18-Feb 2012- Ojai, CA – (Kazor.com) -
What if you could be in paradise, allowing your dreams to become a reality? Would you join me?
I had the pleasure of spending several days at the magical Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs, voted by Conde Nast as one of the sexiest small hotels in the country. I went there for a taste of SOUL ARTS; a sampling of what will be a longer retreat experience to empower participants in 2012.
Lead by spiritual leader and author Ronda LaRue, the days of self-discovery assist followers in disengaging from the part of the brain that tells them no, you cannot do that … you should not do that, better not do that… In this incredible space, spending time with Ronda and a group of others who are on the same journey allows one to free up adversity built over a lifetime by family, other people and self-negative or fear based chatter. Finding one’s authentic voice and actually being able to hear it, use it, and experience it is what Ronda LaRue is an expert at teaching. She inspires and educates people on how to reveal, release, and thrive. The results are empowering. Ronda’s techniques provide tools to free up fear and self-doubt. She teaches one how to say yes to the gifts that are within them.
Her book The Art of Living Your Destiny guides the reader through the process of living with their eyes wide open and something Ronda calls living in the question. We live in a world where answers are constantly searched for in everything we do. What if, as Ronda suggests, we live in the question? To be an observer of the question allows individuals to experience wider, diverse opportunities. By utilizing tools from The Art of Living Your Destiny and Ronda’s retreats, one develops a deeper experience and self-connection by learning to listen to their own truth in the present moment – not the past or negative noise. With this comes a new freedom that is challenging and exciting.
Monday we met late in the afternoon at the Korakia Library. Exquisite Mediterranean, Moroccan art adorns the suites and homes surrounded by Bergendelia. Korakia has a European feeling and is within walking distance to downtown Palm Springs. Ronda knew when coming upon Korakia that it was a special space for the work she is so passionate about sharing with others. The lush mountains surrounding the boutique hotel provide a view that is one of a kind.
Our dinner was beautiful, flavorful salmon. They also serve vegetarian dishes including an outstanding Portabella mushroom dish I discovered the second night.
After dinner we retreated to a small section of the house, which created an intimate environment to begin our first night together.
It was wonderful being with others who had previously been to one of Ronda’s retreats and individuals who had a thirst for going deeper within to find their true voice. Writers passionate about the environment of Korakia trusted Ronda, as they desired to venture into this unique, personal adventure. We sat vulnerable and excited for what lay ahead.
Ronda asked us to share what we desired from the retreat and then asked each person to read a card we had selected from the center of the circle. When it was my turn I said that I wanted acceptance, healing and love. When I picked my card, it said one thing – acceptance. I was in the right place. Ronda shared that acceptance leads to healing which leads to love.
Tuesday morning at 7am was an early meditation. It was optional but suggested. It was a beautiful way to start the day and the individuals who took part had a certain glow.
Breakfast was served in the courtyard with fresh squeezed orange juice. The orange trees that surround Korakia add to the aroma that fills the dry air. After breakfast, the process began. Releasing the ego-centered thoughts opened up an inner awareness and calmness during a short period of time. Ronda taught us how to pay attention to subtleties aligning with our consciousness and breaking it open and learning what frees and stops one’s own energy
In one of the sessions we were given art supplies such as paper, markers and string, along with some odd items like keys and knick knacks to create our current reality. We placed this next to a position of where we are going. Sharing our pieces with each other was an intimate and powerful time. Some were small and other pieces were large. What we thought we were creating revealed something else. Being freed of what no longer serves, allows one to notice the moment and to make a choice. Listening to what is true and following that frees the mind.
We were asked to be in silence through the rest of the afternoon and through dinner. All the senses come together; you can’t help but be in the present during silence. There was a certain honor of experiencing that moment completely and respecting the quiet.
The second evening delivered insightful experiences for each member of the group. We then headed back to our rooms, walking beside pools radiant by fire pits and candle lit stairways.
The following morning we got up at 7:00 for breath and movement mediation.
The music brought out different styles of dance and expression. At first we were a little self-conscious but when we let go, there was no judgment. This exercise was for us to release ourselves completely, to inhale joy and exhale anything we no longer needed. One song was loud, pounding and exhilarating. Some people jumped and others swayed or reflected in poses. The high energy was positive and strong; we were definitely charged up and awake, it was fantastic!
We gathered for a final circle before leaving. There was an obvious lightness that energized the group compared to the heaviness of the first night. Each person shared about their individual healing, what they had learned and how their hearts had been opened. Several people revealed they did not expect results so quickly.
Ronda is a gifted teacher and Korakia is a magical place to experience her work. Ronda is an expert; her story of where she has been and how she works with others is remarkable. Recently a couple flew in from Australia to meet with her privately in Ojai, California. Ronda says to keep the door open like a child and go for it by keeping magic afoot and releasing tension, doubt and insecurity.
Radical life transformation is not easy but for those willing and ready to change, Ronda’s retreat is something not to be missed. The retreats at Korakia are unlike any I have experienced, and I have had the great fortune to experience many. Korakia is a sacred place. The reasonable price includes amazing food, beautiful rooms and the retreat itself.
Ronda’s book is The Art of Living Your Destiny. To find out when the next 2012 retreats are at Korakia go to, ojaisoularts.com/groupretreat2011Korakia1.shtml
For other Ronda LaRue happenings, please check out her calendar page at:
Center for Soul Arts
Address (703 Tico Road)
Ojai ,CA ,93023