Autumn’s Pause 2017-07-18T16:19:34+00:00

It can be overwhelming to create a life of mindfulness and meaning.

Surprisingly, the solution is not to push harder or do more, but to stop and rediscover your center.

You’re doing your best to live a mindful life, trying to create time for your own wellness and self-care, even to follow your inner wisdom as you”do” your life.

But somewhere along the line life has gotten ahead of you, and you feel like you’re always running to catch up.

You may try to ignore it, and do your best to “keep calm and carry on”.  But in the brief moments of time when your defenses are down you can feel the slight (or maybe not-so-slight) misalignment between the life you’re living and who know yourself to be, and you know that you’re out of step with yourself.

When that happens, it’s time to consider Autumn’s Pause – a fall retreat for women who long for time to focus on their own personal journey.

 

The heavy price of ‘pushing through’

As women we tend to be highly attuned to the needs of those around us, always multi-tasking and fitting our needs in around everyone else’s, whether it’s family, work, friends or community. Add to that the ever-growing level of our “wiredness” – such as texting, Facebook, email and Pinterest – and the challenge of creating time for reflection and self-care in the midst of a hyper-connected, over-scheduled life becomes clear.

Often, even when you try to carve out some time for yourself, that time slips through your fingers as your self-care lands last on the list of ‘things to do’.

This self-sacrificing, hyper-driven image of womanhood is the “ideal” so many women try to embody, but in reality this model is neither ideal nor sustainable in the long run. And rarely does it provide the optimal lifestyle in which your innate gifts and talents can emerge, let alone where you can function at your best.

If you don’t allow yourself to “drop your bundle” occasionally – for reflection, relaxation and simply being – the repercussions can be ugly. You can end up experiencing any number of unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • feeling bored and dissatisfied with life

  • feeling stuck and frustrated

  • unsure of how to move forward

  • physically exhausted

  • mentally or emotionally worn out

  • irritability and general crankiness

Here is the simple truth:

When you run roughshod over the natural rhythms of life – rarely taking time to pause, reflect, reassess, and renew – life will sooner or later find a way to force you into some downtime, often not gently.

Sometimes, in order to move forward, you may need to stop.

Clearly little “time out” is necessary on occasion, especially if you want to create a life that flows naturally from a deeply grounded center, unfolding in easy alignment with your most deeply held values.

And the truth is that you are the only one who can make the time to care for yourself and your deepest needs. Nobody else can do it for you.

What you need is a jumping off place – something that allows you to shift gears without the demands of daily life interfering.

What you need is some Radical Self-Care – to make the brave choice to step away from your hectic day-to-day life and allow yourself to be held in the transformational embrace of sacred space, good food, deep rest, and compassionate community.

What you need is Autumn’s Pause a retreat for women where your only job is to pull back from your life, assess where you stand, reconnect to who you are, release what’s no longer working or holding you back, and realign to your vision of where you want to go.

 

Before the retreat, I was feeling somewhat unsettled and disconnected, and anxious to have the time to myself. The retreat allows me stop everything and think only about me, which is something that I rarely do. It allows me the space and time to focus and pinpoint the issues that I need or want to deal with while at the same time feeling unconditional support from the other women.

Last year I’d been doing some work with a therapist on trying to find my place, to feel a part of a group. For the first time in a very long time, I felt a part of a group, of the circle. I felt connected to the other women in many ways.

There’s an ease during the retreat, a camaraderie among the women who respect one another and offer unconditional affection. You can be who you are, and there are no critics. There’s nothing more inspirational than the power of a group of like-minded women who are supportive of one another.

Mary Beth C., Newport, KY

 

I came to this retreat so broken and amazing things happened to me. Before the retreat, I was feeling like I had completely lost myself and my way. I had no idea what to do with my life.

Once I signed up I was kind of nervous—I wondered what I’d gotten myself into! But once I was there everyone was so accepting and wonderful. With the community of women there I gained clarity and acceptance which allowed me to remember who I was. The group was supportive but gave me space and didn’t try to solve my problems—they let me do this on my own.

