Stop Thinking & Just Do | Turning Tides Retreat | Sisters Lake, Michigan

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Several months after attending the Turning Tides Retreat in Sister's Lake, Michigan, I was asked to give a testimonial - and because today they have opened up registration for the 2014 Turning Tides Retreat, I feel that it is necessary to post these words - nearly one year later and I still feel the same exact way.

Being a military wife, my "home" is constantly moving from place to place. Not only does my home move, but my business moves with it. Before Turning Tides, I was at a standstill with my business, and to be completely honest - I wasn't even sure if I wanted to continue pursuing it. I didn't have the motivation and I didn't have the financial or marketing skills necessary to keep my business moving forward. Most importantly, I didn't have confidence in myself.

Turning Tides completely changed my outlook - not only on my business but on life as a whole. A little advice for future attendees: bring tissues because you will cry your little hearts out. You will find out what it means to be vulnerable and open to letting go of the fears that consume you and keep you from being your best, authentic self with your business and your personal life.

The more honest I was, the more people connected with me. Open your heart! Do not let fear define who you are. It has been nearly five months since I attended TTR and I have been overwhelmed with the number of clients (and strangers, too!) who have taken the time to personally message me and tell me how much they appreciate my openness and authenticity. If I had never been given the opportunity to go to Turning Tides, those messages would have never came. My work/blog would not have become the open book that it is in letting my emotions out on the table - in writing and in photos.

This retreat is not just for photographers. It is for creatives, it is for the incredibly huge fears in the back of your mind, it is for people who want to get absolutely honest with themselves. Turning Tides Retreat doesn't just end when you pack up your bags and leave the beautiful house by the lake. It will change your life and you will have a support system to lean on for years to come.

This was an opportunity I could have passed up because of my past big fear of opening myself up to people I had never met before. I thought for a long time about whether I should go or not.

I think the turning point for me was a moment I shared with my dad in our kitchen. I told him I was going back and forth - scared to go - questioning whether I was worthy enough - and I distinctly remember his voice and the words that he told me. For anyone who knows my dad, he doesn't express his feelings too much, so it's when he does that you know he's very sincere. He said, "Nicole, I think you'd be making a big mistake if you didn't go. You really need to go."

I went in thinking I would learn a bit about budgeting and insight on how to do my taxes, how to create a consistent relationship with clients, how to tap into my creative side, how to push past obstacles.

I left learning more about myself than I had in a long, long time.

What has been even better? Over the past ten months, I kept learning more every day about digging deep into my soul and mind - and finding out who I wanted to be.

I'm still on this path and always will be, but I credit Turning Tides for guiding me, pushing me, and supporting me to even get on this path when I was so very lost at the time.

Creatives - go do yourself a favor and make this a reality for you too. Just go. Open your heart and you won't be disappointed. "Set sail towards the life you've always dreamed of living."

GO SIGN UP HERE! (P.S. There's an early-bird registration fee offered right now - snag your spot before they're gone!)

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