323 Darla LeDoux: Retreat And Grow Rich
Why is it that a Lazy Bee can work only 4 hours and make 300 times the honey? The Lazy Bee, so known in Mayan culture, is stingless, collaborative, and lifts others to abundance. The Lazy Bee is wildly productive, never overwhelmed and for women entrepreneurs, is a much better role model than a Queen Bee.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business we meet an inspiring entrepreneur who takes her inspiration from the Mayan Lazy Bee.
Darla LeDoux learned to let go of the hustle … and get into flow. And as she embraced transformation by stepping into her intuitive and right-brained “feminine” powers, she also learned the power of an intimate retreat to help entrepreneurs learn how to tap into the power of the Lazy Bee. She even has a retreat named the Lazy Bee Bootcamp.
Darla is the founder of Aligned Entrepreneurs, helping thousands of business owners around the world discover the power of intimate retreats to transform their lives and build thriving businesses based on intuition, deep connection, and freedom. Author of Retreat and Grow Rich – rich being an acronym for right-brained, intuitive, connected and heart centered – Darla says she envisions a world in which regularly scheduled transformational experiences are the norm, not the exception.
In a moment we talk about why having it all does not mean doing it all. And before I share this interview with this kindred spirit of mine when it comes to the transformational power of a retreat …
Darla LeDoux is a business coach and leader of sold-out transformational retreats across the globe. In business since 2009 she’s generated millions of dollars in revenue, and supported hundreds of clients to align with their truth and maximize their profits. She believes that intimate retreats have the power to heal and transform beyond one-on-one work or information alone, and are precisely what’s needed in the world today.
A ‘recovering engineer’, Darla graduated with a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, and held senior roles in marketing and product development at Procter & Gamble. She resisted the call to the world of coaching and transformation for years until death and divorce helped her find her courage.
Stepping into her true purpose, Darla grew Aligned Entrepreneurs using a core strategy of hosting intimate retreats, her first in 2010. Four years later she recognized that her clients long for the same ease and deep transformation in their businesses that the retreat approach provided, and Retreat and Grow Rich was born. Now Aligned Entrepreneurs is on a mission to make coaches, consultants, and healers wealthy from their deepest work with the transformational power of retreats.
So are you ready for Darla LeDoux? I am. Let’s fly!
Melinda Wittstock: Darla, welcome to WINGS.
Darla LeDoux: Thanks, Melinda. I’m so excited to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: I love this idea that you are this recovering engineer, how you describe yourself, and you’ve gone from that into much more of a spiritual place. What prompted that transition, and what has that transition been like?
Darla LeDoux: I love this question, and it’s really ironic because recently we were at a retreat and I was playing the role of the client. We teach sales, you know, and how to enroll people in transformational work at our retreats, and I was playing the role of the me who was in corporate who suddenly realized that she wasn’t meant to be there anymore. And when I think back to that role, so I’m a chemical engineer, I went to school for chemical engineering because it was the hardest degree to get, and so you can get an idea of my mind frame at the time. I grew up in a small town, I was like, “I’ve got to get out of here; I’ve got to get the best career possible and the best job possible and just get on my way with life.”
Darla LeDoux: So I’m there in corporate, and I was sent to this training where I was trained to be a coach, basically, within my corporate job, and in the coach training, the first thing that happened was … I say my shell was cracked, and Melinda, I don’t know if you’ve ever had that experience where suddenly for the first time you have a new awareness that there’s so much more out there in life.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, god. Yeah. Yes. Yeah, a couple times!
Darla LeDoux: To invent your worldview.
Melinda Wittstock: A couple times in my life, and it was literally like being kind of kicked in the head, because you know, if you are the type of person that has a very active analytical mind that’s like you’re in your head, sometimes the universe has to get really loud before you hear it, and so that was certainly true of me.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, so I’m sitting in this training and for the first time I realized that I wasn’t all okay, which sounds really simple, but I had really … You know, my parents divorced when I was young. There was alcoholism in our family, and I [crosstalk 00:13:47]-
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, god. Me too.
