Happy New Year!   Wow, is it just me or has the year started with a bang?  I can’t believe it’s almost February and everyone will be back at school in a week.  I’ve started to see a few posts on Facebook or Instagram from Mums who cannot wait to get their kids back to school (said in the most loving way of course :).

This week I had the absolute pleasure of spending a few days down in Coffs Harbour at the Free Spirit Girl STEP UP NOW Life Mastery Residential Retreat for teen girls.  It’s a long name so take a moment to soak it all in….life mastery retreat for teen girls.  And that’s totally what it was.  The girls who attended were so so lucky to be there and I have no doubt that every single one of them has been uplifted in ways that haven’t even begun to show yet.  It was such a transformational experience for all of them, full of love, busting through fear, deep connection and so much DANCING!  Like crazy, fun, unleash-the-beautiful-you-inside kind of dancing.




The speakers who were there blew my mind…

Founder of Free Spirit Girl, Katie Pitsis is such a fun, positive bundle of light who’s craziness and goofiness kept the girls engaged and had them hanging on her every word.  She is an amazing presenter, especially for this age group, and what you see with her is what you get – she really is that fun and positive in real life!  You cannot help but feel alive, motivated and like anything is possible when you are around Katie.



Heather Yelland was a name I hadn’t come across before but I now know that she is a highly sought after international speaker and I can see why!  She was amazing with the girls and made everything really relatable and fun for them.  She covered some big topics like values, beliefs and relationships; even sharing research about the male and female brains that I’ll never forget!  Such valuable information for young women and it’s going to be information they’ll never forget now thanks to Heather’s unique style and story telling.  I’m having a little giggle to myself just thinking back to her presentations!  And she can bust a move too!  Heather is also the Development Leader of Green Supercamp Australia, who specialise in leadership and education camps for children and teens.   That’s Heather below wearing the luurrrvvee glasses showing the girls how we can change our perception.



Michelle King from Gumtree Retreat was fantastic and I could see the girls bailing her up for the rest of the retreat wanting to know more more more!  She covered health and nutrition and lead the girls in a SMOOTHIE CHALLENGE!  They all received some ‘smoothieology’ info in their Free Spirit Girl workbooks, broke up in to their teams and battled it out for the yummiest green smoothie.  The trick was having to include all of the elements such as superfoods, protein powder, a base, fruit, etc.  Such an awesome thing to do and a great way to get the girls involved and making their own smoothies.  So fun!

I took the girls through natural beauty and self-care rituals, followed by a pamper night which kind of turned in to a fun slumber party!  They had such fantastic questions like, ‘what do you think about aluminium in deodorant?’  How many 15 year old girls are that switched on to the chemicals we need to be aware of in beauty and cosmetic products?!!



Rachel Bell spoke to the girls about authentic communication and had them deeply connecting and tears flowing by the end of her section.  Rach has also been a pivotal part of the retreat coming together as Katie’s right-hand woman for the last year.  She made sure everything ran smoothie for the week and I have no doubt she must be sleeping for a week now!  Here’s a gorgeous shot of her and Katie at the celebration dinner during the week…


The students..

Were just as incredible as the speakers.  They were so brave, honest and open.  They were supportive of one another, they cried with each other and they danced like crazy with each other.  Did I mention the dancing?  They were so open to learning new things and didn’t hesitate to ask questions or speak up when they needed to.  They were all so so beautiful, inside and out.  I feel so blessed to have met them.


There are too many highlights to rattle them all off here but I’ll certainly try:

  • The yoga each morning was divine.
  • The resort was so peaceful and relaxing.  They provided lots of yummy vegan food all week too.
  • The AV team were AMAZING!  Seriously – they would cue up the best music and just the right time, nothing was too difficult for them, their equipment was awesome – they were seriously amazing.  They are based on the Gold Coast in case you need any AV or events services in the future 😉
  • The crew were so giving and an imperative part of the week.  So many girls volunteered their time to be there (one came from Sweden and one from the US – that’s how much people are drawn to work with Katie!) to be team leaders and youth leaders.  Below is a pic of the Team leaders – there were heaps of youth leaders too!  Amazing!


  • There was also a beautiful photographer from Sydney who drove there to capture all of the special moments and all of the images here.  Lauren was my rookie while there, is the loveliest person and we happen to know heaps of the same girls through an online business school we’ve both done called B-School.  Small world!  She specialises in shooting families and women entrepreneurs in Sydney in case you ever need anything.  Check out her site here.
  • The board break on the first night was definitely a highlight for me personally.  If you don’t know what a ‘board break’ is don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it before either!  It’s an empowering experience where you write down all of the things that have been holding you back, such as childhood experiences, bad habits and limiting thought patterns and beliefs onto a piece of wood.  You then draw a huge cross through the middle of it and literally karate chop your hand through the board!  On the other side of the board you write down all the things you will feel once you’ve busted through.  So powerful!  It’s not something you should try at home folks…there was a lot of preparation that lead us to this point including get in the right state, learning the technique, etc.  Every single girl there did this, myself included, and it was such a powerful way to start the camp.




So thank you Katie for creating such a beautiful experience for these girls and for inviting me to be a part of it.  It was such an honour.  If any Mums or girls out there ever get the chance to go along to one of Katie’s events, please do –  you won’t regret it.  She’s got some great free content on her website too.  I’m going to do my best to bring her up here to the Sunshine Coast for some Shine From Within events in the future so stayed tuned for those.

Here’s to us all breaking through our ‘board’ of limitations, releasing some of our old stories and having a fresh, happy 2015!    Woo!

Amanda x


P.S. Don’t forget we’ve got 2 beautiful workshops coming up this week to help you get ready to get back in to the swing of things and make 2015 your brightest year!   The Back 2 School workshop and the Nourish workshop are both for girls aged 14+ and you can come along to both for just $85.  Check out all the details here.