Most of the clients who attend the self-discovery retreats and workshops at A Woman’s Way in Sedona are women between the ages of 45 and 65.
“Something brings them here – an empty nest, divorce, loss of a spouse, a health is- sue,” said founder Karen Ely. “Women ask ‘Who am I now?’ after a lifetime of being everything for everyone else. This is the place for finding their internal navigation and to find their own tools for finding direction in their lives. They are beginning to wonder who they actually are.”
Ely said that in today’s “hectic, time- starved world,” it is important for a person to step back and assess where they have come from and where they are going. A Woman’s Way allows women to do just that in beautiful Sedona.
“It’s a space to let go of all the wouldas, shouldas and couldas in order to make way for leading a life that’s firmly based in our authentic selves – one filled with joy and pas- sion,” she said.
Sedona resident Jennifer Reddington has attended several of Ely’s workshops.
“They are very life-giving experiences where you can connect with yourself and others on an authentic level,” Reddington said. “It’s a space of personal growth. You leave feeling refreshed and ready to take on your life again with new eyes.”
Ely, 63, said she started having a vision for the business about 20 years ago and opened it in 2003 after her 32-year marriage ended. And although most of her clients are middle- aged, she has had clients as young as 20 and as mature as 95.
Women have come from as far away as Australia, Europe and Africa to attend the workshops and retreats, she says.
“This is not dogma or anything else. It’s about women listening to their own hearts and guts to do what they need to do to key into their own navigation system,” she said. “We present ideas, teach them about quiet time, how to journal and how to calm down.”
She said the minute a woman, despite roadblocks, finds a way to make the journey to Sedona, she makes herself a priority. At first, the women are uncomfortable with each other, but by lunchtime, they are a group.
“They can say what they want to say, say what is on their mind and find that they are not alone,” she said. “They find they are not odd, that they are not self-absorbed, that they are in good company with like-minded women.”
One powerful tool she uses is when she asks the women to share what they see in each other.
“There is something magic when strangers you don’t know, who don’t know your family, who don’t know what you do for a living, start telling you what they see in you. It’s a blank slate. There are no limits, then you begin to see all the possibilities outside the boundaries that you have imposed on yourself,” she said.
“We start throwing out the trash that we allow to limit who we are and that shadows the bright light we already are.”
The retreat or workshop ends with a plan and a promise each woman makes to herself for her own reasons.
“I’ve given with her and received from her. I’ve been on both sides of the scale. Karen is a great facilitator and attending her workshops and retreats have helped me move to a different, more positive level in my own life,” said Sharon Hooper of Sedona.
Most of the workshops and retreats are held at the Creative Life Center in Sedona. Ely brings in experts in their respective fields to speak, including Julie Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way,” Jean Louden author, speaker and life coach, and Joan Anderson, author of “A Year By The Sea.”
Popular life coach and “O” Magazine columnist Martha Beck is scheduled for later this year, Ely says. The workshop is titled, Money Making Genius for 20th Century Women. FBN
To learn more, call Ely at 928-254-1897 or visit her Website: www.awomansway.com.