Darla LeDoux: Really?
Melinda Wittstock: The same thing.
Darla LeDoux: No wonder. Yes, so I developed this really hard shell of, “I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I’m better off because my parents divorced. I have no baggage,” that whole story.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my god. You’re describing my childhood … Oh, my god. That’s unbelievable, like little hairs on the back of my neck standing up. That’s like my life.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. I remember telling friends, being insistent that I was totally fine that this was how my life was and nothing was awry. So here I am in corporate and I’m in this coach training, and the training was to help people have good working relationships, and it was really … From my perspective now, I can see it was really all about authenticity and truth, and owning our biases, and it was very intensive training. And for the first time I realized that some of the experiences I’d had in my childhood were actually affecting me and how I viewed other people and it was a total shock to me at the time.
Darla LeDoux: But in that moment I said, “If everybody on the planet understood this, the world would be a different place.” And that’s when I got committed, really, internally to doing this work of transformation, and I didn’t know a lot about it at the time. I mean, it was literally my first little experience of it, but I loved it, so I started coaching as a volunteer position within my company. You know, so I’m working as an engineer but I’m doing these little coaching sessions. They were called join-ups, and I loved it and it fulfilled me so much. So here I am coming from this tacky engineering, going to the factory, optimizing things, and all of a sudden I start nosing myself into projects that were all about people, and our teams, and our customers, and understanding people’s needs and all of this.
Darla LeDoux: And so I got promoted in my job, and I’m at my review, and my boss says, “Your soft skills are really great, Darla, but you might want to tone them down a bit here because they’ll only get you so far.”
Melinda Wittstock: What?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. Exact quote, and that was my reaction, like, “Huh?”
Darla LeDoux: You know, because I got promoted. I’m doing great work in my mind, and he explained to me that, “Yeah, that’s great at your level, but to really be a VP and all of that, you have to take a techie track, because they won’t reward you if you take the people track.”
Darla LeDoux: And I just remember part of me was like, “Well, that’s crap,” and another part of me believed it, like, “Oh, yeah. That makes sense.” Right? Because if you look around our world, we reward logic, we reward systems, we reward efficiency and all of these things, so it was a really pivotal moment for me where I started, then, to look around and say, “Well, I don’t want my boss’s job, clearly. Whose job do I want?”
Darla LeDoux: And that was kind of the beginning of the end for me in corporate. It took me some time to sort out what I wanted to do, but that’s where it started, that I knew I was … I knew I didn’t agree with that, you know, even though a part of me thought, “Well, you’re my boss. You must be right.” There was a deeper part of me that knew that something else was true.
Darla LeDoux: And so fast forward. Today I talk a lot about my book is called “Retreat and Grow Rich”. I’m a big believer in live experience experiences to spark transformation, and the “rich” is an acronym, and it stands for right-brained, intuitive, connected, and heart-centered, or all of those soft skills that I was really coached out of in corporate, and I must stand, Melinda, that we start valuing these skills. It’s the thing I value the most, is the thing that [crosstalk 00:17:53]-
Melinda Wittstock: Oh.
Darla LeDoux: … most for in my business is my own support as a leader, emotional support, support to honor my intuition and connect to Spirit. And I believe Spirit is waking more and more of us up to do this work, and it’s time for us to raise up out of the shadows to stop believing this idea that we have to do it in a, I’ll say, more masculine way.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, gosh.
Darla LeDoux: In order to be approved.
Melinda Wittstock: Darla, I can’t agree with you more. This whole idea of soft skills that somehow minimize by calling them soft, sort of minimize it, like, “Oh, these are these women skills,” that somehow that was less than.
