Myths of Feminine Mystery Retreat, Smoky Mountains Tennessee

Maryville, TN, United States

AH
Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
4 reviews
Oct 4 - 9, 2018
Group size: 6-14
Myths of Feminine Mystery Retreat, Smoky Mountains Tennessee
Maryville, TN, United States

Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
4 reviews

$1195
Deposit: $450
Oct 4 - 9, 2018
Group size: 6-14

About this trip

Breathe in the autumn air of these Tennessee Smoky Mountains as we circle in honor of feminine mystery. Reconnect with your sacred inner knowing. Explore the many facets of your feminine nature. Dare to be all of them.

During this women’s retreat, we’ll renew our self-trust, explore our depths, honor our expression and validate our embodied intuition. We’ll wake to meditation and yoga, express through writing and movement, and gather for stories around flames.

We’ll immerse in the magic and mystery of myths, focusing on the messages and insights they hold for us as women. We’ll heed the call to honor the wisdom we carry within our stories and voices and bodies, and between each other.

retreat highlights

  • Inspiring location with panoramic mountain views
  • Daily meditation & yoga practice
  • Daily self-exploratory writing circles
  • Evening ceremonial sacred storytelling sessions
  • Scenic outdoor yoga pavilion  
  • 3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day
  • 5 nights shared stay in charming yurts or furnished glamping
  • Guided tour of on-site fauna
  • Breaks for relaxing, walking, therapies and exploration
  • Intimate Women's Gathering: Maximum of 14 participants

Amidst the Smoky Mountains


In the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and amidst one of the world's most ecologically diverse regions, Seven Springs retreats center boasts seven natural springs on 126 acres of private land, providing the spaciousness to reconnect with nature. 

 

Seven Springs offers charming shared yurts with comfortable beds, inspiring mountain views, nature walks and delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals amidst soul-nourishing landscapes.

 

Inspired by the natural abundance all around, Seven Springs seeks to foster holistic sustenance for the individual and the community.


RETREAT OVERVIEW

"She is not to be classified. She is not to be controlled. She is the one who gathers seeds and plants them in the sand as dreams and calls forth rain. She is the one who embodies the Moon, honoring the cycles of life."

- Terry Tempest Williams

“May we let the stories move through us and whisper, in the vulnerability of our hearts, of the treasures we long to recollect.” 
- Melanie Champagne, retreat co-facilitator

Myths of Feminine Mystery

What if our yearnings pull in opposite directions? What if our lives move in cycles and seasons, not only in linear time? What if one long-held desire wanes, while another arises from nowhere? What if we need to get lost and wander? What if integrity means allowing your truth to change and flow with you? What if we run to and away, and still, towards our center?

Myths hold a hidden power: they gift us maps, keys, mirrors, legends and paths back to ourselves. They reflect the multitudes within us. They reveal insight into our deepest longings, greatest conflicts and vivid life energies. 

Myths give universal context to our most personal experiences. They open us to allowing life to flow through us, to recognize the sacred beauty of each moment, and to embrace the feminine mystery of regeneration.
 

As we weave these stories with our own experience, we glean a vaster sense of ourselves and our sacred feminine nature. When we look through the window of a myth, we see both beyond ourselves and deeper within.


In this women's retreat, you will:

  • Gather with a powerful circle of women in rawness, vulnerability and expression.
  • Reconnect with your body and intuition through meditation, yoga and movement.
  • Experience the sacred rite of sharing stories between women around flames.
  • Explore core tensions and themes that carry through our relationships with ourselves, others and our lives.
  • Discover your truths moment to moment by connecting to your own voice.
  • Rekindle urges within yourself that are aching to be heard and witnessed.
  • Reclaim the power in the multitudes and regeneration that is inherent in feminine nature.
  • Remember your vastness and the magic that unfolds when women circle together.

    Find out more about this even on the event page on www.thestorytellerwithin.com

Sample Daily Flow

Guests may arrive to Seven Springs on Thursday, Oct 4th (check in is 3pm) to relax and settle in. After dinner, we will open our circle.

