We Offer Several Types Of Retreats & Intensives:
Each has its own purpose and facilitates a different type of growth.
These are transformational events – meaning that you’ll walk in seeing yourself one way and walk out seeing yourself differently. They will change your world view and/or your view of yourself. We use ancient shamanic techniques combined with cutting edge psychological tools to create an immersive environment that allows you to deal with your issues on a deep, significant level which is what facilitates change.
The events open with the setting of intentional space – an energetic container that is charged with the intention for the week/weekend. Within each event will be several experiential processes to bring you into interaction with your inner issues.
Example of an Experiential Process:
Event Name: Stepping Out In Faith – An Experience of Walkabout
We did this event in an afternoon with 12 participants. Each person was asked to pick a rock from a pile and to spend some time putting all of their hopes and dreams for the future into that rock. They were asked to sit with the rock until they felt complete with this process. When they were ready, they were to go one-by-one to the bottom of the stairs to an encounter with the gate keeper.
The gate keeper then told them that part of trusting the universe was giving up attachment to getting what they want and accepting that the universe would give them what they needed. They were asked to surrender their rocks (and thus their attachment). For several people, this was the most powerful part of the ritual. For others, it was incidental.
Once they passed through the portal of the gatekeeper, they were met by a guide who blindfolded them and took them on a trust walk. They were told that the universe doesn’t provide a road map, it only gives you the next steps and leads you if you pay attention. At various times during the trust walk, they were led by being held firmly to walk over rocky ground or by a single finger when the ground was smooth. They were given a boulder to interact with. Some sat on it, others knelt at it or felt along its surface, and one person even began scaling the boulder. Then when they were complete with the boulder, they were taken into the woods and left to stand alone for a few minutes. Then their guide called to them and they had to walk towards the voice without any physical guidance. One person – whose hearing was fine – couldn’t hear the guide calling and had to be retrieved physically. This was the same person who had earlier been claiming that they weren’t getting guidance from the universe.
Then they were brought into an open grassy area and told that sometimes it was their job to follow and sometimes it was their job to lead and trust that the universe would protect them. They were told to create their own path. Some walked around quickly, others more slowly, one person turned and danced with their guide.
Then they were led back to the building. They were brought to a set of stairs and the guide held them with both hands and walked backwards up the stairs to lead them along. Many said that for the first few steps where the guide was going up the stairs but they had not yet reached them, they thought the guide was rising into the air and that they would be carried along with them.
When they reached the top of the stairs, the blindfold was taken off and as their eyes adjusted to the light again, they realized that the guide before them was not the same guide they left with. This guide said “the universe has many faces, anyone you meet could give you the next step.” They were invited inside to sit and contemplate their journey in silence until all participants had returned from their journeys.
When the last person arrived, they were given a few minutes to contemplate and then the room was open for a debrief of their experiences. Each person got something different from the experience. What they brought to the experience in the form of their own stories, beliefs, limitations, past experiences, etc. colored their reaction to what they had just walked through. And each learned something from hearing how someone else had had a different response to the same situation.
Each experiential process is different and within any given Transformational Intensive you will have several of these types of experiences that will be created for you to help you through different issues. Some you will go into without preparation, others will have workshops or assignments that you will do in advance to prepare you for the experience. You should also pay attention to the times between- when “nothing” is happening. You are still in the energetic container that has been set for your transformation, so everything that happens, no matter how small, is relevant.
You will complete your experience with a debrief (as described above) and the closing of the energetic container. You are encouraged to eat in order to ground your energy back into your body as the increase in the energy and the connection to your higher self can cause some people to partially exit their bodies to experience more of the mystical elements.
Tips for Attending
- Decide before you enter the space what level of work you want to do. If you know you have a busy, hectic week that will require your A-game when you get home the next week, then you may want to set the intention that you do a more shallow dive and make incremental progress. If you know that you have several days off after the event, then you may choose to dive deeper and really dig into the heart of the issues that you want to address. The beauty of these events is that your intention gets built into the container, so you can choose how deep to go.
- Give yourself a day off after the event to process everything that you have experienced and to have a gentle return to the world. If you can’t, then consider making the intention for your dive to be less intense (as stated above).
- Bring a Journal – even if journaling isn’t your thing, many people find it helpful to write down their experiences as they have them so that they can keep track of what has happened and what they may want to look at in the future.
- Learn to recognize your triggers and resistances – if you can recognize them for what they are, then you will be capable of getting far more out of the experience.
- Pay attention to your emotional and physical needs. The energy of the space can be intense and it’s easy to get swept up in the flow. Remember to check in with yourself emotionally and physically along the way to make sure you are taking good care of yourself throughout the process. We will remind you about this at various times over the weekend, but it is ultimately your responsibility to stay in contact with your needs.
- Ask for help if you need it. Especially if this is your first event, you may need some support. Whether it is around learning how to tap into the process more effectively, or being able to find your grounding after a particularly impactful experience, you are entering into a whole new arena and you’ll need to develop some new skills along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Even seasoned attendees will be asking for help at times. There is no shame in asking.
- Tell staff about physical and emotional limitations. If you have a physical or emotional limitation, please let us know. We can modify most experiences to accommodate whatever needs you have. Also let us know if you are in emotional crisis when you arrive. We want to make sure that your experience is constructive, not damaging. The more we know, the better we can plan.
These retreats are much more like the traditional workshop experiences that you are used to. They will be designed around teaching you new skills and giving you space in which to practice those skills. Some of the material may change the way that you think about things, but the event is not designed to be transformative of your being-ness, only of your doing-ness.
Level-Up Intensives – Two Shamans, No Hiding
Level-Up Intensives are exactly what they say they are – intense. They are small groups going through highly personalized experiences working on individual issues rather than on a common intent as we do in the Transformational Intensives.
In a Level-Up Intensive, typically 5-8 people will attend, with each getting time set aside to have personalized work completed on them in a group setting. The others in the group will be present/involved and may be asked to participate in the process for the individual being focused on at that time.
We may employ coaching, energy work, experiential process, and other shamanic and /or psychological techniques as part of the work. It is an organic environment where the work is not pre-planned. Each person brings to the table what they are working on and gets whatever support they need in getting through the process. It is effectively like several people sharing two Private Days except that you get two shamans for your process rather than just one.
We affectionately refer to these events as “Two Shamans, No Hiding” because people usually attend these events when they are stuck in some fashion. The individualized approach and group energy allows them to break through whatever has been holding them back. When there are two shamans in the room, it’s hard to run away from the issues. This is the beauty of this environment.