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Photo diary: Retreat Yourself Ontario 2019

YACC’s program director, Karine Chalifour, posts daily recaps on Facebook during Retreat Yourself and Survivor Conference. Here is a compilation of what she saw and felt during Retreat Yourself ON based in Paris, ON from March 14-18, 2019.


And it has begun! Welcoming the first few retreaters at the hotel before heading out to Five Oaks Retreat Centre! Can’t wait to meet everyone! It’s going to be amazing, I promise 😉

Day one

I know I’m repeating myself, but fuck. We just shared another powerful day! I still have a hard time grasping how “strangers” can become so close so quickly. The honesty and capacity to listen tonight was mind blowing. Every cell in my body knows this is going to be another transformative retreat because everyone is in — like fully fucking in!

The venue is beautiful; my team of peers and facilitators is amazing; my work wife, Lesley, is perfect. I am going to bed filled with gratitude. Looking forward to tomorrow for everything that it will bring!

Thank you @thisinfernalracket for the most beautiful Retreat pictures ever! More to come!

Day two

Another meaningful day shared with amazing people! It’s almost 11 p.m. and over 10 people are sitting in the living room, continuing to dive in and share. We talked about our emotional health, about sexuality, intimacy, dating, and so much more. We walked in the rain, mediated, did some art, napped, ate great food! We had the privilege of listening to Gabrielle and Bonnie share their stories, and closed the day with such an honest and loving circle.

Like I told the group, if the world witnessed how absolutely beautiful humans are when they care and support each other, our planet would be doing so much better!

Feeling grateful, humbled, and content. Ready for a new day with this group that keeps blowing my mind and expanding my heart! Good night!

Day three

I. Am. In. Awe. I am moved. I am grateful. Today was another day of love, care, sharing, pie.

The comfort zone was left behind more than once for so many. We have had difficult conversations around recurrence, dying, identity, moving forward, fear, and so much more. Gabrielle lead us through an exercise to plan and set goals to work on overcoming difficult issues. We closed the day with some “art sharing,” laughter, games, more pie, and a crackling fire while conversations happened all through the night.

This group came ready to dig deep, and that they did and are doing! Tomorrow is the last full day and I know how beautiful and meaningful it’s going to be. Bring it!

Day four

The last full day of the retreat didn’t disappoint. It ended the same way it started — with honesty, love, active listening, and laughter. Our morning started with Paul and Kayla sharing their stories, followed by a little talk about YACC before some free time in the sun!

Our closing circle was once again magical. Everyone gave their full attention for two hours. Care and love were offered, people are leaving with full hearts and lifelong friends!

The talent show was as funny, creative, and genuine as everything else. We can still hear laughter coming from the living room, and that’s what it’s all about!

The YACC family just grew bigger! My heart as well!

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