Darla LeDoux: Exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: And yet, those very skills are our biggest strength if we’re thinking about authentic feminine power. We’re so empowered when we are playing all out on those “soft skills”, our intuition, our creativity, our ability for relationship. I mean, these are the skills that are transforming business, and actually allowing businesses to transform the planet, and so women, I think, are best placed right now to step into that powerfully and not end up having that, what happened to you and also to me, this idea that you have to be playing only in your left brain when in fact, the right brain is really the place to be.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, and it’s so interesting, because, well, first of all, they had hired us, or they had sent us on this training to develop these soft skills because they knew there was a need, right? But it’s a need that you only pay so much for or only value to a certain degree, and yeah, we think soft and we think weak and we think all the negative things associated with that. And Melinda, my name, Darla means soft and LeDoux means the sweet, so I’m the soft and sweet in my name. And I was angry about that for some time. You know, I don’t want to be viewed as the soft and sweet one, and I have actually had to do my own inner work in healing to say, “You know what? That actually is amazing. That actually is a strength that can heal and can change companies,” like you said. The old ways aren’t working in the same way anymore.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for women right now. I think it’s time, really, for women to play bigger in this way and really step into this kind of unique soft power, if we’re going to call it that. And yet, I don’t know about you, Darla, but I see so many women when I say things like, “Let’s play bigger,” it’s kind of like a brief second of dread goes through them, because there’s this fear around playing bigger.
Melinda Wittstock: And I think that the assumption underneath that fear is, “Oh, my god. If I’m playing bigger it means I have to do more. I’m going to burn out more. I’ve got to do, do, do, do more.”
Melinda Wittstock: And I’m like, “Well, no. That doesn’t necessarily mean … You can play bigger by playing smarter, and actually doing less, and being much more guided by the right brain and by inspiration,” so I really want to challenge that assumption because I think women right now are being called upon to play bigger.
Darla LeDoux: I love that you said that, because yeah, I thought immediately two things when I thought about the dread. The first is, yes, I’m going to have to push and strive, and I’m going to have to do it in this way that’s so very masculine that I remember one of my first webinars I took as a business owner, it was like, “Hustle, hustle, hustle, try everything, throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks,” was literally the advice. And we’re so moving out of that era, and playing bigger doesn’t mean doing more, it actually, for me as a woman in business and a spiritual entrepreneur, it means trusting Spirit more and being more efficient, and effective, and precise, and making bigger moves. And bigger move meaning what Spirit might be saying, “Here’s your path.”
Darla LeDoux: And our brain, or our ego mind, or our logical mind, is saying, “That sounds crazy. What will people think of me?” That’s the thing to move toward, and it doesn’t mean more work.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It doesn’t mean more work, and in fact, it means less. I think when we’re really, truly in inspiration, when we get out of our own way, we take action in alignment with that inspiration and we end up doing less. There’s more inherently. There’s more leverage I guess, right? Let me take one decision, if I’m going to do one thing today, what’s the one thing I could do today that’s going to have a multiplicity of outcomes? Now, I don’t necessarily know that in my ego brain, but God, the universe does if I’m listening.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, I love that you shared that. You know, we actually have a retreat that we do called the Lazy Bee Bootcamp.
Melinda Wittstock: I love it.
Darla LeDoux: And it was inspired by an actual bee that’s in Mayan culture and I’m just going to read from the site because it’s really interesting. The Lazy Bee is all feminine, or female I should say, so embodies a new type of feminine energy. She’s stingless, so she expresses her power through her actions, but it’s not competitive, right? And I know you’re all about the collaboration. It’s like, to me, stingless means we’re not competitive, we’re actually lifting each other up. She is noble and revered, a leader, a way finder, and she’s called the Lazy Bee because she works just four hours a day.
Darla LeDoux: And the way our tour guide described it was she spends the rest of her time tending to her environment and her energy, like making her log beautiful is kind of how he described it, and the cool part is the honey that she produces is 300 times more valuable than standard honey.
