How to come to a Fabulous 10-day Belly dance Retreat in Hawaii . . . when you can’t comprehend where you might get the money!

This article is not just a story about how to come to my retreat, it’s an example of how to realize any and all dreams.

I know anyone can come to this retreat if she wants to, and I hate to have finances stand in her way. It is not about being rich or poor. It’s about knowing what you want, being willing to focus and adjust your mind set, valuing your life today, and believing you have power to move through the universe freely.

If it’s the money that is stopping you. . . hear me out. I went all the way to Uzbekistan on an artists retreat by holding a Garage Sale! I hear you groaning. But wait! Don’t knock it until you have read this entire story!

They will love you for it!

Can you believe I raised $1,900 garage saling! HOW? you may ask. It was work, but the resources manifested out of thin air. It took time: a couple of weekends and a few week nights. It was fun, really, and it was also a personally rich and rewarding experience for me to undertake. I must admit, I was taught by a professional fund-raiser. Here’s the secret - you don’t sell your own stuff (I’d get bogged down thinking of parting with all my precious little nick knacks and I couldn't possibly come up with enough personal items to amount to many dollars). Instead, you sell stuff donated by friends, neighbors, cousins, friends of friends, and absolute strangers!

Here’s how!

Plan it out:

  1. Set a date 4 weeks from now for your garage sale. Give yourself plenty of time to plan and campaign. Maybe it’s going to be so big you’ll need a three-day sale on Friday day, Saturday and Sunday. (Don’t be too surprised.)

  2. Start your campaign. Immediately start telling everyone about your goal and your intention to have a garage sale to raise the capital for your dream-come -true. Tell them you are going to save them from their own overwhelming junk piles and they are going to be an important part of your dream. You are looking for their junk as donations to your cause!

  3. Think about the location. Your house, or maybe some one else’s would be better? As they say, “location, location, location!” It could be indoors or out, a basement, garage, carport, studio or a rental space.

  4. You’ll need lots of buyers. Assess the neighborhood streets and post signs.You’ll need to make a lot of signs. You’ll need a the widest marking pen you can find and lots of card board boxes to cut up for sign making. Make them easy to read while driving by. Plan to staple them to telephone poles at 10 pm the night before the sale. Put balloons or ribbons on them and make sure you decorate the front of your address the same way for easy reference and create a friendly, welcoming sign.

    You might put little cards in the neighbors’ mail boxes and post on local bulletin boards too. List items you have for sale. Entice them! Post hours and address clearly. E mail all your friends about your sale!

  5. Place an ad for the weekend of your sale in the local newspaper with an eye catching title, “Girls gotta leave town, everything goes!” Name big items or categories if you feel inclined. Include the address, dates and hours. No Phone numbers.

  6. You will need a ton of hangers and table tops. Things sell best if they are hanging. You can make racks with rope and nails but plan it out. ahead of time. You can usually procure hangers from second hand stores if you agree to return them when your sale is over. Another resource might be the local dry cleaners. You can make tables with sheets of plywood or an old door across two saw horses. Borrow card tables and folding banquet tables.

  7. Plan your clean up in advance. Call the charity organizations ahead of time so they can pick up what ‘s left the very next weekday. You will feel a sense of a job done, quickly and easily.

  8. Collect lots of junk! A week before your garage sale, go to other garage sales in the neighborhood and ask for left over junk! Be friendly and tell them your goal and your dream! They’ll see the passion in your eyes and will gladly give you their junk when they have had enough of their own garage sales. Give them a card with your phone number on it and tell them to call when it’s over and you’ll come by and take all their junk away for them. They will be thankful at the end of the day. Ask your friends with trucks to be on-call to help pick things up because the phone will ring. Believe me!

  9. How to get volunteers: These items will become your garage sale seeds. You will need friends with trucks, a few hours and a bit of brawn to help move any large items. During the next week you will need to invite some girlfriends (or boyfriends) over to help put price tags on before the sale. You might not get to tag everything, but try finish as much as you can before the sale. It makes selling so much easier. Let your volunteers know in exchange for helping they can have first dibs on all the cool treasures you will acquire! You are not asking for a hand out , remember, you are working hard toward your goal and doing sacred clean-up work at the same time! I do mean cool treasures, too. I could not believe what people gave away. Fabulous vintage clothes, antique furniture, brand new designer dresses, Peugeot bikes, power tools, working computers, collections and, of course, what I thought was junk. Wrong!

  10. Feel proud! You will be doing all your friends a service clearing out their basements and attics and they will love you for it! It’s amazing what people will throw out but it’s even more amazing what people will buy! I became humbled in the view of what was one man’s garbage became another man’s or woman’s prize. It really is true.

    You are a recycling goddess. This is an incredible service to the community. It is also a learning experience for anyone involved every step of the way. It’s good for the whole family. So get your kids involved, too!


I’ve done four major garage sales in my backyard for fund-raising causes. I went to Uzbeckistan as an artist for peace, we brought 30 dancing Uzbecks to Seattle for the Good Will Games, we had a successful troupe costume fund-raiser, and we helped fund a traffic study in the community against a ridiculous greedy corporate building project.. What moved me the most in doing garage sales is seeing what often gets put in the dump: old turntables, plastic appliances, broken video cassettes . . . Witnessing our disposable society first-hand and up-close is a scary thing. But it certainly needs realizing. I felt so good about giving things a second and a third chance to be recycled back into the community again!

Now I’m passing on this empowering information to you so you will have a chance to realize your dream whether it’s for a bellydance retreat or not. If there is a desire, there is away!

Right now is the perfect season for a garage sale!

Love from a true visionary,


Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy,
the chance to draw back,
always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation)
there is one elementary truth
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and endless plans

All sorts of things occur to help one
that would not otherwise have occurred

A whole stream of events issues from the decision
raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamed would come his way.

What ever you can do or dream you can,
begin it.

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now!

— A Quote by Goethe (pronounced Gerta)

I send this quote on a little card with most every promotional retreat packet I send out.

When it comes to providence, I have seen amazing demonstrations.

Diane put that quote on her desk where she could see it everyday and things started to happen, little by little. She knew not where the resources would come. She got an unexpected refund from the cleaning deposit on her last apartment. Her former employers realized they owed her another check. Shazam! Her Mother gave her a gift.! Go Mom! She got a raise! Wow! Before she knew it she was beyond her goal! She even made a profit! She said it was a life-altering lesson for her to put her intention out to the universe like that and have nothing but trust. God and Goddess Bless!

I have seen many women without jobs - and seemingly without resources - make it to my belly dance retreats. I have learned from the way they carry their trust and desires. I’ve seen them dance! We all have and we all need to study from them!

I have witnessed dance troupes send their teachers. I have seen women of means cancel their spot and give it to another woman in need. Not only did this woman gift another the trip but she took her shopping for costumes as well! I have had husbands call and say they were going to stay home with the kids so their wife could go! One woman found a valuable ring and returned it to its owner. She received a reward big enough to go on retreat!

So my heart really goes out to the woman who feels trapped with no hope of going. Yes, it takes money, time and energy to put these retreats together but I know it’s the work god has given me. Somehow, providence moves so we can make it happen for another season.

Let the magic unfold!

Other Inspirational Resource Articles

Retreat Process
Levels of Dance Experience Needed

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