Shifting of Humanity through Retreating

Observations of our shifting humanity, the evolving openness to retreating, and opportunities for you to retreat yourself in Southeast Georgia!

I love watching humanity shifting more towards our being-ness, consciously pulling away from the stressful, fast-paced, and/or mundane lives to re-connect to aspects of life that allow the soul to shine through.

Meaning that more people are wanting to retreat, and us retreat leaders (healers, yogis, space holders, community gatherers) are here for it! I love seeing various types of conscious gatherings pop up here and there, and equally love cheering my circle of peers on for their successful retreats. For one, because I appreciate a good success story. And also, it means that more people are gaining access to these old and new wellness and spiritual practices that can positively change lives, and thus the whole dynamic of our global civilization!

No matter the retreat background or theme, they seem to all have the same premise – allowing Spirit (or God/Intuition/Energy/whatever one wishes to call that intangible thing that has moved life since the beginning of time) to connect us to our full-bodied selves and therefore that of our fellow human and non-human community members. With this as the core of our strength, we can “move mountains”, “walk on water,” “travel through time,” and “float through space”. All of those are examples from the miraculous stories written about in religious texts that we all know, and they come from some truth known by humanity since the beginning of time.

Important sidenote: I’ve been observing that there can be a fine line between fanatics who aim to twist the truth for the sake of their own power versus leaders who aim to open doors for people to explore THEIR OWN TRUTHS. I’m of course just referring to the latter. It seems that those who are not yet onboard with the movement lump it all together as “hogwash,” and I believe that those people too can be positively shifted just by the opportunity to observe or participate in their own ways. Keep reading for a story referencing my dad for a glimpse into how that can happen.

After a lifetime of traveling with family and solo, studying abroad in Barcelona for a few months and then living in the Philippines for a few years, I finally decided it was time for me to lead groups traveling. If not my yoga mat, traveling brings me to a state of ultimate freedom, like I could be anyone that I want to be and live any life that I aspire to. And like yoga, I wanted to share that with people who also wish to explore the world, but may appreciate a bit of structure, guidance, and group camaraderie. 

My first was a Greek Sailing Retreat in June 2022, a huge leap of faith! We sailed through the Cyclades, with 14 women and a handful of crew members filling up 3 sailboats. For a total of 7 days, we played like children in the water, fell in love with our femininity and therefore to the masculine (hello Greek Gods!), and we explored new terrain both on the mat and on our planet. The truth of travel frustrations and fatigue also of course had their place, which only encouraged us to keep looking for the beauty.

 

In September 2023, I hosted the Goddess Getaway at Feather Leaf Inn, St. Croix, USBVI. This was in partnership with a friend, Angela Smith. She came on the Greek Sailing Retreat, after just meeting a month before, and we quickly became sisters. It was a no brainer when she asked me to co-lead a retreat at her favorite property on Earth, where she lived as a volunteer during her nomadic days in 2021. We were so moved by the experience of being immersed in the feminine in Greece that we agreed it felt right to stick to this theme for St. Croix. It was a mini Greece Retreat reunion, with 4 of us attending both! Towards the end of the trip, many of the women expressed how nice it was to be surrounded by women old and young, with all life backgrounds – a nice change from the fast-paced, masculine lead culture that we live in.

 

 

A month later, October 2023, I hosted the first Nature Retreat at Fox Pen, in Hortense, GA. Tucked away in the middle of nowhere in Southeast Georgia, there is little distraction, unless you consider clucking chickens a distraction! This was another wonderful experience filled with laughter, presence, mouth-watering food, and immediate love amongst the group. It was groundbreaking for my relationship with my dad, seeing as we were on our way, together, to make both of our dreams come true 🙂 See a blog post about it here, written by my wonderful co-host, Beth Williams.

My parents have owned Fox Pen since I was 10 years old, 24 years now. My dad, Doyle, is always at work on the property, consistently having another project to keep himself busy, whether it be adding or expanding a cabin, clearing the trails on his tractor, or in general ensuring the place looks nice and feels inviting. My mom, Lee, is the green thumb, so you’ll find her tending to the garden, beautifying the surrounding landscape, and tending to their 9 free-roaming chickens (who also play a part in beautifying the land). After years of Doyle wanting the opportunity to regularly share this heavenly space with others, it’s finally happening! The child within me is surprised that I’m going down this route, but Fox Pen is now a family affair. We seem to like working together because it keeps happening!

This year, St. Croix and Fox Pen Retreats are occurring again – heading to lead the Goddess Getaway as I write this. And I’m concluding it post retreat – yet another experience that there are barely words for. As a tickler before I share that reflection, it was filled with intuitive guidance and connecting from a deeper layer within ourselves. While we had a schedule to adhere to, everyone knew that it was open to change based on what the group needed that day. I was nearly drawn to tears when Andrea, the 79 year old mother of Corina (Feather Leaf Inn owner), told us “I can sense that this is a really good retreat, with a mix of yoga, play and relaxation. Some retreats are just filled with yoga, and that always seems exhausting. This group is doing it right!” And it genuinely did feel that we were flowing through the week perfectly 🙂

See more reflections from this retreat on the Flow Into Yoga instagram.

