Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hey, I’m Vanessa. I love that you’re here. Just by you reading this, I know you’re the kind of person who wants more. And wanting more is a good thing. You’re the kind of person who appreciates what you have, but knows that there is always more to get out of life and more to discover about yourself.  Maybe you feel like you’re not totally living up to your full potential and playing small and safe. While playing small and safe feel good in the moment, it often leaves us feeling unfulfilled and low energy. On the flip, maybe you’re an adventure junkie. Just the word adventure gets your blood pumping. With every adventure you learn more about yourself and push your limit just a little further. Perhaps you’re an adventure addict. This is me now.

That wasn't always me though. I always had a drive for adventure. When I was younger, it showed up as restlessness. A need to go anywhere other than here. I volunteered in Kenya, backpacked much of the world, took all inclusive vacations moved countless times in the five years after college. I saw beautiful places, met incredible people, held bizarre jobs, and reshaped my view of the world. Initially, I booked a one way ticket to Australia with the plan to be gone for a year and teach English in Thailand. I ended up staying gone nearly 3 years, never taught a day of English and came back home with my now Dutch husband.

Here was the catch. I needed to stay gone. I was an adventure addict. Not because I loved adventure so much, but I was afraid to come back. I didn’t know how to go back to normal life. See, an adventure addict is someone who loves the unknown, the lack of structure and planning and thrives on the high of ‘figuring it out’ no matter where you are. You master living with almost no money and little possessions, you get hooked on the new faces you meet and beautiful environments and the idea of ‘normal’ life scares you. Without global and dramatic adventure, I feared life would be boring and so I stayed gone.
These days, my craving for adventure is as strong as ever, but shows up differently. I still love a good one way plane ticket, but I realized that the excitement of taking a big trip isn’t all that different than taking a solid one day road trip to a nearby lake, trying a new sport that knocks you on your butt 20 times in an hour or taking a walk alone in a park without your phone or music to distract you. For me, it was just as much an adventure to stay put. I needed to learn how to get the same excitement in my daily life.

The thing about adventure is that it’s different for everyone. Not everyone would buy a one way ticket with no plan for arrival. Not everyone would want to stay put either. The trick to a real adventure is stepping outside of your comfort zone. For some that means being somewhere unfamiliar, and for others, it means staying put.  When you step outside of your comfort zone, you grow. Being outside of your comfortable environment naturally produces a different thought pattern.

3 Reasons to go on an adventure
  1)      We don’t realize how much of our behaviors, thoughts and beliefs come from triggers in our environment. By simply changing your environment, you have access to a different and more creative level of thinking. You get full access to the part of you that doesn’t always get to run the show. When you remove the environmental triggers, you get the opportunity to rewrite the thought patterns, behaviors or beliefs that really no longer serve you.
  2)      It’s fun. Two of the toughest questions that I ask  my clients are “what do you want?” and “what do you do for fun?” Fun and joy for no reason are so absent in our daily lives.  We spend the majority of our time working crossing our to-do list and the majority of our mental time and space worrying about both of those. Fun and activities that bring us joy, and ultimately fulfillment, get placed at the bottom of to-do lists. And if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that our to-do lists never truly end. We continue to place the important tasks at the top, allowing the items (fun) at the bottom never to be completed. We tell ourselves that when we have more time we’ll get to the good stuff. We actually have it backwards and here’s why:
  3)      Here is how the brain works in decision making. When you feel good, you make good choices. When you feel bad, you make bad choices. So our physical and mental state largely determine the choices we make. Not the other way around. Have you ever tried to go on a diet, only to find that it was easier to make good choices once you had already lost some weight? You started to feel good when you lost weight, so you started to make better choices because the better choices felt better. When presented with two options, your brain will reach for the one that feels better in the moment, even if it has negative consequences. So we need to get ourselves into a state where we feel good so the choices we need to make feel easy.

That’s exactly what this retreat is all about. Feeling.Good.
At this full day retreat at Moraine State Park, you’ll step outside of your comfort zone and physical environment to spend the day feeling great. Sunshine, laughter, paddle boarding, yoga, and massage will get you into the physical state of feeling great. From there, I’ll coach you to figure out what’s keeping you stuck and learn how to identify and rewrite the beliefs you have about yourself and the world that limit your achievement, relationships, growth and joy.

You’ll get familiar with your own mental process and how your automatic thought patterns subconsciously run the show and how to take back control. You’ll identify the triggers that signal your brain to continue unwanted bad habits and use those same triggers to create habits that make you healthier and happier. It’s all about feeling good.

By stepping out of your everyday world and into a day designed to make you feel alive, excited, open and surrounded by like-minded people (strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet) you build and encourage confidence within yourself to take that mindset back to the day to day.

An adventure retreat is about stepping away from everyday life, disconnecting from technology so that you can discover how to make adventure, growth and joy a part of everyday life.

Here’s the road map for your adventure:

9-9:30:  Check in, team assignments, refreshments
9:30-9:45: Opening exercise
9:45-11:45: Vanessa Coaching
12-1:30:  Group 1 Paddle Board/Yoga
                   Group 2 Massage/Lunch/Etc (hiking, canoeing, lunch, meditation, small group yoga)
2:00-3:30: Group 2 Paddle Board/Yoga
                     Group 1 Massage/Lunch/Etc (hiking, canoeing, lunch, meditation, small group yoga)
3:45 Closing Exercise
4:00-5:00- Social time
5:00-9:00  EVOLVE S&B PADDLE BOARD/COOKOUT!!!! (optional)

To get you prepped for the day and feeling the excitement long after, here are the bonuses!

