Retreat Thyself

A few weeks back, I got invited to The Sacred Healing Grove. It was out in the boonies of New Hampshire. Ya know, for all the flack that Arkansas seems to get, there sure are a lot of places up north that look like Arkansas.

The workshop was going to be in a yurtsomething I’d never heard of before. There’d be a shaman present. Or at least, someone who’s well-versed in the art of shamanic healing. Neither of those things really appealed to me. The whole aim of the event was for empowerment and transformation. And while those are things I have massive appreciation and respect for, I don’t really feel like I have a need for them at this point in my life.

did sign up though for two reasons. One, I still wanted to ride the wave of my 2016 New Year’s Resolution: expanding my in person network. Two, I wanted to see Anna Tsui work.


I met Anna by way of Ian So, CEO of Chicken & Rice Guys. Ian’s the type of guy, who strongly believes in building a network. The more the merrier. He was all like, “You’re a coach. She’s a coach. We’re all coaches, hey!

A different type of coach, for sure, but lots of crossover. And seeing her in action would only be full of pluses. Maybe it’d go the way of when I met Tony Gentilcore. When I met him, it only re-affirmed my knowledge of health and fitness. Maybe Anna would kick my ass, and having a new “rival” would change the way I carry my own business.

Or maybe she’d surprise me with something else. Anna was pretty adamant for all those in attendance to have no expectations…

Jumping Right In

Compared to the rest of the guys, I don’t think I was quite as in awe of the place. But enamored or not, I was totally game to join and interact.

We opened up with a variety of blessings. Pure glacier water from Peru. Sage. Tobacco. Salt.

Then, we had a real unorthodox introduction. Instead of saying names and professions, we told secrets. It felt like a sleepover– and I was totally fine with that. We talked about girls. We talked about boys. We talked about things we hated. We talked about food.

Continuing with the more odd activities, we stared into each other’s eyes. I’ve never stared in any girl’s eyes as long and as intently as I did a guy’s that day. That needs to be rectified.

And we wrapped the whole shebang up by going primal. We were literally making animal faces and noises. There were plenty of badass shots of the other guys. I only got snapped in the aftermath.

Photos courtesy of Eric Yang

I yelled so much my voice was shot for the next couple of days…

No Real Surprises

So sure, I think it’d be easy to dismiss the whole event as a bunch of spiritual mumbo jumbo. I have no doubt some people would be turned off. But if you strip away the aesthetic, here’s what you have at its core:

  • dedicated time to get away
  • dedicated time to reflect
  • dedicated time to release

All of these things people need more of. And if they’re not getting in their day to day, then hell yeah this is going to be a great opportunity for them.

Earlier, I compared this to a sleepover, which I think is spot on. If you’ve never had a baller sleepover, you’re missing out. But I think you could also compare this to any good youth group camp. I grew up in a Southern Baptist. And while that spiritual focus might be different, the aims and outcomes are still the same.

The true test is to see how long people can carry the momentum from that day. Even with the best of intentions, a lot of it can fizzle out.

We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve got to make good on my word to sing and make more music.

If Anna sounds like your jam, be sure to check out her website.

Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

One thought on “Retreat Thyself

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: