We all need to step out of our daily lives sometimes, to reflect, to breathe and think about what REALLY matters to us in order to best set our intentions for the future. Just over a month ago the Milaana team took off down south to Byron Bay where we enjoyed a weekend of reflection, strategy and simply getting to better know each other. Milaana’s team has exploded in size over the university semester and is literally bursting with diverse, talented and passionate young change-makers.
The goal of the retreat was to bring the team together in a beautiful space (away both physically and mentally from university/life pressures) to reflect and plan for the future. Not all of our beautiful humans could come together but everyone participated by contributing their insights to the questions that we went through during the day (the power of google forms!). It wasn’t allll strategy and we all had lots of fun frolicking in the sun and enjoying the relaxed environment that is Byron Bay! Happy Sigh.
The day began with a private yoga class in a little yoga hut just down the road from where we were staying. We enjoyed a gentle yoga practice that can only be described as a “big, warm hug”. Afterwards we went to breakfast where we prepared for a big day and set some intentions. Team members listed a number of goals for their time with Milaana including finding happiness, creativity and a sense of family. There was general consensus that we are all looking to be a part of a ‘movement’ and ‘something bigger than ourselves’.
“Milaana is going to change the world. I knew from the moment I first saw the website. We need so badly for someone to care, to notice and realise that we have so much to offer than what’s usually expected from us as students,” Lucinda says.
After setting some intentions we went a little deeper and began to tell stories about times when we felt part of a movement. The idea of striving for a common goal and banding together were popular themes that were discussed in each of our stories.
“I started realising that I wasnt the only young person so entrenched in these issues and thoughts. It is very powerful to feel part of a collective and I think through my series of chance meetings and relationship building I am realising how many people care about the world they’re inheriting,” Ruby says.
The themes were similar for moments “when you feel most yourself”. We all alluded to moments where we were doing what we loved, helping someone, building relationships and learning from one another. It is evident from these reflections that our team really values a great sense of community and connectedness. It’s these values that brought us all together.
Milaana is all about digging deeper and reaching the core meaning of self, so it wouldn’t make sense if we didn’t have to answer a few hard questions. We told stories about our highest and lowest moments where we discussed isolation as both a positive and negative and praised the power of meditation and deep reflection. Our best moments were all characterised by a sense of flow, purpose and connection to others and ourselves. We finished the self-discovery session with insights into why we believe we are all here on Earth and man did we find some gems!
“People needed to be inspired, enriched, told stories and motivated into action and I feel I was born to make these stories for people,” Ryan says.
“To experience the journey of learning and searching for wisdom. I make the most of this journey when I align myself with my deeper impression of being,” Sam says.
“To be a lover, a warrior, a theorist and a scientist. Greatness or nothing,” Johan says.
Before heading into a more strategy focused session, we went outside to do cartwheels in the sun and dip our toes into the sea. How good is that view?
The rest of the day was dedicated to determining our self-role-organisation alignments and strategising for Milaana’s future. We literally got to draw our current, ideal and future roles and then brainstorm ways to improve these roles. With a little break for some fish and chips for lunch, we were right back into the goal setting and brainstorming. We set some high goals for Milaana’s future, brainstormed ideas for a student video (coming to you shortly)
A big day of brain-storming was followed by a relaxed night with delicious Mexican food, music by our resident cello musician and some very chilled out vibes. The weekend had truly served its purpose of bringing us together and creating a greater sense of family and connectedness.
So what did the team think of the whole experience?
“It was a wonderful break from reality that allowed me to focus on Milaana without distraction”
“Excellent! A really great vibe in Byron Bay and was feeling really chilled out the entire time”
“Relaxing, holistic, and rewarding”
“I feel like the retreat really refocused me and made me feel clear about who I am and where I want to go in the future”
“The biggest difference can be made when a group of people from different cultures and backgrounds work together and get involved in something they care about”
“My highlight was just getting to spend time with everyone, getting to know the team a bit better and bonding. Sometimes it all feels very distant, so it was just beautiful to get to know people”
And what does Hollie have to say?