Hmong Women Today Retreat 2019

On March 15 - 17 of this year, Hmong Women Today hosted their retreat in Nevada City, California and I was able to attend this retreat with two of my girlfriends. 

If you're unfamiliar with Hmong Women Today, you definitely need to get on their website and Facebook page! It's an amazing organization started by Annie Lee and Choua Chang, two visionaries who are just beyond brilliant. I first learned about Hmong Women Today through our previous regional director in Oregon when she was first looking to start the chapter in Portland. As I have tuned more into Annie and Choua and the work that they were doing, I saw their light and mission and I knew I had to be a part of the group and sisterhood that they were cultivating.

So naturally, when they announced the retreat, I signed up! I had never been to a retreat before and went with zero expectations. Because I was going with two wonderful friends already, I just knew that it was going to be a lot of fun!

Our flight was nice and short, and I caught a few zzz on the way there. We scared the gentleman in front of us. Since there were three of us, instead of spreading out like normal folks, we decided to all sit together in the same row (because we love each other so much :) ). We started out chatting and laughing but ten minutes later, Miss O and I were knocked out.

 When we got to Harmony Ridge Lodge, we met our roommates, and they were super nice and let us have the King size bed. I wasn't complaining one bit! I loved sharing a space with the other ladies, and one of them inspired me to start sewing!

1. Favorite workshop:

There were so many wonderful workshops, and I learned so many things from so many people. One of my favorite workshops was led by Koua Franz of John Gooder LLC. She touched on so many frameworks and so many real applications and modeling of these frameworks. A couple of the things she presented included:

  • A Core Theory of Success by Daniel Kim
  • 3 Legged Stool
  • Hierarchy of Choice
  • Theory - U

2. Favorite moment:

 My favorite moment was actually not during the retreat but pre-retreat. After we got off our flight, one of my girlfriends had to take a meeting so we all hung out at Starbucks for a little bit. We had such good talks and it really not only deepened our relationship but set the tone of the weekend. I truly felt like the three of us were meant to be there, together, that weekend.

3. Most fun moment:


One of our sisters brought rubber bands, and we all got to jump and play around. It was seriously such a blast! My hips will never be the same again, but it was worth it!

4. Most vulnerable moment:

One of the exercises we did together as a group was on self-love and the way that we talked to ourselves! Our workshop leader had us write both good things and bad things we thought about ourselves. She then had two volunteers get up and read those things, but instead of reading it as you would to yourself, you are staring at the other person, saying their name, and reading your list to them. It was just so revealing how much we put ourselves down, and never even give ourselves a chance. It was definitely an impactful moment for me. I have so much room to grow in this department!

Truly, each of the workshops that were led revealed little bits and pieces where I could do better. Our presenters were definitely inspiring in every topic they brought to this retreat. 

5. My biggest takeaway:

In this time and age where we may be most connected, we are feeling most alone. The retreat taught me that I can't do things alone, and I shouldn't. I have a sisterhood that is waiting for me. I have an army that will lift me up if I can be open to it.

I'm excited to continue to cultivate my sisterhood and to grow and learn from them all.

6. Would I go again?

Definitely! And I think all Hmong women should attend one. It's definitely not a place to be closed off. It's a place to be open, and to find healing. The workshops and the little touches that the event team put together really made me feel pampered and loved. The value that I got from this retreat was definitely life-changing for me!


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