Diary of our “Focus, Control, & Balance” Live Retreat

IMG_0432cropby Jacqueline Sinfield

Tuesday, April 30th
12 noon
Flew from Montreal to Detroit. It was a painless flight, no delays or hold ups . . . even my suitcase got there safely.

6 pm
Marcia met me at the Detroit airport and we ran errands. We bought gifts for our retreat participants as well as water and tons of apples for refreshments. We both were excited, because our first ever live event was just days away after 6 months of planning!!

8 pm
Arrived at Marcia’s home and I saw Todd (Marcia’s husband) for the first time after his quadruple bypass heart surgery. Despite it only being 6 days after the operation he was doing really well. I also got to see Gracie and Liesl again, who are beyond cute.


Wednesday, May 1st

8 am
Woke up to Gracie jumping on my bed to wake me up . . . best alarm clock ever!

Marcia and I had a great long list of things to do for the retreat . . . here’s a sample: phone in the lunch orders, book restaurant for the first night group dinner, finish our presentation, bind our handouts, set up and check the projector, etc. Marcia was also dealing with plumbers who were changing pipes so she could get her new washer and dryer delivered — she had 2 weeks worth of laundry piling up! It was a surreal type of day, we were so excited and there was lots to do. Time was passing really slowly and very fast at the same time.

Screen shot 2013-05-07 at 12.58.35 PM5 pm
Johnny B. Truant (caution: language) arrived. Johnny (his online pseudonym) is Marcia’s son and had come to keep Todd company while Marcia was away at the retreat. Even though we felt like we knew each other because I’ve followed his blog and Marcia talks about both of us, this was the first time we actually got to meet.

IOFSAllHomes8 pm
Marcia and I arrived at the Inn on Ferry Street, which is the location of the retreat. It was beautiful and very unusual. The Inn is a collection of four Victorian homes and two carriage houses that have been wonderfully renovated. All our retreat participants were staying in the same house, so we were self-contained. The retreat was taking place in the parlour (living room). The house was perfectly decorated in keeping with the Victorian style . . . there was a grand piano in the parlour . . . as well as having all the modern conveniences you expect to have in a hotel. Marcia had been to the Inn a few times and sent me photos, but it was even nicer in person!

“Our workshop at The Inn on Ferry Street in Detroit was the BEST ever workshop – and I’ve been to a lot in my 26+ years in private practice! Thank you to Jacqueline Sinfield and Marcia Hoeck for their brilliance and incomparable hearts and personalities. With you guys, I always get twice the content and twice the value than I get anywhere else. I’m so absolutely thrilled with the quality, content, and immense value of this workshop!!!” — Bernadette Hunter, Powerful Performance, Denver, CO

8.30 pm
We ran into Mark Kawate of ADHDapps, our guest speaker, and we all went for dinner. We had done tons of planning, but one thing we didn’t have control over was the weather. Good news though! The weather gods were on our side, and we had the most perfect sunny weather for the whole time we were there.


Thursday, May 2
Day 1 of the retreat

Officially the retreat started at 8.30 am, but Marcia and I were both awake at 5 am!, doing the final preparation work to our presentations.

7 am
We were setting up the projector and realized the remote wasn’t working.

7.30 am
M and I went for breakfast and started to meet some of the participants. Some we had worked with very closely virtually, but hadn’t actually met before . . . it’s very strange but brilliant, meeting people you know so well for the 1st time! People had flown in from the 4 corners of the US and Canada. We had representatives from Texas, South Carolina, Colorado, Alberta, and Ontario, to name a few.

8:30 am
We had 2 techies in our group, and when they found out that the remote to the projector wasn’t working, they took the challenge, and turned themselves upside down to make it work!


That kindness and willingness to help was the mood for the whole retreat. All the participants had/were struggling with ADHD in their lives, but they were all so willing to help everyone in the group in any way they could. Usually that was listening, sharing personal stories, or practical tips. There was a sense of trust, love, and understanding that happened immediately. For some people it was their first time meeting other ADHDers. It was very healing for them to know they weren’t alone in their struggles . . .  and that there is hope.

9.30 am
After a big welcome, giving our gifts to everyone  . . . which were a big ‘one notebook’ and a paperback copy of my book, Untapped Brilliance: How to Reach your Full Potential as an Adult with ADHD, we had our first presentation.


I talked about how to set yourself up for success with self care and by doing certain things for your physical success. Then we broke up and everyone worked in pairs, creating plans of how they were going to work these ideas into their lives. Because the weather was so nice, people went outside.

“I have never been less bored during any presentation, and I was there when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPod.” — Mark Kawate, ADHDapps, York, PA


11 am
Marcia did her first presentation on getting into the right mindset for success. Then everyone split up in twos again.


