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Renew and Reconnect Retreat 2021


Saturday, September 25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


This retreat was so lovely last year-a rare day of peace and relaxation in the midst of a worrisome time.

I am so looking forward to doing it again this year!

I have always found the shoulder seasons-spring and fall-to be a time of reflection and renewal. The perfect time to take a "time out" and assess where we are and where we want to be. As people are getting vaccinated and the COVID numbers are going down in our area, people are feeling more positive. However, this positivity is often mixed with anxiety about what we should and should not be doing and how we want things to be. It is not like our pre-COVID lives were models of peace and tranquillity. Do we want things to just go back to how they were? Are there things we have learned over the last year and a half that we would like to integrate into our lives as we begin to open up to the world again?

I chose the words "renew and reconnect" as I am hoping this retreat will be a time of renewal, as we move toward the next stages in our lives, and of reconnection, as we reconnect with ourselves, with nature and with others (outdoors and at a safe distance). It can be a time of reflecting on where we have been and on setting intentions regarding where we want to go, how we want to show up in the world.

I hope you will join me and the other participants for this lovely and important day.

Here is what you can expect at the Renew and Reconnect Retreat:

A Beautiful Natural Setting: The Gaia Wellness Retreat is located on a small lake, amidst 70 acres of old and new growth forest.

Delicious, Nourishing Food: All food is vegetarian, prepared fresh using local ingredients whenever possible. Everyone raved about the food last year!

Connection with Nature: A mindful walk through the forest will be offered. You will be prompted to fully engage your senses to notice and appreciate the natural surroundings. You will also have free time during which you are welcome to walk on the forest trails or sit quietly by the lake.

Sauna and Lake: There is a sauna in the main lodge that is yours to enjoy (subject to whatever restrictions are in place at the time, of course). There is a kayak available for paddling, and you are welcome to take a dip in the lake. Bring your swimsuit.

Yoga: During the retreat, you will have the opportunity (but not the obligation!) to participate in one 90-minute and one 30-minute Hatha Yoga session.

Free Time: All activities are optional. You can join in as much or as little as you like. However, even if you join in on every activity, you will still have lots of free time. You can wander the beautiful grounds, read, write, enjoy the sauna, paddle or swim.

Quiet: The retreat centre is located in a quiet location, and you will be invited to set aside your phone and all other electronic devices. Disconnecting from the outside world will allow you to foster a deeper connection with yourself, your natural surroundings and others on the retreat.

Convenience: The retreat centre is only a 45-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, so you will not waste precious time getting there.

Overnight Options: If you wish to spend Friday or Saturday night or both at the retreat centre, you can book this directly with Gaia. Gaia offers a number of overnight options, including staying in a cabin, staying in a room in the lodge or camping on the grounds:

The prices listed are per room, cabin or tent. You can keep prices down if you decide to bunk with a friend or friends. Up to two people can stay in a tent. The number of people who can stay in a room or cabin can be found on the site.

I hope you will join me for this amazing day of relaxation, renewal and reconnection and/or consider giving it as a thoughtful gift for someone who could use some quiet time to reconnect with themselves, nature and others.

Here is the proposed retreat schedule. It may need to be tweaked a bit if there is rain or other unforeseen circumstances arise.

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