Mondays through Fridays, 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm EST (eastern standard time)
The Villa: Holistic Health and Wellness Retreat with Gary Null, Ph.D. and Luanne Pennesi, RN, MS
NEXT RETREAT UPCOMING DATES 2020:
OCTOBER 11th - 24th
Join US for a week that could change your life... cleanse, de-stress, rejuvenate!
Personal health & life-issue counseling, gourmet vegan meals, juicing all day long, meditation, yoga, classes including cooking, sprouting, exercise, meditation, homesteading; nothing like it anywhere!
Live a Happier, Longer Life!
For more information, please email Luanne at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 903-881-7008
What the heck is a Retreat and why would I want to attend one?
by Luanne Pennesi, RN, MS, CNAT
Many of us have heard the words "come to our retreat" but we are unfamiliar with what happens there. So, using our filters, we think it is a time to relax at the pool and socialize with like minded people, sharing our life stories or current woes, maybe getting some support.
The word "retreat" actually means "to withdraw or pull back...to a place of privacy and safety...to withdraw for meditation, study and instruction" (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed.). Most of us are in constant motion, or "hurry" mode; moving through life with a sense of angst or urgency. I was one of those people for a long time. I was a nurse administrator at a prominent Long Island Medical Center for 18 years. I had chronic fatigue syndrome so I drank 13 cups of coffee a day to stay awake along with chocolate and leftovers from the doctor's pharmaceutical luncheons (pizza, heroes, pasta, Chinese food). Adult medicine and Oncology were very busy units, and I oversaw about 100 employees. I managed everything from budgets, to bedside emergencies, to staff conflicts, to leadership meetings about policies and procedures. I went home exhausted, ate some fast food chicken and fell asleep, only to start the same day again when the sun came up. So when I heard about Gary Null's retreat in Texas back in 1995, I thought it would be a good place to relax for a bit. So off I went.
To my shock and surprise, there was NO COFFEE, and I was in a remote area of north Texas with nowhere to get a cup. I immediately went into anger mode at dinner and was told that we eat in silence. Whoa! How do I share a meal and not talk?? I was counting the hours till I could get out of there. I stayed in my room for 3 days, since my withdrawal symptoms were very severe. Thankfully, Gary Null noticed that I was not with the group, knew my caffeine predicament and sent people to my room with supplements for me to stabilize my body. I lived on green juices, protein smoothies and watermelon that week. And then the most amazing thing happened. I started to get my energy back, I developed a sense of mental clarity that I don't think I ever experienced in my life and I began to reflect on my life's journey up until that moment. I started to attend the lectures, watched several belief challenging videos (this was the 90's) and began journalling my thoughts and insights. By the end of 2 weeks I felt that the authentic "me" had re-emerged from a deeply conditioned past that dictated my old, addictive behaviors. I felt physically stronger as I began to exercise 2-3 hours each day. I interacted with the many animals on the property, which gave me a sense of connectedness to that segment of the world again. I had forgotten how much I loved to be in nature with animals and birds. I spent at least 1-2 hours per day in silent mediation and ate all of my meals in silence, enjoying each mouthful of food. I left the retreat 2 weeks later with a new consciousness, a renewed sensitivity to the world we live in and a deep respect for the process of "retreating". I have been volunteering to coordinate retreats ever since then.
Shortly after this retreat experience I decided that I had had enough of the corporate medical machine, where I rarely, if ever, saw people recover from chronic illnesses, and my passion became learning about Integrative and Alternative Medicine. I surrendered my administrative position, went on to get my Masters Degree in Natural Health, then went on to get a 4 year degree in Chinese Medicine, then went on to become a certified wellness and health coach, which, along with public speaking, is what I am doing today. I have the great privelege now of helping others to reverse chronic illnesses, slow their aging process and live happy, productive lives. And all of this because I took the time to pull back, be in silence, reflect on my life and re-discover the meaningfulness of my life and my work. I learned the concept of creating both challenges and balance in my life and to this day I never looked back.
So what sort of things go on at a retreat? A good retreat would include the following:
Meditation/ Emotional release classes
Gourmet Organic Vegan cuisine
Personal Health Coaching
Connecting with Nature, Animals and Birds
Formal gardens, landscape architecture
Learning about personal and community sustainability
Personal empowerment lectures
Life transforming lectures
Sprouting, fermenting, hydroponics classes
Organic juicing all day
Massage therapy (optional)
So if you are ready to start that new chapter in your life, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are ready to allow a strong, resilient, joyful, self confident person to emerge from your conditioned, dysfunctional past, then find yourself a retreat to go to and enjoy the silence. You deserve it.
Luanne Pennesi is a holistic registered nurse, practicing for over 40 years in adult medicine and oncology. She currently has a private practice in health and wellness counseling as well as public speaking across the country. She can be reached at 973-766-2214, or you can e-mail her at email@example.com. Her web site is www.metropolitanwellness.com.