saving our souls one tribe at a time.

SoulRetreats: How to gather your tribe. April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 10:49 am

Our soulretreat was a raging success. So much so that we wrote a book about. Now you can gather your very own Soulssister’s retreat. Read on, dear friends, read on!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: SoulRetreats

(To read the nararation about SoulRetreats instead, click here.)

Do you want to form a Soultribe of your very own? Are you longing to hole up with some like minded friends for nurture and comfort, but you aren’t sure where to start? SoulRetreats: how to host a tribe with art soul is just what you’ve been looking for — a practical-but-beautiful book to walk you through the steps of organizing your very own SoulRetreat. We’ll help you do it without financial burdens or hosting burn-out. And we’ll do it for just $20 — a small price to pay to be on your way to a tribe to call home.

Order SoulRetreats: How to host a tribe with art and soul. ($20)

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SoulRelreats: How to host a tribe with art and soulHere’s what’s inside:
SoulRetreats is a soulful, instructive eBook written by Rachelle Mee-Chapman, with special guests Jennifer McGuiggan, Jolie Guillebeau and Rebecca Dallin. Within its 59 pages you’ll find poetic essays nestled alongside practical “YBH” (yes, but how?) instructions. In addition there are webpages where you can share your experiences with other readers; and links to the free online tools you’ll need to make your Soulretreat practical and easy. Because art and beauty are of high value at Magpie Girl, SoulRetreats has an attractive layout with photos and design elements by Neil Sittler of Stickflower Designs.

When you buy SoulRetreats, you’ll also received a link to our free book, SoulFood: how to cook for tribe. SoulFood includes delicious vegetarian and gluten-free recipes by Jolie Guillebeau, and ecumenical table blessings gathered by Jessica Schafer. It makes cooking with your soultribe easy and satistfying.

You have everything you need! Let’s get started.

Order SoulRetreats: How to host a tribe with art and soul. ($20)

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Contents of SoulRetreats

  • How Something Good Finally Got Born
  • Preparing for Your Soultribe
  • Unpacking: Letting Go of Past Tribes
  • Invitations and Introductions
  • How to Quash a Gremlin Uprising
  • Not the Mom: Creating Co-Ownership in a Tribe
  • Sample SoulRetreat Schedule
  • Tabletop Spirituality
  • Ten Tips for SoulRetreat SoulFood
  • How Not to Lose Money
  • Follow-Up: *8Things to Keep Your Soultribe Connected

Order SoulRetreats: How to host a tribe with art and soul. ($20)

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The Magpie Girl Guides Promise
If you don’t find this book lovely and helpful, I will happily refund your money. Just email me within 30 days of purchase. No worries.

Love my work?
Spread the good word about this good work, and become an affiliate. (For this, I thank you.)

Need a Soultribe Right Now?
Come join us in our online soulspa, Flock: Soulcare with Magpie Girl. We’d be happy to welcome you home.


And Now a Word from our (Un)Sponsors July 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 5:24 pm

So I’ve heard through my Twitter and email that our Gremlins are chattering away at us and they aren’t being very nice. Gremlins, for those of you new readers our there, are the little voices in our heads who tell us un-true things. Most of the time they are trying to help, but they are a little mis-guided. But sometimes they are just downright being nasty.


According to Jen Lee, she of the Lovebombers–a group which was the inspiration for Soulsisters–the Gremlins like to get chatty right before we gather up with other powerful, creative women. And one of the things they like to say best is:


“You don’t belong here and nobody is going to like you.”


Yeah, you’re right back in Jr. High. Sucks.


So what can we do about it? I like to build my Gremlins a house where they can sit down and have a nice Gin and Tonic and SHUT UP ALREADY. I also write down all the things they are saying to me and put those quotes away for them. That way the Gremlins know I’m listening to them and sometimes quieten down. It also helps to say a little affirmation. My Gremlins are pretty silly, so I like the silly affirmation from Bill Smiley (was that his name?) on SNL:


“I’m loveable, I’m capable, and doggonit, people like me!”


When all else fails call a Soulsister and ask her to tell you *8Things that are Great about You. (She won’t mind, honest.) And remember, if your Gremlins are talking a blue streak, it’s a sure sign that something good is trying to get itself born.


Are your Gremlins coming out? (They also like to mess with your relationship with your significant other; sneeze on your children so they get strep throat right before you leave; and pour sugar in your carburetor.) What are your Gremlins up to? What are your tricks for dealing with the pesky little buggers? How can we help?


Meet Your Soulsister: Jolie Guillebeau

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:19 am
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smallerjolie (2)

Jolie Guillebeau, painter, blogger and foodie extraordinaire.


Jolie and I met on-line through a friend-of-a-friend, and have a common connections through the neo-monastic community in Seattle. Now a resident of Portland, OR, Jolie has recently bumped into fellow Portlander Soulsister, Shari MacDonald, and of course they already adore each other. I know you’re going to fall just as quickly in love! Give a special shout out to Jolie in the comments — and thank her in advance for all the delicious food as Jolie has planned our fantastic gluten-free, vegetarian, summer-goodness spa menu!


Jolie’s Introduction:

A Ph.D candidate in Molecular Physics, a ballerina with the Royal Ballet of London, and Deputy Ambassador to Burkina Faso– Jolie has been none of these things. What she is: an artist who likes to look at clouds, read Jane Kenyon poems and eat soy ice cream sandwiches. She’s been to 46 countries, knit a fair isle sweater all by herself, and even had coffee with Desmond Tutu once, and now she works out her fragmented Faith by sitting at her easel. She’s married to Chris, and that’s enough adventure in itself.

Create something everyday, you’ll change the world.

