Align Lab FAQs

Program Details
How is the program set up?
The Align Lab is run several times a year.  To accommodate a variety of participant schedules, needs, and locations, we have several different program set-ups.  These include our:
  • 10-week Blended Program with a mix of online and face to face group sessions, 
  • 4-month Intensive Retreat Program which blends two, two-day group retreats with online sessions and personal reflection,
  • Self-Paced, Self-Led program with a downloadable workbook and self-directed personal reflection (coming soon!)
Whatever program you choose, all are designed to lead you through a self-discovery process that helps you shift perceptions, make more conscious choices, and put what you learn into practice.  And all include access to a safe, private, and moderated Facebook group for Align Lab participants and graduates to share ideas, garner support, and connect with each other. 
What is the cost of the program?
The cost of the program varies based on which program you choose, whether you come with a friend (the more the merrier, so bring a friend to save $100 each), whether you are a VIP client of either HIP Strategic Consulting or Ears Forward Coaching (loyalty pays! existing clients should connect with us to learn how to get their reduced rate), and when you register (early bird registrants save money!).  Best to check out our individual program offerings on our Book Online page to see pricing.  
What can I hope to explore, examine, and practice while I'm attending the program? 
The Align Lab isn't so much about learning, as it is about exploring, examining, shifting, and practicing what in most cases you already know.  
  • It's about bringing our unconscious values to the forefront so that we can make more conscious decisions.  
  • It's about understanding what we are working towards and how we want to frame the journey to our ideal life.  
  • It's about painting a clear picture of what is and what is not okay in terms of boundaries, choices, decisions, and expectations.  
  • It's about understanding that while we need to work hard to achieve our goals, often working smarter and focusing in on our goals, doing the right activities will get us closer to our the intentions we have set for ourselves.  
  • It's about knowing that balance between our personal and professional lives is about understanding and managing our self-expectations, learning to say 'no' with confidence, and not taking on activities that do not bring us joy or move us towards our ideal life.  
  • It's about knowing who we are at the core, and honouring that individual - the good, the bad, and the ugly - without self-judgment or shame.  
  • It is about embracing who we each are, the unique "magic" we bring to the world, celebrating ourselves and the small steps we are taking to achieve our dreams.
It's about becoming #wildlysuccessful on our own terms!  And being able to do that requires that we are intimately familiar with who we are, what we want, what we are willing to flex on and what we are not, and where we are going - both personally and professionally.  It requires that we dig deep, be brutally honest with ourselves, and be open to new ideas and perspectives.  
What kinds of activities can I expect to do during the program?
The Align Lab uses a combination self-reflection based on worksheets, journal prompts, and questions, peer-based conversations and exploration, mastermind techniques, and accountability processes to help participants define who they are, where they want to go, how they will get there, and how they will hold themselves accountable.  
This personal and group work is further supported by relevant topic-specific videos and articles found online, videos from the facilitators, and a safe, private, and moderated Facebook group for current and past Align Lab participants.  
In addition, registered participants have access to one 30-minute coaching session with the Lead Facilitator, Angie McLeod, when they hit a sticky point and need an outside sounding board to help them gain perspective and move forward.  
Where are the face-to-face sessions held?
The face-to-face sessions are held at Azadeh Acres in Whonnock, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, a small and private hobby farm owned and operated by Sharolyn Wandzura of Ears Forward Coaching. The interior space is bright, cozy, and open allowing participants space to move around, group up, or work independently.  The outside space is zen like... a blend of formal outdoor seating areas, more relaxed gathering spaces, and beautiful gardens and trees.  Pictures to come.  Weather dependent, we will spend at least part of each session outside. 
What platform do you use to host the online sessions?
Online sessions are hosted on the Zoom platform (you can check out the specific technical requirement at  A strong and consistent internet connection is needed to fully participate in the sessions by video; however, participants have the option of phoning into the online meeting if their technology or internet connections are not sufficient.  Being able to see your smiling face and read your body language is helpful for both facilitators and participants as they want to connect with you, so the video option is preferred.  
More about the herd & interacting with the horses:
Which programs have me interacting with the Ears Forward Coaching herd of horses?
Both the 10-week Blended Program and the 4-month Intensive Retreat program include interactions with the horses.  
In the 10-week Blended Program the group interacts with the horses (individually and as observers) for about 3 hours throughout the program with each interaction providing increased insight into our own sticky-points and awareness levels.  
In the 4-month Intensive Retreat program, this increases to 4-5 hours blending individual work, observation of co-participants interactions, and group discussions as a means to dig deeper into what the herd is telling us.
What if I am afraid of horses?
The herd - Mannah, Sweet Georgia Brown, and Leroy - are all trained equine therapy horses and Sharolyn Wandzura (the herd master) is never far off!  Keep in mind the "herd therapy" does not involve riding the horses - it's more about being close to the horses, grooming them, and leading them through an obstacle course of your key growth areas.  
The joy of this program is that you choose to participate in this element of the program - you can decide to simply be an observer.  However, past participants have noted that interacting with the herd has helped them understand their sticky-points in new ways and to identify areas in which they are stuck that they were not aware of.  
While we may gently push you to participate in this portion of the program, you can say "no" and that no will be respected by co-participants and the facilitators.
What if I am allergic to horses?
Depending on the severity of your allergy, you can choose to participate in this element of the program or not. Even as an observer of other participants you will learn something... so the time won't be lost or wasted.  Whether you are allergic or not,  we recommend wearing gloves and long sleeves, taking your allergy medications if this is at all a concern, and only doing what you are comfortable doing with the horses.
Our next 4-month Blended Retreat Program starts June 22, 2019
Register today if you are ready to start making conscious decisions about your life and work.  

Questions? Check out these links to more information


T: 604.476.2447


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