Immersing Fully Into the Experience ~ Beyond the Retreat
It’s really been a potent and enriching week here, which is why I’ve been away from blogging and sharing for a while, as I immersed myself fully into the experiences and the energies abound.
It all kicked off with a truly wonderful retreat experience shared between myself and a beautiful soul, and has continued with full days of snow, skiing, and family – with a big gathering (12 of us) on yesterday’s New Moon and Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey.
With today being my day off to integrate it all before a couple more days of outdoor fun and family, I thought I’d end off the day in reflection with this share about our beautiful retreat, as writing things out always deepens the experience.
Last week kicked off the first Private Immersive Retreat of the year, as I welcomed the beautiful Kathleen on Wednesday evening to our forest home in Pine Grove at Gold Country Campground.
Some of the parks have rooms, cottages, and cabins for rent, and with winter chills and very cold nights, this makes it a great option for those who aren’t winter campers. So our Pine Grove home here worked perfectly for this since that was available.
The way the private retreats work is that each person lets me know the kind of environment they’d like to have their experience in – be that ocean, mountain, desert, etc. – and then we set up days during a time when we know we’ll be in the desired location.
Kathleen was yearning for forest and mountain energy (I certainly can’t blame her 😉 )and that’s what we had a perfect dose of to here to support her desires.
The rest is all customized to each person’s needs, intents, and requests, along with what I intuit to be most important to help with their personal journeys.
I then put together ideas along with a meal plan and the organic flow begins to create itself around the energy of the intention held for the time shared.
It’s all so much fun and so rich in deep layers, it really is too hard to explain the magnitude of what we share, let alone what takes place energetically beyond what is seen.
And it truly is my joy to create these experiences, as they flow so naturally with who I am and the gifts I have to share with others.
Before I share a bit about this retreat, I want to provide some insight on what all goes into something like this, as I have many students, clients, and friends interested in creating this kind of work for their path as well.
I always like to support people with understanding what is involved with things and the kinds of experiences that are possible, in order to provide a clearer picture to help with choices on both ends of the giving and receiving.
I’ve supported and facilitated a lot of group retreats, weekends, workshops, and experiences, but I do have to say that there’s something extra special about the one-on-one and being able to really delve into a deep partnership, being able to spend that extra time helping someone with their needs on an intimate level, being able to let my creative, nurturing side out even more, and being able to flow more organically, as we know what we want to achieve but how that looks can take on many forms that match the energy in the moment.
It is a very involved process that involves both parties fully showing up, and is demanding of your all in every way.
So it’s not something to do unless you really love it and it is simply who you are.
That goes for both group and private experiences….and truly that goes without saying, is also important in terms of anything you decide to do in life.
Take time to explore it fully, ask questions to others who are doing it or have done it, and feel into it with the heart of who you are.
I know a lot of my students or retreat clients always get excited about wanting to host their own retreats at some point, which I fully support, but I also fully want them to understand what it asks of you and what you must be willing to invest in all ways, regardless of the outcome.
There is a lot involved to take into account, and these private retreats also involve your all, as basically you’re running the full show and it’s not glamorous, as some people would like to believe.
It’s real. Real life. Real giving and receiving. Real you. All the way.
For example, I did all the food prep (3 meals a day plus desserts), all the planning, all the facilitating, all the clean up, all the attention to details, on top of caring for my four babies (animal companions), taking care of the household, laundry that must be done daily, taking care of me, etc.
It’s a lot and I LOVE it, but it’s not for everyone unless you know this is who you are and you would do it regardless of whether or not there was any compensation at the end of the day.
For me, it’s an extension of who I am and I believe if others can’t see and feel that in you, then there’s something to look at in terms of whether or not this kind of path is for you.
It also takes knowing how to balance, nurture, and care for your needs as well, as you can’t do these kinds of things without knowing how to first and foremost be a healthy and thriving person, otherwise you’ll find yourself crashing or burned out really quickly.
I find these experiences, like the retreats, to be mutually fulfilling and in many ways are like a retreat for myself. But that has come with a big learning curve on self-care and making sure I am able to invest what is needed to do something of quality.
I receive a lot from the experience and learn a lot, as well as get a chance to express all the facets of me that are most important, vital, and that are my essence.
But there is an investment of time, energy, finances, and your heart and soul. You need to be present in all ways…and that means truly showing up yourself, as the best you you can be.
That said, I’ll share some of the highlights and things I love.
One of those things is the ability to express my creativity, to be naturally me, and to flow organically.
One of those creative outlet enjoyments for me is to express it and my personal magick flair in the kitchen, which I love having opportunity to do for others.
And this experience provided that, along with so many other wonderful channels of my personal essence, which then equate to the strengths I have to support others with.
So the retreat kicked off with a welcome dinner last Wednesday night, which included a gift goody bag intuited for her needs and fun, then continued for three full immersive days – Thursday through Saturday – departing on Sunday morning.
The meal plan I created and that we shared was a blend of so many wonderful tastes and provided opportunity for me to share about vegan cooking, impart ideas and shopping hints, and show what I was doing, which was perfect since she has been transitioning to a vegan diet and was really interested in learning – one of the intents for the days we spent together.
