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For Your Well Being: Having Your Retreat and Weekend, Too!

April 13, 2006, Vol. IV Issue 8

Dear Friends,

As we approach Easter weekend, I’m reminded of the many Good Fridays I’ve spent in Silent Retreat. What a gift to give myself time away from daily responsibilities . . . time simply for me, to be, to contemplate, reflect and appreciate.

Retreats in the monastic tradition have been gaining in popularity in Western cultures as people seek places to nurture spiritual contemplation and renewal. Meantime, hospitals and wellness groups are recognizing the value of bringing people together in a retreat setting for renewal of mind, body and spirit. The retreat experience offers a temporary withdrawal from daily life, creating the opportunity to focus on oneself, relax, learn and even have some fun.

I see hospitals taking up the retreat banner because they recognize that stress is a way of life in our hectic society. And stress is not just uncomfortable, distracting or bothersome; it can be a dangerous risk factor that may lead to serious conditions, such as heart disease. So, if it isn’t enough of a reason to get away and do it for fun, you get to do it for your health!

That’s our focus in this second issue of our new graphic format (we heard from some of you that you really like it!), along with some updates on some of our speakers who have been making the news.

Having Your Retreat and Weekend, Too!

Entrance to Fontana Spa at The Abbey

Okay, so the problem today is how do you squeeze a retreat into an already packed schedule? Squeeze a retreat in . . . now there’s an oxymoron. Even when we’re going to forgo the errands and take time for ourselves, women still want some family time in their weekend. Consequently, I’ve noticed clients coming up with creative solutions to accommodate these schedule challenges. They get to have their retreat and weekend, too!

The common denominators are that women’s retreats are held off-site and usually involve an overnight stay at a resort or spa. There’s just something about staying overnight that bonds a group in a different way than without it. One format is to start Friday late afternoon/evening with registration and informal networking or a light program in the evening. Then they start Saturday with a keynote speaker, move into breakout sessions, lunch, more breakouts and close the day with a wrap-up or closing keynote, ending by 4 p.m. Those who can make a weekend of it, can take advantage of an optional Saturday night stay.

Another format starts Saturday morning, and goes all day with various breakout sessions, then dinner and an entertaining after-dinner speaker. They continue with some Sunday morning sessions and are on their way home by noon. (Those coming from a distance might opt for an optional Friday night stay at the front end of the weekend).

And here’s an idea I really like, the all-day Friday Retreat that still gives you your weekend. It makes sense. If you’re going to take a retreat day, why not take a day off for it? ProHealth’s Waukesha Memorial Hospital, in Waukesha, Wisconsin is holding their 2006 Retreat on Friday, April 28 at a lakeside resort, The Abbey, in Lake Geneva. And they’ve chosen to center their retreat around one theme, “From Stress to Strength:  How to Create the Life Your Soul Desires,” delivered by two speakers, Drs. Karen Wolfe and Deborah Kern who are co-creating the day.

Dr. Karen Wolfe and Dr. Deborah Kern

“We live in a fast-paced, over-stressed society,” Dr. Wolfe said. “So when you choose to live in a conscious, healthy, life-affirming way, you need support. We’ll be sharing information and practical tools to re-align mind, body and spirit to create a healthy, joyful and balanced life. It will be very experiential.”

“The beauty of having an extended amount of time with participants, like a full day or weekend retreat, is that it allows us to share our passion more fully and allows participants to experience our work more deeply,” Dr. Kern said. “Although it is possible to educate, motivate and inspire during a 60 or 90 minute keynote or breakout session, the expanded time frame of a retreat allows participants to experience and embody the transformative information they are receiving. It also allows for much-needed bonding time which can be the most healing aspect of the event.”

Laura Armstrong, education specialist for ProHealth’s Women’s Center, said that some participants are staying overnight Thursday or Friday night but there won’t be any planned activities. “We opted to keep it simple for our first destination resort retreat,” she told me. That also gives the women free time to enjoy the resort and spa services.

