Mar 2012 Essential Wellness

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march 2012 • resources for inner peace, health and healing


Therapeutic Coaching速 Certification Program The Meta Institute is now in its new home in New Hope The Meta Institute Presents:

Therapeutic Coaching速 Certification Program, an intensive 15 month, weekend program that brings together the best and most effective aspects of life coaching and therapy. Learn the newest cutting edge skills and techniques to assist people in achieving their goals This program will offer you skills from a wide variety of fields such as: If you are interested in adding to your present skills or considering a career change, call for an information package and application. Financing is available. Early payment discounts available!

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Family Therapy Developmental & Life Cycle Stages Motivational Counseling, & so much more!

Applications being accepted for September 2012 Class Free Information Session, Thurs., March 29 (6:30-8:30) please call to register

Reiki Trainings & Other Workshops Reiki I

Reiki Master Teacher

April 21, 2012 (Sat. 10am-6pm) $75

April 3 & 4, 2012 (Tues./Wed. 2-part evening class 6:30-10pm) $300

Reiki II

Intuitive Readings by Mary Beth Tracy

April 22, 2012 (Sun. 10am-6pm) $150

Reiki Master Class

30, 45, 60 minute readings by appointment only

March 6 & 7, 2012 (Tues./Wed. 2-part evening class 6:30-10pm) $300

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Laura Erdman-Luntz invites you on a 10-day Pravassa adventure

ItaLIan styLE Visit Italy, one of the most historically rich countries in the world this September and wake up your body with yoga in Rome’s Borghese Gardens, dip into the sparkling waters of Marina Piccola on Capri’s coast, and stroll the vineyards in the hills of Tragliata.

9/13-9/16 RoMe Yoga in the Borghese Gardens, tours of the Vatican & Colosseum, and an introduction to Italian food. 9/16-9/19 CaPRI Yoga & Qigong in the lemon groves, the beach and a tour of the Blue Grotto. 9/19-9/22 TRaGlIaTa Yoga & Qigong in the rolling hills, wine tastings, and hiking.

Vacation includes: boutique hotel accomodations ground transportation daily breakfast some local dinners daily yoga

september 13-22, 2012 Register at www.pravassa.com info@pravassa.com • 646-389-0208

early price available until 5/1/12 - $3,199+ full price if paid after 5/1/12 - $3,399+

tai chi & qigong classes coaching classes tours of the Vatican Colosseum Blue Grotto

laura erdman-luntz has over 20 years experience in the fitness and wellness industries. Blending her life Coaching knowledge and vast yoga experience, she truly brings mind and body together for positive change. Currently residing in eden Prairie, MN, laura has studied with Judith Hanson lasater, Patricia Walden and Rodney Yee.

airport transfers taxes

Pravassa brings together people who are looking for healthy, life-changing experiences march 2012

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staff

inside

essential wellness digital magazine

march 2012

Twin Cities Wellness aka Essential Wellness 4270 Honey Tree Pass Danbury, WI 54830 Publishers Dee & Lynn LaFroth ADVERTISING Dee LaFroth sales@esswellness.com 715.259.3047 EDITOR Lynn LaFroth info@esswellness.com

6-7 ABOUT THE COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY NANCY CHAKRIN 10-19 Take a spiritual retreat to revitalize your being BY LAURIE ELLIS-YOUNG 22-27 Sacred journeys take us inward BY IXCHEL TUCKER

ART DIRECTOR Sunshine Sevigny

30-33 Ask yourself: What kind of retreat do I need? BY DR. ZEAL OKOGERI

WRITING SUBMISSIONS Click here for guidelines

34-36 Surrender your busyness and return to your center BY CHARLENE TORCHIA AND JOHN HUFFAKER

RECEIVE ESSENTIAL WELLNESS BY EMAIL! Send us your email to receive twice-monthly Celebrate Wellness e-news and Monthly digital Essential Wellness info@esswellness.com

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about the cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY NANCY CHAKRIN

