We have chosen to remain anonymous in this blog so to share in the most authentic way about our experience on retreat with Licia and Peter Berry. I have been working 1:1 with Licia for quite some time now and have experienced tremendous growth as a human, as a business owner, a creative and a leader. After I heard that VIP retreats were opening back up at The Berry’s gorgeous home in Northern Florida, I began inquiring. “If I’ve had this much growth working 1:1 with Licia, I wonder what this might do for my marriage!”
The conversation began and it was decided between my husband and myself – as well as between the four of us – that a VIP Retreat was in alignment with our individual and collective goals. When I first approached my husband with the opportunity to work together at retreat, I expected some hesitancy, but received none. “I mean, why wouldn’t we want to proactively work on our marriage?” was his reply.

And so, a few months passed and it was our turn. Neither of us had any idea of what was truly in store for us and for our marriage as a result of going through the retreat together. I hope you’ll take this journey with us – and in the end – if you feel like it’s right for you, I encourage you to begin your work with Licia and step into Divine Partnership through this VIP Retreat when the time is right for you.

Arriving At “The Farm”.

I don’t recall why we started calling Licia and Peter’s Retreat Center “The Farm”. It may have something to do with my ex-husband’s family having immense land in Southern Illinois that we called “The Farm”. Maybe it was something I’d heard Licia or Peter call it. Regardless, the house is tucked away from the noise of big civilization, much like the first home I remember living in as a child. Handwoven circles of branches and twine were scattered across the landscape with careful intent. Only the sounds of birds and the cracking of branches could be heard off in the distance.

We were greeted by Peter and Licia at the door with a tight embrace, feeling like we’d just stepped into a new family of our own making. We took our shoes off at the door and placed them on a shoe rack, placed right next to the door. We were escorted on a tour of the retreat center and were allowed to become familiar with our new surroundings and rest before dinner was ready.

We were served the most delectable monkfish entrée with sautéed spinach and rice pilaf. You would have thought they hired a chef. We got to converse a little bit about who we are as individuals. Peter and Licia let us know right off the bat that their role was to observe everything about us. Our cadence, our candor, our reactions to one another… You would think that it would make you feel uneasy or like you were being observed under a microscope, but it wasn’t so. There was an almost tangible cloud of love over us during our stay coming from our hosts.

Day Two – The Work Continues

We began our day with coffee and snacks as neither my husband nor I are big breakfast eaters… at least not early in the morning. After a quick check-in with each other, we were off to work. The days prior to our retreat, it was our responsibility to go through the PEMS Courses (Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual) offered in Licia’s Daughters of Earth™ Library. We didn’t know just how robust the courses were until we dug in, but WOW the information inside was and still is life-altering.

That’s where we began – Understanding ourselves as Divine Spiritual Beings and how we operate on all levels in a very physical world. Much of what was explained to us was done using very basic science that we’ve all learned, but our brains didn’t put the puzzle together correctly in order to function at an optimal level as individuals and especially as family units.

As we sat on what we came to know as “the ego-less couch”, we learned about one another and what we would come to work on over the coming couple of days. Licia and Peter had already begun their work for our arrival days in advance, so they had some idea as to what we needed help with. They offered to bring up what had been given to them in silence and stillness – or – they offered to let us voice the top 3 items we thought our marriage needed to achieve optimal partnership.

My husband and I sat there. He said nothing came to mind, but he and I both agreed to step into this as a real opportunity to work on “what could be” if we really showed up effectively for the other. I had nothing prepared, but when we were asked, 3 things came to mind that were what I would consider annoyances, but I had no idea how deeply rooted these issues turned out to be.

Day Two – The Work Continues

We began our day with coffee and snacks as neither my husband nor I are big breakfast eaters… at least not early in the morning. After a quick check-in with each other, we were off to work. The days prior to our retreat, it was our responsibility to go through the PEMS Courses (Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual) offered in Licia’s Daughters of Earth™ Library. We didn’t know just how robust the courses were until we dug in, but WOW the information inside was and still is life-altering.

That’s where we began – Understanding ourselves as Divine Spiritual Beings and how we operate on all levels in a very physical world. Much of what was explained to us was done using very basic science that we’ve all learned, but our brains didn’t put the puzzle together correctly in order to function at an optimal level as individuals and especially as family units.

As we sat on what we came to know as “the ego-less couch”, we learned about one another and what we would come to work on over the coming couple of days. Licia and Peter had already begun their work for our arrival days in advance, so they had some idea as to what we needed help with. They offered to bring up what had been given to them in silence and stillness – or – they offered to let us voice the top 3 items we thought our marriage needed to achieve optimal partnership.

My husband and I sat there. He said nothing came to mind, but he and I both agreed to step into this as a real opportunity to work on “what could be” if we really showed up effectively for the other. I had nothing prepared, but when we were asked, 3 things came to mind that were what I would consider annoyances, but I had no idea how deeply rooted these issues turned out to be.

Day Three – And Forward… The Work Continues

The big reveal on day 2 of our retreat was that I was afraid to use my voice. Due to my programming, growing up in a religious institution where women were better off seen than heard, I was simply listening to my husband instead of conversating. I would get to a point where it would become too much and I would either shut down or lash out in anger.
He received my feedback well while on retreat and made a significant effort to try to include me in our nightly conversations, asking me specific questions to get me to use my voice until one night when I completely shut down. He’d been talking, dancing, celebrating life and I was shutting down. None of what I was experiencing made any sense. I only wanted to be heard, but was refusing to use my voice. We both noticed. Tension filled the house. We tried to talk it through, but I couldn’t make sense of it, so I couldn’t put my frustration into words.

The next day, I was on a mission. There had been so many instances where I shut down and they seemed to be happening more and more frequently. I needed help and did a check-in with Licia where I came to an understanding as to where this issue was coming from and I was given the tools to manage it in a way that was respectful of myself and my husband.
We’ve recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. We have clear boundaries and love instead of tension abounds in our conversations. When I need a break, I excuse myself for a breather. I’ve started to speak up because I know my husband isn’t going to break by simply speaking up and saying what my needs are. He’s also not going to break by telling him what I want in life, relationships and conversation. Our love is strong. Our future is clear and we’re forging our own path. What I thought to be a minor annoyance led to me understanding and unlocking my voice to use for true knowledge of my value and for the betterment of our relationship. If you are considering working 1:1 with Licia or if you’re considering a VIP retreat, I can’t encourage you enough to take the leap.

For anyone looking for more information working with Licia in one-on-one sessions or for those who already work with her interested in their own VIP Individual or Couples Retreat, please reach out for more information here.

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