The retreat was the best thing I have ever done for myself, and the experience changed my life. The whole experience has left me feeling like a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders which makes me feel lighter. I feel whole again. This will be a yearly event for me. I can’t wait for next year! You would have to experience it to believe it!

Donna C., Grove City, OH

 

The glorious benefits of Radical Self-Care

For many women it truly is a radical notion to step away from all the demands of day-to-day life – work demands, family responsibilities, or social obligations  –  yet this is what most of us need to do in order to truly rest, replenish and recalibrate.

 

 

  • When you give yourself permission to do this most basic act of self-care you take the first step towards creating the rest of your life as a reflection of most deeply held truths.
  • When you give yourself the space to do this sacred soulwork, you can craft a life in which your own needs get met without shortchanging others.
  • When you gain clarity about who you are at the deepest level, you can create a life that that enables you to bring into the world all the gifts that are uniquely yours to share.
  • When you have the courage to examine what’s no longer working or standing in your way, you are freed to move forward with new momentum.
  • And when you have the support of community it’s easier to do the challenging work of facing the shadows.

It’s not for the meek of heart, this kind of experience.  Nor is it for the woman who just wants a little vacation or isn’t interested in examining her life.

It takes courage to make yourself a priority, to face your fears and your unfinished business, and to engage in the kind of introspective soul-searching required to create a truly mindful life.

But if you’re still reading this, then you already know it’s for you.

 

“And it feels like quiet,

feels like nodding in agreement,

feels like a long exhale.

It looks like autumn, it looks like light on fire,

it feels like dancing and it goes like this:

if you ask yourself what else you need

the answer’s nothing.”

Lyrics from “Long Exhale” by singer/songwriter Beki Test, inspired by and written during the first retreat in 2010, which has become the unofficial theme song for this annual event.

Beki T., Columbus OH

 

Prior to the retreat, I was busy, busy, busy with a full life. But so much of my time was outwardly focused on others that it was hard to find the time I needed in my day to day life to be inwardly focused. I needed to have a dedicated chunk of time to check in with me.

Over the weekend, I had a profound change in my story about fear—moving out of thinking I needed to go into worry and stress whenever I felt fear and understanding that was simply my story – and my decision – about how to react to fear. With this realization I was able to write a new story for myself and respond to fear in a centered, accepting way.

This was an amazing group of women and Julie offered warm support, gentle guidance, deep reaching questions and experiences as she shepherded us through our time together.

Marcia C., Westminster, CO

 

Join me for a luscious weekend of self-care and soul-tending

Held annually in the fall, the natural home of transition and letting go, Autumn’s Pause is an invitation to safe and sacred space where you can take time to reflect on where you have been, reevaluate what’s important, refine  or rediscover your direction, and renew your dedication to where you’re going.

Where we’ll be

Hope Springs studioHope Springs Institute provides the perfect container for this transformational weekend. The 130 acres on which Hope Springs sits is palpably sacred, due no doubt to both its ancient history (including its proximity to the Serpent Mound!) and the modern-day efforts of the Hope Springs staff.  Arriving there you can exhale and allow the land itself to support you as you release your burdens.

Arriving there you can exhale and allow the land itself to support you as you release your burdens.  Delicious, locally-sourced meals, “inspired lodging”, and soul-stirring gathering spaces – all surrounded by the natural beauty of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southern Ohio – this is what awaits you at Autumn’s Pause weekend for women.

When we’ll be there

The retreat begins at 6:30 on Thursday, November 2nd and concludes at 2:30 on Sunday, November 5th.

What will we do?

The weekend will take you deep into the inner exploration of your growing edges and your blind spots, while being balanced with open time for relaxation and integration.

