[view from our retreat space - Steele's Island, Carlton River, Tasmania]
“Best thing I have ever done. I found out a lot about myself and I now have the strength to make changes.” Julie
On Friday the 19th of February 2016 it was all abuzz at Temple of Balance as we prepared to set up space at our ‘Steele’s Island’ Beach house and pick most attendees up at Hobart airport in Tasmania, Australia. The day was cool, with intermittent sun shining through the clouds as I picked up, drove and unloaded everyone to our lovely Carlton River sanctuary. This was to be our residence and sacred space for the coming 8 days and 7 nights. The ten of us from across Australia and India settled in with some homemade lasagne and an assortment of side dishes, and got to know each other.
Cory, my husband and spiritual counterpart and I held space and continued to remind our guests that this space we’re creating is safe for you to be yourselves. We promoted zero judgement and full allowance of people to be themselves. I’ve found throughout my life that anytime I feel unsafe or threatened in a situation I close down and cannot fully be myself. So in a space of potentially potent healing - this was essential to establish early on in the retreat.
Some guests where perhaps used to strict retreats where you cannot eat certain foods, and have to attend events at certain times. Ours was much more flexible and flowing than that. As a group we would decide and as a facilitator I had to balance our group’s intuition with what was best for our retreat intention. Quickly our guests realised the flexibility of the retreat - and that I would be empowering them to take full responsibility of themselves and their lives.
“This week has been such a beautiful time spent with kind and gorgeous people.” Radhika
By day two I knew people were feeling very comfortable in the space because they were helping themselves to food. On the inside I was very happy to observe this, and I knew this was the start of a really deeply intimate and healing time.
Starting the day with a walk along the beach and some of ‘my style’ Tai Chi, we got our things together and headed straight to the Salamanca Markets on Hobart’s waterfront for our first full day of the retreat. The weather was average but clear and we left our guests to explore and ‘be tourists’ in their own space and way. This would be one of the only ‘tourist’ times there would be on the retreat. Sure we would explore amazing places, however by the end of this day it was going to be about getting serious about making the most of this week on a personal level.
After our time at Salamanca Market ended we all jumped in our 12 seater mini bus rental and trekked up the beautiful Mount Wellington. A windy and narrow road, filled with the freshest of air, tall beautifully scented trees and the most incredible views of Hobart stretching across the land and sea.
At the end of the day some of us braved the cold river and went for a dip. It was quite the personal accomplishment and incredibly refreshing. We realised quickly that it was easy to say ‘no’ to dipping, and quite empowering to say ‘yes’ and just do it. We finished the day with a soak in the outdoor spa (to warm up from the river) and then went into a group shamanic drumming journey meditation focused around a question I posed to everyone that morning - who are you? Here some of us met or reconnected with our animal totem/s and spiritual teachers. Being our first group meditation, it was quite exciting to share and discover more about ourselves from what the meditation offered.
“A complete space to explore my own stuff as it surfaced with no fear of judgement or ridicule, only love and freedom to explore and learn.” Nicole
On day 3 after our morning Tai Chi and meditation, we went straight into a discussion about spiritual teachers / guides which led to our drawing segment after enjoying some homemade soup for lunch. Everyone embraced the challenge - some more open and willing than others at the beginning, but everyone had a go and did extremely well. From my role as an artist sharing my experience to help others draw was a little tricky. Something I do automatically I had to break down and dissect into doable steps for people who’d never picked up a pastel before. I found the experience rewarding and I loved seeing the creations and efforts people made. Some of us ended this day with another dip in the river, and a group discussion on what our blocks are, as we prepared to go on our vision quest the next morning.
“This week for me has been about emotions, release and confirmation of myself.” Kerry
Cory and I arose early on day 4 to top up our food from the store and retrieve a few things from our home. Then we went straight into talking about our pending vision quest, releasing and we created some space for everyone to write down their fears, blocks and issues on a separate piece of paper. This was always to be kept private, as this was to be a very personal and respectful day.