I’m looking forward to this retreat, because I’m also lonely. We moved to Portland in February after a roller coaster chain of events led us away from Seattle and made us question every aspect of our lives and our values. For example, I want to make a living as a real artist, but also want to support my husband’s dreams. I want to honor God, but don’t think I can swallow the Christianity I’ve been fed all my life. I want stability, but I don’t want to sacrifice adventure to have it. With all these contradictions, I’ve found myself stuck and trapped in indecision. I’m hoping that this retreat (and all of you) will be able to offer some clarity and insight. Plus, I love to cook and can’t wait to share yummy food and great wine with all of you.


Meet Your Soulsister: Emma Staake

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:07 am
Tags: ,


My sweet friend Emma, with her boyfriend Souren in front of our house.


So this is Emma, who among other things is girlfriend to Souren, our teenager-adopted-by-affection. Emma’s been in my virtual world for over a year now, and just this Summer we got to meet IRL, which was fan-damn-tastic. She’s a beautiful soul, often wise beyond her years, with an beautiful voice and bright future ahead of her. I’m totally stoked that she’s going to make mentory-friend connections on this retreat with soulsisters who are just a little ahead of her on the journey. I can’t wait to see the cross-generational energy flow! Sistahs, say hello to Emma!


Emma’s Introduction:

I’m Emma Staake — pronounced Stack-ey :]  I’m 17,  and a recent graduate of Roosevelt High School in Seattle. I met Rachelle about a year ago through my boyfriend, Souren Eriksen, who is part of Rachelle’s unofficial family, and thus, was taken in as a small piece of Rachelle’s large unofficial family. I am an artistic person who enjoys many mediums, but my main focus is Jazz Voice. I’m following that dream in my further education, first to Bellevue College, where I’ll be attending this fall to sing in their award winning “Celebration” Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Ultimately I want to teach jazz voice and possibly direct a jazz choir of my own. I am a budding arranger and composer, and I also love designing jewelry, writing, and doodling around on paper. I am attending this retreat for several reasons, the biggest being that I am finally (finally!!) done with highschool, and I want to surround myself with wonderful, nurturing, creative, collaborative people who can be my mutual mentors and friends.


Good, Easy Eating for a Tribe July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 8:17 pm
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Oh ladies, you are soo000 lucky! Jolie Guillebeau has such a great cook-together menu for us. I’m posting a sneak peek to whet your appetites and to show other folks out there in cyberland how to feed easy it is to feed a soultribe.  Everything is vegetarian, and there will be options for us gluten-free girls. (Shopping still in progress,  menu subject to change!)


Saturday Lunch: Big Spinach Salad with Crusty Bread,  Watermelon, Iced Tea and White Wine Sangria


Saturday Dinner:  Cheese, Crackers, Olives; Grilled Marinated Eggplant/Zucchini/Portobello Mushrooms; Foccacia and Summer Herb Relish; Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies or Chocolate Fondue or S’mores


All Breakfasts: Fruit, Muffins or Bagels, Hard cooked eggs, Coffee, Tea


Sunday Lunch:  Avocado, Nectarine, and Basil Summer Rolls; Fruit, Cucumber or Blueberry Lemonade


Sunday Dinner:  Chips, Salsa, and Guacamole; Cuban Bowls (coconut lime rice, black beans, roasted sweet potatoes, salsa, avocado, sour cream); Brownies


Monday Lunch: Individual grilled pizzas on naan or pita bread;  Truffles


Monday Dinner:  ?????

Tuesday Lunch:  ?????


Plus: Stock-Your-Own-Mini Bar. Everyone is bringing favorite beverages and snacks for our stash.


Meet Your Soulsister: Lisa Alexander June 29, 2009

Filed under: Soulsisters 09 — Rachelle @ 7:44 pm
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A natural beauty...our Lisa A.

A natural beauty...our Lisa A.

Lisa and I met through a friend of a friend of a friend (or something like that) and have gotten to know each other via Twitter. She’s ready to teach us how to “say what we mean and mean what we say.” That’s a skill I need more practice with fuh-shur!

Lisa has been a supportive and sustaining balm to me during this difficult year abroad. Say hello and add an encouraging soul to your circle.

Lisa’s Introduction:
I am a professional peace builder (masquerading as a mediator and divorce lawyer).  I am a sporadic crafter and writer, working primarily with felt, beads and collages.  On the writing front, I’m too shy to put my writing forward, or even sometimes to produce it.  I’m coming to the Soulsisters Retreat to be inspired by like minded souls, to reach both outside of myself and into myself at the same time.


Meet Your Soulsister: Shari MacDonald Strong

Filed under: Soulsisters 09,Uncategorized — Rachelle @ 7:35 pm
Tags: , ,


The lovely and adventuresome Shari MacD.

The lovely and adventuresome Shari MacD.

Shari and I discovered each other a few years ago, as we tried to write and raise children together as Northwest neighbors. (Portland &  Seattle) We finally met when we were in Portland for a Zine festival — all five kids and husbands in tow! Sadly, we were parted by someone’s bright idea to move to Denmark, but due to the magic of the Inner-net thing we’ve managed to stay in touch. I know you’ll all love to meet this friendly, witty storyteller on Hartsine Island. But in the meantime, give her a virtual “hello!”

Shari’s Introduction:
I’m a freelance writer and editor who lives in Portland, Oregon.  I’m the senior editor and former columnist at Literary Mama magazine and editor of the anthology The Maternal Is Political: Women Writers at the the Intersection of Motherhood and Social Change (Seal Press, 2008). Irecently finished my first screenplay about the revolutionaries who assassinated Tsar Alexander II in 1881 and am currently researching a historical novel set in Russia. I’m the mother of twin boys, age 6, born via gestational surrogacy, and a daughter, age 9, adopted five years ago from Russia.