How did Nurture Start?

How did Nurture start? A decision to turn right instead of left. Everything we’ve built has grown from this one choice.

January, 2015. I was on the streetcar and got off at my usual stop. Instead of heading home, I felt this tug to turn right. I looked up and caught eyes with a woman behind a storefront door. She started waving at me, beckoning me to come in.

“Hi, my name is Heather and I’m in the business of making women’s dreams come true. Who are you? What’s your dream?”

Was this some fairy godmother? A good witch? A sales pitch?

“Uh, hi! I’m Sonja, I live practically next door. I thought this was maybe a yoga studio, but it’s a…”

“Coworking space for women. Your dream?”

Ahh, that made more sense. “Nice! Well, I’ve had a dream since I was 8 to have an old farmhouse where creative people gather to connect with themselves, one another and eat really good food.”

If Heather had antennae, they would have swiveled in my direction. “I MUST hear more! Come see me Friday.”

I went. That same quiet tug urged me to.

Heather and I chatted for a while about life. She ended our visit with: “Sonja, have you thought about how, in advance of finding a farmhouse, you could rent one for a weekend and make your offering into a retreat? Go home, write down your dream, leave nothing out and no expense spared. I’ll look it over.”

I opened my laptop, and my dream came pouring out: a rambling, cozy house; kindred spirits, hungry to connect; beautiful tables loaded with bountiful seasonal meals; creative workshops; flowers; little details that make people feel deeply cared for and seen, real connection.

Microsoft Word prompted me for a title to save the document: on a whim, I called it: “Nurture: A Retreat”.

Like a public school project, I’d placed my pages in an old duotang. Heather opened it, skimmed each page, then slid it back into my hands.

“Sonja, it’s perfect. DON’T CHANGE A THING.”

Thankfully, I didn’t. 🙂

Past Nurture attendees always tell me it felt fated to come and that they made connections that changed their lives in the same way turning right changed mine. I promise you’ll meet the best strangers.