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For Your Well Being: Weekend Get-aways

Dec. 20, 2007, Vol. V Issue 22

Dear Friends,

As I mentioned in my last issue, I went to a lot of events this fall, and a lot of speakers came to this part of the country; so I got my tanks fueled just when I needed it most. I especially enjoyed Women’s Wellness Weekend with a girlfriend at Sunriver Resort, near Bend, Oregon – in the desert high country, just a couple hundred miles from Portland.

One of the things I notice with our clients is a commitment to retreats. I’m not sure these are necessarily money-makers, but the sponsors seem to be committed to them year after year because of the goodwill they generate and the benefits to the attendees. This one at Sunriver is a partnership between the resort and the local medical center, so we’ll share some ideas about that in this issue.

Anyone looking to start the year off with a retreat in January? My friend and speaker, Britt Bensen Steele has put together her own Women’s Weekend Away, Jan. 11-13, 2008 at her retreat center, Cedar Ridge, in Vernonia, Oregon. Now, you may have heard of Vernonia in the national news recently, as the whole town was flooded in the December tempest that blew in off the Pacific. Fortunately, their center is on high ground, and actually served as a shelter for flood refugees until just this week. The weekend agenda sounds like an inspiring, rejuvenating way to start the new year.

I haven’t quite got myself back on a bi-weekly publication schedule so this will be the last issue of For Your Well Being for 2007. Wishing you joy, peace, love, warmth, and the camaraderie of friends and family as we welcome back the light at the solstice this weekend and the freshness of a new year in 10 days.

Sunriver Resort – We’re Not in Kansas (or Portland!) Anymore

It was just late October, but our drive to Bend took us over Mt. Hood in a heavy downpour that turned to slushy snow. As we drove down the mountain and the terrain changed to high desert, the weather morphed into bright sun and blue skies. We arrived at Sunriver Resort just in time for the reception being held at the Sage Springs Spa clubhouse. What I noticed immediately, as we met other women over wine and hors d’oeurvres, was that many of them had flown in – they were from California, Washington, Texas, Idaho, even the East Coast. That got my curiosity up – how did they know about it?

So I asked Janey Evans, RN, BSN, CPCC, one of the organizers for sponsor, St. Charles Medical Center (of Bend and Redmond, OR), and she told me that Sunriver is owned by Destination Hotels & Resorts, and they contacted St. Charles three years ago about collaborating on a women’s wellness weekend (this was the second one). “St. Charles is nationally known for cutting edge health and wellness,” she told me, “with a very strong holistic emphasis. The goals were in line with our mission and it felt like a good match. Sunriver would use their strengths as a resort and in marketing, and we would use ours in directing the programming.”

ShanRae Hawkins, Director of Marketing for Sunriver, told me that they collaborated with Spa magazine running 3 full page ads, and could attribute many of the out-of-state attendees to that advertising. “There’s a perfect synergy with the appeal of a spa (Sage Springs Spa on the premises), the meeting space and accommodations of Sunriver Resort and the programming resources of the medical center. We’re all doing what we do best,” she said.

Besides taking advantage of the opportunity to run away from home to a spa resort for a couple of days, I was excited to see my friend, Dr. Karen Wolfe, as the keynote speaker. Karen used a Wizard of Oz theme for the weekend, opening with “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” on Saturday morning and closing the weekend Sunday morning, with “There’s No Place Like Home.”

Karen, who is a physician from Australia (living in California now), honored the women for taking time out from the craziness of earning a living and taking care of everyone else, to retreat to a nourishing environment with other women and reflect on their own priorities. “I call it respecting their divine discontent,” she said. “We each have gifts and talents and our unique gifts are meant to be expressed from the inside out. The power of retreat is in helping women find their way home.”

As she led us through her seven secrets from the Wizard of Oz, she skillfully shared mind-body and spiritual truths that were both comforting — in the sense of acceptance — and inspiring: “What’s your dream? The answer is closer than you think,” she told us as she reminded us of Dorothy’s words from the movie: “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” Hmm . . .

For the rest of Saturday, we had our choice of three topics in each of three breakout sessions. Topics included Intuitive Eating, Meditation, Soul Collage, Sexuality and Intimacy, What the x!#$ Did You Think I Said? and What the x!#$ Did You Think I Meant? And, my favorite, naturally, one called Wine Chocolate and Your Heart. Early risers Saturday morning, could choose between Tai Chi and a chakra meditation. Throughout the day there were reiki and acupuncture demos, and at the end of the afternoon, there was an optional Nia class at the spa. What was really rewarding for me, was the camaraderie at meals and in the hallways, which was as meaningful as all the wonderful things I learned and experienced in the sessions.

“We had excellent feedback from the participants although many asked for more time,” Janey said. “It’s a balancing act trying to give the women the time they want and keep the cost affordable. One of the options we’re considering is a pre-conference day on a specific topic on Friday.”

I’d never been to Sunriver Resort and was absolutely thrilled with the accommodations that felt both woodsy-natural and luxurious. The setting on the golf course with its mountain view was peaceful and beautiful as only nature can be. Oh, and did I mention the nature sounds? When we returned to our townhouse Saturday afternoon, there was an amazing sound of doves cooing and crickets chirping coming from the rafters. It seemed authentic and was kind of fun at first. But these were summer sounds and it wasn’t summer, and after a while the repetition grew a little irritating. What ever happened to peace and quiet? My friend called the front desk only to find out that it was a recording that was part of the turndown service. They were going to send someone over to fix our “problem,” but when we discovered it was actually coming from the clock radio in the bedroom loft, we turned it off ourselves and had a long, hearty laugh!

Anyone interested in reservations for next year can call 800-547-3922. The dates are Oct. 17-19, 2008. And, please call me if you’d like to talk about ideas or speakers for your retreat. Sharing ideas and inspirations is what this is all about. You can also look on our website under EVENT TYPE, Women’s Retreat, and recommended speakers will come up in random order.

Honeymoon with Big Joy

I’ve been cleaning out files and all the clippings and notes I collect throughout the year. In the process, I found this wonderful poem that I think I got at the Women’s Wellness Day at the National Wellness Conference this past summer. For me, it sets an inspiring tone for the new year, so I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope in 2008 that you’re inspired to run with wildfire and honeymoon with Big Joy. In gratitude, all the best to you in 2008.

Willapa Bay Sunset on the Olympic Peninsula

Shake out your qualms.
Shake up your dreams.
Deepen your roots.
Extend your branches.
Trust deep water
and head for the open,
even if your vision
shipwrecks you.
Quit your addiction
To sneer and complain.
Open a look out.
Dance on a brink.
Run with your wildfire.
You are closer to glory
leaping an abyss
than upholstering a rut.
Not dawdling.
Not doubting.
Intrepid all the way.
Walk toward clarity.
At every crossroad
be prepared
to bump into wonder.
Only love prevails.
En route to disaster
insist on canticles.
Lift your ineffable
out of the mundane.
Nothing perishes;
Nothing survives;
Everything transforms.
Honeymoon with Big Joy!

–James Broughton

Until next time, be good to yourself – celebrate you and yours, every moment and your wildfire — for your good health and those you love.

Yours truly,

PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.

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