Melinda Wittstock: So moving from the queen bee, then, to the Lazy Bee, will advance us some more. I mean, this is a fascinating metaphor, because when we think of women in scarcity, you know, that whole kind of mean girl, queen bee thing that there can only be one who’s the queen and everyone else is a worker. That’s the thing that keeps us in that really weird competitive thing, but competing for scraps rather than really transformational outcomes, and yet if we’re all Lazy Bees, we’re all lifting each other, and yes, 300 times better.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, and if you think about it, you know, one’s not better or worse, right? But there’s a way in which, you know, having come from corporate and worked on manufacturing lines, it’s like efficiency, right? Get the lowest possible cost as quickly as possible, and all of that, and there are a lot of people that work very hard to make it more efficient. And you’re selling in quantity and all of that, and then there’s the flip side as a healer, which I think so many of us in this line of work are healers at heart, that’s not necessarily the best approach. You have to maintain your energy and protect your gifts as a healer, and the more … You know, if you’re kind of assembly healing you lose your potency, so one isn’t better than the other.
Darla LeDoux: But for me, I’m a big advocate for more of a boutique business with high-end experiences, and really so many women who are in “helping professions” are trained to over-give, right? And put other people’s needs first, and by the way, if you lead a retreat from that energy, you will burn out. But to be a really powerful retreat leader you need to nurture yourself and tend to your energy, your environment, the right people, the right places and things in your environment that build that energy.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s really, really good advice. I mean, I see so many women in business burning out and getting into overwhelmed and so much of it seems to me like … And I know because I’ve fallen into these traps myself, is that you think to have it all you have to do it all, is the first assumption, and so we forget. We think that we have to do everything ourselves, get all these credentials, get all this stuff, prove that we can do it all.
Melinda Wittstock: And the best businesses, the ones that are actually scalable, and arguably more efficient, it’s like you’re doing the thing that only you can do where you’re doubling down on your unique inspired path. And you’re hiring the rest. That’s like leverage. So we go back to the Lazy Bee, so you can have a big scalable business into the eight, nine figures, it doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be sitting at a desk working 24/7 at all, and yet we have that assumption.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, and truly, I haven’t mastered that. I haven’t mastered it. I am committed to it, and it’s changed my life to be really committed to nurturing myself, being in my body, feeling all my senses, which means my senses will tell me, “Hey, it’s time to stop. Yes, it’s great that you really want to have that opt-in up by Monday, but perhaps your body is saying no.”
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, god. That’s the toughest lesson for me, because I swear to God, and a shaman once told me that one of my spirit animals … I have a whole menagerie, but one of them, apparently, is a kangaroo, right? So I’ll take these leaps, and this is born out by StrengthsFinder test, you know we’re on the activator, right? Because I start things. I want to go fast. I want to get everything done, you know, boom, boom, boom, but sometimes my body is telling me something totally different. And getting into that mode where you can just trust the universe or slow down enough to be present and actually be guided is tough, because it’s so tough in our society.
Darla LeDoux: Well, yeah. We’re trained that if we’re resting, someone else is getting ahead, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Well, yeah. There’s that, and then there’s also I think so many of these things come from our own internal beliefs and the way that we value ourselves. So if you think, “Oh, god, I’m not valuable, or I’m not creating value unless I’m doing something or hitting this metric by this date,” when you’re an entrepreneur, you know, I look around at my businesses. I mean, this one is number five, and I look at my businesses and I think of all the deadlines I’ve ever created in my life. Well, who created the deadline? It was me. It’s my own business. It was nobody else. It’s completely arbitrary,
Darla LeDoux: It’s obviously worked for you, right? Because you’ve created five successful business, which is amazing to me.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, you know, and then there are a whole bunch of other ones, though, that weren’t, but you know, but yeah, just to be clear, right?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Because I’ve learned more, really, from the failures and from the difficulties, and the fail forwards within the successful ones, right? Where you’re pivoting and trying different things until you find, you know, the right product-market fit, because everything’s really a hypothesis until it’s not. But the more that I’ve been able to get into alignment with just actually understanding myself, like, “Why am I here? Why am I in an Earth suit at this particular time? What’s my calling? What’s my mission? What am I supposed to be doing? And what are my unique gifts that if I were able to give those and double down on them, and leverage them, and then hire a bunch of people who have gifts that I don’t, and good people, and just get out of their way, then it works.”
