Mental Yoga Week #39: Discover Yourself, Attend a Retreat

I’ve been asked to promote this retreat and thought it was the perfect Mental Yoga Exercise. If you attend, please send me your review and I’ll post it on this blog.

Gurus throughout the ages have promoted “living in the present moment” as the secret to joyful living, an idea gaining considerable appeal in light of the current level of angst. In fact, the Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” That sage advice may be easier said than done.  However, two Dallas-area retreat planners have taken up the gauntlet and are launching Essential Excursions, a series of self-discovery retreats, set to premiere in Boerne, Texas, at Namaste retreat center, November 18 – 20, 2011.

“Throughout our own journeys and successes in finding contentment and purpose, we realized that we needed to design this type of program and share it with others,” said Andrea Roberts, a wife and mother of two who is working on a Masters in Counseling at SMU.  Roberts’ partner in this effort is Ange Fitzgerald, a freelance photographer with a background in project management and event production.  The pair found that, while there are many retreats available for intensive therapy, meditation, yoga, and spirituality, there was a noticeable void of getaway programs centered on impactful and practical ideas that are easy to adopt.

Roberts added that the retreat incorporates what she refers to as “sustainable tools,” resources that easily shift ways of thinking and adopting new habits that will stay with participants for the rest of their lives. The weekend retreat will include time for participants to slow down and listen to their own inner dialog and learn simple ways to be more kind to themselves, she said. Other activities include learning to tap into gratitude and focus on the good in life; discovering ways to eliminate self-sabotage by reducing consumption of unhealthy media, food and material possessions; determining ways to simplify their lives and focus on essentials and tapping into their creativity to uncover life insights. The three-day program costs $350 for individuals or $675 for couples. Meals are included.

“Self discovery is important,” Roberts explains, because “if we don’t find meaning and purpose in our lives, we go in and out of a state of restlessness that can cause negative outcomes such as stress, anxiety, depression and bad decision-making. Once we find what it is that we are meant to be doing, and nurture it, we can relax and patiently begin the journey of that adventure.”

Namaste Retreat Center is the perfect location to launch the self-discovery retreats, in Roberts’ opinion, because the grounds are spacious and beautiful. Located just north of San Antonio and two miles from Boerne, Namaste Retreat Center overlooks the natural bluffs carved out by Cibolo Creek. The site’s healing amenities include a 1500- square- foot deck, large covered porch, hot tub, salt water pool, Zen garden, labyrinth and Reflexology path. Roberts added that she was specifically looking for a location offering natural beauty, secluded space for journaling or meditating, and therapeutic amenities. Namaste owner Becky Zook said the center will accommodate up to 30 visitors and has hosted a wide range of groups, including Habitat for Humanity International, several state agencies, life coaches and yoga practitioners.

To find out more about Essential Excursion’s self-discovery retreat, email them at:, or register for the event online at:

To learn more about Namaste Retreat Center, visit the website at: or call Becky Zook at 830.385.2333.

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