Early Bird Registration Opens Tomorrow for the Write To Heal Retreat!
A transformative writing and wellness retreat for you or someone you know.
What’s a Write To Heal Retreat? Check it out!
it’s been a dream of mine for years, and now it’s a reality.
For the past year, I’ve been falling asleep most nights thinking about all the big and little details I’d want to see during a writing and wellness retreat, including…
…knowing that I’m in good hands.
…having flexible time to rest, restore, and grow.
…finding opportunities to push myself in safe and transformative ways.
…learning worthwhile information from facilitators.
…connecting with other attendees when I want to, and having time to myself when I prefer it.
…feeling confident that this retreat is worth my time, money, and energy.
Since 2014, I’ve been hosting writing retreats — the kinds of experiences I’d want, with a multidimensional focus on mindfulness, self-compassion, self-care, and personal growth — practices that have, for me and so many others, resulted in healing.
Once I figured out how to help myself during challenging times, I began to dream about helping others do the same — guiding them on a transformative, healing journey.
Why A Write To Heal Retreat?
Having experienced multiple traumatic experiences during my lifetime, writing has been my ultimate healing tool. Throughout my life, I’ve turned to the practice instinctively, first while writing in my childhood journals, then as a blogger, then as a newspaper columnist, essayist, live-lit performer, and most recently, as a memoirist.
I designed the Write to Heal Retreat as a way to bring together healing experiences that have served me (and continue to serve me) during my life’s most challenging seasons, including writing, meditation, yoga (and other forms of physical exercise), education, and the act of connecting with others.
Writing, above all else, is the most meditative and healing practice I know. It calms my nervous system — even and especially when I’m writing about difficult subjects — and connects me to my deeper self. Writing helps me face my fears and reframe difficult experiences. Writing shows me who I am when I forget. Writing is my way to document my life and always reminds me of how far I’ve come.
Why Civana Wellness Resort & Spa?
The first time I went to Civana was May of 2021. The pandemic world was opening up (the U.S. mask mandate was officially lifted while I was there), and I’d been dreaming of spending some of the money I’d saved during lockdown for a brief getaway at a reasonable price — a place where I could write and feel the warmth of the sun on my face and be in nature while processing all that we’d just gone through.
Somehow, during my online searching, Civana Wellness Resort & Spa showed up, and I initially dismissed it. It looked like a place that was both out of my league and my budget.
While I was willing to invest in myself, I didn’t want to break the bank. I’d never taken a solo trip like this before…to a place I’d never been…but I was THAT eager to get way…and THAT determined to give something to myself.* I needed it, and I wondered if I could even make it happen.
But then, I took another look at what Civana offered.
For the price of a decent hotel room in Chicago, I could stay at Civana in a luxurious room; PLUS, every day of my stay, I’d get a choice of 2 wellness experiences from a schedule of 100+ weekly classes. Various forms of yoga meditation, hiking, setting daily intentions, aqua therapy, desert bathing, guided walks through nature labyrinths, floating guided relaxation, breath work, sound baths, chakra aligning, myofascial release, gratitude circles, numerology… I mean, my eyes had yet to be fully open to so many options in self-care. It was a revelation.
While there in Carefree, Arizona, the energy felt so good that I was buzzing (not that way, duh), and things felt like they were coming together. For instance, I’d been trying for (no exaggeration) YEARS to land an interview with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for a project, and I couldn’t for the life of me get a response from anyone in his circles. But, just after I took a self-guided hike at nearby Pinnacle Peak, I was driving back to Civana when an unfamiliar phone number popped up on my iphone. I pulled over, thinking it might be one of my kids, only to learn that Secretary Rumsfeld and his wife were ready to take my questions. Could I send them over that day?
You can bet I hightailed it back to Civana, where I peeled off my sweaty, dusty hiking clothes, threw on a bathing suit and cover-up, then sat out on my terrace with my laptop. Finally, I pulled up those questions I’d written long ago for Mr. Rumsfeld, made some quick edits, took a deep breath, and hit send.
And then, I laughed to myself that I’d likely been the first journalist to interview a former U.S. cabinet member in her bikini, and even snapped a selfie to remember the moment.
I left Civana feelings refreshed and restored and ready to tackle the world. The only thing I missed? A personal writing component. I’d gotten TONS of writing done for work while sitting out by the pools and on my terrace and in my room…but I hadn’t made time for personal writing…the kind that opens up blocks and explores the soul and, ultimately, heals.
I went back to Civana the next year (2022) —not as much for my own restorative journey (which I once again had!), but to see if the place was as good as I remembered (the mind can be funny with first-time experiences, you know?). I used the trip to scout the location as a potential site for my next group retreat.
That second time at Civana did not disappoint, and when I told the staff what I was planning — a Write to Heal Retreat — I knew that, together, we could make some magic. The staff was as excited as I was to plan this 5 Day event, and I’m thrilled to finally share it with attendees.
The retreat goes from Tuesday, 5/9 to Saturday, 5/13, and all the details (and more) are at www.writetohealretreats.com.
Here’s a peek at the schedule:
And these photos should give you a sense of Civana:
We’ve still got six spaces left, so grab your spot before they’re all gone.
Reach out to me with any questions at www.christinewolf.com/contact or via email at email@example.com.
*Oh, and I must add here that I’m acutely aware that not everyone can afford to attend a writing workshop — let alone groceries — and that a retreat like this is clearly a luxury limited to very few. As such, I want to create more opportunities for attendees — regardless of their financial circumstances. I’d like to help others who would not normally attend such a retreat to experience the healing and transformative impact that can occur after such a relatively short investment of time and effort.
I’m already working on practical ways to offer financing options for attendees in the future. As I have in the past, I plan to offer scholarships to my retreats in the future. While the Early Bird Discounts are a start, I still have my sights on full scholarships and even deeper discounts.
To all those considering registering now, know that part of your investment in this year’s retreat will help another woman enjoy a Write to Heal experience next year.
Writers' Haven by Christine Wolf is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
I’m in! And could not be more excited about this program, and investing in my own healing for a few days. I’ll share this with my Substack on Wednesday to give your readers a few days’ head start on signing up, but I truly wish everyone could do this with me.