A weekend filled with activities that unlock your creative soul and unleash the you you want to be, in an environment where you feel at home with people you just met… like summer camp for adults.
Everyone comes solo.
Everything—food, lodging, supplies, schedule—is taken care of.
You just show up.
Unplugged – no phones, no tablets, no laptops.
Inspire, discover, reflect, rejuvenate, connect.
What’s the definition of a Life of Yes? Read more here.
On Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? #LifeOfYes
GALLERY (if you’re on Facebook and “like” the Mac & Cheese Productions page, you can see all the photos from past retreats, instead of just a selection; look under Photos > Albums)
Life of Yes! Five (LOY05) | 1:45pm Friday, January 3rd – late afternoon Sunday, January 5th, 2014 | Somewhere Magical, Wisconsin
What better way to kick off 2014 than with a new community, sense of direction, and sense of self?!
We will be staying in Somewhere Magical, Wisconsin, about 90 minutes from Chicago, located on an 11-acre wooded campus on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll all stay together in one building. You’ll be in a bedroom by yourself with all necessary linens included. Shared bathroom facilities. The building includes various rooms in which to explore and relax, including a library and meditation space. Meals will be home-cooked, family-style, prepared by the venue. We’ll all drive together from Chicago van-style.
Cost: $450 – includes all lodging, food, transportation from Chicago, and materials.
Participants for LOY05 have been selected and applications are now closed. BUT if you’d like to be added to the wait-list, you can apply here and we’ll be in touch if a spot opens up. Good luck!
From Participants’ Loved Ones
“It was just the jolt she needed to get out of complacency.”
“The Life of Yes retreat was an amazing weekend. Saya and Frank were amazing facilitators, the location was serene, and the accommodations were perfect. The time spent was well balanced between the hard work that goes into personal growth along with plenty of fun and play. The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was the amazing new friendships that were created. I would recommend it to anybody who is looking to continue to grow in every way.”
“A LOY retreat is an opportunity to jump blindly into a positive, supportive, friendly place for a weekend. Saya and Frank were perfect leaders and I felt comfortable and cared for throughout the entire retreat. When it was over I felt sad and scared that the wonderful experience that I had shared with 11 strangers wouldn’t translate into my “real” life, but instead I’ve found that, bit by bit, my “Life of Yes” is becoming my real life. I think about what I learned on the retreat every day. I have never before felt this strong, self-aware, and confident. The LOY retreat awakened in me an awareness of the person I have the power to be.”
“I signed up for the LOY retreat because I was feeling alone and “stuck” in my life; I figured some positivity and motivation could help. As the retreat grew near, I became increasingly afraid that, in my current “stuck” headspace, I wouldn’t fit in with the ultra-positive, extroverted go-getters that were bound to be there. I was afraid I’d bring the group down… Lucky for me, LOY turned out to be full of people that, yes, were positive and motivated, but were also “real.” Everyone was generous about sharing what was making them feel stuck, inadequate or afraid, and each person did so with such honest, pure intention to improve their own lives and genuine care for everyone else. It was also far from being a gripe-fest. In other words, people weren’t sitting around, either offering up motivational poster slogans or trying to one-up each other’s woes or virtues. Instead, it was suddenly having 11 people you could talk to about everything and anything, without embarrassment or shame, and who care enough to understand and give you the time, encouragement, perspective and humor needed to provide motivation and hope that lasts beyond the initial “retreat high.”
“LOY Retreats – you get an email telling you to show up at Saya’s place and that you will be going to ‘somewhere magical Michigan’ for a weekend in a big white van. You have no idea who is going, what exactly you will be doing, and what it will be like, but that is all part of the experience! At first, I was a little anxious about showing up, but after meeting everyone and once everyone started opening up and making connections (thanks especially to the awesome facilitators and activities) the atmosphere changed to feel way more comfortable and fun! The weekend flew by and I left feeling re-charged, with some great new friends, and a refreshed perspective on life!”
If you don’t feel like you can sign up because you don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing or who you’ll be with, an LOY! Retreat might not be for you. Part of a Life of Yes! is trust. Listen to your gut. If it tells you to run away screaming, we’re sorry to see you go; if it tells you “I don’t know why this resonates with me but it does and I’m intrigued,” apply! We’re nice. Trust us. Trust yourself.
