I first went to Ibiza when I was 30.

I was very much still in my partying phase. I was running my own business as a consultant and artist, juggling lots of freelance contracts with no real commitments….and I loved nothing more than escaping a few times a year to somewhere hot.

I went off on a cheap package holiday with my brother and three girlfriends…and we spent the week drinking cheap cocktails and clubbing until the early hours.

What was I thinking? #neon

More than a decade later my experience of the white isle was very different…but no less powerful to my sense of self.

I had booked to take part in Kate Taylors Practical Magic retreat (this is her next UK one btw) back in 2019…and then COVID hit and it got postponed, but actually, the timing couldn’t have been better for me doing it in September 2021.

I needed a break. I needed some sunshine. I needed to get back into my body and get some clarity over what I wanted to do next.

I could write a full blown review of the retreat day by day, sharing all of the juicy sessions we did, a breakdown of what Qoya is (it’s flipping incredible is what it is), and the glorious food made by Tess from Love Food Ibiza…but I might save that for another day.

Instead, today I want to share my 10 BIGGEST lessons from the whole experience….so here goes….

Take a break before you break

That is what this week’s episode Don’t be a Mug Podcast is all about. Too often we leave it too late to take time away from our busy lives. We are already knackered. We are already burned out. We are already running on empty. As busy business owners regularly filling our cup needs to be a business strategy and it has to be factored into our annual planning, just like doing your accounts or launching your products or services. And sorry…but family holidays don’t count…they are often just as hard work and emotionally draining as being at home lol.

Invest in yourself

Taking time out of your business is an investment in your future self. It is not selfish, or frivolous…the breakthroughs and downloads you are likely to have, plus the renewed energy and wellbeing you will go home with, will help you earn more, do more, be more in your life and your business. You are worthy of this, more than you know. So get into the habit of investing in your wellbeing, growth and development on a regular basis.

Be led by great leaders

Pick retreat hosts and facilitators that you trust….and then let go. Kate and I are very similar in many ways, but also she is very different in other ways and I needed her special magic this week. I knew she would hold the space beautifully, I knew there would be no ego, I knew it would be filled with love…gosh there was so much love and laughter. I have been on many different retreats, they all have a different vibe and different outcomes, so do your research and hang out as much as possible with the folks involved in it before deciding…but also just trust your instinct.

How gorgeous is this?

Open up

You have to do the work on the retreat. The more you are open to doing the work, and opening up the more you will get from it. The bonds you make around the pool and over dinner, are just as powerful to be fair. The 5 other ladies on this retreat feel like lifelong friends now…they made the experience. We spend so much energy on protecting ourselves from the fear of judgement…but most of us are having a similar experience in life, and it’s a relief to open up and have a laugh about it.

Speak up about what you want/need

I wanted to be in the ocean. I asked Kate about open water swimming and she told me there was a local beach. On the 2nd morning I said I was going to go swimming and who wanted to join me, and we managed to do it a few mornings which was glorious. In fact on the final morning Kate, Dominique and my good friend Caroline Thompson…known as The Brave Business Coach did something I never would have done if I had been swimming alone…we ventured into a cave we had spotted. Kate was like…Let’s do it, and she led the way. It was thrilling.

Have a good cry

Did you know my nickname is Tiny Tears? Lucikly for me though it’s tissues not Tena lady that I need to mop up my random leaks. A good cry is brilliant for letting go. So often we feel the start of emotion and we push it down. I say better out than in. When you allow yourself to release your emotion, it is the starting point to processing it. I had an almighty meltdown during a meditation which was about finding your inner light…I couldn’t find it, I couldn’t see it, it was a massive realisation that I had in fact lost my mojo…lost the thing that lit me up, that helped me to shine. And once I’d let it all out…everything else become a lot easier.

Get out of your head

I didn’t know what Qoia was when I signed up…but I knew it was something to do with movement and yoga, and I know I spend far too much time in my head instead of in my body. As a 5-time marathon runner, triathlete, tough mudder, crossfitter and general endurance race fanatic my movement can be a bit excessive…and so this sifter, more feminine, lighter movement was perfect for tuning back into my essence. I cried (see above) in the first session as I realised I had lost my freedom to dance…I cried again at the end of the week, when the final movement session took me back to a time more than 22 years ago when I last felt like a dancer. My new commitment to myself is to move every day as a way of connecting to what I want and need…I am also bringing more of this into my business…so watch out clients.

Let it all hang out

It was hot in Ibiza. The clothes that I had packed for the sessions were not really appropriate…I literally would have been boiled alive. So I ended up doing most of the sessions in a pair of hotpants and my bra. I can remember in the first session wearing a tshirt on top and thinking this is crazy…I am going to faint, and so I whipped it off and just got on with the job in hand. Shame keeps us stuck. Body shame, business shame, money shame, relationship shame…when you show up exactly as you are you can then decide if things need adjusting, and others can work out exactly who you are…and then relationships are built on good foundations rather than half-truths.

Loved working in pairs on this day

Look for the upgrades

There was an opportunity while on the retreat to book a massage. I was resistant. I initially didn’t want to spend any extra money, and then I realised this was a block, a block around allowing myself to experience the fullness of my time in IBIZA. This was an upgrade, and upgrades remind you of what your desired life feels like…it makes things feel like your new normal, and so I booked the massage…and really enjoyed it.

When booking the retreat I knew I would need some time at the end to let things sink in before flying home…and so I booked my flight to come home a few days after. When booking a hotel closer to the airport I decided to upgrade, and for just a small amount more we had breakfast, our own patio area, a nicer room AND a minibar

Create anchors

When I arrived at the retreat location I was amazed at how many crystals were knocking about….literally hundreds of them, they were in the gardens, the meditation room, the guest rooms…even in the bathrooms. And to my delight, Kate had included a little gift for each of us in a goodie bag from a friend of hers who makes incredible jewellery.

A beautiful little floating moonstone necklace…sadly the necklace was a little tight for me, but I knew it would make a beautiful gift for my daughter Rose, and I went onto the Spike Rocks website and bought myself a matching but slightly bigger one…mine is a morganite alchemist one. So now I have an anchor to Ibiza…and mother and daughter have a further anchor to each other.

It is easy to go from experience to experience and not have a way of going back to the feelings and lessons of the experience…and thats where physical anchors can be incredible.

So in summary…take a bloody break.

I love this sooooo much

My break allowed me to have the mother of all downloads which is going to change the trajectory of my business.

Its where I got the idea for GO BIG or GO HOME...my new business growth accelerator, which starts a week on Monday…but more than anything, it helped me come home to myself.

Julie Creffield is a creative business coach and growth strategist with more than 25 years experience of designing, delivering and scaling transformational programmes. She helps ordinary folks do extraordinary things by getting them to THINK BIGGER and DO BETTER. If you’d like to find out more about how she can help you get in contact julie@juliecreffield.com


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