The GetRealLive Retreat 2019

What a journey.

It seems strange that only a few weeks ago we were deep in preparation mode – and now, we are on the other side. The 2019 GetRealLive Retreat welcomed a group of amazing women to Noonaweena, a beautiful secluded property in Kulnura.  Noonaweena is off the beaten track of the highway that runs down Australia’s east coast – between Sydney and Newcastle. The time away was absolutely stunning – to say the least. 

This retreat, like others we have hosted, was tailored to the people attending and the experience was personal for each person – including those who had returned from previous retreats. On that note, we were super grateful to have women that believed in us enough to invest again and return. It was special for us as we hold trust very close. 

People have asked why I run these retreats, a question that comes up every time we start the journey, and my simple answer is because they matter and people matter. We don’t often take time for ourselves to invest in self-care. Sometimes, we are more interested in our next Netflix series than we are with our own state of being. Over the years and through my own journey I have learned that there is incredible value in retreating and taking care of self. With that understanding I have done my best to create and hold space for others to dig deep and learn to embrace and live their True You.

In the immediate aftermath of the retreat, I received messages and appreciation posts from the women who attended. 

This was particularly humbling to see the response from those who were changed over the weekend. Some of them are below. This is truly a clear indication that in this busy, blindingly fast-paced world, there certainly is beauty in retreating. 

Thank you so much for a truly phenomenal weekend Susan! You took care of every detail so stunningly well. It will take some time to process all the wisdom that has been shared. Sleep well in the knowledge that you created a beautiful and safe space for so many women to start on – or continue – their journeys of transformational change. The impact of this weekend will be deep and enduring.

This weekend marked the beginning of a vulnerable and gentle journey of accepting this woman in the portrait as perfectly imperfect. For me, it marks a moment in time where I’m settling into my truest and most free self. One who knows she is unconditionally loved and can walk more confidently into the things that sit well with my soul instead of other people’s expectations or ideas of who I should be.

and a text from a husband of one of the women who attended…

“Sooooo I have a different wife now.”

By definition, a retreat (as a noun) is to move to a quiet or secluded place. 

So, we did exactly that. Leaving families behind even for a few days can be hard, but the purpose of our retreats is to see the importance and value on giving ourselves the space to recalibrate and be open and vulnerable in a safe haven surrounded by like-minded women.

Because of the very nature of retreating, we won’t go into details about our sessions and seminars, but it was a beautiful time away to rest and stop. Each woman that attends our retreat comes expectantly. They are here purposefully and are ready for the transformative processes that take place over just a few days.

As well as the powerful group sessions, we had a tight but very carefully planned schedule that included meditation and yoga, an art lesson to take time to participate in something entirely new and rewarding, as well as alone time to reflect on the day’s activities. We were cared for with beautiful meal plans and a space to gather at the table and share in the experience of just simply being with each other.

As we wrap up this retreat,  it is very exciting to let you know that we have booked another; May 15-17 2020. Some have already contacted me regarding interest in this and just, WOW. I am excited already. Please see the link below to read further and apply now!

A few thank yous are in order. Retreats are certainly a team effort.

To the retreat team. Philip, Rowena, Jane, Jess and Caitlin. None of this would have happened without you. Thank you for each individual effort and role you played on the weekend. Forever grateful to have a kind and supportive group of people around me in this.

To Julie, and the team behind the scenes at Dinner on the Table. Your handiwork and food creations were absolutely stunning and mouth-watering, and we were so well-nourished all weekend. We look forward to working with you in the future. The menu was so thoughtfully planned out. These guys are definitively highly recommended if you need a caterer! GetRealLive loves to support any social enterprise that we can, and these guys do a fantastic job giving back to their Sydney local community.

To Rod and Simone and those at Noonaweena.We loved the time in this beautiful place, thank you for lending us this sanctuary and to look out across the mountains made our weekend all the more beautiful. The spa was well-loved, we were able to use the bushland for both peaceful contemplation and exploration as well as firepit storytelling. We have already started to plan our next retreat around the same location. We can’t wait to return.

Until next retreat, I hope you will join us. If you are here because you’re interested in our next retreat, please click below to see the retreat page for all the important information. 

Susan.


Inside the Quiet.

Like many people, I have tried over the years to stick to New Year’s resolutions and promises made to myself.

Like most, inevitably I fail a few weeks into the year. Whether it be my bad habits, the desire to shift some unneeded weight, the year I learn a new language or start to paint. The only resolution that I hold onto seems to be the one that promises I won’t do it. Resolutions, for whatever reason, have not worked for me.

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Jamie Oliver’s Killer Jerk Chicken

I understand that getting dinner on the table can be a challenge. Especially when you’re working, looking after kids and trying to find that balance that allows you not only the time to create something nutritious for your family but the head space and the energy to pull it all together. In an effort to help I am pulling together a few thoughts, ideas, and workable solutions to help bring that balance into play.

As many of you know, I’m passionate about seeing individuals and families thrive rather than strive so today marks Day 1 of a number of posts where I will tackle ‘WorkPlace & Family Balance‘ and hopefully provide solutions for busy people who desire to find, create and live balanced lives. Endeavouring to do so ultimately offers the best to your family, your workplace and allows you space to create quality and quantity time. I’m excited because this is a space that I love to occupy.