Oct 4th: 

3:00 pm Check-In

6:30- 7:30 pm Dinner

7:45 pm - Opening Circle & Storytelling Circle

Oct 5th - 8th:

7:30 am: Wake-up

8:00 - 9:30 am: Medi & Yoga

9:30 - 10:15 am: Breakfast

10:45 am - 1:00 pm: Exploratory Circle 

1:00 - 3:30 pm: Lunch & Break

3:30 - 6:30 pm: Exploratory Circle 

6:30 - 7:30 pm: Dinner

7:45 pm: Storytelling Circle 

Oct 9th: 

7:30 am - Wake-up

8:00 am - 9:30am: Medi & Yoga

9:30 - 10:15am: Breakfast

10:15am - 11:15pm: Integration Circle & Close

11:15 - 12:45: Optional Relaxation

12:45-1:30 pm: Final Lunch 

We will finish by 11:15 am on Tuesday, October 9th, and you have the option to linger and enjoy the beauty of Seven Springs as well as lunch, if you choose.

Meditation and yoga will be held in the outdoor yoga pavilion, and we also have an indoor space available. Our sacred circles will rotate between outdoor and indoor spaces. Delicious ayurvedic meals will be served in the fresh autumn air.

On-site therapies are available during break times, as well as many opportunities to relax or walk in nature. We may offer an afternoon excursion during the event.

Location

Breathe the fresh mountain air

Seven Springs is located near Maryville, Tennessee. The Smoky Mountains are the world's oldest mountains and one of the world's most ecologically diverse regions, featuring temperate rain forest climate with over 17,000 species of plants and animals. This amazing biodiversity is the backdrop for the abundant richness of Seven Springs and the rejuvenating spirit of this land.

Take in Nature

Seven Springs features an open air yoga pavilion built with local forest cedar that offers panoramic morning views of the Chillhowee mountains. The ground offer stunning hill perches, creekside spots, and gorgeous nature walks, with a resident master naturalist/ ecologist to provide a guided tour. The center is close to many natural attractions to further explore before or after the retreat.

Accommodation & Delicious Meals

Accommodation & Facilities

Most retreat guests will stay in well-fashioned shared yurts of 2 to 4 people. Each yurt is furnished with comfortable beds and bedding, electricity and lights, electric heating for cool nights, tables and dressers. Yurts are the closest accommodation to the bathrooms.

Additionally, some guests will stay in large shared glamping tents of 2 people. Each large tent is set on a wooden platform and is furnished with comfortable beds and bedding and solar lights. The tents are located in a cool space amongst the trees. 
 

Shared bathrooms on the property offer two hot showers, two water-saving flushing toilets, and running water. 

Morning yoga will take place in the outdoor yoga shala. Women's circles will take place between the shala, outdoor classroom, and the 24 foot yurt classroom with labyrinth floor design.

Mats, props, cushions, and blankets for chilly mornings or evenings will be provided.

Treat yourself. Massage treatments from resident therapists are available in an outdoor massage pavilion.

Delicious meals

All meals will be vegetarian, varied and generously prepared by Ayurvedic chef Wendy who lives locally. All meals are served in the outdoor kitchen, as we take in the beauty of the surroundings. Our first included meal will be dinner on Oct 4th. Our final meal will be lunch on Oct 9th.


Afternoon snacks will also be provided. The kitchen is available for any additional guest needs.

Sustainable Living & What to Bring

Sustainable Living

At Seven Springs, you will be woken in the morning by drum or bells as we rise to practice meditation and yoga in the shala. 

Natural washing practices contribute to sustainability, and each guest washes her individual plate and cutlery. You are asked to be respectful of local wildlife (raccoons, skunks, bears) and keep food in designated containers, while treading lightly around local flora.

This is a real chance to disconnect and allow yourself to stay in the space of the women's gathering. There is no WIFI on the property, inviting you to connect with nature and within.

What To Bring

Please bring your own natural toiletries, a towel, and layers of clothing to suit varying temperatures during the day and night.

It may be a bit fresh early in the mornings and chilly in the night, so make sure to bring a sweater, jacket, and socks etc to stay cozy.

A headlamp is a necessity, and bring a pair of light hiking shoes and slip-on shoes.

Facilitators

Aimee Hansen

Creator, Storyteller Within Women's Retreats

Aimee chases big questions with butterfly nets, only to set them free again. She's always had an irresistible attraction to words and metaphors as a way of playing, provoking, revealing, exploring,  understanding and connecting.

A few years into a corporate agency, in 2003 she began sneaking away from her London office for creative writing classes at Central Saint Martins College, rekindling her childhood love of words. On a quest for more meaningful plot in life and a bigger adventure, she left London in 2008 and again in 2010, to travel.

By 2012, her travels guided her to Guatemala and back to herself. Her intensive studies with a mentor who called her "the storyteller" -  and her own passion for questions and insight -  started her on an ever curious and unfolding journey into the nature of perception. Her work explores the power of stories and invites a creative and playful adventure in the yoga of perception. She trusts in the mysterious sways of our hearts and the truth in our bodies, listening to what lights us up from within and moving, again and again, from this knowing.