The energy built strongly and became quite heavy as we prepared for full release. With a steady easterly drizzle cleansing us the whole time while we approached our vision quest space, I just trusted that either it would clear, or we would adjust our actual vision quest to suit the weather. As we pulled up into the ‘Pirate’s Bay’ look out at Eaglehawk neck the rain slowly moved away.
We built the energy from the look out to the car park where we would embark on our thirty minute bush walk through nature. On our walk we encouraged everyone to walk at their own pace and to only speak when absolutely necessary. The views were spectacular and saw many of us capturing those moments with our camera. We continued on our voyage, I was at the front and Cory was supporting those at the back. We all waited, arrived and stepped courageously, purposefully and many pushed through their pain to reach our destination.
Once we all arrived at our location, we smudged and those of us with drums, drummed in support as the energy built for us to throw our papers with all of our issues out off the cliff into the ocean for release. We created a walk way for us all to do this as we supported the individual taking the steps for release. Many of us created tears of release and hurt. After many hugs, we urged everyone to walk back to the vehicle in complete silence. Observing the surroundings and embodying each step as a new one into their new and true selves and their lives. It was a time to reflect, embrace and become clear about what the next step is for us.
We enjoyed some of the best local fish and chips, and homemade icecream nearby as a special treat. This was a special day to remember, and for many of our guests was the most memorable of the whole week.
A relatively early night after some very full days, saw many of us wide awake at 3.33am to a smoke alarm malfunction. This ‘happened’ to be just an hour before the full moon peak and was a powerful way to start our crystal and sound healing day.
“The tools I walk away with can never be re-paid to Lee-Anne and Cory.” Rhonda
Cory (our crystal expert) enlightened us with a talk about crystals, how the energy works and ways to work with them. Then I chatted briefly about sound, and then we rearranged our living space to fit some mattresses on the floor so everyone had a space to lay down, relax and place crystals on their bodies. Then Cory and I filled the space with sound. From drumming, using the wind gong and chakra chimes and combining them all, we held space for about an hour. Then fading off and allowing people to arise when they were ready. Some slept and enjoy some time to rejuvenate their body.
A huge weight lifted off many of us during the sound healing day. And we ended the day off with some card reading. We all did the ‘Heaven on Earth’ spread (from the Speed of Light Oracle Cards), and not only learned how to interpret the cards, but for some of us they revealed truths about our life and the direction we may be heading.
“I’ll be definitely coming back next year, to give myself a break and to reconnect again and to keep myself grounded.” Lisa
We started day 6 early and headed straight to the convict penal settlement of Port Arthur. We enjoyed a harbour cruise and a picnic on the lush green grass. This proved to be a challenging time for some - who faced heavy emotion, old energy which seemed ‘trapped’ in this place and a feeling of being homesick. We left fairly quickly - some couldn’t leave fast enough. A heaviness hung around which we cleared, and later in the evening we moved into a meditation to discover ‘BEE’s message for us. This was quite a profound experience.
“This was a totally awesome week, and look forward to our next retreat.” Linda
We began our last full day together wanting to learn more about the chakra system. We discussed and I shared my experience about them, and then we moved into some sound work to help align and for us to become sensitive to these subtle parts of our being (the chakras). We all drummed to help us tap into our base chakra, we sang and toned to help us tap into our throat chakra, and then I used the chakra chimes to help bring a complete alignment of this system.
After lunch one of our guests guided us through some dance exercise moves which she learned from a technique called ‘Qoya’ - which was incredibly uplifting and helped us moved into full celebration of what we accomplished this past week and the person we had transformed into. From dance we moved into full celebratory drumming. We danced, we sang, we moved, we became uplifted. This was a time to embody what we learned this week as individuals and to prepare to take it with us into our lives. Not as something we would leave behind at the retreat, but to bring with us and to make some new choices in our actual life experience. We knew - it was up to us!
This day also being Temple of Balance’s 11th birthday, everyone banded together and cooked a beautiful celebratory meal for us all, and they wouldn’t let Cory or I help. It displayed incredible teamwork and connection between everyone, and for Cory and I it was empowering to receive. One of our guests surprised us with a lovely interview on video as she asked questions about our work.
