This is a post written by Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise—an elephant partner. We’re honored to work with anyone who is this dedicated to helping us reclaim our personal wellness, transforming our lives, and giving us the perfect excuse to escape work and relax in this gorgeous setting. ~ Ed.
Don’t we all want it—the transformation that happens overnight and turns us into better people?
Yesterday, we were caught up in bad news, spent our time surfing through social media until our brains couldn’t hold one more clear thought, argued with our spouses, kids, and teammates at work, stayed up too late, drank and ate too much, didn’t exercise, and never stopped to take a deep breath and smell the roses.
Today, we are calm, centered, mindful, and conscious of the choices we make every moment.
We are loving, kind, patient, tolerant, and surrounded by the nicest people who all seem to pick up our positive energy and mirror it back to our community, nation, the world, the planet, and the whole universe.
Yes. We want that. And we can have it. But transformation doesn’t happen overnight. At least not in this world.
So how can we trigger that process?
One way is to become more aware of and consciously go through the stages of the hero’s journey as outlined in Joseph Campbell’s best selling work A Hero with a Thousand Faces. These twelve stages take us from awakening and answering the call to adventure, to crossing the threshold, meeting the enemies, and finally returning with the elixir—that one thing, the one truth that completely redefines who we are and how we live our life.
It’s a long journey with many obstacles to overcome, failures to endure, and fights to win, all with a questionable reward. After all, what is this one thing, that one truth anyway? What if we don’t want it at the end? All these heroic adventures may not turn out the way we hoped they would.
The easier way to embark on a transformative adventure is to go on a retreat.
Now, depending on your background, the word retreat may stir up different images. We know of meditation retreats where you sit and breathe for hours at a time, day after day. We often only dream of yoga retreats where we practice asanas, meditation and mindfulness in stunning locations. We’ve been to company retreats where we redefined the direction our businesses are taking. We may have attended church retreats to deepen our connection with our higher power.
And lately we have heard a lot about wellness and experiential retreats, meant to help us drop the stress and the weight, eat healthier, look better, and feel better. Wellness retreats can provide a sneak preview of how our lives could look like. They inspire, encourage, motivate, and—if the right people are presenting the right content in the right way and right environment—they have the power to transform our lives.
So let’s stay with that “if” for a while. Transformation is a serious topic and wellness retreats require time and money. We don’t want to screw this up. We want that transformation.
Here is your cheat sheet for reviewing your options and making the best choice:
1. Retreat Content
What does the retreat promise? Relaxation? Rejuvenation? Inspiration? It all sounds good. But we are hooked on transformation. Think of the magic elixir that will forever change your life. If it’s presented to you in a retreat, that’s good news. But you’ve gotta bring it home! Look for new skills you can acquire, techniques you can learn, tools you can take home that will help sustain the transformational process you just started.
2. Retreat Presenters
Who is presenting the retreat? What’s their background? Their expertise? Are they self-proclaimed wellness experts, or do they have credentials that support their words of wisdom? What’s their story? Look them up and see if their message, personality, and credibility resonates with you.
3. Experiential, Lecture or Do it Yourself?
How will the retreat be presented? Will you be sitting and listening and taking notes? Will you be following instructions? Or will you be proactively involved in the transformational process with journaling, self inquiries, mindfulness exercises, creative play, and other activities? Review the options and decide what works best for you. If a day of surfing lessons after a morning yoga session at the beach turns you into a better person, you are onto something great. The number of available transformative retreats for you has just increased by a factor of 1,000.
4. Location and Environment
Where will the retreat be presented? Will you be roughing it in a mountain cabin or will you stay at a luxurious resort? Will your dietary needs be accommodated? Will a bunk bed and shared baths do it for you or does it have to be a single room with all the amenities your heart desires? Our advice: Transformation has the potential to knock the wind out of old belief systems and behavior patterns, and can leave you a little shaky after it’s all said and done. If you can opt for a nice meal, a hot bath, or even a spa treatment at the end of the day, take it!
When should you go on a retreat? The decision is yours. Retreats are always in season and when the desire to truly transform knocks on your door, you should probably listen and do something about it. Now.
But if striking a good deal makes your heart sing, then there is good news for you:
A number of hotels such as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada, offer excellent programs at great rates during their off and shoulder season. This allows you to attend a high-quality wellness retreat offered by a top-notch wellness expert in an upscale setting, stunning environment and surrounded by staff who caters to all your needs. The only thing that’s left for you is to enjoy your time away and focus on the process of transformation. We say: The elixir is yours. Go, get it!
About Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is situated in the heart of Alberta’s Banff National Park within a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the Victoria glacier and the emerald colored Lake Louise. Originally designed as a base for outdoor enthusiasts more than a century ago, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise has evolved into a luxury mountain resort and top bucket list destination for travelers worldwide.
For several years the hotel has offered wellness programs that add a sense of Zen and mindfulness to the magical setting of the hotel.
For 2017, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise decided to top up its wellness offerings by adding more variety and bringing in renowned health and wellness professionals as retreat facilitators.
These transformative retreats are waiting for you:
Find your own peace and calm in mindfulness, meditation and yoga retreats with Tracy Delfs, passionate yoga and mindfulness instructor and long-time student of world-renowned Zen and mindfulness master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Take your health back into your hands and reclaim the power to change your health destiny in wellness retreats with Dr. Eva Selhub, internationally known medical doctor, author, and stress management and resiliency coach.
Clear your fear and fall in love with yourself and life in authentic happiness retreats with Shannon Kaiser, author and life coach, named “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” and “Top 25 most influential wellness writers” by MindBodyGreen.
Tune down the noise, deepen your meditation practice and start listening to your inner voice for greater calm and clarity in yoga in meditation & creative writing retreats with Sean Murphy, author, Zen meditation practitioner, and teacher for creative writing and Kim Roberts, yoga instructor, psychotherapist, and author.
Unplug from busyness, cultivate awareness and reconnect with your creative vitality in creativity retreats with Cynthia Morris, acclaimed creativity coach writer, artist, who has mastered the art of staying inspired, productive and access instant creativity.
Guests looking for centering, holistic wellness experiences that complement their stay in a truly breathtaking and spectacular setting do well to inquire about availability in time. Space is limited and retreats book out quickly. For more information or to book your wellness getaway, contact Davina Bernard at [email protected] or call directly at +1 403 522 1638.
Editor: Catherine Monkman
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