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HE COVER image, by awardwinning photographer and landscape painter, Nancy Chakrin, was taken of retreatant, Lucreica Godoy meditating at sunset at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. In 2008, they were both attending the annual Laurie Elllis-Young “Breathe The Change Wellness and Yoga Retreat” at The Villa Sumaya. Chakrin so loved this retreat that she returned in 2009 and 2010 and began serving as Ellis-Young’s event consultant. (See article beginning page 10). An international speaker, yogini and breathwork pioneer, Ellis-Young and Chakrin began traveling the globe. Unbeknownst to them, these travels led to creating their gold medal book, FRIEND-

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SHIP The Art of the Practice (TRISTAIN Publishing). They were compelled to explore volcanoes, jungles, mountains, oceans, rivers, and cityscapes all in the pursuit of following their individual passions. Their photography experiences became vehicles for depicting and deepening connections with nature while honoring relationships—old and new showing how both friendship and yoga transcend age, gender, cultures, and language. Coinciding with their book, Chakrin produced two traveling interactive and experiential photographic exhibits for healthcare and wellness settings entitled “Yoga ON and OFF the Wall” which feature dazzling photographs of yoginis, ages 10 to 100, practicing solo and duo poses.

“My artwork is focused on two unique but complementary themes: Art as a Healing Therapy and Women Who Help Transform the Lives of Others,” states Chakrin. She is a member of the Midwest Arts in Healthcare Network and the International Society of Arts in Healthcare—organizations that demonstrate the valuable role of art in the healing process. Her assignments have included photographing polar explorer Ann Bancroft; David Gergen of CNN; Doctors Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra and His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Chakrin can be reached at nancy@BreatheTheChange.com. She lives in Minnetonka, MN. Her artwork is found in international collections. w w w. Na n c y C h a k r i n . c o m www.BreatheTheChange.com


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retreats and getaways

Take a spiritual retreat t your being And when you come back home, you bring it with you, helping others to come back home to themselves, helping to change the world. —Adyashanti

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F YOU’RE feeling the urge to go on retreat you’re in good company. People have felt the call to go on retreat for millennia; Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, all needed to get away from it all. Yet never in history have people needed to get away from it all like they do now. Life can become so busy, so hectic, and so crazy that unless we consciously take the time to get away, non-busyness just won’t happen. Phones will ring, text messages will ding, chores, housework, laundry, and e-communication will build up and soon a feeling of overwhelm becomes a daily paradigm of existence. We can feel this angst from others 10 www.esswellness.com

and we also pass it on in both close and distant relationships. Retreat: Necessary for Survival

This overwhelm, this stress, aka “the invisible killer,” begins to wreak havoc on our health and in our lives. “Making a living” can be conducive to a slow or rapid suicide. A retreat in the face of this “adversary” can become necessary for just survival. What makes the retreat an “advance” then, is when where you go and what you do focuses on how to “be” in a way that creates a state of healthy thriving and true transformation. You arrive at a place of serenity and balance within yourself that Continued Page 14...

Photos: Nancy Chakrin


BY LAURIE ELLIS-YOUNG

to revitalize

Author Laurie Young, second from right, shown with retreat group doing yoga tree pose in front of the Ceiba Tree in the jungles of Tikal, Guatemala.

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Living on Purpose Program

A 6-month personal Feng Shui program with Carole Remodeling? Moving? New Construction? Embrace and integrate Feng Shui in your home and your work in a holistic and personal way with Carole as your exclusive Feng Shui consultant. LIMITED AVAILABILITY! Contact Carole for more information.

From House to Home

Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN Saturday, March 24, 8:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.

Carole, Margaret Lulic, Michaela Mahady and Dr. Alex Lanning help you build a relationship with your home that transforms your daily life. For more information or to register, visit http://normandale.augusoft.net and click on House To Home under News and Events. Or call 952.487.8343 612.823.5093 | carole@carolehyder.com | www.carolehyder.com

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BY LEAD. INFLUENCE.

