- Carolyn Vinup

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- Carolyn Vinup
march 2012 • resources for inner peace, health and healing
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2 www.esswellness.com
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march 2012
3
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
[email protected]
715.259.3047
EDITOR
Lynn LaFroth
[email protected]
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
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4 www.esswellness.com
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march 2012
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about the cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY NANCY CHAKRIN
T
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-
6 www.esswellness.com
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
[email protected]
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
march 2012
7
8 www.esswellness.com
march 2012
9
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
I
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.
march 2012
11
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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
14 www.esswellness.com
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
march 2012
15
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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.
S
22 www.esswellness.com
“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
march 2012
23
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march 2012
25
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.
1
2
3
4
5
6
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
27
28 www.esswellness.com
Hinda Abrahamson, Feng Shui Consultant
Black Sect and Compass Schools / Fashion Feng Shui Certified
952-938-0894 / [email protected]
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FOR WWW.ESSWELLNESS.COM
click here for the guidelines
retreats and getaways
DR. ZEAL OKOGERI
What kind of retreat
do I need?
W
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...
BY
march 2012
31
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
[email protected]
www.humanimal.com
www.practicalshamanism.com
32 www.esswellness.com
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
[email protected]
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
33
retreats and getaways
Surrender your busyness
to your center
T
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
march 2012
35
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 [email protected]
for more info and intro prices!
www.virtuwellswap.com
march 2012
37
topic
Live Well.
38 www.esswellness.com