I had a vision. I wanted to bring ten married couples who have been married for a decade or more together on a retreat to intentionally focus on our relationships. The purpose was for each couple to leave the retreat stronger in their marriages and with the knowledge that they now have a support circle specifically for the health of their marriage.
This retreat would also serve as a way to launch the third and final leg of my tripod of business ventures, Black Girls and women, Black Love, Black Children, and as a precursor to the release of a series of books about my marriage that (my husband and) I would pen.
We began carefully curating the inaugural group of ten couples a year ago. (One couple couldn’t make it.) We were careful to select a group with diverse thoughts about marriage, but who shared the common goal of wanting their marriage to be healthier and stronger. These would all be couples who were divorced from the romanticized myths of marriage in lieu of being wholly authentic. We would only select couples who we knew would be willing to be transparent without being judgemental; expressive, while still respecting the boundaries of others. We wanted couples who were navigating through marriage persistently with their imperfections while recognizing the perfection of love itself.
This inaugural group would be the test to determine if it were truly possible for married couples, some friends, some strangers, and others distant acquaintances, to come together with the removal of facades and expectations and help each other heal their marriages; for marriage is always in a state of evolution and repair. This group of foregoers would also be our personal marital support circle.
We chose well.
The inaugural group for the “Imperfect 10” marriage retreat came together this past weekend on a four day, three-night Carnival cruise to The Bahamas. Our itinerary included game nights, multi-course tastings, formal dinners, karaoke, private boat tours in the Caribbean, and multiple photo shoots because that’s just what happens when you get beautiful people together.
I restricted myself from extensive over-planning of workshops, but instead leaned on the organic flow of guided conversations. We used questions I had written and altered others from a game that was brought to delve into topics that helped us share our greatest joys, fears, and deal breakers in marriage. We spoke of love languages and our greatest challenges in marriage. Laughter abounded and many tears were shed, but all of us left better than we came. The only complaint shared (so far) was that it needed to be longer. This was the same feedback from the BGS Healing Retreat earlier this year as well.
Moving forward, I will continue to replicate the process that worked both for the Imperfect 10 Couples Retreat and the BGS Healing Retreat. Small groups will be curated based on dynamics to come together for the purpose of wellness as individuals and as couples. Those groups will become each other’s accountability and support partners as we “get through this thing called life. ” My role will be to plan, coordinate, execute, and facilitate each one. My husband, as amazingly supportive as he is, recognizes that this is not his lane. But, he knows that helping others heal is not only my livelihood, but my divine purpose.
Stay tuned for the launches of the upcoming retreats. Couples will have the option of booking the entire block with other couples they select or allowing me to personally curate their group. The same will apply to individuals interested in booking the BGS Healing Retreat in the future.
To see the visions of two new retreats brought to life this year has been nothing short of amazing. I know that if we invest in healing our girls and women, our relationships, and our children through empowering education, then our entire nation will RISE. I’m excited to be elevated with all of you.