Melinda Wittstock: Each time that I actually do that, but it requires really not be a control freak, not being a perfectionist, all those things that are honestly a struggle, I think, for a lot of women including me.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. I’m curious over your time in business, what have you seen around kind of the shift to embracing more of the soft skills, or the feminine, more trust in faith and doing the work Spirit has put us here to do, versus the focus on the money? And I talk about money all the time, and you know, you talked about your retreat being about embracing abundance. I’m all for that. I’m all for charging for this work, and I think there’s a shift to people resonating more with businesses that are coming from heart and from intuition, or divine inspiration. What have you seen over your years? Because I’m sure there’s so much wisdom there.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, thank you, and I think it’s a real working process. I just think that women are particularly talented at business in a way that we don’t necessarily acknowledge within ourselves. But I think when we get caught in old or more masculine models, we’re not as good, so in my own career, I was a tech entrepreneur and financier and all these other things that I did. I was often the only woman in the room, and generationally, my only role models for the most part, for a lot of my life, were men, so you thought, “Oh, well, that was the only way you could do it, is to do it like them,” but it doesn’t really work so much for us. We burn out. We end up with adrenal fatigue or hormones that are run down or whatever, like it actually affects our health.
Melinda Wittstock: And the more I could get away from transactional businesses and more into transformational, mission-driven ones where I’m really in alignment with my calling, I mean, speaking personally. And the more I see other women doing that, the more abundance we actually have, and abundance for me isn’t really about money. I mean, money to me is not a thing. It’s just a marker of the value of an exchange, right? That’s all it really is. It’s like an energy and if you’re creating value and you value yourself and you’re in alignment, the money follows.
Melinda Wittstock: Abundance, to me, means more that you are whole, right? Like in all areas of your life, and you’re coming from a place like an abundance mindset, right? So you believe inherently there’s enough to go around. When everybody’s in a line and doing their thing, we all … The sky’s the limit, right?
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: And so it’s abundance mindset, really, more, like you have to be able to have an abundance of time, an abundance of love, an abundance of all of these things, of health, and of course wealth as well. But so that we can create the kind of society and the kind of outcomes where everybody feels valued and everybody is doing the thing that they love to do. I mean, it’s as simple as that, so for me, business is almost activism for me at this stage.
Darla LeDoux: I love that, and I love that you talked about going from transactional to transformation, and I’m hearing in there it’s like that’s where our natural gifts lie often as females in business.
Melinda Wittstock: I think our brains work a little bit differently. There was a comedian that did this wonderful skit. I forget his name, but he was talking about the difference between the male brain and the female brain, and the male brain was very linear. You know, not in all cases. Big generalization, but a lot more linear and a lot more compartmentalized, so dudes can think about one thing at a time, right?
Melinda Wittstock: Women on the other hand, it’s all sort of fused, right? So we can handle multiple concepts all at once and we can connect the dots with ease. To a guy, that appears unfocused, but to a woman it’s different. It means that we can spot business opportunities that others can’t, or we can just connect the dots in a way to see, “Oh, if we apply this technology this way, oh, that would solve that problem.” And just understanding how to deploy it as a strength. It’s not better or worse than a guy. It’s just different.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, and so much of the work of transformation is spotting patterns, being able to see, and this is what’s so beautiful about the contain … I call it a container of support, the retreat and whatever leads up to the retreat, because it starts when people register. We as the leaders, or the people holding space in the container, can see, like, “Here’s how they showed up when they registered. Here’s how they showed up with my team. Here’s how they showed up at the retreat. Here’s what happened when we did the experience, and we can see those patterns and put the pieces together to really create new awareness that wasn’t possible in any other way, and it’s so amazing. I’m so excited to hear how yours unfolds.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, I’ve been thinking of doing them for a really, really long time, because I was the kid in high school that always knew where the parties were, you know. And I always liked to bring people together, and more than that, I liked to bring people together that wouldn’t otherwise meet, and I just got to the point in my life where I believe as you do, that really transformational outcomes come when people really connect. Not only connect with others but connect with themselves, so it’s a new thing for me, and of course, you’re an expert at it so I’ve got so many questions for you about what makes an amazing retreat. I wanted to start, though, with what inspired you initially to do your first retreat.