While my original blueprint plan of FIY was to add a new retreat once per year, fate had other plans for me when 2 women who have been integral in my growth since moving to Charleston decided to lead retreats one month apart.

In February, I attended Lulu Simmons’ “Healer’s Retreat” in Bacalar, Mexico. People have been surprised to hear that it was my first retreat as an attendee. Everything I knew before about hosting retreats was through life lessons learned via traveling, teaching over the past 8+ years, and in general leading people through outlets that speak to me personally. This was by far one of the top 3 life changing experiences of my life. Within one month of arriving back home, I literally acted on longtime desires that a large part of me felt were impossible! I will forever have Lulu, the women who attended, Luna the dog, wind from the Lagoon, the hammock on the dock, and the canopy of trees to thank for the breakthrough that happened. I wrote a little bit about the experience in Learning With The Wind, but of course so much of the expansion that happens on retreat is more spirit than anything else, so words hardly capture the meaning.

 

 

 

April Punsalan’s “Unfurl Retreat” with Wild Herb Academy was the first “outside” lead retreat at Fox Pen! I couldn’t have my herbalist teacher of 3+ years lead the first retreat at my family property without attending myself, so I put my other big plan for the year aside (of leading a St. Simons Island Retreat) to dive in with her group. And wow was I happy about that decision, experiencing the 140-acre land in a way that I never had before, likely in a way that no other group has before (unless Native Americans or enslaved Africans had their sacred moments there, which would explain the potent energy found throughout the property).

Some highlight moments was the laughter on the tractor trailer ride led by Doyle, seeing Doyle’s eyes pop open in disbelief as April was teaching about the medicine wrapped up in “simple plants,” watching the children play on the land like I once did, sound healing ceremony under the stars on the ancient dunes from millions of years ago, Kundalini yoga led by Mystic, and the communal meals enjoyed on Doyle’s hand-made family style table. Yes, Doyle plays a huge part in these retreats, a nice mix of observing the “spiritual stuff” and participating in the “play” things, and it’s welcomed by everyone!  

 

 

 

 

It was a blessing to attend both retreats back-to-back, as both women curated a true communal experience, in which everyone participated in the flow. They both ensured members had specific roles so that they as leaders could be fully present, appropriately energized, and working in their “zone of genius”.

I learned that retreat leading can fill my cup on all levels, rather than leaving me physically depleted. I learned that LIFE AT LARGE can make me feel bigger, rather than leaving me “spread too thin”. I decided that I no longer wanted to try to “do it all,” that I don’t need to, and that no one even expects me to. And with that recognition, I admitted that I lead from my most authentic place and actually *gain* from my work when I do the things that my soul wishes to do, which come naturally and excites me while planning and acting on the vision. I recognized that when when I allow myself to move slower, meaning less things on my to-do list each day, I actually get to the depth of what I’m wanting to put out in the world! All other tasks that need to be done that are not in that “genius zone” can be delegated. As simple as this realization seems, it required a ton of barrier breaking to reach, letting go of beliefs that were instilled within me over a lifetime. These are the tangible, actionable things that we can walk away with from retreating!

This share began for me to simply express my joy in observing our humanity opening to these types of soul-full experiences, and it naturally “unfurled” into all the ways that you yourself can be a part of this movement.

Would you like to attend retreats? Get (or stay) on the Flow Into Yoga Email List to ensure you are aware of what I am planning close to home (Fox Pen, St. Simons Island, Charleston, likely Asheville someday soon) as well as far from home (Greece, Costa Rica, Italy, Bali – all are on my radar for 2025/2026). Stay on board also to see what other kinds of retreats are put on by others at Fox Pen, as I will be sharing all upcoming retreats on my newsletters as well as on the @foxpen.retreats Instagram page!

 

Would you like to host retreats in the Georgia Woodlands? Fox Pen has it all for you – nature that has you feeling as if you’ve stepped back in time; star gazing like nothing you’ll see in light polluted areas; wild herbs for foraging and medicine making; trail walking and biking; ponds for paddling, fishing, and swimming (at your own risk); 4 cabins that can fit up to 20 people; spaces for tent camping; opportunities for both turning inwards and deeply connecting in community. Complete this form to get the conversation started with me, even if you’re considering it for 1-2 years down the line – it’s never too soon to start planning something as life changing and soul enriching as a retreat!

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Observations of our shifting humanity, the evolving openness to retreating, and opportunities for you to retreat yourself in Southeast Georgia!

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Lessons With The Wind

Finding oneness with self, my fellow sisters, and nature’s elements on a Healer’s Retreat in Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico.