Business planning in the mountains? Yes, please. In late November we retreated up to Snoqualmie Pass day escape to create our intention for Wilderwomen 2019. True to form, we brought our lap tops, waterproof layers, planners, beanies, camera, wool socks, and thermoses. Word on the street (or internet) was that snow was sticking on the mountains and we wanted to be surrounded in winter white for a creative day away. There is something about tall trees and crisp air that quiets the mind and gets the creative juices flowing.
We started our day with Starbucks and spicy burritos before trekking up the mountain to the tunes of SkiiTour’s Bluebird Bliss Vol. 9. An on-theme playlist is essential to setting up your day for success. We landed ourselves in piles of snow and cups of coffee at a local mountain bar to outline the 2019 year. We started by asking ourselves: What is our wild intention for 2019? How do we want to spend our time as leaders in the community? What kind of knowledge and education do we want to provide others AND how do we want to further our own expertise? How do we make the outdoors accessible and adventurous to different kinds of women? How do we align a journey of physical adventure with a shared sense of spiritual development? You know, just a few small questions to get us started.
Our wild intention emerged almost immediately: We are community. After getting all our big dreams and priorities out on paper, we outlined how we wanted to generate and perpetuate community in 2019. What we created is one event per month to bring the community together, an event recap write-up with resources and references, one soul-food blog post, one featured bad-ace babe of the quarter, and one outdoor education blog post. With this outline in hand…we quickly hit brain block. The energy of a ski lodge bar was no longer conducive to creative self-expression so we embraced the energetic signals of the universe and changed our setting.
Enter playing in the snow! We mobbed over to the lifts at Snoqualmie to shock our systems with cold and enjoy the early powder. Families spotted the snow and sleds carved courses down the mountainside. We ran around taking pictures, planning to purchase nearby cabins, and dreaming up future retreat ideas. With an hour of playtime under our belts, we returned to the bar to complete our outline and a down burger and salad.
Between grease covered hands and salad fingers, we developed a monthly cornerstone event where we get together with women in our community for meet-ups, clean-ups, and retreats. For each event, we selected an approachable instructor to teach first-timers, as well as support the development of intermediate and advanced practitioners. Monthly themes for self-development and soul-baring conversations began to emerge for our blog posts and retreats. And oh, the heart we’re pouring into our retreats is fearlessly in pursuit of the soul food we’ve envisioned since Wilderwomen was born in June.
Wiped of energy and creativity, we paid our bill, hugged a few friends, and wound our way back down the mountain to the sounds of Seven Lions. We just developed an entire year of programming and content around the community we wanted to generate, but somehow returned home from the snow-capped mountains feeling unsatisfied. This is where the REAL story begins.
Don’t get us wrong, the calendar and coordination was a beautiful brain child, but at the end of the day our intuition told us it wasn’t quite right for Wilderwomen 2019; something was missing. It took some time and reflection, but what we came to realize is that “community” wasn’t wild enough. We aren’t out to create community with a little “c”; we want COMMUNITY. We want to create the conditions for women to participate in their first backpacking trip or rock climbing outing–what we call “making adventure accessible”–and then we want them to circle up their own gaggle of girlfriends and do the same. We want generations of Wilderwomen empowering each other to get outdoors, try new things, and teach one another. We want a ripple effect of outdoor community.
What does it take to create a world like this? It takes experienced, approachable experts to lead our meet-ups and events. It takes local partners to meet new people and make our work available. It takes forging an urban base camp so we can meet future outdoor explorers where they’re at–in the city. It takes working for free so we can host events at cost and offer our services to more humans. It takes setting the loftiest goals possible and then doing the work to make them happen. It takes hours of emails, financial investment, and beautiful human connections. We love our work and Wilderwomen is our passion. When you find your passion you can either step up to the plate and take a fat crack at it, or you can sit on the bench and wonder what might have been. So we’re lacing up our cleats, setting our stance, and locking our eyes on the pitcher: 2019 is going to be one for the books. We are playing big.
What we have to offer you, now, is the permission to get wild. To be free from what others tell you about yourself, your actions, and your spirit, and your limits. To seek and celebrate the infinite love, wisdom, and strength that lies within. To play big in life and let it rip. To replace boundaries and borders with infinite skylines and vision. We invite you to join us in our wild intentions, and create your own.
Want a little help? We created a guide for setting Wild Intentions in 2019. Give it a read and comment below with how you plan to play big in 2019. We are here to support you!
Love, Kate and Jess