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Women's Well-being Retreat

"Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause." Cecilia Tran

Nurture your mind, body, and spirit with art, sound, and nature.

The best gift you can give the world is a you that is fully present. Come, retreat​ to a place focused on quieting the environment around and within you. Learn to respond to your need and longing for time and space to renew and restore. Come on your own, invite a friend, or gather with a special group to be still in a sacred space. 

Join co-facilitators Jessica Kovan and Betty Gauthier for this female-centered weekend retreat at the beautiful Inn at the Rustic Gate, located in Big Rapids, MI. Here you will find sanctuary, a safe haven to find peace, clarity, and inspiration. Come to us to slow down and discover how to find your balance, access your inner creativity, and enhance your well-being.

This retreat is intended to be a nourishing respite from everyday life. You’ll have the opportunity to create personal works of art, to meditate, practice Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) and Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep), receive sound therapy, and connect with other participants. We have a thoughtful arrival ceremony planned for Friday evening and a sacred closing circle that is certain to leave you feeling a deepened connection to the world within and around you. Arrive tired, stressed, perhaps a little overwhelmed… leave feeling calm, energized, deeply restored, and held in love.

 

WHO SHOULD COME

Anyone who is open to new possibilities in life, who recognizes that self-care and time to nurture and celebrate who you are as a woman is both important and needed. 

AREA

Situated in mid-lower Michigan, the Inn at the Rustic Gate sits just inside the Huron-Manistee National Forest, an area renowned for its quiet beauty. The Inn aspires to, “create a transformational space, to provide a place of welcome and calm that will allow you to temporarily step back from the demands of your everyday life.” We will have the opportunity to stroll the rolling meadows and experience immersive Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing) on the woodland trails. Taking in the immense gift and beauty of nature, touching and filling all of our senses.

LODGING

Inn at the Rustic Gate. Innkeepers Patricia Barrett, Marcia Stroko, and Sharon Stroko have created a space, “where the concept of creativity in its many forms and dimensions would be honored.”

 

This cozy 8-room Inn, situated on 146-acres, has fields, gardens, and trails to wander and explore, along with a common meeting room for workshops, and a meditation/yoga room for quiet contemplation. Each bedroom contains a private bath and is decorated in simple, natural themes to accentuate the surroundings.

MEALS

Innkeeper Sharon Stroko is the on-site chef, and will lovingly prepare our nourishing meals, using local ingredients when seasonally available (including their own gardens). She’ll be catering our breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dietary restrictions will be taken into consideration by the chef. Please be in touch with your particular circumstances, and we will do our best to fully accommodate.

 

GETTING HERE

National and international flights run through the Gerald R. Ford Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids, approximately an hour south of Big Rapids. Rental cars are the suggested form of transportation to-and-from the airport. Rental car carriers are situated in the transportation hub of the airport. We suggest you make a reservation ahead of time.

 

INVESTMENT AND REGISTRATION

Early registration available until March 31, 2020

$700 Single Occupancy (per person)

$500 Double Occupancy (per person)

 

Regular registration April 1- May 26, 2020

$750 Single Occupancy (per person)

$550 Double Occupancy (per person)

 

NOTE: There are 6 rooms at the Inn that can accommodate double occupancy and they are as follows:  4 rooms with a queen bed and twin loveseat sleeper, 1 room with a king bed and twin loveseat sleeper, and 1 room with two queen beds. These rooms are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. If registering for a double occupancy room, both retreat participants must register at the same time. Double occupancy is only recommended for participants who already know each other: sisters, mothers/daughters, best friends.

 

REGISTRATION INCLUDES

Lodging, all catered meals, art supplies, and sound therapy. Individual travel expenses to and from the Inn at the Rustic Gate are participant’s responsibility. 

 

PAYMENT TERMS

Once we've received/reviewed your registration request we will send an invoice to complete payment and then follow-up with a more in-depth intake. Payment will need to be received within 7 days to fully ensure your space on this retreat.

PLEASE NOTE: Once we have met our minimum number of participants, there are no cancellations or refunds issued. In the event that we do not meet our minimum number of participants, the retreat will be canceled and your registration payment (minus any initial Paypal transaction fees) will be returned in full.

