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Category: travel

Let’s Retreat

Picture yourself waking up in a soulful setting and making space to connect with your deepest dreams and desires.

Since 2000 I’ve offered retreats to nurture the soul and four idyllic locations are currently open: Paris, West Virginia, Costa Rica, and Tuscany!

Each retreat is devoted to a particular theme and includes yoga, mindfulness, and creative play in the form of art journaling or writing.

Participants have gone on to start businesses, blogs, books, and more!

Consider setting aside three to seven days to nurture your spirit in one of these stunning settings. I promise to spoil you and create a safe space for nourishing and growing your dreams.

And, yes, the confirmation comes with a packing list to make your getaway even easier!

P.S. Can’t get away but want a retreat experience? Consider the Virtual Retreats. Next live one is happening on October 20. No packed bags or travel arrangements necessary.

A Garden to Walk In

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in—what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.—Victor Hugo

Thursday morning my alarm chimed at 4am for my 5:55am flight to North Carolina. I showered and stuffed all I needed—notebook, colored markers, washi tape, toiletries, a change of clothing, laptop, Kindle, journal—into a carry-on tote bag. Before greeting the Lyft driver for the 20-minute jaunt to the airport, I noshed on chia seed pudding and kissed the pups and Tim goodbye.

Upon arrival to North Carolina, I googled “juice bar” and made my way to Happy + Hale for avocado toast topped with capers and Sriracha sauce plus a green juice. The Writing for Health workshop was held at Duke Integrative Medicine which reminded me of a meditation retreat center complete with fountains, a meditation room, a labyrinth, and a library.

Thursday was a blend of lecture, writing, and sharing and by the end of the day, I was a bit loopy. Before heading to my AirBnB to crash, I met up with a longtime friend at Nasher Museum Cafe to enjoy a glass of vino, vegan risotto, and a salad.

My alarm rang at 6:50 the following morning as I needed to see Duke Gardens (and get more avocado toast and green juice in my belly) before my 9am workshop began. Enamored, I snapped these photos during my quick self-guided tour around the property.

The path in took me straight to a large fountain and rose garden where I promptly smelled as many roses as possible. One of the gardeners kept watching me and seemed concerned about my abundance of enthusiasm.

Next was the terrace (second photo above). As I left, I saw these peonies in the lower right corner and let out a small shriek. I ran over, sniffed them, and snapped the pic below. Peonies!

After picking up my go-to from Happy + Hale, I headed in for the second day of the workshop for more writing, processing, and learning feeling refreshed.

Starting the day roaming through manicured gardens filled with happy flora was a gift. Colors, smells, and sounds can heal. A garden to walk in is a true source of awe and delight. Bisous. x

April in Review + Resources

You can start anew at any given moment. Life is just the passage of time and it’s up to you to pass it as you please.—Charlotte Eriksson

Month in Review

April whirred by like a high speed train with sweet stops along the way.

Last month’s experiences included the spring virtual retreat, two jaunts to the beach, a jaunt to the woods, the purchase of a Kindle to tote a portion of my library with me, a Wise Woman Wednesday feature, a jaunt to the mountains on Easter, hours of planting flowers in my patio garden, nine ballet and a few yoga classes, two podcast releases, veg week, updates to Tranquil Treasures {hope you like them!}, the struggle to make myself a priority, a Pigs & Pugs Project board meeting, the ongoing practice of tea meditation, listening to Elle Luna speak about her new book, the appreciation of many pink spring blooms including my first peony bouquet, collaboration with mentoring and therapy clients, a podcast interview on The Creative Imposter, an afternoon tea with a girlfriend, playtime in my art journal, the ongoing search for a farmette, and the release of the creativity module for Year of Tranquility.

Since selling the studio I’ve enjoyed the energetic shifts that include open weekends without the weight of responsibility. April provided space to explore how my use of time and energy aligns {and doesn’t} with my deepest desires. I hope to do continued reflection on how to shorten the gap.

As I turn my attention to May, I see opportunities for spending time with more pink blooms, learning, and writing. My wish is that we can continue this connection to blooming along with the natural world while also weeding out that which no longer allows us to grow. Bisous. x

May Wish List

Learn lots at a small farming workshop
Host inspiring Year of Tranquility Minimalism module
Take 10-12 ballet classes
Finish Animal Assisted Interventions module
Tend garden {the peas are sprouting!}
Buy peonies, peonies, peonies
Pen weekly blog posts
Release two love notes
Collaborate with mentoring and therapy clients
Designate reading and writing time
Learn lots at Duke writing program this week
Finish TranquiliT spring launch
Survive single parenting for 10 days
Enjoy Giselle ballet performance date with friend
Return to memoir writing

Savvy Sources

13 Films to Watch to Inspire Your Next Paris Trip
How to Stop Eating Sugar
Pink Pomegranate Rose Latte
Getting the Right Things Done: Important vs Urgent
The Way to Wear Overalls
10 Books to Add to Your May Reading List
Vegan Spring Recipes
Guide to 10 Amazing Greens
How to Grow Microgreens
15 Tiny Outdoor Garden Ideas
Spring Cleaning: The Practice of Minimalism
Sketching On the Go
Create Your Own Afternoon Retreat