Building Bridges in Tuscany: A Community of Women Supporting Women
If I’ve learned nothing else from our Retreat to Tuscany program, it is that we all need community and a sense of belonging; belonging to a small special group of women that we share life-changing experiences with, being welcomed by the locals in a small foreign village who open their hearts and lives to us and treat us like family, and a feeling of inclusion with a membership group that helps keep our dreams alive. This past year has been challenging for all of us because we have missed a little piece of ourselves that we have found in this community, and through the pandemic it’s been hard to stay connected.
When I launched this program and invited my first group of women on Retreat with me to our little village of Montisi, an enchanting medieval village nestled in the heart of Southern Tuscany, I had one important mission:
To bring amazing women together to teach them how to reconnect with themselves in a unique way, all while being supported by other brave, courageous and fascinating women. The first group was hand selected, and all were welcomed with joy, as a “trial run” of what would become perhaps the most important piece of professional work in my lifetime.
Three Magical Connections
Four Retreat groups later, I continue to witness powerful transformations; personal and professional “wins”, and life altering breakthroughs. As I watch major life shifts unfold for these women, during and after Retreat, I realize that the one common element that binds them is a deep sense of community. And this connection of community shows up in three magical ways:
1. First, as each group prepares for Retreat, we do powerful work together through a series of group coaching sessions. This creates alignment and a common purpose as we set intentions for a once-in-a-lifetime journey together. The community that each group co-creates is so inspiring and fascinating to me, because every member brings their own unique reasons for saying YES to themselves and this program, and together they form their own special bond. Collectively, the group begins to form and connect as they learn about each other’s successes, challenges, goals and, in some cases, heartbreaks. Pure alignment happens, trust builds, and a community of inclusion forms that only this group can realize, and it all happens before they greet one another in person. This sense of belonging is a pivotal part of laying the foundation for a magical week together at our Tuscan villa.
2. Another way I see these women build community is with the many, many beautiful, gracious and loving people of Tuscany who always greet us with open arms; They share the bounty of their beautiful land with us, they teach us and guide us deep into their vibrant villages and their culture, and immerse us into their world. Even with our language barrier, their hospitality and generous hearts pour over through their acts of service and kindness and we make instant connections with ease. We learn so much from them about living in the moment, the art of slowing down and being present with ourselves and one another, and about the precious gift of relationships and taking care of each other. They want to be known, and they want us to know them. We learn powerful lessons about community from them, and we bring it home to our own families, relationships, and communities. What a beautiful gift to learn how to create more balance in our lives and learn to be more present in every moment.
3. Finally, I have seen the long-term effects of community from the Retreat membership. Each of these groups return home following Retreat, changed in many ways, staying connected and finding ways to continue cultivating relationships. I watch them build our community by championing and supporting one another in unique ways, and building bridges for others to cross. I don’t even know if they realize how much of an impact they have made for others to follow, but as I enroll “new” and potential members all over the country and share the experiences of our amazing community with them, I am reminded that the power of women supporting women changes lives in so many incredible ways. Our past large group “reunion” event, our many small informal post-event gatherings, and the ongoing “ping, ping!” vibrations from the group chats on our smartphones remind me of how important these women are to one another, and how uniquely special it is that they have formed relationships that will last a lifetime.
The Reason for Success…
The reason Retreat to Tuscany is a success is because of the women who have helped me co-create this incredible program, and I am deeply moved by all of them and their courageous stories of change and transformation. They inspire me deeply and bring me joy daily. Being their Coach, Mentor and Guide, “Mamma Teresa”, which the members have lovingly named me, is a blessing that compels me to keep us connected and stay optimistic about resuming travel and creating more adventures for others to experience. As I prepare to bring our next group together for the 2021 Fall Harvest Retreat (rescheduled from last year) for their own unique journey, I am beyond excited because they have endured a long waiting game and I plan to fully pamper and delight them! I wonder if they realize what a powerful
community they are joining.
I am grateful to my team and community in Tuscany for being a part of our life-changing journey, to our strong and loyal members who remind me every day how powerful women supporting women are, and to my family and friends who have supported me in making this crazy idea a beautiful reality for so many incredible women!
Are YOU ready to be brave and say YES to YOU? This is your one precious life, and after the year we’ve endured, there is no time like the present to make YOUR dreams come true!
To learn more about Retreat to Tuscany visit our website: Our 2022 program dates have just been released!