An Experiment in Feminine Creation - Updating to a 'Pay What You Can' Model

The vision

I was in complete darkness. The smell of Copal swirled through the air and ignited my senses. My heart cracked open as sweet medicine music filled my ears. I cried. I laughed. I prayed. And then, as if from the divine, the word courage was whispered in my ear. Visions of women gathered in sacred ceremony appeared. A fusion of Eastern rituals, Shamanic wisdom and Western psychology. What was this magical place? What would we create?

And that’s how Courage 2.0 was born. The seed was planted deep in an Ayahuasca ceremony while I wrestled with my demons, healed past traumas and reflected on my life’s journey. The work I did in that ceremony and many others has saved my life. Plant medicines have transformed me into the woman I am today by helping me release what no longer serves me and connect with my true potential and purpose. It is my greatest honor to share this work with others so that we all may be free.

Courage 2.0 is a 7-day retreat for women to heal and release past experiences and remember who they truly are. Together we will heal, connect, love, and create so we are ready to act from our hearts and share our gifts with the world in bigger ways. Our vision for this retreat is for all of us to unleash our wild souls on the world.

Finding a co-creator

Courage 2.0 was a dream that I never thought would be realized, as I asked person after person to join me in its creation. I almost gave up. Then I thought of Sena, reached out to her, and three weeks from our first conversation the website went live. I remember joking after our first meeting about what happens when you get two ex-Googlers together to create something. There were spreadsheets and docs and folders and all sorts of nifty project management software apps helping us chug along. It felt great to be back at it. To be working and creating together.

From the beginning we realized that to make this vision a reality we had to do things differently.

Our goal was to have a full retreat co-created by all of the women in attendance. It was never about making a profit. As part of our desire for a more feminine, fluid approach to doing business, it was important to us that any woman who felt called to join us could, regardless of finances. We’d find a way to make it work. Money shouldn’t be a barrier to doing this important soul work. 

This was an opportunity to experiment with what a more feminine way of doing business could look like.

Reverting to a masculine approach

While our hearts knew the way, we quickly ended up falling into old, more masculine habits of doing business from our corporate past. We put a high price-tag on our retreat, focusing on the value of our time and efforts. We had a transactional model in mind - we create an awesome experience and tell you how much it costs, and you give us money to participate in it.

We had lots of interest and received positive feedback on our vision. We also had 6 applications and no committed deposits. We were told the retreat was too long, and too expensive. We tried some new marketing techniques… yet the feeling of pushing a boulder up a hill grew; we were forcing it.

We were trying to create something new by doing it the old way. I realized that the same programming and fear that kept me tied to my 6 figure salary at a tech company was surfacing when I was attempting to create work that was an expression of my heart. Creating this retreat became an opportunity to dig deeper and to address the part of me that fears for my survival.

Re-balancing with a more feminine payment model

So, after some soul searching we’ve reconnected with our hearts and our visions of a flowing, more feminine co-creation, and we’ve decided to experiment.

Starting now, Courage 2.0 will be run on a pay-what-you-can model.

Participants need to cover the cost of their food + board, medicine ceremonies and plane tickets. That’s all. Those willing and able to contribute more are welcome to. We want everyone who feels called to be a part of this journey to be able to be there. The vision that we’re holding is of a group of powerful creators coming together to make magic happen.

The base cost for our retreat is now $900. Any contribution that you make on top of the base cost is a welcome gift. These costs do not include our (Maggie and Sena's) costs for attending the retreat, flying to Peru, or planning and facilitating.

To give you an example, if you and 9 other women contribute an extra:

  • $180, you will cover both Maggie and Sena's retreat costs
  • $160, you will cover both Maggie and Sena's flights
  • $600, you will contribute $300 each to Maggie + Sena for their energy in organizing + facilitating the retreat. This is an offering of our hearts, and it would be incredible to be supported in our work.

So, with 10 women attending + contributing an additional $940 above the base cost of $900 ($1,840 total) that will cover your own costs + Maggie + Sena’s costs, flights and a $3,000 total energy exchange for our efforts. This would be in exchange for 6 months of planning and preparation, as well as 24/7 facilitation of yoga, meditation, group circles, and 1:1 coaching during the retreat.

Again, the amount you contribute on top of the base cost is up to you.

Our deepest desire is that every woman who wants to join us can.

We realize that every vision, intention and conversation we’ve had in the creation of this retreat will define the experience during the actual retreat in April. If we’re pushing and forcing our reality to fit an expectation created by our minds, that will carry over into the retreat experience for everyone.  Making this decision required us to surrender to the signs the universe was giving us, i.e. having lots of interest but no sign-ups. It has required us to dig deep within ourselves and find the trust in our hearts. The knowing that we will always be provided for and that there is endless abundance in this world.

In making this decision we are creating the world we want to live in. A world based on surrender, trust, abundance, co-creation, sisterhood, love and beauty.

Our hearts want to share some of the sweetest experiences and learning that we’ve come across. We want you to be there. Not so we can make money, not so we can heal you but so you can feel empowered to fully be yourself. So that you can follow your heart and be what you dream. Because that’s what this life is really about. Being yourself, being of service and creating the life you want to live.

Let’s create it together.

Maggie McCloud