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Our Sister Leadership Retreat

26 Aug

Having decided to live the message, this past week I invited the team behind Sister Leadership to my cottage by the lake for a little R&R and conversation about what comes next for the blog. It was a full few days, so in today’s post, we’ve all agreed to share a light take-away from the moments we spent there together. Highlights for everyone include the ride up together, breakfast in pyjamas, sitting on the balcony overlooking the lake, kayaking on calm waters.

So, here are our take-aways, and a glimpse into how we see Sister Leadership today, and where it will grow in the future.

Retreat Cam


Camille Boivin –Founder and Champion of Sister Leadership

It’s important for me to integrate our message into this blog with our actual way of exchanging. For me this retreat has been about getting clear on who we are as a team. It’s so easy to jump into the tactics when we have our meetings. This was the ultimate reminder that checking in, pausing, honouring great work already done really matters.

My favourite tool from this week was our lead-in exercise with EQ 2.0 – we had a group analysis done, and some fascinating insights came from that conversation! (We’re totally emotionally aware, and we are building our stress management plus flexibility capabilities.)

Blowing bubbles between sessions was fun too.

I’m feeling really good about where Sister Leadership is going. This weekend we got clear on how we work as a team, which means we can move forward with the blog’s purpose!

Retreat Photo Norma and Cam


Norma Goldsmith – Editor, Researcher and Blog Consultant for Sister Leadership

My big goal during the retreat was to really understand the business model of Sister Leadership. I figured that understanding that through and though would help us live it in everything we do here and in our networks. Cam has such deep purpose in this blog, it’s my job to reframe that purpose with a business-like perspective. The ideas were there, but I think this pause has made them stronger.

Another surprising take away was how fun it was to be in the kitchen together. Cam cooked beautiful meals, Catherine scrubbed the plates and I dried & put them away. We made quite the team.

Retreat Photo Catherine and Cam


Catherine Brunelle – Writer and Social Media for Sister Leadership

I guess there were two big things I wanted from this weekend, and luckily I feel we really accomplished both: Creating a clear message about Sister Leadership’s world, and getting to know Cam and Norma is a space that wasn’t a meeting. One morning I woke up to find fried bacon on the table, and Cam and Norma chatting together with their cups of coffee and tea. To me, that’s a part of this team I won’t be forgetting.

In a world of co-creation, we really see our readers as part of the Sister Leadership team. So if you want to share your insights and hopes for this space, please say hello in the comments. And I hope you enjoyed meeting the team!

Till next week,


P.S. More pictures of the weekend to come over at the Facebook page!


The Problem with Rose Coloured Glasses. . .

30 Jun

Maybe you are familiar with the well-known concept of rose-coloured glasses? As a girl, these were my favourite lenses through which to see the world. I was happily naive. And sometimes this served me well. Other times . . . not so much. One summer out at the cottage, a tornado came twisting near the house. Instead of running into the house’s centre for safety, I ran toward the window just in time to watch a tree get pulled into the air and slammed down metres from where I stood. Crazy! And that’s not the only story I have to share.

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So, today we are continuing the conversation around how we interpret experiences, and tying back into how our minds will often delete, distort or generalize experiences in our attempt to understand them. I’m about to share with you a story of countering adversity, and in doing so, share how removing a distortion equipped me with the ability to face a very dangerous situation head-on.

What is distortion?

Distortion: We misrepresent our reality through distorting our experience of pure sensory information. Being intimidated by certain people, frightened of a harmless situation, procrastinating, or misinterpreting what someone says, are examples of how people distort reality to their detriment. On the other hand, the process of planning, imagining or visualising something also uses distortion as a way of constructing goals and compelling futures.

What is countering adversity?

countering adversity means growing from setbacks and moving forward with knowledge from that experience. At times, having experienced adversity can even help us understand a situation or opportunity from a new perspective. It’s an element we’ve touched upon before in our conversation around Spiritual Intelligence.

The story

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Back in 1994 I went on a family trip down to Jamaica, and brought along my boyfriend. It was a great trip, and I can remember quite vividly being in the market with my mother, and meeting a lady named Nelly. Nelly took one look at me, and quickly told my mom that I had such a big heart. She also warned that with a bright light like mine, I’d also attract darkness.

It was the first time I really stopped to consider attracting darkness. As Nelly shared this so empathically, I found myself taking off those rose coloured glasses for a moment. At this same market, my boyfriend was walking around – except he didn’t seem to be acting normally. He was flirting with women and not behaving like his normal loving self.

But my glasses quickly dropped back over my eyes as we left that market, and they stayed there until a bit later when he and I decided to row a boat out onto the waters of Port Antonio. Suddenly, he became enraged – his anger was erupting from him, and the angrier he became the more the boat rocked. We were out in the water without life jackets, in this boat that was bobbing back and forth dangerously. This might sound strange, but in that moment when I felt threatened, I didn’t become scared but instead called to him to cast away that darkness – demons get out of there!

And he calmed down immediately. Whether it was shock from my proclamation, or maybe it was a bad energy moving onward, either way it worked.

I hadn’t wanted to believe what I was seeing in my normally caring boyfriend, but nevertheless did see the bizarre behaviour – and somehow managed to scare it away.

When we counter adversity, there are often context and content reframes. You can look at a problem and ask yourself, “what else is going on here?” By changing your perception, you can change your interpretation of the experience.

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Both with the flying tree and that rocking boat, I see myself now as having been protected. I was protected by some kind of intervention that kept that tree away from the window, and I was protected through awareness when Nelly opened my eyes. For me, it feels like I was protected by God, and so it has given me a sort of confidence and sense of protection.

Even with my boyfriend of that time, terrifying as it was to see him change so drastically, something helped me find that inner power to say “no”, cut through the distorted reality, and create a different one to tackle that moment of harm.

Isn’t it interesting how these big life moments can lead to reframes and new perspectives in our spirituality? Do you have any moments in life that made you rethink a ‘why’ or take off the rose coloured glasses for the better? We’d love to hear and share your stories.

Stay tuned for more to come in our miniseries about interpreting experiences and the multiple intelligences.

Till next week,


Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, certified in EQi 2.0 and EQ360, a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been coaching high-level women and men for over six years, and is now opening her expertise to those emerging in business. Camille pulls her blog topics from her unique coaching approach that combines her training as a EQi 2.0 and EQ360 certified facilitator with the dig-deeper tools of NLP.

Get in touch here if you’d like to talk with Cam about group or one-on-one coaching, and EQ assessments. With the miracle of Skype and telephones – distance is no issue!

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