Darla LeDoux: I always, from the time I did that first coach training in corporate, which happened in what I would call a retreat, which to me is any multi-day experience designed to help reveal truth. That’s how I think of a retreat, so it doesn’t have to do with the location or anything like that. It’s really how the experience is designed, and so for me, I changed my life in a series of retreats, and there’s something about the connection, and the more I’ve been doing this, the more I know. I study human design and we all are designed differently, and when we’re together we activate different parts of ourselves, and we can see things when we’re with others that we can’t see when we’re home alone behind our laptop, which is like the glorified way of working in our online culture.
Darla LeDoux: So my experience all … You know, my life changed through retreat. I realized how much of a control freak I was in a retreat. I realized how hurt I was by my parents’ divorce in a retreat. I realized that I was actually meant to date and marry a woman rather than a man in retreat, so my life literally transformed through retreats, so there’s my passion. And I got into business, I went to coaching school because that was the only thing I knew to do when I left corporate. I went to coaching school, and fortunately, I found my way into a Mastermind where I learned so much about what’s possible in this industry, and you know, again, through retreats, which was amazing, and how to value myself, and how to sell my services, and all of those things.
Darla LeDoux: And then I started doing launches, Melinda, and I did an online launch and I had kind of learned and watched what everybody was doing, and I spent all this time creating online marketing materials and all these things, and it didn’t work. It just flopped like nothing happened.
Melinda Wittstock: Anyone who says that it’s easy to do online marketing, I swear to God it makes my blood boil. It’s really hard.
Darla LeDoux: It’s an investment, right?
Melinda Wittstock: It is.
Darla LeDoux: It’s like once you get it, sure, it’s easy, but like you were saying, you have to find your way of speaking, your market, and build your audience.
Melinda Wittstock: It takes so much time to get it right and there’s so many variables, but I just see all these people on Facebook. It’s like, “Oh, it’s easy. Take my course and you’ll be able to spin out millions.”
Melinda Wittstock: I’m like, “No.”
Darla LeDoux: Well, and I get puffed up about it because a lot of that is not starting with alignment, so I work with people all the time who have taken all these different courses, and they’re like, “I still don’t know who I am and what I’m marketing,” because people don’t start with that first piece, which is all mindset. It’s all transformational work, because the reason people can’t get clear and choose who they are and what they’re about is because of all these fears and beliefs they have, and all the people are rejected them throughout their life. It’s not real.
Darla LeDoux: I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and it took me 10 years to actually do it because I had all these barriers. You know, I’m the engineer and I have to be smart, and I certainly can’t use my intuition to make decisions. I have to have data, and analysis, and logic. And becoming a life coach, which is my training, after engineering school seemed like the stupidest thing I could possibly do, so I rejected it over and over and over again. And that’s why people don’t get clear, because they have some belief that has them reject their true calling.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. That’s true, and often our true calling is something that we undervalue in ourselves, because it’s so easy for us.
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: We assume that anything that’s easy must not have value.
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Right?
Darla LeDoux: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: It’s the exact opposite. It’s like the thing that is easy for you and in flow, like, “Oh, my god. Do that.” Just because it’s easy doesn’t make it not valuable.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. Yes, and we got to that from talking about online marketing. Because you know, people think it’s really easy to create online marketing, but you have to have that alignment and that resonance and really care, because you’re going to try a lot of things to get it right. So I had done a launch and I had all the wrong language. I didn’t have a very big list, I didn’t have JB Partners, I really didn’t understand it. I thought I could just send these emails out and it would work, and I was pretty disheartened, which was great because it caused me to go within and say, “What do I really want to do? Do I really want to send emails?” And obviously, today I do send emails.
Darla LeDoux: But I remembered the vision I always had was leading people in experiences and being in front of the room, and when I share that, people always say, “Me too,” and then we get in and find ways, and well-intentioned people tell us we can’t make money doing it, or it’s easier to sell courses online, or whatever, and we get off track.
