I intended for Stripcoast to be different from my previous retreats–
–but I never predicted that this first foray into a new type of gathering would teach me so many beautiful lessons.
My business has grown–fast. My brand is transforming with equal speed. I myself am in a season of personal transformation. What I stand for, what I offer to the world, where my gifts are best utilized, and whom are best served by these gifts–these are the questions I’m pondering with great excitement and love.
Of course, I knew my job at Stripcoast was to guide other women toward their truth–but little did I know that the experience would serve as such a guiding light for me as well.
How was Stripcoast different than my other retreats?
First of all, Stripcoast was not pole- (nor even movement-) based. Indeed, the pole was mainly incidental, a fun prop for some, but did not act as the center of attention. Many of my retreat guests now come to me from outside the pole community. Hell, I don’t pole on any regular basis myself! I’m no longer a stripper. As these aspects of my life become more part my history than my present, the shape of the experience I offer changes as well–to align more authentically with the real needs of my clients.
You see, as the week wore on, I came to understand: the ladies at Stripcoast did not travel to the Outer Banks of North Cackalackey for debauchery around a pole. Instead, these women came to Stripcoast reflect upon their desires, to understand their own stories, to play and bond and collaborate with other women, and to take the stage and enjoy an audience.
These women also came to Stripcoast to spend time with me personally, which was another major change I made for this retreat:
Private one-on-one sessions with each guest. Hands-down the most valuable and beloved aspect of this trip for me, as for the first time ever I was able to listen deeply to each of my guests with my undivided attention, getting to know each of their heart’s desires–and even a few secrets!–while we shared laughs on the beach, or tears on the balcony. I would also like to take this time to commend and thank each of my guests, every one of which used a portion of their own time to ask about me, to listen to my heart, to make me feel seen, as well. I appreciate your gifts of friendship.
One of my retreat guests–a beloved returning client–expressed: “This is the first retreat I’ve ever felt like I was with Lindsay–not just Lux.”
Lux is great! She wears really high heels and does acrobatics!
But these women–needed Lindsay.
What else was different about Stripcoast?
Each guest produced a work of art by the end of the retreat!
After my writing workshop early in the week, retreat attendees were assigned to write short narratives. The topic? “My Favorite Fuck-Up.” During my workshop, I provided them with quick-and-dirty writing tips, as well as frameworks for understanding their stories from unexpected perspectives.
“When we tell our story the first time,” I told my students, “we can’t help but cast ourselves as the hero, the unadulterated good guy–that is human nature.”
But then I challenged them–“What happens when you tell the story a second time, a third time, with the shield of ego dropped?”
After the workshop ended, I could already see the excitement building on their faces. “I haven’t written creatively in years,” one guest exclaimed; “this is a lot of fun!” Another guest scribbled furiously, remaining in the meeting room long after the workshop ended. “I can’t wait to get started on this,” I heard one woman say to another. This was the most enthusiastic creative writing class of my life–and I’ve taught A LOT of writing classes!
Over the course of the week, I found the guest spontaneously grouping together, sharing progress on their narratives, asking for advice, getting edits from their new friends. I knew that hearing these women’s stories at the end of the week would be powerful–but I wasn’t prepared for how moved I would be to witness these women making art together, in excitement and joy and vulnerability. I merely lit the match–these women made the fire.
And when the final night of the retreat arrived and everyone gathered to share their stories–WHEW! You’ll have to wait until I release the podcast to experience the power of these tales yourself (coming soon!). Suffice to say, these brave women dropped the ego. They got vulnerable. They were willing to be human. In that willingness, these storytellers were able to touch every person in the room–because vulnerability breeds relatability, no matter the topic.
How else was Stripcoast different?
More guided free-time. Optional events like Polaroid photo shoots, riddles on the beach, movie night (in which I embarrassingly fell asleep as is my typical MO for any movie night!), and board game night kept even the most introverted involved, while facilitating creative and fun ways for guests to connect–while also remaining totally optional for those who’d rather nap or work on their stories.
My retreats have traditionally resulted in wild late night parties with tits and booze a’plenty. Ya girl still knows the value of a good time. However, now, I’m ushering in a new era of retreats:
Intimate. Reflective. Creative. Adventurous.
I hope you’ll join me as I grow.