Here’s what our mouths and tummies got to explore and enjoy during this retreat, to give you an example:
Dinner – Vegan lasagna (broccoli, olives, vegan Italian sausage, vegan cheese) with side baby kale salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, avocado and fresh herb infusion dressing
Dessert – Raw vegan coconut cacao balls
Breakfast – Raw vanilla cinnamon chia seed pudding topped with blackberries with a raspberry, goji berry, cacao, banana, orange, ginger, kale, flax seed, and powdered chard/kale greens smoothie
Lunch – Vegan BBQ oven “fried” tempeh with vegan ranch dressing and extra BBQ sauce side, carrot and celery sticks and homemade sundried tomato basil hummus and cilantro jalapeno hummus
Dinner- Vegan black bean, broccoli, portabello quesadillas topped with fresh cilantro
Dessert – Raw vegan chocolate mousse tart with almond, date, coconut crust and layer of strawberries in between, topped with strawberry flowers and coconut
Breakfast – Homemade vegan pancakes topped with fruit and maple syrup with side of tempeh bacon
Lunch – Vegan “cobb” salad with mock “fried” chicken tempeh marinated in tamari and breaded, black beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, hemp seeds, and vegan ranch dressing
Dinner – Vegan red lentils and Moong Dal in a cashew almond sauce with fresh bread
Dessert – Vegan s’mores roasted fireside at our campsite (vegan marshmallows, dark chocolate, and vegan graham cookies
Breakfast – Tofu scramble with diced vegan sausage patties, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, vegan cheddar shreds, nutritional yeast with side of toast and blackberry jam
Lunch – Vegan potato leek soup
Dinner – Vegan ginger garlic chickpea fritters over red quinoa with Thai mint peanut sauce
Dessert – Raw vegan key lime pie with one layer key lime, one layer coconut key lime, on coconut almond date crust and topped with a mango lotus mandala centered with blackberry
Breakfast – Vegan banana, raisin, cinnamon, vanilla oat breakfast squares
Talk about delicious and such a treat for me to make and eat! I love exploring both things I love making and new adventures in cuisine to stretch my creative palette. Kathleen got to see the Faery at work in the kitchen sprinkling magick here and there. hehe!
I think she mentioned once that I looked like I dance around the kitchen, which was a fun reflection since I believe life can be a work of art and a flow of energy that moves you and moves through you.
And our days were filled with a variety of experiences and sharing that helped to focus on the fundamentals of her desires and what I felt would most effectively help with that.
So our days were as varied as our meals and each day couldn’t have flowed, aligned, and concluded more perfectly.
We were always giggling because every time we did Tarot readings, it would be the exact reflection and even words I/we had just got finished saying right before or the day/evening before. Love that! As it truly provides that reiteration the ego does feel more at ease with receiving.
And our days were packed full of punch AND fun!
- Tarot – beginning with more involved readings and then little touch in cards and smaller ones every day (usually twice a day at onset and end)
- Nature walks being very present and aware of all that was around us and receiving those messages and signs while communing with the Faeries and spirit presences all around us
- Learning how to trust our intuition and the voices within
- Seeing the magick all around
- Sacred shamanic ceremony our first day in our sacred tree circle we found and loved, which set the tone for the retreat and called in the support we needed
- Different meditations – including one to connect with with Earth and Cosmos through the heart, meeting guides and receiving symbols for her path, crystal and Faery meditations, and Cosmic, multi-dimensional expansion exercises
- A Reiki Healing Attunement in nature, focusing on gifts and strengths to hone in on her path
- Sound healing in nature where we created beautiful melodies together
- A full in-person Reiki session
- Soul expressive painting outdoors with Faery music – creating our personal windows or mandalas from the expressive child within to represent/symbolize and help us move into the next leg of our journeys and connect with our essence for what we want to create
- A beautiful nature hike and sharing at the lake nearby, which concluded with a spectacular bursting sunrise of vibrant colors and seeing a group of 10 young deer, along with 2 more after, which was the perfect energy symbolism and gift for all the work we did and invested our hearts and souls in
- And a LOT of potent conversation to help move the energy and process all of the focuses she wanted to work on with in-person support
Just beautiful…and I can’t really express what it was like because it truly is an experience.
But what I can say is it wouldn’t have been possible without such an astoundingly courageous soul as Kathleen is and without such an open and loving heart as she has.
It takes an equal partnership of showing up and it takes a willingness to embrace the journey.
And that was all met and then some.
What I can say is that I received as much from our experience together, as she shared having received, but in my own relative way.
And what I can also say is that the growth, integrative depth, and personal power that was experienced, and will continue to unfold, was truly awe-inspiring. So many cool things keep unfolding since our time together, for each of us.
There’s something very powerful that takes place on a journey like this that is not just for the individual who physically shows up for the experience, but also for the collective evolutionary journey in direct ripple effect of the energetic shifts that take place.
What is integrated into your life from a sacred and intentional retreat experience is priceless.
Not everyone will feel called to make the physical travels, and still can do the remote work and benefit, nonetheless, however some can greatly benefit from the in-person experience.
I know I have, myself, when I’ve gone on retreats and sacred journeys in my own life and it’s what I receive as feedback from others.
Since we are all connected, then when one soul taps into, opens and embodies an experience and potential, that experience and potential becomes available to us all.
So with that said, I want to thank Kathleen for her commitment not only to herself, but to embracing her responsibility to the greater and highest good of all concerned.
I loved seeing her magickal self return, as the soul we both know her truly to be.
I am honored.
I am grateful.
I am humbled.
I am filled with love and respect.
We were both sad for our time together to end and yet know that the ending is truly just a beginning.
There is so much more to come and we now have another soul sister to walk that path with.
It really touched my heart to hear that she didn’t want to leave.
I feel that means divine alignment was created and that another thread of the collective tapestry is shining her colors more vibrantly.
What greater gift than to witness the cosmic web of bright stars light up once again.
The immersive experience of a retreat goes far beyond the retreat itself….it is about remembering and being naturally you and learning how to integrate that into your daily life always so that you can live as a shining example for others.
Posted on February 9, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged camping retreats, custom retreats, personal growth, private retreats, retreat experience, spiritual retreats. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.