Kimberlyn David

Being @ Work: a retreat for changemakers & the orgs they lead

As the rise of burnout increases, we see more and more prescriptive measures. Eat healthily, get plenty of rest, meditate, try some yoga, etc. While taking care of ourselves and managing stress are indeed important, burnout is not strictly an individual challenge. It is a collective one.

Have you been down the road of burnout, maybe even more than once? It is debilitating, isn't it? And because it is largely framed as an individual issue, burnout can be socially isolating, leading to feelings of shame—even though it is a major global phenomenon. It makes no sense to peg burnout as an embarrassing personal failure when so many of us are experiencing it.

It’s time to rethink how we work.

We’ve all heard the saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (it's attributed to Gandhi, and even though he never said these words, they make a lot of sense). While values-oriented orgs are committed to change, the being part of our work tends to go missing: It’s easy to pretend that living wages don’t matter to our quality of life; we preach loyalty to the “higher cause” while negating our needs for rest and leisurely freedom; it’s easy to work to the point of illness and utter exhaustion. Why?

The simple reason is that we have yet to learn healthy ways of working. The industrial era is behind us, yet it still defines how we work—mechanistically, with an overemphasis on productivity (which we see being carried through to the robotization of work). Evidence is mounting, and it can no longer be ignored: The way we’re working is detrimental to ourselves, our missions, and for the whole of life on this planet.


    We are the solution.

    There are pressures to perform, pressures to make our work financially sustainable. But unless we’re willing to acknowledge how burnout culture robs our ability to achieve our missions and fulfill our own potential, we’re adding to the problem rather than spearheading the solutions.

    To be the changes we’re working for, we need to be at the forefront of changing how our human society defines, performs, and values work. As changemakers, we already possess the creativity and determination to lead humanity out of destructive cycles of burn and crash.

    The rapid rise of automation and the urgent need to protect our climate will disrupt work as we know it, anyway. Now is our opportunity to lead the change, not just let it happen. By leading the way, we can ensure that the future of work benefits the whole of human society and life on this precious planet.

    Changing how we work is not easy work. It asks us to acknowledge and own up to the ways we all participate in and reinforce oppression. It takes the courage to be aware of and honest about how we reduce ourselves and others through work.

    Changing how we work is the kind of next-level innovation the world awaits.

    With our Being @ Work retreats, Fabiola Benavente and I are on a mission to help individuals and orgs thrive more, so the world can fully benefit from who they are and what they do.

    Being @ Work retreats are for courageous, creative changemakers and the forward-thinking orgs they lead. Inspiration for Being @ Work grew from our own experiences with burnout and witnessing disconnects between changemaking missions and work cultures.


      A Practical & Purposeful Retreat

      Every org has its unique set of dynamics, so we will curate a retreat to suit your particular needs and wishes. General sources for your experiential retreat include:

      • Contemplative practices (dialogue, mindfulness, movement)

      • Leadership practices (self-inquiry, innovation, bridge-building, authentic presence)  

      • Possibility practices (imagination, knowledge, perspective)

      Retreat objectives:

      • Gently address unsustainable patterns

      • Practice being at ease

      • Discover a deeper why in work

      • Develop a whole-person, whole-society, whole-planet approach

      • Envision being-centered work as a key component of delivering value, change, and innovation

      • Initiate collaborative policies of care


        About us

        As facilitators, we aim to break taboos around how society defines, performs, and values work. By guiding workshops/retreats, we plant seeds of change for all of us. Our motto: HOW we work IS the work.

        Fabiola Benavente.png

        meet Fabiola benavente

        My professional background is in marketing and communications. I believe that to move forward sustainably, we need to cultivate our inner wellbeing.

        My big passion is encouraging changemakers to craft meaningful lives and work that fit our true selves and serve the world—by strengthening our capacities for authenticity, leadership, and transformation.

        I’ve lived and worked in the US, the UK, and Belgium. Born in Chiapas, Mexico, I’m deeply in touch with the heritage of my Mayan ancestors. I live in Belgium, where my journey continues to evolve and fill me with compassion. I’m a initiator of the Changemakers Forward community.

        KD fiets.jpg

        Meet kimberlyn David

        I’m passionate about encouraging changemakers to feel at home in their bodies, minds, and hearts—and in the truths that their voices stand for.

        Like Fabiola, I have a professional background in communications. I’m also a certified yoga teacher and a meditation practitioner.

        Born and raised in the US, I have lived elsewhere for nearly a decade, with the Netherlands being my current home base.