FAQs: The Grown Zone Self Love and Healthy Relationships Retreat

What, exactly, is the Grown Zone?

The Grown Zone is a multimedia initiative produced by A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, a media company owned by Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. focused on the development of products, events and communications to inspire personal growth and better decision-making. The mission of the Grown Zone is to help you to shift your focus from what you may have the absolute adult right to do—destructive as those choices may be—and what is in your best interest to do—grown decisions—in order to achieve honor, esteem, respect, prosperity, health (mental, physical and emotional/spiritual), good relationships and self-loving behaviors for your life. In the Grown Zone, we believe that our common purpose as human beings is to love, learn and grow. Loving nourishes personal growth, and personal growth increases our capacity to love. Anything that blocks our capacity to love and personal growth is unhealthy.

Who should attend the Grown Zone Self Love and Healthy Relationships Retreat?

GZ Chicago updated JETAnyone—male or female, single or married, divorced or “booed-up,” and especially those in “complicated” situations—who wants healthy, respectful, emotionally secure, sustainable relationships should join us in Chicago, November 22-24, for the Grown Zone Retreat. Over the course of the weekend, we will teach you how to lay the foundation of a healthy relationship and to recognize unhealthy behaviors detrimental to such relationships. Best of all, you will leave the retreat with skills, action items and a guaranteed framework for making better relationship decisions, rooted in principles of self-love. The valuable information you will gain includes:

How to assess the worthiness of potential relationship partners before making choices with lifelong consequences. Is that the light of love at the end of the tunnel? Or the light of an oncoming train wreck? At the Grown Zone Retreat, you’ll learn to tell the difference before your life is devastated by poor choices that you may have the adult right to make, but are not in your best interest—not Grown!

How to recognize and reject unhealthy relationship choices and behaviors—many of them endorsed by parents and other family members, friends, church (yes, church), as well as television, movies and books—that are keeping you from identifying and sustaining healthy relationships.

How to understand temperaments and individual priorities, in order to progress from stressful, dysfunctional and destructive; to happy, healthy and productive.

If you’re seeking a relationship, deciding whether to commit to a relationship, or looking for ways to restore health to an existing relationship (or a framework to decide whether such an effort is even worth it), you need to be with us in Chicago, November 22-24.

You can get additional details and updates via social media by searching the hash tag #GZRetreat on Twitter, InstaGram and other platforms.

What does the retreat registration cover?

Each registration is all inclusive for the weekend, covering all of the seminars led by Zara Green and/or Alfred Edmond Jr. on Saturday and Sunday, as well as all seminar materials (including pens, notepads). It also covers the Friday evening reception; Saturday breakfast, lunch and evening cocktail reception; and Sunday brunch.

Is lodging included?

Welcome Inn Manor

Welcome Inn Manor

Lodging is NOT included with registration. To get the special rate for Grown Zone Retreat attendees to stay at the Welcome Inn Manor, host venue for the retreat, please speak to Innkeeper Mell Monroe directly at 312-493-2953, and use the Promo Code Grown Zone. You will not be able to reserve rooms at this rate via the Welcome Inn Manor web site; you must speak directly to Mell. As Welcome Inn Manor is a bed-and-breakfast inn, not a hotel, not all retreat attendees will be able to lodge at the Manor. If there are no vacancies at the Manor, there are many conveniently located hotels in Chicago. In addition, Mell can also make recommendations for lodging options.

Who else is supporting the Grown Zone Retreat? How are they involved?

Jet Logo_single-01-01We are proud of and grateful for a number of key relationships that will make the Grown Zone Retreat a truly power experience for those in attendance.

JetMag.com is a media partner of the Grown Zone Retreat. Senior Editor Marcia Wade Talbert will be a special guest speaker at the Friday evening reception. In addition, the Grown Zone will contribute blog posts on healthy relationships to JetMag.com, beginning during the week leading into the Retreat Weekend.

The BOSS Network is a supporter of the Grown Zone Retreat. Founder Cameka Smith will be our host for the Friday evening reception, in addition to providing social media promotion for the event to the group’s extensive network of successful career professionals and entrepreneurs.

We also enjoy a fruitful friendship and budding partnership with Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, the founders of Black And Married With Kids (BMWK), the top African American marriage and parenting blog on the web. The Tylers have also been promoting and endorsing the Retreat to their impressive network. In addition, we will feature a screening of the film Still Standing: In Spite Of It All, Our Marriage Still Stands, produced by Tyler New Media, during the Friday reception. The DVD of the film will also be available for sale during the Retreat.

When you say “healthy relationships”, what do you mean? What is “healthy”?

In the Grown Zone, we believe that all people, though each person is unique, are created with one universal purpose: To Grow and To Love. Love produces growth, and growth increases your capacity to love. Anything that prevents your ability to love and grow freely is unhealthy for you. A healthy relationship is one in which each person is committed to loving, strengthening and supporting the growth of the other. This defines all healthy relationships, not just romantic ones. Healthy relationships cannot be achieved without an uncompromising commitment to self-love (i.e. an unwavering commitment to your own health, security and growth), as well as the lasting, sustaining qualities of compassion, fidelity, loyalty, emotional security, discipline, accountability, respect and unconditional acceptance. By contrast, what most of us are taught to seek and value in a relationship—physical/sexual attractiveness, shared religious beliefs, family background, social status, fame, wealth or earning potential—have little or nothing to do with a person’s capacity to commit to and sustain healthy relationships.

