Women's Sacred Stories Retreat, Tennessee

Maryville, TN, United States

AH
Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified
Oct 12 - 17, 2017
Group size: 6-13
Women's Sacred Stories Retreat, Tennessee
Maryville, TN, United States

Aimee Hansen
  • Email address verified

$1195
Deposit: $450
Oct 12 - 17, 2017
Group size: 6-13

About this trip

Breathe in the early autumn air of the Smoky Mountains and experience the magic that happens as we bring together the rich tradition of oral storytelling with the power and vulnerability of the women's self-exploratory circle. Gather by candlelight to listen to women's sacred stories, wake for meditation and yoga, and explore your feminine nature through writing. As we journey with the Divine Feminine into greater self-intimacy, you are invited to remember your deep inner knowing and to revel in your inherent mystery.


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 HIGHLIGHTS


Inspiring location with panoramic mountain views

Morning meditation & yoga practice

Morning & afternoon self-exploratory writing circles

Evening sacred storytelling sessions by candlelight/fire

Integration of sacred ceremony 

Scenic outdoor yoga pavilion  

3 delicious organic vegetarian meals/day

5 nights stay in shared, charming yurts

Guided tour of on-site fauna

Breaks for relaxing, walking, therapies and exploration

Maximum of 12 participants

Meditation and yoga will be held in the outdoor yoga pavilion. Our sacred circles will rotate between outdoor and indoor spaces, as needed. Meals will be served in the outdoor kitchen area.


YOGA


With daily guided meditation and yoga, you will listen in to the innate guidance that is found in your body and breath. The body holds the truth of our physical and sensual experience, and is the home of our deepest intuitions. Our breath is our way back home.


As we practice listening to the guidance of our body, and honor and heed its wisdom, our intuition expands. We journey into more alignment with our inner knowing.


SACRED STORYTELLING & THE WOMEN'S CIRCLE


Gather to Listen. Open to Reveal.

In this retreat, you will connect with your body through meditation, yoga and movement. You will gather by candlelight to listen to mystical stories of the Divine Feminine, as shared by co-facilitator Melanie Champagne. You will circle for self-exploratory writing circles inspired by the rich themes for women stirred up by the stories. 

As women, we are reclaiming our mythology. The universal stories hold personal keys for each of us. As we gather to listen to the tales of the Divine Feminine, you are invited to reawaken your connection to the sacred energies within you, to feel them rise and reclaim them as yours.


Be held in Sacred Space.

 

We renew our wise and wild feminine energy when we heed the call to gather, and when we honor this moment - this here, this now - as our sacred space. 

We will bring in ritual and beauty. Through sharing our stories, we hold the mirror of compassion for each other. In this reflection, we witness and embrace more of who we all are.


Invoke the Power of the Sacred Story.


​Each evening, we will listen to stories of the Divine Feminine as represented by mythical goddess stories. We will use their story to connect with the different faces of the feminine within ourselves. Each goddess symbolizes energies and feminine archetypes that are alive within each of us.  

As an example, the Goddess Demeter opens our awareness of the rhythms of cycles and letting go. Her story brings us in touch with a more feminine experience of time.

The diversity of goddesses allows us to remember and re-invite the richness of aspects of our own feminine energy. Each sacred story provides a lens through which we can encounter more of our own feminine nature, gaining insight into what we have lost or forsaken or forgotten.

The stories reveal essential insights into preserving and honoring our power as women. The power of story brings us back to ourselves and to each other, again and again.


Open and explore through raw expression.

 

As we move through the stories of the goddesses, we will embody and explore the energies they represent for us, allowing them to inspire our writing and sharing circle. Writing serves as a channel to reveal insight, allow vulnerability and bring forth what is calling to be heard from within you.

​Whether it be honoring our own cycles, realizing the fertile power of letting go, harnessing our creative vision, or guarding over our own sacred fire, the stories provide us with rich and layered themes to unfold and explore in our own lives.

We will bring in dynamic self-exploratory writing exercises to unlock deep personal truth and insights. We may call in movement or other channels.

 

The women's circle provides a loving and encouraging space to reveal your heart, connect to your feelings, share your truths, spark your imagination and journey into deeper intimacy with yourself and others.


SAMPLE DAILY FLOW


Guests may arrive to Seven Springs on Saturday, Sept 23rd (check in is 3pm) to relax and settle in. After dinner, we will open our circle.

 

Our daily flow will begin on Sunday, Sept 24th. We will finish at 2pm on Sept 28th, following lunch. You can base your travel on this approximate schedule:

Sept 23rd: 

3:00 pm Check-In

6:00- 7:00 pm Dinner

7:00 - 8:00 pm Opening Circle 

8:00 pm - Storytelling Circle

 

Sept 24th - 27th (Sample Flow):

7:00 am - Wake-up

7:30 - 9:00am: Medi & Yoga

9:00 - 10:00am: Breakfast

10:30am - 1:00pm: Exploratory Circle 

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

3:30 - 6:00pm: Exploratory Circle 

6:00 - 7:00 pm: Dinner

7:30 pm: Storytelling Circle 

Sept 28th: 

7:00 am - Wake-up

7:30 am - 9:00am: Medi & Yoga

9:00 - 10:00am: Breakfast

10:30am - 1:00pm: Integration Circle & Close

1:00-2:00 pm: Final Lunch 

 

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. Delicious meals are vegetarian and served in the outdoor kitchen.

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


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 our days together.


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


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. 


Delicious meals


All meals will be vegetarian and prepared by an Ayurvedic chef 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 Sept 23rd. Our final meal will be lunch on Sept 28th.

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


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.


FACILITATION:


Co-Facilitator: Aimee Hansen

 

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. Fifteen years ago she began sneaking away from the office for creative writing classes at Central Saint Martins College while living in London, writing short stories and rekindling a childhood love for all things lyrical.

 

On a quest for more meaningful plot in life, she left her corporate job in London to travel for a couple years. In 2012, her travels guided her to Guatemala and back to herself. Her intensive studies with an intuitive mentor who called her "the storyteller" and her own passion for human insight started her on an ever curious and unfolding journey into the nature of perception. 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. 

Aimee 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.

And yet, a confession. It was not until she had lived the experience of facilitating these retreats that she witnessed the rich magic held within and created by a circle of women. The women who attend these retreats continue to reveal this to her, again and again.


Co-Facilitator: Melanie Champagne

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 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 heart the treasures we long to recollect. 


Yoga: Jessi Luna


Jessi, along with her husband Zach, co-created Holistic Retreat Center, Seven Springs, in her mountain home of East Tennessee.


Since a young age, Jessi has studied dance and creative movement. Yoga found Jessi seven years ago, and since her first RYT200 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. 

What’s included

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, potential nearby outing 

Not included

Transport to & from the retreat

Travel insurance

Any gratuities for Seven Springs staff you wish to leave

Before You Go

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 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.

Available Packages

Shared Yurt
Available until Oct 1111 left
$1195
Deposit: $450

Your Organizer


AH
Aimee Hansen
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.