Darla LeDoux: So for me, it was this “aha” moment of, “This is what I’ve always wanted to do, and everything I’ve learned about mindsets and energy and universal law is like, well, if I really want to do this, then it’s possible to do it.” Don’t let anything talk me out of it. Just do it.
Melinda Wittstock: Just do it. Exactly. And so as you have moved more from the left brain to the right brain in all aspects of your life, Darla, can you share some of the practices that you use on a daily basis and how these have evolved over time? Are you like me, one of these miracle morning people that does all this meditation and everything in the mornings, and I don’t know, yoga, or journaling, or gratitude, or whatever? Talk to me about your process.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. I would like to say that I have a structured miracle morning. However, I find that also to be a little masculine, like, “Do this, then this, then this, then this.”
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Darla LeDoux: So I leave it a little more flowy, and I’m not 100% consistent every day, and some days I feel called to different things. But what I do do is I start my workday at 11:00, so that leaves me an abundance of time in the morning to really tune in. You know, the one thing I have at minimum is five minutes with my timer, sitting still and just being available for Spirit to speak to me. Now, typically I do 15 minutes, but it’s at minimum five minutes. I do do yoga, I journal. I love to sit on the floor and get out big paper and crayons and angel cards and all the things to really bring inspiration and tap into my intuition.
Darla LeDoux: So in my morning, you might find me at … I go to the gym, Orange Theory Fitness, a few days a week, so you might find me there and then coming back and meditating, or you might find me spreading out and kind of saying, “Okay, Spirit, use me today. What’s the best way to use me?” And you know, we have scheduled days, so my calendar is scheduled, but that tuning in and knowing this is the energy to bring to today, that really makes a difference. It’s like Spirit knows what we have in our calendar and how we’re best served to show up, and that level of connection has really served me.
Darla LeDoux: The other thing I’ve been practicing for the last year is really asking my body for wisdom, so it was a few years ago someone said to me, “You’re a physical intuitive,” and it just made sense in an instant. Like when I lead retreats, I can feel in my body things that are happening in the room, so if someone has a sore throat I will feel it, for example, and other listeners may relate to this. And understanding that has been really powerful.
Darla LeDoux: So I do a body scan and check in, “Where is the energy being stored? Is this mine? Is it someone else’s? Is it some connection I have to someone in my life who wants something from me and it’s tugging at me and I’m not even aware of it?” Because that affects how we show up throughout our day, so I don’t do that every day. Again, I let Spirit tell me how to use my time, but I do that quite a lot, tuning into my body.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that. Darla, I feel like I could talk to you for such a long time. You’re going to have to come back on this podcast. We have so many things in common.
Darla LeDoux: Just amazing. I would love to. Is there anything that you think your people would want to know about retreats?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my goodness. I’m so excited about the WINGS of the Empowered Woman retreat that we’re doing in the fall, two of them, and the theme is all about abundance. We’re creating lots of white space, lots of co-creation, lots of creative play, lots of collaboration, so each person who’s talking is doing it in a really interactive way, but just setting it up that everybody at that retreat has a very curated experience. And so that everybody has something to give and much to receive. And of course, all done in a beautiful, luxurious spa setting as well, because you know, why not? Right?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: We can really be around abundant beauty and think about these things, so what I’m most curious about is how you create the circumstance where there’s a bit of a pattern interrupt, where people get out of their regular same-old, same-old, because if you want to see a real transformational shift or outcome or whatever, it requires a new way of thinking. And so it’s kind of like how do you create that kind of experiential shift where people are suddenly open to thinking in a different way?
Darla LeDoux: That’s like my favorite question you could ever ask me, because that’s my favorite part of working with our clients and helping them create their retreats. So many people either aren’t really intentional about this or are afraid to go there, you know, to really open things up, so I love that question. It can be something very simple, so I’ll give you an example. In a recent retreat, we were working with trust. This was a super simple experience that drove up a lot for people, so we split them. They had partners and we split them into two rooms, and in one room they were given the instruction that they were to really share about their business and their passion and their big vision for the world. And do it through a story and really enroll their audience, so they’re preparing a short talk, basically.
