Dare to Dream
Theresa Polley
October 18, 2023
March 20, 2024
Be Inspired

I'm a firm believer in changing directions - at any age. I've met many women over the years who started off life going one way to a life they thought was perfect for them, only to realize they were going the wrong direction. What we think we may want (based on inexperience or youth) may not be a good fit after all.

Life is too short, and if you're miserable pursuing something you're no longer passionate about, it may be time to change directions.

It's never too late to be who you might have been. ~George Eliot

If you’re ready to pursue your dream I recommend starting with these tips.

Be willing to work hard

When I first started out I didn’t have a budget to pay employees so I did everything myself. From teaching yoga to making meals (from scratch of course) to cleaning the property. I went home after a retreat weekend, completely exhausted, but also completely fulfilled - after spending the weekend with inspiring women.

Stick to your principles

I started off by offering ridiculously low prices. When the time came to raise prices (only about $50) a frequent guest told me instead of raising the retreat price to hire someone to help me cook I should buy pre-packaged meals at Sam’s. That went against everything I stood for. I refused. Part of my vision was to make a home cooked meal for busy women. I never saw her again, but I have welcomed many guests over the years who love our made from scratch meals.

Recognize what sets you apart - and stick with it

I’ve had guests over the years tell me we should do this differently or that differently. Sometimes I discover great ideas from our guests' feedback. Other times I recognize change for the sake of change is not helpful. We do what we do for a reason. With almost 20 years of experience hosting retreats you better believe there are several reasons why - in regards to a particular policy or activity.

Acknowledge your value

I think this is the most important one of all! I made the mistake of not charging enough when I first started out. As women, we’ve been told by society that our time and talents are not as valuable as men’s. You and I both know that’s not true. We may make the mistake of not charging enough for our services. But remember, people value what they pay for and we teach people how to treat us. Know your value and let your intention be to get exactly what you’re worth and not a penny less!

Don’t be afraid to do something different

The Pandemic was hard on all of us and on many businesses. In the early days, I was lost and completely panicked about everything. I made the decision to host a “Retreat at Home” for guests. I charged $10 for the opportunity to do yoga several times over the weekend plus have a meet and greet on Friday and closing circle on Sunday. All via Zoom. It was a lifeline to a sense of normalcy. Not only to the guests, but to me and Michelle Brazell, one of our Retreat Leaders who also lead the Retreat at Home weekends. Some days you will need to zig instead of zag. Be open to new ideas and people who have a different way of doing things. One thing that is constant is change. We must adapt or we will get left behind.

Give yourself grace

I can guarantee no matter what else happens along the way, you will make mistakes. Big and small. I’ve made more mistakes than I can remember! But I also learned valuable lessons after making a mistake. Some mistakes I had to make more than once! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and remember the valuable lesson you learned. Then get right back out there.

Whatever you're dreaming of, know that you have the power to make it come true! As you begin to create your dream, know that things may get tough along the way. Always give yourself permission to pause and take a breather. Dreams can change and evolve - and that's a good thing! That means you're creating the dream that's meant for you!

If I can make my dreams come true, I believe you can too.

Most importantly keep going, if you give up now you'll never know what possibilities await you.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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