ONE CHALLENGE we all face is food. With the rise in obesity, the lure of take away and the absence of time it can ~ and for all of us has been challenging. Today, I’m going to share a solution from our home which comes in the form of a recipe. Every recipe, thought and idea I share here are all ‘Tried and True‘ through our personal test situations. (I promise to share some of the disasters too!) Here we go… If you’re interested to follow on Twitter or Instagram you can check out everything that is offer.

The other day my beautiful 8 year old daughter, Ella, and I found ourself glued to the TV watching the Food Network and another edition of Jamie Olivers 30-Minute Meals. On this particular episode, Jamie was making his Killer Jerk Chicken. A few things I loved about this show:

    1. Nothing was pre-prepared for Jamie, he had to open every packet, get everything from his fridge, turn on and preheat his own oven, boil his own water {you know how on some cooking shows everything is usually ready and waiting and the chef just goes to work and makes it look like it’s 30mins… when in actual fact our ‘at-home-experience’ turns out to be more than a 1hr endeavour}. I loved this!
    2. Although there were a number of ingredients, most we all probably have in our pantry’s with the exception perhaps the chilli’s, black beans and fresh herbs. I like these recipes.
    3. I made the Jerk Sauce in the morning and it took only minutes, popped it in the fridge and it was ready and waiting for the dinner prep.
    4. Cooking times were exact so I was able to tell my family ‘Dinner will be ready in 6 minutes’ all based on the oven setting. Sometimes cooking times can vary. I like when they work according to the recipe/chef.

So, here you go…

Jamie Oliver’s Killer Jerk Chicken Recipe with Rice & Black Beans & Cinnamon + Grilled Corn.

On the show Jamie included a salad which I will do next time, just didn’t have the head space to make it last night. In saying that, I have included the recipe for you). Now go, create and gather your family around the table and enjoy!

Information:

30 Minutes Preparation30 Minutes Cooking. Serves: 6. (Note: This recipe is actually for 4, but I simply added 2 extra thighs and made it serve 6 without adjusting anything. It works!)

Ingredients:

CHICKEN

  • 6 x 180g chicken breasts {Jamie uses skin on. I used thighs and skin off}
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander

CORN

  • 5 large corn on the cob, husks removed {I used medium cobs}

RICE & BEANS

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250g long-grain rice
  • 600ml organic chicken stock
  • 1 x 400g carton of black beans

JERK SAUCE

  • 4 spring onions
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • ground cloves
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground allspice
  • 6 tablespoons golden rum (if you don’t have rum just buy the tiny bottle from the liquor store it’s exactly 6 tbsps)
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli {I used a Jalapeño instead}
  • 4 cloves of garlic

SEASONINGS

  • olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & black pepper

YOGHURT

  • 1 x 250g pot of natural yoghurt
  • a few sprigs of fresh coriander
  • 1 lime

Directions:

TO START: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large griddle pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

CHICKEN: Put the chicken breasts on a plastic board and halve each one, leaving them joined at the top of the breast. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then rub all over both sides of the chicken. Put into the hot griddle pan, skin side down, and leave to cook. Clear away the board and wash the knife and your hands.

CORN: Put the corn into the saucepan with a good pinch of salt and cover with boiling water. Put the lid on.

JERK SAUCE: Trim and roughly chop the onions and put into the liquidizer with the leaves from most of the bunch of thyme, 3 bay leaves (stalks removed), a large pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice, 6 tablespoons each of rum and vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of salt.Remove the stalks and seeds from the Scotch bonnet chilli {I used a Jalapeno for extra zing} and add the chilli to the liquidizer, then quickly crush in 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic and blitz with the lid on until you have a really smooth paste. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to loosen, if needed.

CHICKEN: The undersides should be golden now, so turn the chicken over. Pour the jerk sauce into a snug-fitting baking dish and use tongs to lay the chicken on top, skin side up {if you have skin on}. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of runny honey and scatter over a few sprigs of rosemary and the remaining thyme sprigs {I rub these with olive oil to keep them moist whilst cooking}. Put on the top shelf of the oven and cook for 15minutes, or until cooked through. Carefully pour away the oil from the griddle pan and wipe clean with kitchen paper, then put back on a high heat.

RICE & BEANS: Put a large wide saucepan with a lid on a medium heat. Trim and finely slice the spring onions and put in the saucepan with the cinnamon stick, a good lug of olive oil and a big pinch of salt & pepper. Stir and let soften for a minute or so, then add the rice and chicken stock. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pan. Stir gently. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Pop the lid on and leave for 12 minutes. OR, you can do what I did to save time and stress… I popped it all in my rice cooker {if you have one} and let it do the work. Saved time and turned out beautiful!

YOGHURT: Tip the yoghurt into a small serving bowl. Finely chop a few sprigs of coriander and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt and a good lug of extra virgin olive oil. Finely grate over the zest of 1/2 the lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir in, then take to the table with the other lime half for squeezing over.

CORN: Use tongs to move the corn to the hot griddle pan and drizzle over a little olive oil {I added a bit of salt too} . Cook and turn frequently until charred. Once ready, put on a platter and take to the table.

TO SERVE: Take the chicken out of the oven, sprinkle over some coriander leaves and take straight to the table – I cooked it in an oven-proof pan so it looked amazing and went straight from oven to table. I used a cutting board and put my rice (from the rice cooker) on the board and then the corn and it looked beautiful. When serving, spoon over the jerk sauce from the bottom of the baking dish.

Tired of trying to be perfect? Download the first chapter of my new book “True You” for free here.