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.


How fear robs us of living free

For those of you who know me, I have spent a good portion of my life terrified of cats. I would go so far as to say I had a cat phobia. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it. Who is afraid of a cat? Me. Well, I was. I’m working on it!  But to be completely honest there is a bit inside of me that is still a little ‘unsure’ when I’m around certain cats. However, for the most part, I would suggest that my family and close friends have seen a transformation in me when it comes to cats and fear.

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The Message of the Table

A number of years ago my parents made the big decision to move from our farm and family home into our small, very quaint town. As many of you know, a move like this is huge. There are memories in the home and on the property and you can imagine it was a big task.  After over 30 years, 4 children plus countless family members and friends, how does one capture all of that in moving boxes and containers? Is it possible?

I guess the answer is simple. Our memories are held forever in the recess of our minds, we don’t need stuff to tell us about the life we have lived. But they help, and so it is hard. Many of you reading this know what I’m talking about, you’ve gone down this road before. Whether it has been with your parents, in-laws, friends or perhaps yourselves. When we move we are faced with all the things that have accumulated. The stories, the artworks, the tree houses, the boxes of miscellaneous stuff in the attic … the list goes on.Read More


Princess Cruise for a Day

I am heading off on a three-day cruise next week without the company of my family. Instead I am travelling with a friend of mine that I have known my entire life! We are celebrating our birthday on the cruise as we share the same day. For those interested, you’ll see some of our adventures on social media (Instagram & Facebook) because like any good social media girl, I’ve bought the deluxe drink package + wifi!!!! Disconnected yet a little connected.

For now, allow me to take you on a trip back through time to the first cruise experience we had as a family. It was a massive joint family endeavour; the five of us, my sisters family and her three kids, my brothers family and his four kids and my mum… Enjoy!

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Without Vision…

without-vision

I’ve heard it quoted and, sadly, I’ve witnessed it happen. Where there is no vision, people perish. I’m not talking about physical eyesight here, rather that internal drive that propels us forward. Some call it vision, others intuition, motivation, a sixth sense or just a knowing that comes from within. The dictionary refers to this kind of vision as:

An experience in which a personage, thing or event appears vividly or credibly to the mind, although not actually present, often under the influence of a divine or other agency or a vivid, imaginative conception or anticipation.

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The Story of You – Discovering Your Identity

Have you ever wondered who you are? Have you ever found yourself pondering your purpose and where you fit in? Maybe you have you watched others walk with direction and confidence whilst you question what part you have to play? Have you considered how good it would be if life were like a play or a movie? Everyone cast in their ideal role, confidently delivering faultless lines and perfectly portraying every aspect of their character. Confusion eliminated. Do you wonder if people around you actually know what they are doing, or are they just making their way in the world as best they can?

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Off the Beaten Track – A Guide to Raising Boys

I have three amazing children – two girls, whom I write about often, and a beautiful teenage boy. All of them are an enormous blessing to our family and I am endlessly grateful to have them. My girls – Sophia (16) and Ella (9) – make the world a better place every day. My son Gabriel (almost 14) is bright, cheerful and adds spark to our family.

For me, raising a boy has been interesting. Being a girl, I get girls.

I understand the complexities we can bring to the table. The emotional highs and lows that we experience. The pain of not having the right shoes to go with your outfit or the wrong bra. Perhaps the girl drama in the classroom,  on the sports field, online or anywhere else. As a woman, I understand these challenges, whether they are small and seemingly insignificant or downright life-changing. I am a girl and I understand girls.

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When Dreams Conflict and Collide

she-1I’m 44 and I feel like my life has just begun. How is that possible? I have three children, I have been married for 20 years and I have had a fulfilling career. However, the excitement, the desire and the drive that I find within feels more like it did in my twenties. What is this and where does this come from?

Allow me to reflect. I am a dreamer and I believe that, in the seemingly impossible, the possible can be found. I know that small steps will always lead to big steps and achievements. I’m a perpetual optimist and choose to dig deep and pull out the gold within, whether it be personally or in relation to others. I’m not afraid of hard work, nor rejection, for both are part of life and understanding that at an early age promises to rid one of burdens that can tend to hold us back. I choose to let challenging things like, rejection and hard work, fuel me rather than rule me.

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The Ordinary into the Extraordinary

sohn-family-header

At the end of this month, Philip and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe it’s been two decades since we said ‘I do’, and if you include the on-and-off dating before that, we’ve pretty much been together for 25 years. We met when I was 19 and he was 21.Read More