 

FINAL REGISTRATION DEADLINE

May 26, 2020

 

RETREAT SCHEDULE 

(subject to change)

 

FRIDAY

3:00-5:00 PM – ARRIVAL AND CHECK-IN

To make the most of the weekend, we encourage all participants to arrive between 3-5 PM. You will have the opportunity to comfortably settle into your room, explore the grounds, have a cup of tea or even take a nap! Please allow yourself sufficient time to transition from your busy life to the sacred and restorative environment of the retreat. (NOTE: If you are unable to arrive by 5 PM, we are happy to accommodate a separate arrival time if necessary.)

 

5:00 PM – OFFICIAL WELCOME

Gather for a pre-dinner meetup, informational chat with the lovely owners of the Inn at the Rustic Gate, and to meet other retreat participants.

 

6:00-7:00 PM – DINNER

 

7:15-9:30 PM – ARRIVAL CEREMONY & OPENING CIRCLE

SATURDAY

8:00-8:25 AM – PRANAYAMA (Breath Work) AND SINGING BOWL MEDITATION

 

8:30-9:15 AM – BREAKFAST

 

9:30 AM-12:15 PM – ART INSTRUCTION

Intuitive Collage. Meet the inner "parts" of yourself through collage. This deeply personal experience invites self-expression and exploration. What makes your heart sing? What do you love? What are your dreams? Learn mixed media techniques and create your unique painting while focusing on what makes your heart sing.

 

12:30-1:15 PM – LUNCH

 

1:30-3:00 PM – SHINRIN-YOKU (Forest Bathing) GUIDED WALK

Shinrin-yoku is about creating relationships between humans and the natural world, in which the relationship itself becomes a field of healing and a source of joyful well-being. There is an infinite number of healing activities that can be incorporated into a Shinrin-yoku guided walk. Our time together will include room for listening, for quiet and accepting presence, and for inquiry through the eight sensory modes we possess.  

 

3:15-5:15 PM – ART INSTRUCTION

Continuation of morning instruction.

 

5:15-6:00 PM – SOLO / FREE TIME

Give yourself the gift of doing, or non-doing. The following options are here to inspire you, or better yet, follow your own intuitive guidance. Options include: rest, nap, read, journal, gather with a new friend, meditate, walk the labyrinth, have a cup of tea, or listen to the sounds of nature all around.

 

6:00-7:00 PM – DINNER

 

7:15-8:30 PM – ART INSTRUCTION

Prayer Flags are living, breathing, kinetic journal of our hopes, dreams, and concerns.  We will be making creative prayer flags to spread inspirational messages and emotions into the wind.

 

8:45-10:00 PM – YOGA NIDRA GONG IMMERSION

Our Yoga Nidra Gong Immersion is a deeply relaxing and restorative experience, that will invite you to connect to your breath and then journey through a guided meditation, with voice and sound. Your journey will be led with several instruments, creating the space for profound rest and transformation.

 

SUNDAY

8:30-8:55 AM – PRANAYAMA (Breath Work) AND SINGING BOWL MEDITATION

 

9:00-10:00 AM  – LEISURELY BRUNCH

 

10:15 AM – CLOSING RITUAL

12:00 PM - CHECK OUT

  

BIOS

Jessica Kovan, Ph.D., is an artist and adult educator. She believes art is an individual journey and creativity should be personal, playful, and insightful. Her goal is to always help students both experience the journey and find their way while remaining open to the learning process. 

 

As an artist, Jessica combines her love for painting with her love for teaching. Her curiosity and willingness to experiment are rather endless and that is how she approaches teaching. 

 

In addition to her love for art, Jessica is an avid runner, reader, lover of nature, and mom. You can learn more about Jessica and view her art at jessicakovan.com. ​

 

Betty Gauthier, LVST, CMT, CYNT, CRM, is a Licensed Vibrational Sound Therapist, Certified Meditation Teacher, Yoga Nidra Teacher, and Usui Reiki Master. The essence of Betty's work is about helping those she meets find balance in connection with body, mind, and spirit. She is deeply passionate about Eastern Culture and Holistic Pathways and implements her experience as a Trauma-Informed Practitioner in all aspects of client care and well-being.  Betty works from the heart and her greatest desire and sincerest hope are to offer healing and inspiration to all who are looking for ways to restore balance and harmony in their lives.

 

When not doing therapy work, you can find Betty walking in the woods practicing Shinrin-Yoku, running the trails with her canine companion Edison, playing her instruments, practicing yoga, or enjoying sitting/walking meditation. 

Register for the Retreat

Once we've received/reviewed your registration request we will send an invoice to complete payment and then follow-up with a more in-depth intake.