ulie and Lisa’s ingredients for their wellness and writing retreat: An inspiring natural setting, beautiful accommodations, a supportive environment, generosity of spirit, challenging and uplifting activities, an atmosphere that builds trust and confidence, brilliant leaders, and brave souls. Throw in delicious healthy food, relaxing massages, time spent in nature, and you end up with nourishment in every sense of the word. And yet, when my friends ask me about my week in Sedona, I invariably find myself segueing into what is at work inside me now. Whatever it was that went on among the brave souls and brilliant leaders–and those descriptors are interchangeable–it is still alive in me. Something happened inside me in Sedona. Something came together. And I didn’t know it until after I was home. For the first time, I deeply believe I am a writer. I own my inner power to create.

We all felt so nurtured by the connections we made, but since arriving home, I’ve become aware of an even deeper connection. And the evidence is in the clarity of the insights that come through during meditation, journaling, and out of nowhere during mundane tasks. My heart is fuller. My writing is richer. And as far as my book is concerned, I feel as if I am at long last climbing beyond the details to focus on the big picture.

Who can say what the defining moment was for me? Every ingredient was significant in the making of the whole. Lisa’s intuitive collage-style writing exercise now feels like a metaphor for the entire week. Once we listened to our souls, absorbed the essence of the messages, and transformed them from parts into a whole, we had created something true and real. In our essays. And in ourselves.

~ Patty