1 pm to 5 pm
After a delivered lunch, we met up again for 2 more presentation and 2 more breakout sessions. People loved the content, talking it over with each other, comparing ideas, and creating their individual action plans.


DinnerGreekTown7 pm
Detroit has a fabulous Greektown, so we all piled into the Inn shuttle and headed to a great Greek restaurant called Pegasus. Lots more talking, sharing, and laughing. And jumping out of our skins when they lit the Saganaki and the flames hit the ceiling! Looks like the waiter was a little shaky, too, when he took this photo.


Friday, May 3
Day 2 of the retreat

8.30 am
We started early again as we had so much content to share. Marcia and I had spent a lot of time deciding how to make the retreat ADHD-friendly. We didn’t want people to lose their focus in our presentations, which is why they were short and to the point. We also didn’t want people to just know the theory, but not implement their new knowledge when they got home — which is why the breakout sessions were so important. It looks like we succeed! Many people told us the format was perfect.


11.30 am
The photographer arrived! Marcia had arranged for a photographer to come. He took photos of the group as well as individual photos of everyone, to use on their websites, Linkedin profiles, as digital business cards, etc. It’s nice to have good photos of us all together!


3 pm
After 8 presentations in 2 days — covering both personal ADHD challenges and ADHD in business — it was time for a change. We did a self-esteem building exercise. For some people, this was the most powerful part of the retreat. Seeing yourself through others’ eyes is amazingly illuminating.

“I loved it, loved it, loved it! I thought the mix and balance were about as perfect as it could get. I knew I would get a lot out of this event, but I got exponentially more than I was expecting. What I didn’t expect was how very supportive, generous, and inspiring the group would be. Jacqui and Marcia set the tone, and I received gifts from each person in the room. What I didn’t expect was insight, inspiration, and empowerment about lifelong issues that have held me back. I feel like I broke through decades-old barriers and beliefs. I made commitments to myself that, for the first time ever, I KNOW I am going to keep. I’m soaring!

Truly it was life-changing. Three days later I’m already seeing better results. My whole life just got easier. Thank you thank you thank you!” — Bonnie Hutchinson, Edmonton, AB

5 pm
Drum roll . . . we had a very special announcement . . . Marcia and I launched our first ever coaching and mastermind group, the Momentum Inner Circle. There was lots of excitement around it, and we’re starting the group off in June with the momentum of the retreat behind us!


6 pm
Phew . . . time to chill. It had been a big day!

Saturday, May 4
Day 3 of the retreat

8:30 am
Because today was the last day, there was a different atmosphere. Life-long friendships had been forged, new hope had been cultivated, and everyone had fresh direction and a plan of action to implement when they got home. Because it had been such an amazing few days, and because so many breakthroughs and so much bonding had taken place, there were tears, too. No one wanted the retreat to end . . . including me and Marcia.

BUT, we still had one more presentation . . . our guest technology speaker Mark Kawate. He did an amazing job introducing us to apps and online resources to help run our businesses, and in making techie things simple.


12 noon
Lunch and a final breakout session

The last breakout session was probably the most important. This is where participants put everything together and created their final plan of action for what they are going to implement and take action on when they get home.

2 pm

Goodbyes and hugs!

3 pm to today

We have a private Facebook group to keep in touch and hold each other accountable. It’s the next best thing to being together live. People have been posting a lot of the actions they have been taking as a result of the retreat. It’s wonderful energy.

Wow. After all that planning, we can hardly believe it’s over. That’s why we’re so happy to know we’re doing it again in 6 months :)






For information about our next Focus, Control, & Balance Retreat, or to get on the advance waiting list, email us at jacqui.marcia at gmail dot com.

And, those who didn’t want their experience to end there connected with us by joining the Momentum Inner Circle program. This is a 6-month coaching and mastermind program, with virtual and in-person elements, lots of accountability, and coaching with both Jacqui and Marcia. There are still a very few spots available in this exclusive program. For information about our Momentum Inner Circle Coaching & Mastermind program for business owners with ADHD, click here.


  1. Bonnie Hutchinson says:

    What a treat to read your diary, Jacqui! It reminds me again of what an amazing inspiring event this was. Thanks again to you and Marcia and all of the group for the wonderful life-changing three days.

  2. Hi Bonnie
    Thanks for the lovely comment. It was fun writing the retreat diary and it bought back great memories for me as I was writing! So glad you were there and had a life changing experiencing, wow, Marcia and I couldn’t have asked for anything better!

  3. How about the United Kingdom one day for those of us who live on Europe? Sounds like we missed something
    really worthwhile.

    • Hi Serena,
      What a marvelous idea — I like it very much! Now, we’ll just need to see if we can get enough of you together, and I don’t think it would take much convincing. Hmmm . . . have to work on that one. Tell you what, you do your part in helping us round up participants and I’ll twist Jacqui’s arm. UK, here we come!
      Love to meet you, Serena!

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