Over the course of 4 days and 3 nights the art and practice of SoulCollage® will serve as the primary tool for your exploration.  In addition you’ll experience ritual to facilitate your transition into sacred space and re-entry back into everyday life, guided imagery, meditation and other processes to help you reconnect to what’s important to you and rediscover your own internal rhythms and timing, all with the support of a community of like-minded women where your own process will be held, witnessed and honored.

All this, combined with the grounding of the Hope Springs land and the nourishment of delicious, mindfully prepared meals will support you in deeply engaging with the 7 elements of sacred soul-tending that are the foundation of all we do at Our Sacred Pause:

  • Relaxing into an understanding of where you are in your own personal journey
  • Reconnecting to the flow of your own natural rhythms and cycles
  • Embracing the sacred – sometimes scary – work of healing and reclaiming your lost, wounded and forgotten parts
  • Graciously and generously creating space for radical self-care in your day-to-day life
  • Allowing your innate feminine wisdom to guide your steps
  • Envisioning your unique, soulful and ever-evolving Life
  • Grounding your transformation in your physical being

What you will get

  • Four days and three nights’ lodging in a private, colorful, comfortable room (single rooms unless you request otherwise)
  • Nine fabulous meals featuring fresh, local foods, mindfully prepared by a dedicated staff
  • Limited registration (15 women) to ensure every guest has the support and attention she requires
  • Four days of retreat and rejuvenation in a community of mindful women
  • Exclusive use of the Hope Springs property for our group
  • Round the clock card-making space for those late-night inspirations
  • Access to hundreds of magazines to inspire your card-making (and feed your inner image-hoarder!)
  • Abundant unstructured time to walk the labyrinth, hike the trails, meditate in Spirit House, hang out in the hot tub, or relax in a hammock… whatever will soothe your spirit and fill your heart
  • All supplies and materials

What does it cost?

Your cost is $697 for 4 days and 3 nights in a single room. This price includes all meals, tuition costs and all materials. You have the option to make split payments of $356, with the balance due by October 3rd.

Three double rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Your investment is $585* per person for 4 days and 3 nights in a shared room, all meals, tuition costs and all materials included. Preference will given to women attending together – ideal for friends, sisters, partners and spouses.

Please note that no other discounts will be given when registering for a double room.

If you are coming alone but interested in being assigned a double-room with another solo attendee if available, please mention that desire on your registration while registering for a SINGLE ROOM. If I can honor your request and place you with another attendee, I will refund the price difference. Please understand that with your registration you are committing to attending regardless of whether or not I can place you in a shared room.

You are invited

Do you feel called to be a part of the circle?

If so, please register today. Space is limited.

Yes, please

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely not!  There will be a special introductory session for those new to the SoulCollage® process, and plenty of support from me as well as others who have experience.  And “artistic skill” is never a requirement.  In fact, I’ve frequently found that people who previously thought themselves to be lacking in that particular gene have been deeply moved by discovering just how beautifully they can express themselves through SoulCollage®. 
While much of my work is focused on the issues facing midlife and older women, this retreat is for adult women of any age who find themselves needing time, space and guidance to gain clarity and move forward in their lives.

Women ranging from 20-somethings to retirees have attended, and all have gotten what they needed, and indeed often more than they expected.  Additionally I’ve found that the mix of ages provides a beautiful backdrop from which to witness the common threads that unite all our stories, heartaches, hopes and dreams.

Absolutely yes!  While some women have made this retreat an annual part of their own life process, others come in and out as needed.  I take great care in creating connection and community, and women are always touched and amazed at the rapport that develops over the course of the weekend.
Some women come to the retreat with the intention of addressing a particular challenge or issue that is “up” for them.   Others come as a part of their regular self-care and mindfulness practice in their lives.  Still other women come out of curiosity or because the experience “calls” to them in some way.  All are perfectly fine!
Hope Springs will do its best to meet any special needs you may have.  You will have a chance to detail those upon registration.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
While there is a structure to the retreat and an intentional flow through the process, I am more interested in supporting women to tune in and listen to their own inner wisdom and meet their own needs than I am in forcing my agenda.  I do my best to help you meet any needs you may have for rest, relaxation and solitude and still keep you integrated with the larger flow of the weekend.
I am happy to talk with you about your situation and do what I can to make this retreat accessible. Please contact me directly.
Unfortunately there can be no refunds for cancellations within 30 days of the retreat unless I am able to fill your spot.  If I can fill your place I will gladly refund your payment, less handling charges.