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retreats and getaways Take a Spiritual Retreat continued...

radiates outwards. As in the microcosm so in the macrocosm. It is not grandiose to realize that taking this time for yourself to let go of disquiet and cultivate inner peace contributes not just to more peaceful relationships but to more peace on the planet.

places to be for retreat is among trees of all kinds—oaks, banyans, weeping willows, pines, cedars, mangoes, baobabs, red woods. Glorious in their own right, they serve also as mighty metaphors. Sacred tomes, poetry, and every type of prose since recorded history have utilized the Be in the Trees tree as a way of understanding Whether it is for a week or growth—both literal and figuan hour, one of people’s favorite rative. It’s not unusual then to

Big Island, Hawaii: “Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky...”―Kahlil Gibran

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think of the symbolism of the tree in regards to understanding a retreat as an “advance.” Referring not to a withdrawal from defeat of course, but to a conscious departure from the demands of daily life in order to revitalize. Now imagine, if you will, that a magnificent and astute cedar tree, we’ll name her “Shanti,” desires to share with us. Shanti resides at Renewal Retreat Center, nestled


in verdant mountains on the edge of a tranquil body of water, miles away from the nearest metropolis. Like an elegant sentinel she welcomes retreatants as they first arrive on the premises. “How do you BE ?” she asks as a greeting. Amused by the amount of baggage most retreatants haul past her, Shanti always wonders: “What could they possibly be carrying in all those suitcases? They’ll

never use even half of what they’ve for a yoga retreat. You may or brought,” she chuckles to herself. may not have planned to go on a yoga retreat. That does not Lessons From a Tree matter. It is still a yoga retreat. Shanti is author of the primer You may protest: “All I Need to Know About Re- “But I don’t do yoga!” treats I Learned From a Tree.” It Well, you might not do “asaincludes just three lessons. She in- nas”—the postures of hatha vites retreaters to gather near her yoga—but you DO do yoga as graceful branches and on an ener- a “science of life” or actually, the getic level she imparts her wisdom. Continued Page 18... LESSON I: You are here

“The only way to bring peace to the earth is to learn to make our own life peaceful.” —Buddhist precept

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BY

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retreats and getaways Take a Spiritual Retreat continued...

Meditating on beauty at Villa Sumaya, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

“science of well-being in life” and the key is “being.” It is not often you take the time to experience yourselves as just that: a human BEING—as a gerund verb. And the ultimate key to this state is to be a conscious breathing human being—creating union of body, mind, and spirit. Quite simply and powerfully this is “yoga.” Try this exercise: Simplify your life down to the breath. Know when you are inhaling. Know when you are exhaling. Savor this state now and then find opportunities to integrate it 18 www.esswellness.com

into your daily life such as when you first awake, when you dress and undress, eat, look in a mirror, open a door, etc. Pay attention when you are waiting for anything: red light, computer to download, in line at the grocery store, etc. or when you get into bed. LESSON II: You are here for the three Rs: Reflecting, Releasing, Replenishing. Here’s another exercise to try: Reflect on the tree—its roots, trunk, and branches. Reflect on how “what is seen” has its foundation in “what is not seen.” Be-

come aware of your subconscious, conscious, and super-conscious states. Question yourself. Delve deeply into aspects of yourself that are hidden in the demands and complexities of your everyday life. What are your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations about your life? Do you think, feel, eat, act, work, play, and breathe in ways that nourish you? Make the intention to let go and release any “baggage” that does not serve or nurture you, replacing and replenishing only with what does. LESSON III: A retreat can be


Ross Creek Cedar Grove, Montana “Absorb, absorb, absorb. That is the secret of the tree.”—Deng Ming-Dao, Everyday Tao

a lasting journey. The deeper you can tunnel your roots into “the earth’s sweet flowing breast” the more profound will be the fruitfulness you personally experience and can offer others. By going home and utilizing these simple but powerful tools your retreat becomes an “advance” that enriches everyone around you. It is a gift you give yourself and the world. Laurie Ellis-Young, MTC, CYT, a pioneer in breathwork as an empowering and healing modality, has been leading retreats and pilgrim-

ages on five continents for over 20 years. A tree enthusiast, journeying across an immensely defoliated area of Paraguay in 1995 profoundly impacted her with the ramifications of deforestation on the planet. This situation propelled her to begin a reforestation project on land she and her husband acquired for this purpose in Guatemala. As breath, trees and photosynthesis—“life”—are directly related to each other, she is dedicated to continuing reforestation and welcomes opportunities to share her work for this purpose. Laurie is coauthor of the award-

winning book FRIENDSHIP The Art of the Practice (TRISTAN Publishing). She is currently living with her husband, George, in KAUST, Saudi Arabia and retains residencies in Minneapolis, MN and Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. www.BreatheTheChange.com 2012 retreats include May 4-6: Inner to Outer Peace, Villa Maria, Frontenac, MN. July 1322: In the Mayan Paradise of Antigua & Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Oct. 12-14: Yoga, Wellness & Friendship Cove Point Lodge, Lake Superior North Shore, MN. march 2012

