I Didn’t Want To, But Now I’m Glad I Did – Women At Woodstock 2020 Is Virtual!

OK. I’ve called it.

Covid-19 is not solved. We will not all be vaccinated by October. The economy is opening up despite the medical community’s warning that this is just Too Soon. Predictions are for another rise in cases and another doubled-down quarantine period come the fall. And so far the predictions are coming true; cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are again on the rise.

So, I’m crying “uncle.” For the first time since 2012, Women At Woodstock will not take place on-site in October. It’s just too unsure and too risky, especially for all of us who fall into the “at-risk” group. Sadly, we will not be meeting at Lifebridge Sanctuary in 2020.

BUT – Women At Woodstock will happen! We will be meeting, in the cosmos (as it were), online – and it’ll be as immersive as ever.

And actually, after months of being asked to make Women At Woodstock virtual this year, and resisting the idea, and then thinking about it, and finally diving into a serious planning phase, I’m actually very excited. In fact, I’m very, VERY excited. So (trumpets) – Women At Woodstock 2020 is moving into an alternate reality:

Women At Woodstock Virtual.

But let me say this upfront. I HATE Zoom meetings! I do.

But do you remember my story about starting Women At Woodstock in the first place? I said, “I HATE conferences!” And that was why, back in 2011 after suffering through what I vowed would be the last conference or networking event that I would ever attend, I conceived of Women At Woodstock so that I could gather like-minded women together for community and sharing in a way that was different. Something without the dress code, the makeup, the bullshit. Something human. Something real.

And so it will be with Women At Woodstock Virtual – an online gathering that, yes, uses technology like Zoom, but is something much more than that.

It will be a virtual gathering that is not Your Normal Zoom, Your Formulaic Webinar, Your Log-In/Listen & Watch/Feel Trapped In Your Own Head/Log Off/Slam, Bam, Thank You, Ma… you get what I’m saying.

We will have online workshops for the Over-50 Retreat, just as planned. We will have writing sessions and shared readings for the Writers Retreat, just as scheduled. We will have Mastermind Sessions and Evening Salons. Yes, all of that will happen. But much more will happen in Women At Woodstock Virtual than sessions at your computer screen. What will happen will be shared and communal and real. I’m thinking of a simultaneous, across-the miles, mind-meld, communal experience that connects us with one another, you in your house, me in mine, everyone in her own personal space, all together and all at once, not just for an hour at a time on Zoom but in a three-day exchange of shared energy, independent of physical limitations. The power of collective thought focused on the same intent. A kind of “oooommmm” escape from day-to-day life.

Yeah, I see I’ve veered into woo woo. But, you know, that’s me. Dream-space thoughts that travel out there but somehow get roped in by my engineering / medical / law / technogeek foundations. And of course I always ground my grand ideas with the elements of good food & wine. Always.

So, from the woo woo to the practical, here are the answers
to the questions you’re probably asking by now:

Dates – they’re new:
Over-50 Retreat

Thursday evening, October 15 through Sunday evening, October 18

Writers Retreat

Thursday evening, October 22 through Sunday evening, October 25

Pricing – also new:

$750 for one retreat
$1,250 for both retreats

Experience – different too:

This is not “your mother’s” Zoom.

  • It’s not just sitting in a chair, watching a talking head, or following a PowerPoint.
  • It’s not staring at your own face, one of an array of many, like contestants on Hollywood Squares.
  • It’s something more, something shared, something we’re doing together, while logged on and while logged off.
  • Four nights and three days of virtually Being Somewhere Else, and sharing that experience collectively with each other.

So, I’ll mind-meld-I-mean-see-you in October. More details to come. And some surprises, some by Zoom, some by email, some by real mail, which you’ll discover as the time gets closer.

Stay safe, and big virtual hugs. And oh yeah, register now. Even though we’re meeting in cyberspace, spots still are limited. The best-sized group for what we do is Goldilocks-style; not too big and not too small. So sign up today, OK?

Best and warmest wishes,

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