The Power of Retreats to Transform You


In May of 2012, I went on my first transformational retreat that completely changed my life. At the time, I was in such a desperate place that I was ready to try anything. I was 50 lbs. overweight, drinking a bottle (or two) of wine every night, working 70 hrs./week, traveling 3 – 4 weeks out of the month…all while my mother was suffering from severe mental illness 3,000 miles away.

Yeah. Life Sucked.

At the time, I knew exercise would help. I knew I had to drink less. I knew I needed to meditate. I knew I needed to change my dietary habits. I knew I needed more balance.

But I was completely stuck and overwhelmed at the idea of “doing one more thing.”

I knew in my gut I had to get away and completely break my routine of working, drinking, caring for others day in and day out. After a lot of research with Google, I ended up finding an outfit in Sedona, AZ.

I scheduled a consultation call with a guide to review my workshop and session options. The price was $5,000 for my 5-day retreat. Lodging and meals on my own. To say I had a bit of sticker shock was an understatement, but I knew there would be far greater sacrifices in my life than this money if I didn’t do something – and I felt in my heart of hearts, this was the right path. You could easily say the Universe led me to this experience.

In only 5 days, I met with 11 practitioners and was exposed to alternative therapies, techniques, and experiences that were the catalyst for a whole-life overhaul for me.

It was one of the most memorable and transformational times of my life.

Things Changed Fast

Within 4 months of attending that retreat, I left my 21-year corporate career and studied to become a hypnotherapist. I got a second life coaching certification (I got my first in 2010) and also a Reiki certification. By December of 2012, I had opened my own private practice called Guided Lotus and started my own journey of healing too.

Take That In for a Moment

Within 7 months of my retreat, I left my corporate analytics work for healing work. Crazy. About 18 months later I decided to get a nutritional therapy certification to add to my list of services, but to also continue my own health journey. You can see a pattern here, right? The more education I got to serve my clients, the more I could see how this applied to me.

All the while I was using my background in analytics to research why dieting had a 67% failure rate. Of course, I wanted to crack the code and create a solution for both myself and my clients.

It was through this research, and looking back on the other modalities I’d learned, that I saw what was sorely missing in the diet and fitness industry: a holistic approach that addresses the mind first, but also includes 3 other key components – nutrition, movement, and community.

I came to call these the Four Cornerstones of Fitness and in 2015, Fitlandia was born to address a broken industry that’s causing 108 million dieters every year to feel like a failure.

Mine and Fitlandia’s Transformation

Once I unlocked this secret, I started with myself, losing (and now maintaining) 30 lbs. of weight. But weight loss aside, it was my mind that had changed; weight loss was a by-product.

In 2013 I launched the beta version of what is now Fitlandia’s signature 30 Days to Thriving nutrition + mindset program that includes an elimination protocol to reset the body and Mind Zoning® meditations to reset the mind.

Near the end of 2014, my mother’s life had come to a close and deep reflection set in for me in my own life. Through her passing, I was moved to go even deeper with my own work and in 2015 I gave up alcohol for a full year, losing another 20 lbs. If you’d asked me in April of 2012 if I would ever give up alcohol for a year, that question alone would have sent me to a bottle of red right then and there.

But I took all I had learned about rewiring the mind and I completed three powerful exercises (that I now teach) that led me to this goal and successfully completing a full year sober. I didn’t have one drop of booze for an entire year. It was a remarkable experience and one of my proudest accomplishments.

A Passion for Retreats

Fast forward to mid-2018 where I started to notice how much I was referring to my retreat in Sedona, AZ and how it was the catalyst to everything I do today – both in business and in my personal life. Maybe this happened because I started doing more speaking engagements, entered into corporate wellness and was talking about it regularly on my weekly podcast.

The thing is, I became acutely aware of how powerful those five days had been. I mean look how much had transformed in my life since attending.

I started to think about the power stepping out of your life for 5 – 14 days has on being completely transformed. I pondered the many stories other people have shared of their own transformations from attending retreats.

I was all-consumed with retreats, which is probably no surprise how I was then serendipitously brought to another retreat opportunity.

In July of 2018 my former boss, and boutique hotelier, Chip Conley spoke at a hospitality digital marketing conference I was attending. Side note: I still do consult for my former career in hospitality revenue management. Chip’s new creation and passion, The Modern Elder Academy is a magnificent retreat center in Mexico with the intention to help navigate midlife transitions. Sitting in the audience, I went to the website and saw the Soul Journey retreat scheduled for January 2019. I applied that night.

I had six months to get excited about this opportunity; six months to ponder what new transformations could be in store for me; six months to wonder how different my life would be by May 2019, four months after completing it.

The Birth of the Whole-Life Reset Retreat

Waiting to attend The Modern Elder Academy (MEA) was like a kid on Christmas Eve, night after night after night.

The excitement, curiosity, and intrigue of going to the academy lit a new fire in me with the energy and excitement to birth a dream I’d had in the back of my head for years – launch my own retreat under Fitlandia.

In October, I asked my consulting client – the amazing Mountain Lodge in Telluride, CO if they were interested in me curating a retreat to be hosted at their location. To my delight, they said, “Yes” and the Fitlandia Whole-Life Reset Retreat was born.

What if 15 people who were in my struggle 6 years ago could come together and transform their body and mind for life just as I have?

I spent the next two months designing my dream program from the years of studying how thought-patterns, nutrition, movement, and community connection all impact the brain to make healthy habits stick. 

Another Wild Idea

As I launched my retreat and the days to attend MEA came close and closer, my passion for the power of retreats to transform grew and grew to the point of my deep desire to get this message out to the masses.

I asked myself, ‘How do I share the stories of people who have made massive changes in their lives by merely stepping out of their day-to-day for a few days?”

It’s a bit soon to reveal now but stayed tuned for updates as I continue to follow a deep knowing within me, that I’m meant to do a lot more with retreats in the future and share the powerful stories of those who’ve walked through the doors of awakening I have.

For now, I ask you...

What could a retreat do for you?

How deep are you in the struggle that only a retreat can help by stepping out of your life?

What are you willing to sacrifice now (time, money, etc.) because you know even greater things are meant for you?

Are you ready for a transformation?

An Invitation to Transform

If you’re deep in the struggle of desperately wanting to get healthy, but feeling completely overwhelmed, I’ve got you.

Join me on March 30th through April 5th in the majestic setting of Telluride, CO I will be with you holding space for you to do the deep work to let go of old patterns and develop new skills that will set your mind free.

Learn more about the Whole-Life Reset Retreat here>>>


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