Introducing The Self-Discovery Retreat

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Where does the time go?!  This August will be an exciting month for Arianna’s Random Thoughts; it marks my 5-year blogging anniversary. Time has really flown by; I never envisioned how amazing this platform would be when I started! Clicking “publish” on my first post, when I was a graduate student with no blogging experience, was one of the best decisions I ever made – as it connected me to this beautiful heartfelt community – to you!

Where I started

I remember that day as if it was yesterday: I was in Maui on vacation with my family in the late summer before my final year of graduate school; I had this strong desire to change the world. The possibilities were endless on how to enact this vision. I had been looking around for opportunities to begin, but I kept getting rejected and felt stuck. I wanted to move forward and make my dreams a reality. But how?

Perhaps you feel like I did at that point. You are about to graduate and have so much talent, so many innovative ideas, so much beauty to light up the world! You are seeking support and the action steps to empower you on your journey! If this sounds like you, someone who doesn’t know their next steps or is striking out in new territory, I encourage you to not lose hope. Take the power in your own hands. When the opportunities don’t come to you, go create your own opportunities!

What drove my vision forward was a conversation on a beach walk with my sisters. Talking with them about life after graduation, I came up with the idea to create a blog; there, I could share my random thoughts with a larger audience outside the classroom and perhaps a career opportunity would arise.

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Coming home from the trip, I pressed “publish” and my blogging journey started. This was an exciting but terrifying challenge – I started with no blogging experience, no followers, no technical knowledge, and no one in my community to learn from. I was stepping into unfamiliar territory – and that single decision propelled me forward.

Every year, I reflect back on my journey. I have grown a lot since being the young new graduate who was seeking to find her way in life. That is why I initially created this online space – as a personal online journal to reflect the life lessons I was learning and to invite others along on my journey.

This space developed organically through hard work, perseverance, a belief in myself, and a supportive community which grew from the ground up. When I started, I thought blogging was all about content – what I had to say. Over time, I realized this wasn’t the case – rather, blogging is about conversations with others and the relationships that are built. I learned that a blog is not a monologue; it’s a dialogue.

That is why I show up regularly to connect with all of you. This space has grown so much because of all of YOU AMAZING readers and contributors.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart. People come to the site not only to read my posts but to read your stories in the interviews and the Comments section. What started as a simple blog has grown into a retreat for us all to enjoy!

This year it became clear to me the true foundation of the blog: encouraging others to face their fears and step out into new territory. Arianna’s Random Thoughts is, and always has been, a source of hope if you are trying to figure out life after graduation and trying to find your way in this world.

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Where I am now

After 5 years, I am now an established behavioural change practitioner and am more passionate about blogging than ever because of the people I have met. However, over time, especially the last couple of years, my writing and the site’s focus have moved from only my journey into an online beach retreat for us all to enjoy. The site is a space where we can all empower each other to discover our strengths and rise to our platforms and shine! Hence, why interviews are a regular feature on the site.

Conversations changes lives in a positive way, especially one that happened with Reece Sims (a personal brand advocate) recently. When we were talking about Arianna’s Random Thoughts and my future professional goals, Reece commented:

“My perspective is that you started your site way back in 2011 as a way to journal your insights with the audience primarily being for yourself. However, over the course of the last five years, it has grown to become an amazing resource for people who are engaged either via commenting on posts or being featured in an interview. I don't think that the name adequately reflects the success that you've achieved and is not helping to facilitate the future growth of the website. By saying that your posts are "random" you are discrediting your worth and the value that they deliver to your audience, which is the epitome of you being humble! I wouldn't say that your posts are just "random thoughts" at all - rather they are backed by your Masters-level education and adeptness with writing. In other words you have the credentials and insights to back your work, so don't discredit your writing as just being "random" or just "thoughts". If anything, in their most basic form they are "insightful articles". Do you see the immense difference that change in word choice makes?”

We all need help rising (even established career professionals)! Hearing what Reece said really spoke to me as I have been thinking about a way to make YOU more of the focus for a while now. Thank you, Reece, for giving me the clarity and momentum to move forward in making my professional dreams a reality!

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Where I am going

What drove my vision forward 5 years ago was creating a personal blog after a conversation on a beach walk in Maui with my sisters. I am not the same person I was five years ago, and I want to create another online space that is more representative of the professional I am today!  Therefore, I’ve decided to launch the next chapter of my story - a beach retreat community that will help push you and your dreams forward.

For you loyal readers, I’m still keeping Arianna’s Random Thoughts too – it will continue to be my personal blog where I share my personal progress on my life journey – how I found my way. The site was, and will always be, my gift to you where I share my insights for free without asking anything in return.

Therefore, I didn’t feel right turning Arianna’s Random Thoughts into a website for my counselling & coaching business. So my anniversary gift to you is a new online platform - new name, same focus, same content – where I will facilitate your discovery process. It is my pleasure to introduce to you: The Self-Discovery Retreat (theselfdiscoveryretreat.com) – which will go live June 1st.

The passion and drive I had five years ago when I created Arianna’s Random Thoughts, I see in many of you whom I connect with on a daily basis. You have a fire in your eyes – I see the hard work, dedication, and self-discovery you have put into achieving your dreams – the countless hours of trying. You just want to rise and light up the world with your presence!

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I’m in the process of creating this new space with YOU as the focus. The site will still have a beach feel, as well as all the previous articles I have written will be there. The Self-Discovery Retreat will be a collaborative space filled with resources and a supportive community (mentors and peers) to help you rise to your platform and shine – to be a leader! The space will feature my counselling & coaching business, and the central focus will be to help you move forward and achieve your dreams.

Let’s sea where the journey leads. See you at the beach!