Find your Queenager purpose and power...
The Queenager: Eleanor's Letter (January 28th 2024)
...introducing our four-day Noon retreat this May 24th to 28th at Broughton Hall, Yorkshire. The pic is of me and Avivah Wittenberg Cox at the last one!
How are you all on this beautiful sunny Sunday? I just swam in the sunshine, the blue-tits tweeted, the parakeets screeched and as I changed under a tree, the air felt a little bit warm… cormorants dried their wings on the orange buoys and the bodies of the Queenagers around me glowed pink from the cold.
When I first set up Noon (for those of you who are recent sign ups, this newsletter is my weekly missive to the Noon.org.uk community) I wanted to run retreats. Unfortunately then we got hit with Covid, so I created an online platform instead. But convening in real life has always been at the heart of the Queenager project, because in my own transition from the job that had defined me for 23 years to a new phase of being, I have found going on a retreat – getting away from everything familiar for a few days and truly focussing on me and my new chapter – the best way to make the pivot.
Change is difficult. It involves living in a new way, finding a new tribe, shifting stubborn old habits, burrowing into the places inside our bodies and minds where old wounds sit and fester. Only by bringing these to the light, feeling them, understanding how past pain has pushed us into particular shapes or patterns, can we start to live differently. (That is a link to an article I wrote about going on a 7 day silent retreat, don’t worry you can talk on the Noon one!)
Of course we can do some of this in the everyday. After all, as the old poem goes – ‘What are Days? Days are where we live’. But I have found that taking some time out, some space to ponder and process with wise teachers and loving support is what really moves the dial. The pause allows us to try out a new version of ourselves with a group of like-minded others on a similar mission. It means that when we return to our normal existences we have spent a few important days feeling and living differently. That tangible experience of change is like a muscle memory of being a new version of our selves – that acts as a map to the change we want to enact in our back home selves.
Last year we ran four one-day retreats at Wasing (there is one more spot on the one this March on that link) and the feedback has been amazing: “I felt like I’d been away for a week” said Tina, while others were full of praise for the insight and new friends that they made. But while a day is fab and worthwile, four or five days is a revelation. Which is why on May 24th-28th this year (2024) we are planning a Noon Queenager Purpose and Power Retreat, at Broughton Hall in Yorkshire. We first did this a couple of years ago and it was epic. This time our plan is to focus on power and purpose.
Broughton has been voted one of the top 30 places in the world to stay. It is the home of Roger Tempest and his wife Paris (who is a gifted teacher, whose soundscape featuring glass crystal bowls will be a highlight of the week. When I last did it I felt colour exploding inside my mind…) It is one thing to stay in a country-house hotel, but quite another to stay in a 1000-year-old house as a guest of the family. We sit in the drawing room in our pyjamas, have free run of the 3000 acre estate, luxuriate in their world-class spa, swim in the tarn high in the Yorkshire Dales, burn the things we want to shed in the fire-temple, and stay in four poster beds in sumptuous lady-of-the manor style.
This May we will also be joined by Jaquie Sussman of Inner Vision, who some of you had the pleasure of meeting when she conducted an Eidetics seminar for us in the Soho flat. She will be coming over from America and running at least two Eidetics sessions at Broughton in May (Eidetics is a new technique based on the latest neuro-science which delves into how we store memories to reprogramme our deepest selves). Jackie shifted something very deep for me on a Zoom call (you can read about it in that past Queenager newsletter) ; in person she is mind-blowing. We are so lucky to have her as her other clients are some of the most senior women in Silicon Valley, where she is ramping up female power and purpose.
There will also be Noon Circles, distinguished members of our Advisory Board giving workshops on all things Noon, from careers to bodies and relationships. There will be plenty of time to network with other Queenagers, loll around in Broughton Hall, do some journaling, walk around the beautiful gardens and relax in the jacuzzi with me and other new friends. The food will all be plant-based and cooked by a prize-winning chef.
Now because Broughton Hall is such a special place, it is not cheap. Prices will range from £1000 to £2800 for the retreat (it depends on what room you choose, the top rooms are bigger than most of our houses, with private bathrooms larger than my sitting room, this is a real once-in-a-lifetime treat!). Those prices are for everything – room, food, instruction, Eidetics, spa, and all the facilities of Broughton. If you’d like to know more you can check out the Broughton Hall website and some more info about the retreat at Noon.
What we would like to know is how many of you might be interested? It is a big financial commitment from Noon to put this on and bring the Eidetics team over from America. We need at least 20 Queenagers to make it viable. So if you are at all keen and would like to come, or would like to know a bit more, please will you put your name and email down on this Google form
? It isn’t binding, it’s just so we can gauge the levels of interest so we can work out if this is something we are able offer and the numbers and accommodation we will need.
Don’t just take my word for how transformative this Noon Queenager Power and Purpose retreat will be – have a read of the article that Avivah Wittenberg Cox wrote about our last one for Forbes Magazine.
Lots of love and please do tell us if you might like to come to Broughton – we are an inclusive community so will do our best to make it possible for some of you who might find it too expensive to be there if you email us. The more of us there are, the more we will have the leeway to be able to offer some lower priced places. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know would like to be considered for one of those places.
The first Noon Book Club of 2024 is going to be on Tuesday March 19th at 7pm online. Our guest is Gaby Roslin – appropriately she’ll be talking about her new book Spread the Joy: Simple practical ways to make your everyday life brighter. Those of you who are paid subscribers and who live in the UK and have put your names on the Google form to receive book club books, will be getting your free copy of the book this week. It will come straight from the publishers HarperCollins and is your free gift from me and Noon. If you’re not a paid subscriber, then sign up and you’ll get the next Noon book club book free.
I look forward to seeing lots of you soon. We’re off on the Noon ski trip this Friday, to Switzerland, so I’ll tell you all about that when we get back.
By Eleanor Mills