We had to wear either white or cream for the Sunrise Service. I got so many compliments on this caftan. It's from Ashro! // this is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links
Please note that this is a non-sponsored post that is based on my own personal opinion.
This past weekend, I returned to the beautiful Nizuc Resort and Spa to attend Myleik Teele’s 2nd annual #MTYRetreat. I attended last year’s retreat (recap here), and was among the 60% who returned for another dose of fellowship, fun, and fulfillment. A few people asked me why I came back and the reason was because we were the firsts - everything was NEW last year and I didn’t know what to expect. When I returned, I was intentional about actively connecting with past attendees who I didn’t get a chance to talk to last time, and then meeting the new ones.
For those reading this who have never attended, I want to address something before I get into the takeaways. I noticed on social and even after I attended the first retreat, the misconception is that you have to “have something going on” in order to apply. The common denominator among all of the attendees is that we’ve found our sense of purpose - and if we haven’t yet - we’ve recognized that and are in a season of self-exploration, where we’re actively exploring our next phase in life. We’re not all business owners...we’re not all social media influencers. We are a group of ambitious women who are killing it in our respective industries. Myleik has created a space for “accelerated collisions” to happen, where we can connect with more like-minded women at a faster rate.
Here’s what last year’s speakers wanted us to take away from this year’s retreat (from left to right):
Karleen Roy: Imagination. If we are not being imaginative or innovative, then we are being complacent.
Kahlana Barfield-Brown: Sisterhood. We need to understand what sisterhood really means. We compete against each other for no reason. We need to embrace and support each other.
Luvvie Ajayi: Don’t be selfish with your dreams. We tend to hoard our dreams, but there could be someone in the room who could help you.
Necole Kane: Define what success looks like for you.
Myleik Teele: Value your differences.
I’m in a completely different season in my life than I was last year - both professionally and personally - so this year’s retreat moved me in a different way. The entire weekend was transformative, but I took a few days to drill it down to 10 key takeaways that I hope will help you in your current season:
photo shot by Mecca Gamble
On Saturday morning (May 4), we dressed in white/cream and headed down to the beach for Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts’ 6am sunrise service. Her message to us was to anchor ourselves in this Earth. We are the seed. When we partner with God in every aspect and stage of our lives, the fruit we produce today will benefit us and those around us. We all locked arms in prayer. What stood out to me in that prayer was when she said we are “a union of who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming.”
2. Hate regret more than you hate fear.
photo shot by Mecca Gamble
Later that night, we had a night with Yvonne Orji (Molly on HBO’s Insecure). During the Q&A portion, one of the attendees asked how she had the courage to step out into a career path that was completely different from her graduate school training. Her response was, “I hate regret more than I hate fear.” So often we let fear cripple our ability to take that leap in our lives, whatever it may be. Yvonne’s statement reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." We were reminded that night to just BLOOM.
3. Know your purpose.
photo shot by Mecca Gamble
Sunday morning (May 5) was devoted to the masterclasses. It was my favorite part last year, so I was looking forward to this year’s speakers. Devi Brown, author, former radio personality, and owner of Karma Bliss started her masterclass with a pure potentiality meditation. She taught us how to use meditation as a tool for wellness and discovering purpose. This mediation is for people who don’t know what their purpose is yet, or those who want to level up in life.
She guided us through the meditation and asked us, “Who are you?” We had to say who we were minus the titles and clout. Those titles are just ego, and when we release ourselves from that ego, we’re still here. We were challenged to discover our purpose - to be deeply rooted in it and to surrender:
“Purpose is not getting paid, getting insta-famous, or having an audience. Purpose is using your unique gifts and being of service to other people.”
Devi also talked about creating a personal mission statement for our life. This will help to ensure that you’re living in alignment with your purpose. We had to write down 4 active things that represent the quality of life that will bring more value and joy in our lives. Break it down into pillars (e.g., faith, intimacy, adventure, family - whatever is important to you). NOTE: Do not include career or financial security because you still need to know who you are with those things.
The last lesson Devi left us with was to be open-minded and surrender to receive from God. All lessons do not have to come from pain and hardship.
Prayer: I am open. My heart is open. I surrender.
4. Brag on yourself a little. You DID that!
The next speaker was Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity, Inc., founder of M. Roze Essentials, and business advisor to the #WorkSmart coaching program. I loved how she opened up her class. She started with an icebreaker where we had to find someone we hadn’t met yet and brag on ourselves. As women, we’re trained to be humble. We were encouraged to share our receipts...and it felt GOOD.