“Lee-Anne and Cory, you have birthed me into a better form, one, unrestricted from the chains of my life, one that will allow me to flow, float and frolic through the fields of my vista, with integrity and confidence.” Katharine
It’s been an incredible retreat, and on reflection, as I integrate the journey it has been a life changer. I cannot speak on behalf of those who did attend, however for me, I have returned home to my life as a new person. I put everything I have into this retreat and creating the space of support, love, wisdom and respect. And now on the other side of it I see that every aspect of it was just perfect. We did what we needed to do in those moments which led to other things opening, and much was revealed.
I would like to again sincerely thank you, our guests for coming and stepping out of your comfort zone to test yourself, and discover more about you. You have been an amazing group of women who have been so open to trying new things and really making the most of this precious time we shared. Memories will live on for eternity. Thank you everyone for contributing and bringing your essence into our combined space.
Next retreat events are:
17-24 Mar 2017 - Bookings closed
Dates for 2018 Retreat coming in April / May 2017. Contact us to express your interest.
Please read below for the written testimonials from our attendees,
All my LOVE and JOY,
FB: Temple of Balance
Tasmania Healing Retreat Testimonials - 19 - 25 February 2016
“This week has been such a beautiful time spent with kind and gorgeous people. The days have been filled with laughter, smiles and sometimes tears and have just flown by. I remember day 1 we said to take things slow and savour each moment and I really did but the last day came sooner than I would have liked. It has been such a fulfilling ride. Thank you for being such generous and open and welcoming. What a great way to begin the year.” Radhika
“Wow, what a journey! I have felt nurtured and supported throughout the whole time. The dynamics of the group as a whole is amazing. A complete space to explore my own stuff as it surfaced with no fear of judgement or ridicule, only love and freedom to explore and learn. How precious and rare this moment is. I thank you Lee-Anne and Cory for this experience. Words cannot truly express my gratitude. To see you both put in 100% effort throughout the retreat and to feel the love of what you do flow into all the events. To hear you both speak with such passion and knowledge, yet be sensitive and in tune with what the group needs or each individual. I truly feel honoured to have experienced this and will be recommending Temple of Balance events to everyone who is ready to walk their true path.” Nicole
“The Healing retreat for me has been an inspiring journey! Absolutely amazing as I had no idea just how it was going to pan out even though I have been to numerous weekend workshops with Lee-Anne and Cory. This week for me has been about emotions, release and confirmation of myself. I realise that life is about my journey on this planet at this time! The week has been an amazing adventure, also connecting with other beautiful souls. I am ever so grateful for the experiences I have had and experienced myself. I shall leave here a totally different person that shall speak my truth and I shall do what is right for me! I would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for their purpose to enjoy and connect at any of Temple of Balance events if they possibly can. Thank you Bella and Cory for an amazing week!” Kerry
“TOB 2016 Healing Retreat is the best thing I have ever done for myself but in growing while away, my family have grown at home. The tools I walk away with can never be re-paid to Lee-Anne and Cory. Do something for yourself, leave guilt behind. Thank you, Namaste.” Rhonda
“Best thing I have ever done. I found out a lot about myself and I now have the strength to make changes. Can’t wait for the next retreat with Lee-Anne and Cory.” Julie
“It’s been a wonderful and amazing week for me. Everyone has and was very supportive. I was able to find out a lot about myself. I’ll be definitely coming back next year, to give myself a break and to reconnect again and to keep myself grounded. Thank you Lee-Anne and Cory.” Lisa
“I came to this retreat with my daughter, we have both learned about our strengths and weaknesses. I have absolutely loved the drumming and meditations. The spirit guide drawing, crystal healing and so much more. We have laughed and cried, but at all times we were safe and protected. This was a totally awesome week, and look forward to our next retreat. Thank you Lee-Anne and Cory.” Linda
“Lee-Anne and Cory, you have birthed me into a better form, one, unrestricted from the chains of my life, one that will allow me to flow, float and frolic through the fields of my vista, with integrity and confidence. It was a total privilege to have shared your space with such outstanding women - personification of the presentation of true spirituality. Namaste.” Katharine
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