"Nature is our greatest spiritual teacher." — Oprah

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How do our outdoor writing retreats work?

Each outdoor writing retreat has been set on the full moon or the next day, while the moon’s energy is still vibration strong, in the Palisades Interstate Park overlooking the Hudson River in New Jersey with over 30 miles of trails.

Basic overview: hiking, meditation, lunch and a spiritual writing workshop.

Photos by: Jelan Coley

August 2018: On Embracing Change

"Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer." - Gloria Steinem

In honor of the full moon on August 26th, Pen to Paper Retreats hosted an outdoor writing retreat in collaboration with Julie Rodriguez of Heal with Sole—an educational outreach program that encourages individuals to nurture their soul in nature.

This retreat began with a brief trail orientation and guided hike in the Palisades Interstate Park to help women get out of their comfort zone and back in touch with the healing power of nature.

After the hike, we all replenished with a healthy lunch followed by a cool down meditation to get prepped for the spiritual writing workshop. Cindy led this workshop and shared her personal writing ritual complete with music, incense, and candles.

The focus for this retreat was on change because often the end of August leads to an uneasiness to the start of fall. Making it the perfect time to dig deep into ourselves to learn how to embrace change on our own terms.

September 2018: On Forgiveness

"Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself." - Jodi Picoult

In honor of the full moon a.k.a. the Harvest Moon in September, Pen to Paper Retreats is hosted another outdoor writing retreat, the last one of 2018.

Before heading out for our hike, we stood in a circle and were smudged from top to bottom as we closed our eyes and envisioned our highest self. It was important to cleanse the space we were in of any negative energy before heading out. This guided hike was about 2 hours long to allow time to do some grounding work, a.k.a. earthing, in the woods before turning back. We sat on rocks, took off our shoes, and dug our bare feet into the dirt.

Then, we all sat down for a cool down meditation and had a healthy lunch to get ourselves ready for a writing workshop. Cindy handed everyone handmade notebooks and shared her personal writing ritual complete with music, incense, and candles.

The focus for this retreat was on forgiveness because as September comes to a close, the last few months of the year will fly by and this retreat will give you a chance to not only forgive others but, most importantly, yourself.