Her class was all about showing us the discipline of being excellent: having the right mindset, setting goals, knowing when to delegate. We did an exercise where we had to write down a list of our tasks and weekly responsibilities, and separate each column by CEO Tasks vs. Operating Tasks. A lot of us discovered that we were doing operating tasks that should be delegated because as the CEO, we should be focused on the things that only we can do - like setting the vision for the company, reviewing budgets, raising capital, etc. Examples of operating tasks are sending out weekly staff emails or responding to inbound sales. We should be revisiting our CEO Tasks vs. Operating Tasks every 6 months.
We also had to list our 2019 revenue goals. We should have already mapped out our 2020 revenue goals; whatever our 2019 revenue goals were, we should increase it by 50% to make it our 2020 revenue goals.
Here are some of the takaways from Myleik’s Q&A session:
photo shot by Mecca Gamble
5. Be comfortable with being the elephant in the room.
Karleen Roy, CEO of The Vanity Group shared that when we’re a business owner, we have to embrace the fact that we are the elephant in the room. No more being shy about who you are and what you do - show your receipts, own your power, and don’t be afraid to stand in the light.
6. Kiss the ring.
Myleik and Karleen talked about respecting the people who brought you in the room. Sometimes when we “make it,” we forget the people who got us there in the first place. Not to say you’re forever indebted to kissing their a$$es, but show respect. Myleik brought up the first law in Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power - “Never outshine your master.” Dance with the person who brought you in the room.
7. Understand the blueprint of success.
One of the attendees shared their reservations of either branching out into something new or climbing up that success ladder out of fear of negativity and being dragged on social. Myeik called Luvvie and Kahlana up on stage to share their experiences because they all - at some point in their careers - were in the fire. It’s the fineprint of success. It comes with the territory. But Luvvie said to not let those moments silence you. You have to understand your purpose in those moments. Remember who you are. If you quiet yourself, you’re allowing the naysayers/haters to win. Kahlana’s advice was to tap into your village. Rise above it and have Beyonce’s “I don’t see you” mentally. Luvvie chimed in and said if you see your friend going through it, you need to be their advocate.
8. Chase significance - not success.
A woman felt as if she’s reached her pinnacle of success and wasn’t sure what to do next. Myleik’s response: “Success does not last forever - it stops when you die. Significance goes on. Focus on people, not dollars.”
We were reminded to focus on what kind of legacy we want to leave behind. I want to live a life where my children’s grandchildren know my name.
9. Forgive - even those who never apologized.
photo from Courtney's Instagram
We had cocktails with Courtney Adeleye, CEO of The Mane Choice. She shared so much insight, but the thing that stood out most to me was her story about her family going through some financial hardship in the beginning. She used to store coins for rainy days and one day, she really needed to cash the $1,000 worth of coins to pay some bills. She found out that one of her close friends - who KNEW they were going through rough times - took the coins. She was upset and didn’t know how she would ever be able to forgive her until she heard from the Lord to do so. When she did, her business made $183,000 that same year, $2M the second year, and $6M the 3rd year. Forgiveness is freeing.
10. YOU are the magic.
photo shot by Mecca Gamble
As previously mentioned, I’ve been going through some personal and professional shifts in this season that I’ll share once I’ve made it through to the other side. My business partner and I have been building a children’s media and self-love brand and though I see the impact, I’ve had moments when I wondered if our success would be greater if I had a larger audience or if I was a public figure. The words “You are the magic” is forever ingrained in my mind. That and when Karleen said, “If [they] don’t catch it now, [they’re] just gonna have to catch up.” This reminded me that I am enough, to keep going and to stay the course. I am the secret sauce.
I was a lot more present this time around. I wasn’t posting on social in realtime and I was taking everything in the entire weekend that when it got to Sunday, I was so full of emotion. On Sunday evening, those of us who paid for the retreat in full got a VIP Experience at Myleik’s villa. About 19 of us gathered in the room - some sat on the couches and chairs, others sat Indian-style on the floor. The server kept our glasses full of champagne while we went around the room and introduced ourselves. When it was my turn, I was able to say my name and where I'm from, but when I started sharing what I do, I couldn’t hold back the tears. I never had that type of reaction before...I say my elevator pitch all the time in different rooms and have never felt that type of overwhelm (in a good way). One of the women next to me said, “It’s because you found your people.” As I held up my glass, I replied, “Or maybe it’s the champagne!” LOL but in all seriousness, she’s right. This space is so much more than what it appears to be on social. Devi said it best, “Some people are called to radically change their lives, or amplify the life they're currently living.” Whichever season you're in, you'll find your place at #MTYRetreat.
Thank you, Myleik and team, and Karleen and team for curating such a special space for us.
If you would like to stay in the know, and learn when the next retreat application opens up, visit: https://www.mtyretreat.com/.
Which one of these takeaways resonated with you the most?