How to Make the Most of the 2016 Women's Visionary Congress

by Danielle Schumacher

Today, I hiked to the labyrinth at Hillside Park in El Cerrito. I’m starting to feel what it will be like to once again retreat to a profoundly inspiring and safe space – the Women’s Visionary Congress at IONS in Petaluma. It was during my first time there 4 years ago that I learned how to walk a labyrinth as meditation.  

 Today’s mediation inspired me to write a list of ways to make the most of the WVC retreat:

– Get as much rest as possible before and after the retreat.  There is not much time for rest during the event, because you will probably want to attend late night AND early morning activities.

 – Make a list of tasks that can wait till after the retreat, so you can focus 

 – Let staff know if you need assistance – financial, transportation, etc

 – Plan for traffic and carpool if possible

 – Behold the knowledge contained in the What to Pack list and Safety Suggestions

 – Set a goal to sit with new people at one meal (or more) each day

 – Walk the labyrinth

 – Star gaze from the hot tub

 – Attend as many sessions as possible, but remember to rest and hydrate

 – Consider bringing a small notebook instead of your cell phone for part of each day, to get phone numbers and email addresses of people you’d like to stay in touch with.  A notebook is also handy for reflecting on the 10th anniversary theme of persistence, as you listen to speakers, eat, meditate, trip, dream

 – Find time to listen to at least one person’s story, 1-on-1 and ask questions about their philosophies, fears, and survival tactics.