Darla LeDoux: And then in the other room, the other group kind of was exploring what are all the ways that people break your trust, like you share with them and they don’t receive you. And they were each asked to tune in to the energy of their partner and embody the perfect kind of energy that was their biggest trigger, so being dismissive, or challenging, or super logical, or in fear about money, or whatever it was. And so then the partners came back and had this experience of their biggest fear kind of coming to light, so that’s an example of the type of experience that it’s super simple. You don’t need to … I love going out of the building and doing zip-lining or whatever, but this is super simple and designed to really help people see what they haven’t seen about how they’re showing up, and in this particular exercise it was about trust.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s truly beautiful. I mean, it’s really interesting how we can experiment and use all kinds of things, like just sort of play, or our natural ability for empathy in these different kind of structures and exercises.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. When I teach in our course, it’s like there’s a breakthrough experience, like this one that I described, where it’s really designed to bring awareness to a pattern, or you might think of it as trigger someone, right? Because when we can catch what triggers us in the act, then we can transform it, so that’s one type of experience. There’s another one where you do a contrast where you have them do something, and then you coach around it. Maybe you do laser coaching with specific people, or you kind of walk them through an exercise, like a breakthrough exercise, and then you have them do the thing again in a different energy field so they actually the new energy in their body, which is awesome.
Darla LeDoux: And then sometimes you just have them design something where they can just show up differently, so for example, we did a self-expression party at one of our events that we do where it’s like, “Bring your full self to the table. Wear something that you’ve never dared wear before,” or whatever. There’s three different ways you can kind of do it. One is really bringing awareness to our stories or our triggers. One is kind of this before and after, and the other is just inviting people to step right into a new energy.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s beautiful. When is your next retreat, and how can people find out about it, and who goes and all of that?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, so we have two types of retreats, and I’m just thinking of this, Melinda, because we happened to talk about the Lazy Bee. Our Lazy Bee retreat; its AlignedEntrepreneurs.com/LazyBee. That’s an immersive embodiment mindset transformational experience. It’s all-inclusive. It’s in Tulum, Mexico.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautiful.
Darla LeDoux: And that’s at the beginning of May. And then we have our retreat for retreat leaders who want to design their business to include transformational retreats, and that’s at the end of May in Dana Point in Southern California. It’s at RetreatandGrowRich.com/Retreat.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s fantastic, so you do these retreats once a year, or how often do you do them?
Darla LeDoux: The Lazy Bee retreat is a once a year. We were in Italy last year. This year we’re going to Mexico, and then our retreat for retreat leaders we do pretty regularly, two or three times a year.
Melinda Wittstock: How wonderful. We’re going to have to go to each other’s retreats.
Darla LeDoux: Yes. I would love to support you. I love your mission. I love that you stepped into doing transformational work and really stepping into your mission. It’s super inspiring, Melinda, because I know there’s a million things you’re so capable of doing and I love that you’re doing this.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, gosh. Thank you so much. It’s interesting how this podcast has led me there too, because it became more and more. I mean, there’s a reason it’s called WINGS of Inspired Business, because it is really about taking inspiration from the universe, and very much of this intersection of business growth and personal growth are the same thing. And more and more and more, every conversation with every woman just goes what used to be … You know, it goes, “Whew,” you know, real fast. Every time, no matter who I’m talking to, and it’s gone more and more that way and it feels like it’s pointing me, actually, through the conversations that I have.
Darla LeDoux: Yes, I [crosstalk 00:55:09]-
Melinda Wittstock: More and more in that direction.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, we have our Retreat and Grow Rich podcast also. I probably should say that.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, yes, you should. Well, everybody should listen to that.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. I [crosstalk 00:55:18]-
Melinda Wittstock: So subscribe to that and review Darla’s podcast. You know, and if you’re listening to this and you haven’t reviewed WINGS of Inspired Business yet on iTunes, please go do that as well. Podcasters need that kind of love and support.
Melinda Wittstock: Darla, thank you so very much for putting on your WINGS and flying with us today.
Darla LeDoux: Thank you, Melinda.