Please contact me if you have questions or concerns about payments.  I want to make this doable for people, and am more than happy to make arrangements with you.

I do have one work-study option available that can help to defray your expense.  Please contact me to discuss this possibility.

SoulCollage®, developed by therapist and author Seena Frost, offers a tool through which you can access your own intuitive wisdom and hear the voice of your soul.  A simple and delightful creative process, SoulCollage® can give shape and form to the sacred time you create for yourself in your personal journey to wholeness.  It is a unique and fun tool that can be used when you don’t know how or where to start the process of cultivating your spirit, and can provide form and structure for journaling, meditation or prayer practices, or even therapy.

SoulCollage® requires no artistic experience or talent.  All that is necessary is a willingness to be open to the experience.   Seemingly by magic, this simple process of cutting and pasting images opens a window into your very soul.   By learning a few simple techniques for working with your SoulCollage® cards, you are able to access your own intuitive wisdom to gain insight into aspects of your life and your larger life in the world.  This will allow you to return to your daily life with a fresh perspective and new internal resources.

SoulCollage® can form the basis of a personal practice that brings creativity, perspective, healing and transformation to our often hectic lives in a simple yet profound way. In healing yourself and embodying your true Essence – by bringing your own unique spark of the Divine into vibrant being – you contribute to the evolution of the human spirit and begin the heal the world!

The retreat surpassed all my wildest imaginings. Thanks so much for your willingness to show up fully for all of us at the retreat. It was so much fun for me, and was a very inspirational group.

I am hooked on SoulCollage®. The process of making and reading my cards is such a fun, intriguing, and informative way to dive deep within my unconscious self.

This was the first retreat at Hope Springs in which I did not spend much time hiking on the land. I was totally absorbed in the process and the participants. My heart is made happy to have been held in such sacred space doing deep work!!!

Karen G., Stephenson, VA
Before the retreat I was feeling the need to have a grounding practice in my life. I loved the evolution of the circle, how everyone came ready to do their work and be ‘seen’. It created a very cathartic opening on many different levels for me. I went from not knowing if this process really would work for me, to being blown away by the layers it was revealing. I feel blessed to have found SoulCollage at this point in my process.

All the parts of my weekend were my favorite, as they each built on each other resulting in those sweet ‘aha moments’ that I only get when on retreat.

It’s the best gift you can give yourself, that time to check-in, reevaluate, heal, grow and just be with yourself.

Cathy L., Sitka, AK

Amplifying the power of your intention

Closing circle - shadowIf you are breathing, you’ve already been doing some of the personal work necessary to dump the unconscious baggage that no longer serves you – knowingly or unknowingly progressing in your own personal evolution toward greater consciousness and wholeness.   

But one of the best ways to create real and lasting change is to bring conscious intention, or mindfulness, to your personal growth, and to have that commitment witnessed by others.

This retreat is an opportunity to bring concentrated time and attention to your ever-evolving developmental journey called Life, all within the context of sacred space, gentle guidance and the power of community.

Whether you’ve attended every year or have never done anything like this in your life, you will find that this retreat brings you new levels of peace, clarity, connection to Source and to your own essence, as well as giving you tools and resources to take back into your everyday life so you can more easily maintain your rhythm and flow.

So if this is what your heart’s been waiting for, I invite you – or if need be, I challenge you – to claim space for yourself and take a brief respite, where the only decision you will need to make is “what do I want to do in this moment?” or perhaps  “what image wants to go on this card?”

Your space is waiting

Register today to claim your space in the circle, and to come home to your self.

Yes, please