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retreats and getaways

BY IXCHEL TUCKER

Sacred journeys take us inward Life is either a daring adventure Along the way we learn anor nothing. cient, lost and buried stories and —Helen Keller legends. We reawaken the old practices of honoring the Earth, the seasons, the elements and ACRED TRAV- nature. We learn the archetypes EL is becoming that the gods and goddesses repa new way to resent and their attributes that we travel, one that can embrace and also embody. is beyond the ordinary. It gives SACRED JOURNEYS TAKE us the opportunity to discover US INWARD not only ancient lands, but also During Sacred Travel we to discover more of ourselves. discover that we begin to lessen We find ourselves pulled our hold on our outward reality to visit ancient temples of the and journey inside. We are out gods and goddesses, shrines of the comforts and security of and places of worship, mysteri- our daily lives. Our patterns and ous mountains known for their habits are interrupted and it bepower. We go to wells, fountains comes an excellent opportunity and waterfalls, places with heal- to open to what is new. It gives ing properties in their waters. us a chance to look at what we We discover new ways of do and why. We can more easseeing the world as we con- ily see through our illusions and nect with other cultures and Continued Page 24... begin to see through their eyes.

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“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” —Miriam Beard


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COLONICS DETOXIFICATION OXYGEN BAR and so much more!

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Women’s Solstice Weekend New Beginnings The Christine Center June 22-24, 2012

Led by Rebecca Connor, LMFT

Practices for Embracing Life Changes Individual Therapy sessions also available. Most insurance accepted. www.rebeccaconnor.com

(612) 877-1081

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retreats and getaways Take a Spiritual Retreat continued...

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” —Miriam Beard

the masks and roles we play and find what is behind them. Sacred and spiritual travel is an opportunity for transformation on all levels. As Henry Miller put it, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” As you travel, consider new ways of looking at the world. Expand your thoughts, your 26 www.esswellness.com

ideas, and your awareness. Travel with an open heart and with conscious awareness and you will discover a world that is beyond what you’ve seen and become accustomed to. If you’re feeling called to journey to a new land, to discover something new, go for it! Let yourself go, let yourself be changed!

Celtic Mystical Journeys was created by Finbarr Ross as a vehicle to facilitate personal and group travel to the sacred power sites of Ireland, England, Turkey, Scotland, Egypt, Peru and France. He describes these journeys as pathways of self-discovery, conscious awareness, and spiritual wisdom. www.celticmysticaljourneys.com


sacred travel

Whether planning your trip, or while you are on it, there are simple things you can do to bring in more connection with the Sacred.

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Follow your Spirit. Let your Spirit and intuition guide you.

Pay attention to synchronicities and follow them. You may meet someone new that may open a new path or direction for you.

Listen to your heart. What would you love to do? What brings you joy? Have you always wanted to visit Egypt, or Peru, or Stonehenge? Do it!

Open to your other senses. Feel, sense, imagine—listen to the trees, the birds, the wind, the streams. Touch the ancient stones of monuments and temples, close your eyes and see where they take you.

Sacred travel isn’t about just running from place to place … it’s the time between the action … you may get more from the experience if you take it easy, slow down a bit, take more time for rest and reflection. Take a quiet day in the midst of all the places you visit.

Journal and reflect on what insights come to you. Think about how you can bring these discoveries back into your daily life. march 2012

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retreats and getaways

DR. ZEAL OKOGERI

What kind of retreat do I need?