How we choose participants
We select retreat participants based not on the order in which you apply, but on how you mesh with the rest of group. We strive to get a diverse group who share the common thread of being open to living a Life of Yes! (We do admit though that people who get their applications in sooner rather than later win brownie points.)
LOY! Retreat goals
- Discover, rejuvenate, reflect, and connect with people from all walks of life who share the desire to live a Life of Yes!, a way of being that fosters positivity, genuineness, passion, and community
- Tap into the unique gifts, challenges, needs and potential of yourself and those around you
- Leave behind routine and negativity
- Create inspiring, genuine bonds with people who were strangers just hours before
- Be inspired to live fully
- Self-reflection and (re)discovery
- Get out of any ruts you may find yourself in
- All food/drink from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch
- Transportation from the north side of Chicago to/from retreat location
- All activities and activity materials
- Comfy clothes — clothes that you can sit on the floor in and move around in
- Shoes and clothes suitable for walking outside
- Warm clothes suitable for sitting outside at night
- Optional: book, music player (not your phone!), watch (since you won’t have your phone to tell time)
What not to pack
- Laptops, iPads, DVD players. We collect phones when we arrive and return them when we leave
- Bedding, towels
- Wad of cash
- Leave Roscoe Village (north side of Chicago) at 1:45 p.m. Friday
- Arrive at retreat location early evening Friday
- Awesomeness all day/night Saturday
- Leave retreat location on Sunday afternoon
- Arrive Roscoe Village Sunday late afternoon/early evening
Can I come with my friend, my girlfriend, my dad?
No. Everyone comes solo.
Can I bring my pet?
Who else is going?
The two facilitators and a group of people you don’t know and who don’t know one another.
Can I find out who’ll be there before the retreat?
How big is the group?
Eight to twenty people
Can anyone come?
Anyone who’s 21 or over.
Where do participants come from?
Down the street and across the country! We’ve had folks from Seattle, Jersey, LA, Connecticut, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and of course, the Chicagoland area.
Will I be the oldest/youngest/fill in the blank-est that’ll make me feel awkward?
You might be the oldest, the only Democrat, the only vegetarian, the only parent, the only spouse. But you won’t feel awkward. We’re awesome at creating comfortable environments.
What’s the schedule?
Besides departure and arrival times, don’t worry about it!
What will we be doing?
Definitely no math problems. Other than that, just be prepared for awesomeness.
How long is the drive?
Depends on which location we go to — all are under three hours from Chicago.
If it makes logistical sense for me to meet you at the retreat—i.e., I live an hour from the location—can I do that?
The van ride is important for the group dynamic, as we get to know each other and discuss all things silly and serious. Ideally, you’d ride with us. But we’re also not going to make you drive three hours to Chicago if you live in the vicinity of the retreat; we’ll make it work even if you’re not able to drive with us.
If I’m flying, what airport should I fly into?
O’Hare or Midway. Both are accessible via public transportation that takes you right to the meeting place.
If I’m coming from out of town, can you give me more travel information, like your address and how to get to you?
Absolutely! Once you’re selected and confirm, we’ll send you all the info you need.
Can I come for part of the retreat?
No. It’s integral to the experience that you be present the whole time.
I’m a vegetarian/allergic to ______. Will there be food options for me?
Absolutely! Just let us know any dietary restrictions on your application.
Can I smoke?
No! Well, okay, outside. As long as you discard your butts in the trash.
Are there physical activities we’re going to be doing?
Besides lifting a fork to your mouth, probably not, or at least nothing too strenuous. Some folks choose to go for runs or walks in their free time.
Is this a religious retreat?
Can I attend a retreat if I’ve already been to one?
What’s with the number in the name of the retreat, e.g. “Life of Yes! Five (LOY05)”?
The number represents how many retreats there’ve been, so LOY05 is the fifth retreat.
If I have to cancel, can I get a refund?
There are no refunds, so please make sure you can attend before applying.
What’s the selection process?
You turn in your application by the deadline. We let people know if they’ve been selected or not. You reserve your spot via your payment. We head to Somewhere Magical!
Interested in being a retreat sponsor? Contact Saya.