In a healthy relationship, to paraphrase Stevie Wonder, “He/she doesn’t use his/her love to make him/her weak, he/she uses love to keep him/her strong.” Unfortunately, too much of what passes for “love” in adult relationships promote and embrace the exact opposite: emotional drama, reckless sexual behavior, betrayal, infidelity, possessiveness, and other neglect and abuse of self and others. (You know: rachetness.) If you are tired of that and want to do better, you want healthy relationships. You need to be at the Grown Zone Retreat.

I love the Grown Zone. I listen to your show on BlogTalk Radio every week and follow the @GrownZone on Twitter and all of the other social media platforms. What will I get at the Grown Zone Retreat that I am not already getting?

On Twitter and other social media, we can tell you WHAT to do. In our Grown Zone blog at GrownZone.com and on our BlogTalk Radio show, we can tell you WHY you should to do it, and even what happens when you don’t. But there’s a difference between telling and teaching, just as there is a world of difference between hearing and learning. It takes face-to-face engagement, away from distractions and with the ability to address questions directly, for us to effectively teach, and for you to learn, HOW TO DO IT. What and why are important, but you can’t make your NEXT DECISION BETTER if you don’t know how. At the Grown Zone Retreat, we will teach what is impossible to learn from tweets, status updates and blog posts: How to achieve and sustain healthy relationships.

Register HERE


A Grown Lesson From The Blogalicious Conference

You’ve got to be smart enough to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. Really successful business people are often students, especially with those in their inner circles and on their payroll; they engage and hire people who are smarter than them! And they recognize any thing and any body can teach when you’re a willing student.

2013-10-10 14.33.48I went to Stacey Ferguson’s (@JusticeFergie on Twitter) Blogalicious Conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia and WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! She is brilliant! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more collaborative group of people.

Interestingly this was my 2nd year attending. Last year I was there as my beau’s (Alfred Edmond Jr) guest while he represented Miller/Coors’ Business Pitch Competition. It was at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas and I had a ball! Not because of the conference. I love slot machines. It’s something about those damn lights, ding-ding-dings and my Sanguine nature that make me happy! I was not thinking like a blogger then – had NO IDEA what I was missing.

This year Alfred was invited back to judge the Wells Fargo Business Competition, but I paid to go and went ahead of him – there every day as an eager student.

Zara, why aren’t you on that stage? People need to hear what you have to say. You should be up there!” said a sweet dear talented young woman who knows my brands.

Me: Girl, you’ve got to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. I need to be my behind right here in the audience – taking notes, asking questions, networking – learning!

The Pros Attitude
I know what I know. In my space of understanding and teaching personal growth I belong on platforms, but that’s not all I need to know to be successful. Alfred and I have created an amazing space with the Grown Zone from our individual platforms on social media, and based on how the community is growing we will have one heck of a story to share one day on how we did it, but today we’re still learning.

Always An Amateur
Really smart people know that they’re always an amateur at something, which means they’re always learning.

I’m in awe of some of the people I met at Blogalicious last week. All are younger than me, but I’ve learned from each of them and even if only from afar I consider them mentors because I’m watching their every move!

BMWKRonnie and Lamar Tyler (@blackandmarried on Twitter), founders of Black And Married With Kids.

I crashed a private dinner they were having for their writers and partners – best wayward action I’ve taken in a long time (LOL! I didn’t REALLY crash it. I wasn’t exactly invited either, but I did get permission via a 3rd party). They don’t know it yet, but we’re now connected at the hip! I see them as poster children for the creative economy – not waiting for permission, rather innovative and leading the way in the blogosphere.

Jessica McFaddenJessica McFadden (@jessicamcfadd on Twitter), A Parent In America.

Jessica was on a panel and gave tips on vlogging. I asked a question and her advice resonated with me so much that my editorial calendar turned right-side UP! I’d been struggling for a while trying to figure out how to differentiate between what needed to be a blog, a video, or as part of our podcast. All of a sudden I saw how to make the best use of all of my talents. Jessica and I connected later over a libation in a green bottle which turned out to be both of our fave! 😉

With Diana Ramsey

Diana Ramsey (@siswithbeauty on Twitter), Sisters With Beauty.

This little cutie-pie is a rising star shining brightly. She recognized me as co-founder of the Grown Zone and Alfred Edmond Jr’s partner which sparked conversation, but then we clicked over natural hair! I learned more from her in one conversation than I have over the past 3 years of growing my natural hair. She’s a huge promoter of doing it yourself and through her website she shows you how. Not only is she talented, she’s a dancing machine (a dance-off between her and my beau is inevitable), and I usually reserve that term for Alfred; few can get down like he can. Hugs ‘n Love, Butterfly! 🙂

In a very short time I learned a lot from each of them and picked up lots of stuff from others throughout the conference. I’m often “on”; teaching, guiding, validating and sometimes (lovingly) chastising, but I know when it’s time to turn it “off”; to be a student because there’s always something to learn.

Although I have expertise, I’m not always the expert. Sometimes I’m the novice, and I’m smart enough to know when I’m the teacher or the student. Are you?

That’s living in the Grown Zone! Here we GROW…Grown IS Sexy! ;-)

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