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H I L E GOING a b o u t your daily routine, you have no idea of how much traveling is going on until you decide to either travel or visit a major airport. And then it hits you. “Where in the world is everybody going?” I have asked that question many times, especially at airports overseas, as I watch thousands of people rush to different terminals and gates. QUEST FOR RESTORATION, SOLACE

In addition to going on business trips, returning home, or going to visit loved ones, many travelers are actually on a quest for restoration and solace. They are looking for a place to get away and nourish the soul. They want to let go of the television, phone calls, duties, and all the errands of daily living and 30 www.esswellness.com

just experience peace for a change. Every year over 2.2 million Americans journey around the country and to foreign lands specifically for this reason. Some travel in groups while others journey by themselves. The purpose is the same: To find a place for inner renewal. VARIETY OF RETREATS AVAILABLE

journeys. These are journeys beyond tourism—beyond taking pictures and videos that you may soon forget. They are journeys of awareness—being cognizant of the significance and vitality of each new place, a total immersion and absorption into the environment to experience its dynamism.

FINDING YOUR KIND OF A variety of retreats are avail- RETREAT

able today and people choose the one they feel will closely meet their needs. Those who want to retreat from this noisy world and tune inside may choose a silent retreat to experience what it feels like not to utter a single word for a week or two—a thought that ought to frighten those of us who love to talk. Families may decide to go on a religious retreat because they want their kids to mingle with other kids with similar values. Others can choose from a broad array of non-religious conscious

How does one find a retreat and how much does it cost? There are packages tailored for every budget. They range from a summer camp at a YMCA for less than $50 a night for the entire family, religious retreat centers that offer accommodation on a donation basis, to traveling to ashrams in India or taking a life-changing journey to China for a 12-day luxury retreat for approximately $5,000. Some of these packages Continued Page 32...


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retreats and getaways What Kind of Retreat Do I Need continued...

include outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and water sports; others include meditation and emotional release workshops. There are a number of websites that list getaways and retreats around the world. Some of these are listed at the end of this article. People often target specific challenges while on a retreat, such as addiction, illness, or relationship issues. It is a time for inner reflection to promote personal growth. And many retreaters say that getting away really helped them to tap

into their own internal resources to resolve or overcome some of their most challenging life issues. Personally, whenever I return from a journey abroad, I always feel as though my mind has been stretched like a rubber band. It is what is often referred to as an “expansion of consciousness.” In essence, traveling or getting away from your immediate area of residence and going somewhere else that you’ve never been before, is a wonderful spiritual exercise. It helps to energize or activate

different parts of you that have been dormant, and in so doing, you find that you are awakening to new perspectives. So, regardless of your choice of retreat, how near or far you are willing to travel, the rewards are enormous. In fact, you might just be making a life-changing decision! RESOURCES ON RETREATS

w w w. r e t r e a t s i n t l . o r g Retreats International lists 340 retreat centers in the United States and Canada.

Shamanism Training Program Drum Making Workshop February 19, Isanti Basic Animal Communication March 18, Isanti Contact Mary Stoffel 763-444-8146 mlstoffel@innovatord.com www.humanimal.com www.practicalshamanism.com

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w w w. u c a n l e t g o . c o m For a pampering retreat in China, Let-it-Go offers a 12-day retreat which includes meditation and Letting go (emotional wellness) workshops, sightseeing, and theater performance in China’s most important cities, including Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Wuzhen, and Shanghai. There are hundreds of great family retreats in the United States, spanning almost all faiths and denominations. There are also hundreds of nondenomi“Assisting People to Achieve Powerful Shifts in Consciousness”

national or meditative retreat centers with a spiritual but not a religious orientation. Here are some to get you started. For more information, log on to www.findthedivine.com, and review over 1,200 retreat centers from around the country. w w w. n a r d a c e n t e r s . o r g NARDA, Ecumenical Christian Association of Retreat and Renewal Centers and Leaders in North America, lists a few hundred Christian centers in the United States and Canada.

w w w. re t re a t f i n d e r. c o m For retreats and retreat centers spanning the spectrum of spiritual and healing traditions. When you find inner peace, you move the world toward peace. Dr. Zeal Okogeri is author of God’s Relentless Generosities, and founder of Let-it-Go. He teaches the Light & Sound Current meditation and leads private and group conscious journeys around the world. He can be reached at: www.ucanletgo.com o r w w w. d r z e a l . c o m

