In July of 2014, I launched the pilot for the Food, Healing and Wellness program. It’s now called the Your Turning Point Retreats. Six women were signed up, 3 were veterans. It was held at our organic farm in Waitsfield, Vermont.
At first the program was designed specifically for female veterans, helping them heal from PTSD, sexual abuse and harassment, and other issues associated with their experience serving. I had partnered with the 501c3 nonprofit, Pathways for Veterans. Few programs are available for the most under served of our military-females.
We presented a workshop at the Burlington Lakeside VA clinic in Burlington, VT in April. During lunch I spoke with the gals about the program. Nearly everyone in the room wanted to participate for one reason or another. Some were drawn to the organic growing part. Others loved horses and wanted to see what the life coaching experience with them was like. While others wanted to find more peace and less stress by learning a mindfulness practice. Most did not have four weeks available regardless of the fact that this pilot program was free to the participants. They wanted to know if I could do more in a one or two week time period. I said I’d work on that for the second go round of programs (which we are actually in the midst of creating).
Before the program began, I opened it up to all women—as that was really what my heart was telling me to do—and I wanted to be sure we had at least 6 women signed up. We did, and we were off and running.
The main purpose of the program was to share pathways to wellness (such as mindfulness, yoga, time in nature—especially gardening, experiences with animals), to create a conscious community (where we listened mindfully and without judgement as best we could, chose our words carefully, and shared deeply and authentically), and find and then express our true best selves.
Why are these things important?
I believe that we humans are at a crossroads. We can cling to the old ways of living together on this planet which have created wars, out of control disease, destruction of our environment, and a lot of broken people who do desperate things, or we can become more conscious about how we live and interact. Who among us doesn’t want to be happier, healthier and more joyful people living in peace and harmony with all living creatures. Well, I suppose there are a few that don’t, but you get my point.
Coverage from our local paper-The Valley Reporter
Burlington Free Press article mention
Radio Interview with Stephanie Kathan, Leading Edge Talk
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