We are so excited to welcome you to our revolutionary writing retreat, You’re Grounded! Year after year, our alumni rave about how our services inspired incredible professional and personal growth. Our program aims to take your head out of your ass so that you may recognize the ways in which your regular routine reflects poorly on us. Everything you’ve ever done before this retreat and everything you will do after reflects on us. Yes, even that time you drove past your neighbor Tom without waving. He’s a nice man, and what better things did you have going on that you couldn’t spare him a polite hello? You know we didn’t raise you like that. Yes, here, we’re your family. That’s why you need to be Grounded.
Because everybody reacts differently to the experience of being Grounded, there is not a specified duration for your stay with us. Some people need two days, others need two weeks, and still others have been here for years. We recommend that you enter into this experience with an open mind. If you complain and whine about how your sister only had to go on this retreat for three days, you won’t be able to fully grow during your residency. You will remain here until we dismiss you, and we won’t dismiss you until we know for sure that you have learned your lesson.
Please remember, we were thinking of you when we created this space. To encourage self-reflection and to insure that everyone is fully present, we have a strict no-technology policy. So please power down your cell phones, laptops, and video games, and put them into our junk drawer. You’ll get your items back when we feel that you have earned them. Any breach of this policy will result in an immediate extension of your stay, as it shows us that you aren’t treating us with respect, which is just so typical of you. Do you think we do this because we like it? Of course not. We hate having to play this role. But we do it for you!
It may seem harsh at times, but everything about being Grounded is specifically designed to bring out the best in you. Because of that, communication with friends or other attendees is prohibited. No late-night fast-food runs, no hallway chitchat about how “this is so unfair.” If you find yourself wanting to complain, just remember that we love you—but we don’t have to like you. So choose your words carefully.
If you are feeling isolated and alone, you can journal about your thoughts and feelings. In fact, we require it. The primary goal of this retreat is to make sure that you think about what you’ve done. Then we want you to think about it again. Then sit down and force yourself to do better. We’re not mad that you haven’t been living up to your potential and have been dishonoring the sacrifices of your entire lineage. We’re just disappointed.
We run this retreat because we believe in you. We see your full promise. We see all of the amazing things that you could accomplish and all of the fulfillment you could feel. We want you to have the space to see that, too. We want you to start to treat yourself with the self-respect that you deserve and also to create an amazing piece of work. But, first, we want you to apologize to your sister for saying that her dog is ugly. She can’t help that.
Now go to your room.
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