I’m now in the Gambia preparing for the women who will be joining me on The Self Love Retreat, a week of nurturing yourself from the inside, out!
There are still two places left for the Retreat dates 17-23 December, and a few places available on 3-9 January (date changed), 17-23 February and 3-9 March, join us if you can!
Getting to the Gambia is easy:
- Flights are cheap!
- You don’t need a visa if you’re travelling from the UK (we would love you to join us from anywhere else in the world!)
So far, I’ve not seen much difference in the culture between Gambia compared to Ghana, and I’ve yet to connect with many of the ex-pats who live here (people who have moved here from the UK and USA).
Last night I attended Gambia Fashion Weekend, and met up with Shakina from the UK who now lives here, and another sister Anna, who I also know from the UK. I also met a brother named Adam who is on holiday from Manchester, and I bumped into another brother who happens to live not far from me in Croydon!
Me and Shakina at Gambia Fashion Weekend last night
Apparently there are lots of opportunities to build, grow and develop in the Gambia, and I’ll be checking it all out and sharing the info with you! Shakina has moved here from London and now runs her business in Gambia! She uses the same Adinkra symbol for her business as I’ve used in ‘Journey of a Sister‘, the symbol for ‘Transformation!’
I gave myself a 5 year ‘get out plan’ (to move from the UK), and I have 3 years left, so providing I like it here I’ll be laying some roots! My ultimate goal is to build a VILLAGE with homes, schools, farmland where we can grow our own produce, businesses (making things that we can send back to the UK and USA to sell), and which is totally self-sufficient e.g. our own solar power and water supply. I see that in a few years time, my people will have to flee the USA and UK, and they’re going to need somewhere to go!
When God gives you a vision, provision will also be made. Meeting Mama Naasira Ageela and Dr Gregory Joe Bledsoe in London last year was part of this Master Plan. I instantly clicked with them, and we kept in contact when they left London and came to the Gambia. They are an African American couple, who are authors of the Amazon Bestseller ‘Spicy Tasty Vegan Cuisine’. We spoke regularly on the phone, and seemed to have lots of similar ideas in terms of how we wanted to help our community to heal. I shared my vision of building a village with them, and they were in accordance with the idea, so we decided to work together. This is our long term plan, but for now, we are working together to help our people to heal. They specialize in the food side of things, while I work with healing the mind. I’m not a psychologist but I studied how the mind works, in order to heal my own mind (I’ll tell you more about this on the Retreat, or read my Self-help novel ‘Journey of a Sister’).
People always say to me “Cezanne, you’re such an inspiration, when you say you’re going to do something, you do it!” But I can tell you, none of this has been easy. But when you set your mind to do something, the universe somehow conspires to help you make it happen. For instance, my goal was to spend every winter ‘somewhere warm’. I mean, why be in cold, grey England when you can jump on a plane and within a few hours, be somewhere warm? Once I set that intention, the ideas came to make it happen. The Self Love Retreat is the result of my thoughts manifested; not only do I get to enjoy being in a warm climate, I’m also helping others at the same time!
One of my mottos is;
“As I heal myself, I heal others”
The other is;
“The Black Woman MUST Heal!”
The Self Love Retreat was born out of my own need to heal myself. I’m not coming from a standpoint of “You need to be like me”, but more of “We’re all in this together”. The reason why the Black Woman MUST heal, is because she has always been the core of the family, and the family is the core of the commUNITY. If we want our commUNITY to heal, she must heal first. I began to innerstand this while studying our history, and learning how the Black Family was broken down through the process of slavery and colonialism. For the sake of our future generations, something radical must be done, and it starts with the food we eat, what we watch and listen to, how we raise our children, and how we treat each other, starting with our Self. Hence, The Self Love Retreat (and Healing Village)!
Help Us Offer Subsidized Places on The Self Love Retreat
Just like my vision for The Healing Village, I know that not all the women who need to come on the Retreat will be able to afford it, which is why I set up the GoFundMe Campaign. I set it up on my birthday on November 5th, and so far, no donations have been received (partly because I’ve been so busy preparing to come to the Gambia, that I haven’t been pushing it!). If you would like to support two women to come on each Retreat, please make a donation here. Getting the first contribution is the hard part; most fund organisers advise you make the first donation yourself; it’s human nature that once people see others donating, they will too, so are you a leader or a follower? Let’s see! If you would like to come but need help with finances, sow a money seed! I strongly believe in sowing money seeds; if you want more of something, you have to sow a seed of that kind. Mother Nature teaches us that we cannot sow an apple seed and expect an orange. The Self Love Retreat is fertile soil!
How will the women be chosen?
Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining your circumstances, and how much financial support you need (flight/accommodation £200/workshops £500). Myself and Mama Naasira will choose from the submissions received for the subsidized places. (We aim to raise £3,000 to provide two free places on each Retreat).
Does The Self Love Retreat feel right for you? Join us! There are still two places available in December, and a few places in January, February and March. You can find more information at www.journeyofasister.com/selfloveretreat or send me an email above to secure your place today.
Admittedly, I’ve not been out much since I arrived, apart from yoga on the beach (check Facebook to watch my FB live video!) and the fashion show last night; I didn’t get to take many photos because my battery died, but there will be lots more to report on; in my next blog post I’ll be showing you around the Healthy Ways Guest House and interviewing the Bledsoes, and also sharing more about what we’ll be doing on The Self Love Retreat, in the meantime, visit the page, and if it feels right, do it!
That’s it for now, hope to see you here!
In your service,
Promoting LOVE through Creativity!