Transformational Healing Akashic Readings House Clearings Travel Tours Classes Wave Dance Bodywork Jaci Loos (651) 436-1418 msloos777@comcast.net www.wavedancebodywork. byregion.net

February 9-16, 2013

2012 Essential Wellness Writers Guidelines now available! click here for more info

Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

Relax, Breathe & Smile!

www.yogaprairie.com Join us for a week of yoga, rest, beaches & great food march 2012

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retreats and getaways

Surrender your busyness to your center

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HERE ARE good reasons to keep our eyes on the road while driving, and to keep our minds on the to-do list while navigating through our lives. Getting from here to there can be treacherous and challenging. So many distractions can throw us off course, so we develop outer focus skills to live an efficient, effective life. Work disciplines help us hold everything together, to help us achieve our goals, to accomplish our mission and purpose. RETREAT TO TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION

Yet, there are times we need to let the wheels come to rest, to grease the gears that keep us in motion and motivated. These are times we need to surrender our busyness, to rest and re34 www.esswellness.com

charge. Going on a retreat can help us put down the list and the outward focus for a time, and to sink into a more internal place. Submerged in the waters of rest, relaxation and renewal, we can marinate in the juices of the things we really love and what matters most. We can luxuriate in letting our imagination flitter here and there, seeing possibilities and remembering who we really are. Taking this time away from a busy life can help us breathe deeply and enjoy the life we experience each day. A retreat means removing ourselves for a time from our ordinary lives, to create a space around ourselves that allows reflection. We can step back and observe how we typically interact with others and ourselves. Retreat provides the possibility of giving ourselves the nurturing and attention we so dearly need.

JOURNEY INN OFFERS THE PERFECT GETAWAY

For the past five years, we have enjoyed running Journey Inn, an eco-retreat. In the quiet setting we have witnessed many harried people arriving at our door. After relaxing into their time alone, with a loved one or engaging in a retreat/workshop weekend, they have left more settled and at ease. During their stay they may have received a massage, learned to give a massage to their partner, walked our meditative labyrinth or nature paths, explored a creative practice, spent time in nature noticing the world around them or told their story to a guiding, listening ear. By slowing down and focusing on something other then daily duties, a calm rhythm was restored, an inner space created. From this Continued Page 36..


BY CHARLENE TORCHIA AND JOHN HUFFAKER

and return

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retreats and getaways Surrender Your Busyness continued...

space arose the possibility for new insights, renewed energy, sense of self and bigger life perspective. Retreating away from home, at a place like Journey Inn, can provide a road map, a new model for life that involves a more inner focus, one that ultimately can feed a keener outer focus. In the retreat setting you experience a quieter mind and body, and the present moment is more at hand. Returning home and returning to the rush of life, you will remember to pause, to give yourself what space to returning to your center. is needed to replenish body, mind and soul. Doing a retreat away Charlene Torchia and John Hufcan then be imported to home faker are proprietors of Journey Inn, an eco-retreat. They recently opened EarthSky BodyMind Center, where they practice the healing arts of massage/energy therapy, life direction coaching and The Passage Program for life transitions. Throughand can become a natural, essen- out the year they offer weekend tial part of everyday life, allowing retreats, such as Couple Massage, 36 www.esswellness.com

Seasonal retreats, Meditation and more. Day visits are available, as are overnight stays in our natureinspired Inn and Cottage. You can create your own retreat time at Journey Inn, picking from our menu of services and other opportunities: massage sessions, energy therapy, aromatherapy, life direction coaching, guided meditation, Japanese soaking tub, meditative Labyrinth, walking paths through meadows and woods, sitting in front of the woodstove fire during the winter and early spring, biking and hiking during the summer and autumn. 715448-2424. www.journeyinn.net, www.ear thskybodymind.com


VIRTUWELLSWAP.COM GOES LIVES MARCH 15! VirtuWellSwap is sponsored by Essential Wellness/Twin Cities Wellness, www.esswellness.com

VirtuWellSwap is a barter marketplace website where folks seeking wellness services or products (and related) can shop to trade/swap for something of value with those who offer their wares. Contact sales@esswellness.com for more info and intro prices! www.virtuwellswap.com

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Live Well.

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