, now would be an excellent time to consider creating a solid backup partnership with another doula who you feel is a good reflection of the kind of care you want your clients to receive.

If you still have questions about the retreat, the venue, or what to be considering if you want to attend, check out the FAQs. Let us know if you have any additional questions or feel free to request access to our private Thriving Together retreat FB group. Only when we are together—choosing to say “yes” to rest, rejuvenation and inspiration—can we truly learn to thrive as business owners.

Won’t you join us?

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