Aimee works as a freelance writer, dances with the muse at poetry, and scribbles into tricky spaces. She holds a 200+ hr yoga teacher certification. She is inspired and humbled by witnessing how something raw and honest in the human spirit aches to open, given the invitation. She began Storyteller Within retreats to share in the experience of exploring our humanity and stepping into our courage and vastness as women.

Melanie Champagne

Co-Creator, Co-Facilitator, Sacred Stories Women's Retreat

From a young age, Melanie has been fascinated by sacred stories and mythology. Through theater and literature studies, she discovered the evolution of cultures through art. Her calling to understand human’s psyche lead her to various fields from alternative healing therapies to psychology-astrology. 

She passionately taught Meditation and Astrology for eleven years at Las Piramides Meditation Center in Guatemala. She is currently living in Canada and offering Astrology consultations for individuals and couples, co-facilitating heart focused retreats and holding space for embodied knowing in women circles. She is committed to support the expansion of intuition and preserve the knowledge of cycles. 

For Melanie, mythological stories are medicine. They bridge the eternal with the present, the personal with the universal and facilitate the meeting of the different parts of ourselves: "May we let the stories move through us and let them whisper in the vulnerability of our hearts the treasures we long to recollect."

Jessi Luna, Yoga Facilitator
Jessi Luna is a board member of the Kula Collective and co-creator of Seven Springs Holistic Retreat, along with her husband Zach, built on the 126 acres of sacred land where she grew up as a child. 

Since a young age, Jessi has studied dance and creative movement. Yoga found Jessi over ten years ago, and since her first teacher training in 2008, Jessi has led retreats and workshops throughout the States, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica. She completed her RYT500 hour certification in 2012 and now leads teacher trainings in these places she most enjoys to share, including Bali. 

Jessi teaches a Vinyasa based practice to combine elements of dance and natural movement with traditional yogic sequencing. She incorporates attention to rhythm of the breath, and allows for organic movement to flow in each pose. She is grateful for the journey of yogic creativity and loves to share this movement of bliss with others along the way. 

Getting There & Away

By Air: 

The closest airport is Knoxville International Airport (TYS). The airport is actually located in Alcoa and only 25 minutes from Seven Springs. We can arrange transportation services to pick you up from this airport, a $10 charge.


You may also consider flying into the Atlanta International Airport and taking the bus or renting a car to drive to Seven Springs. The Atlanta airport is about a three hour drive. 


By Bus:

Megabus has services into Knoxville from many East Coast large cities, as well as Atlanta. If you choose to arrive to the Knoxville bus station, please contact us to arrange transportation. The bus station is about 40 minutes from Seven Springs. 


By Car:

Please see the address below for the GPS location. We will provide additional instructions to ensure you arrive at the front entrance.


Nearby Attractions


If you have time before or after the retreat, there are many beautiful opportunities to soak up more of the surroundings.


Located less than 25 miles from Seven Springs is the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited National Park in the U.S. On your way you will drive through Townsend with a wonderful Visitors Center. Cades Cove is also a beautiful 11 mile loops to drive or bike on Saturday mornings when it is closed to cars. Abrams Falls is a nice 5 mile hike from Cades Cove. 

What’s included

  • Meditation & yoga
  • Writing Circles
  • Storytelling
    Evening ceremonial storytelling sessions
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Site Tour
    Optional guided on-site tour, nearby outing (tbc)
  • Taxes
    All Taxes
  • Transport
    Flights & ground transport ($10-$20 from the airport)
  • Optional treatments
  • Insurance
    Travel Insurance

Available Packages

Shared Yurt
Available until Aug 20th4 left

Retreat guests will stay in well-fashioned shared yurts of 2 to 4 people. Each yurt is furnished with comfortable beds and bedding, electricity and lights, electric heating for cool nights, tables and dressers. 

Shared bathrooms on the property offer two hot showers, two water-saving flushing toilets, and running water. 

Price Includes Full Package:

- Morning meditation & yoga

- Morning & afternoon self-exploratory writing sessions 

- Evening sacred storytelling sessions

- 5 nights shared accommodation at Seven Springs

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch, & dinner

- Optional guided on-site tour, nearby outing (tbc)

- All taxes


Price Excludes:
flights, ground transport ($10-$20), travel insurance, optional therapies

$1195
Deposit: $450
Shared Glamping Tent
Available until Aug 20th4 left

Retreat guests will stay in large shared glamping tents of 2 people. Each large tent is set on a wooden platform and is furnished with comfortable beds and bedding and solar lights. The tents are located in a cool space amongst the trees. 