Access to Vanessa’s “Getting to Know your Brain” online class ($47 value)
Discover how your individual brain works to process information, interprets the world and creates and reinforces your belief system. The better you know your own brain, the more you can change it at the retreat.

Discovering your Desires Action Guide
You can’t get what you want if you aren’t clear on what you want. In order to get out of your own way, you need to know where you’re going and what you’re in the way of. We’ve become so attached to the to-do lists, “have to” and “shoulds” that we’ve detached from what we really want for ourselves. Remember those dreams? Oh yeah, we’re pulling those back out.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone checklist
What do you need to do, take and feel, to prepare yourself for stepping outside of your comfort zone more often? How do you get friends to join you? This checklist gives you everything you need to get good at adventure.

Where do I go from here guide?
When the day is over, how do you take the magic home with you? Spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally this guide gives you action steps to grow in each area.

Invitation to join the 4 week “Taking adventure home” online group program
Submersion into a day like our retreat is magical. We want to make sure the magic isn’t lost and you know exactly how to keep the growth going! Details at the retreat!

10% off any of Vanessa’s coaching programs (up to a $150 value!)

20% off of a massage of your choice at Evolve Wellness Spa ($20 value)
20% off a paddle boarding trip with Ian ($20 value)

Reserve your spot for the adventure, valued at over $800 for $199.
Only 30 spots left!

About Evolve

We are a wellness focused day spa with a passion for making people feel good. Whether it’s relief from pain, freedom from skin concerns, release of stress or an improvement in your level of happiness…you deserve to discover the best in you. We offer a range of life enhancing services including: massage therapy, acupuncture, skincare regimens, hand & foot care, private yoga and self-improvement counseling to help you achieve your personal goals. Your life should be lived joyously and beautifully…….we deliver the tools and treatments to get you there.

Evolve will be delivering the “comfort” aspect as you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. We feel that a relaxing massage in a beautiful environment is the perfect way to reward yourself for taking on the challenge to try something new and adventurous. A comfort zone is synonymous with anything that is familiar, easy and predictable. It can apply to all areas of your life whether its staying in a job that isn’t fulfilling or maximizing our potential, following (or not) a self-care regimen that isn’t achieving our goals for how we want to look and feel,  sticking in a relationship that is making us unhappy or not promoting our growth, and so on. Rewarding yourself after doing something challenging or difficult is a great way to reinforce the behavior so that it develops into a natural part of your personality.

To me, the value of pushing past your comfort zone is the development of confidence in your ability to be or achieve what you want in life. Even a small step outside your normal limits in one area of your life can resonate into the courage to take risks or try something different in other areas. Most of the success and satisfaction in my life I can attribute to the times when I have pushed myself to do something even if I was afraid and uncomfortable. Things such as completing a marathon, traveling solo overseas without a plan and not speaking the language, and starting a business with little resources or experience have all resulted in me connecting with a belief and strength within myself that has allowed me to get closer to fulfilling my dreams and knowing that I am capable of having the kind of life I desire. Complacency has no place in a life that is meant to be rich with experience, passion and adventure.

-          What do I need to wear?
o   No need to dress up here! Just wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in. What you might wear to exercise. I’d also recommend wearing a bathing suit underneath. We’ll be outside right on the lake where the sun shines brighter, so you may want sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Check the weather as it gets closer, we’re going rain or shine baby, all part of the adventure!
-          What do I need bring?
o   There will be some downtime during the day for relaxation, reflection and rest. You’re welcome to bring any non-technological entertainment.  A book, a journal, yoga mat, whatever you’d like to fill (or not fill) the downtime. Bring a towel and a change of clothes. We’ll be providing a healthy lunch but you may want to bring snacks!
-          What If I’ve never done yoga?
o   No worries! I’m no yoga guru myself. In fact, this will be my first time trying it on the paddleboard as well, so we’ll be on this adventure together. There will be modifications and you can adjust it to where you feel good. We also may fall in, and that’s great too!
-          What if I’ve never paddle boarded?
o   Ian is an awesome instructor. He’ll guide you through everything you need to know to feel like a pro by the end of the day. Remember, it’s not about being good, it’s all about being bold and trying new. There’s no comparing or judging of any kind in this crowd, so we’ll all be there to support each other’s adventure and growth.
-          Do I have to participate in every activity?
o   You are welcome to participate in whichever activities you’d like to. Remember, part of the idea for this retreat is to try something that might push you a little outside what feels comfortable. Ian, myself and Robyn will be there to help you get past your comfort zone but feel safe and supported to take it as far as you’d like! If you choose not to participate in a particular activity, there are beautiful walks around the center that you can choose to do instead.
-          What if I can’t swim?
o   Ian will be providing life jackets for everyone.
-          Where do I go from here, what else do you have to offer?
o   The intention of this day is to discover how to build adventure into your everyday life.  You will get a guide for how to continue to take this new mindset into each area of your life as well as receive exclusive access to a 4 week online group coaching program that will teach you to integrate this sense of adventure, change and growth into your food and body, physical activity, spirituality and relationships.


  1. An essential hotspot for the gathering of people that makes the peruser stride by step.
    check this

  2. this looks like a perfect location for going out on an expedition thanks for highlighting this vennesa ur narration is interesting that was too much fun you had there I will recommend this to a couple of my friends

  3. Now that is the thing that I call an enormous blog. Flawlessly composed.

  4. Excellent effort to make this blog more wonderful and attractive
    does booty pop actually work

  5. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commentators here!
    healthiest dog breeds that don't shed


Follow me on Twitter @BeyondtheMD