Accomplished retreat leaders, Drs. Wolfe and Kern are the co-authors of Create the Body Your Soul Desires. Learn more about Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Kern on their profile pages on our website. Or call me at 503-699-5031 with your questions and retreat ideas.


Dr. Robin Smith: The Doctor is On

It was right around this time last year that I wrote about Dr. Robin Smith’s first appearances on Oprah. Since then, she’s become such a regular guest that she’s featured in this month’s issue of the O Magazine as the resident psychologist. The story is called, “The Doctor is On” and here’s an online link where you can read all about it.

I’m even more excited about her new book, debuting in May, “Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages.” Approaching nine months into my marriage, I have to admit I don’t feel like I need this book (yet!), but I’m not naïve enough to think I couldn’t benefit from it! The promotional literature says it is for couples who are planning marriage, are newly married or who have been married for years.

Naming truth as the secret ingredient of great marriages, Dr. Robin (As she likes to be called) teaches individuals and couples how to find the truth within themselves and their partners, whether they are heading to the altar, suffering in an unhappy marriage, divorced, or simply want to bring more satisfaction and intimacy into their relationship.

I’ve found Dr. Robin to be delightfully frank and funny, long before Oprah invited her to share her expertise. If relationships, self-esteem, or inspiration are topics you’re considering for a women’s or wellness event, give me a call at 503-699-5031.

A CHARMED LIFE with Victoria Moran: On Martha Stewart Living Radio

Victoria Moran

Creating a Charmed Life, is Victoria Moran’s best-selling book and its author is coming to the airwaves. Every Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock Eastern time, you can tune in to “A Charmed Life with Victoria Moran,” on the Martha Stewart Living channel (#112) of Sirius Satellite Radio. This is a call-in show (the toll-free number is 866-675-6675) so you’ll have the opportunity to talk with Victoria and ask questions of her fascinating guests.

For starters, this Saturday, APRIL 15
Sat., April 15, 2 pm Eastern, on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112, the premier show of A Charmed Life with Victoria Moran. Charmed Life theme for the day: Abundance. Guests: Jerrold Mundis, author of How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously (, and Rev. Paul Tenaglia, senior minister of Unity of New York City and teacher of the course, ‘Manifest Your Destiny: 9 Spiritual Steps to Getting Everything You Want’ (

To learn more about Victoria’s speaking topics, click here or call me at 503-699-5031.


How well I remember the August Women’s Retreats on Drummond Island that my friend and Nia mentor, Winalee Zeeb created when I lived in Michigan. They were very full and gratifying three-day weekends where life-changing shifts happened for me and many others. We lovingly called them Goddess weekends because that’s how we felt when we returned home – glowing, free, enlightened, power-filled.

I think we have to do what we have to do to fit things in these days. We constantly face choices for our time and attention.  AND, taking time out for yourself could be the life-changing and/or life-saving thing you do for yourself. So whether it’s a day, day and a half or a bona fide weekend, I encourage those of you who plan retreats to do it with confidence. Build it and we will come!

Britt Bensen Steele

In my part of the country, Britt Bensen Steele is hosting a Women’s Weekend Away, June 10-12, at Cedar Ridge Retreat Center, less than an hour’s drive from Portland, Oregon.

Just returning from three months immersed in yoga in Thailand, Britt is bringing a comprehensive focus on the joy of yoga to this Women’s Weekend Away. Britt said attendees will learn their Yantra sign (a little like astrology), a whole foods approach to nutrition, self-healing, and the integration of peace and power into one’s life. If you look at the pictures on her website, you’ll also get a sense that it will be a whole lot of girlfriend fun!

For Your Funnybone: THE PASTA DIET

Just walk pasta bakery without stopping …

pasta candy store without stopping …

pasta ice cream shop without stopping…

Pasta, you got it!

But don’t walk pasta the flowers. Enjoy all the refreshing aspects of Spring! It’s new, all new.

Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,

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