Shared bathrooms on the property offer two hot showers, two water-saving flushing toilets, and running water. The glamping tents are a little further from the bathroom than the yurts.

Price Includes Full Package:

- Morning meditation & yoga

- Morning & afternoon self-exploratory writing sessions 

- Evening sacred storytelling sessions

- 5 nights shared accommodation at Seven Springs

- Delicious vegetarian breakfast, lunch, & dinner

- Optional guided on-site tour, nearby outing (tbc)

- All taxes

Price Excludes: flights, ground transport ($10-$20), travel insurance, optional therapies

$1145
Deposit: $450
$1195
Deposit: $450

Shared Yurt

Your Organizer


AH
Aimee Hansen
4 reviews
Aimee chases big questions with butterfly nets, only to set them free again. She's always had an irresistible attraction to words and metaphors as a way of playing, provoking, revealing, exploring, understanding, and connecting. Her work explores the power of the stories we tell within our lives and invites a creative and playful adventure in the yoga of perspective.  ​ She works as a freelance writer, writes children stories, plays at poetry, and is writing a book about the storyteller within. She holds a 200+ hr yoga teacher certification. She is inspired and humbled by witnessing how something raw and honest in the human spirit aches to open, when given the invitation. She began Storyteller Within retreats to share in the experience of exploring our humanity and stepping into our courage as women.

Reviews

The Yoga Forest os magic and sets the mood. It was great experiencing a sustainable community and enjoy the amazing view. It’s hard at times with no flushing toilets and all but totally worth it. The women’s retreat was incriminou well curated, with themes and activities that really make you experience San Marcos and feel Guatemala culture. Aimee is so generous and patient. She had many challenges in the group this time and dealt with them with a lot of calm and patience. She brings many importante questions, has a big benefit of bringing us to “keeping it real”. Furthermore she is an amazing author and is generous about recognizing beauty in all things. However, and I say this with a lot of caution and care, I believe that since the themes proposed are very deep and therapy oriented, she would benefit from proper training on how to deal with these situations. Many times the safe space of sharing was not preserved due to lack of specific skills from the facilitator. This can be dangerous - specially if we have people in the group with likely mental disabilities. If the themes proposed may not have been so therapeutic it would have been perfect! But if you propose to go there there are many steps that need to be taken care of! Also, I believe the group could benefit more from for free sharing time and allowing the members to share things they have written (which was what happened in the last night). So I would say the retreat should either go totally in a transformational side (and then it needs the proposer facilitation skills) or more in the writing side (then it needs more time for that!). The yoga was great!!! Both teachers are amazing. I am totally available to explain more about my feedback!
This was truly a journey, both inward and outward that changed me as a person. The gathering of women, ages 21-54, each inspiring in their own right, taught me new things each day. Aimee was a lovely curator of our experiences and developed a dynamic program that also brought so much of the local wisdom and Mayan culture.
I believe every woman should attend a women’s circle at least once in their life. I have done a lot of inner work lately but this writing circle was one of the most direct and effective approaches I’ve experienced. Aimee provided a safe space for open and honest communication; anything was ok no matter how small, big, or silly it seemed. For me it provided me with the space to 1) get to know myself better, to understand recurring behaviours and emotions and also to move forward on my path with more clarity 2) communicate better with myself and with others 3) realise that I’m not alone in my thoughts and battles. Go for it, you’ll thank yourself later!
There are some people who, within minutes of meeting them, you know that you will never forget. Aimee Hansen is this person. Her unique and uncanny ability to lead a retreat that shakes, breaks, and ultimately empowers women is some of the most beautiful talent I've ever been lucky enough to witness. She thinks of every detail, hangs on to every word, and makes every single woman feel seen. Over the course of one week, I filled an entire notebook with words, thoughts, emotions, trying to adequately capture the magic that occurred. I've never been so happy to say: I completely failed. Because this retreat isn't something that can ever be regurgitated or described in a way that will do it justice. You will just have to take the leap & go.

References

MC
This retreat was fabulous. Aimee had an incredible ability to bring all of us together to the point where at the end of the journey we all felt like we were long lost friends. Her ability to create space and foster the telling of each woman's story allowed each woman to own what story she was telling herself and what different one she wanted to create. This was a life changing perspective shift for myself and many others. If you have an opportunity, do this retreat!
By Maggie Carr on Feb. 06, 2018