Wellness and Writing Immersion Retreat Instruction
Our philosophy for an optimal retreat experience is to do everything we can to facilitate learning and personal growth. Rather than modeling the classroom, prioritizing the fact that we’re teaching, we focus on facilitating learning through introspection.
An interesting note about the Latin root of the word ‘education’ (educere) is that it means “to lead forth, to raise up.” Naturally, that’s a challenge, and that’s probably why it’s more common to find methods for instruction that focus more on the materials than on whether learning and growth are actually taking place.Stephen’s writing talk in the yoga space, Tulum Mexico 2012
The retreat is coordinated to offer the right factors that lead to producing and sharing creative work that extends from who you truly are. As a result, participants often rekindle a passion for creativity that reaches years into the past.
We prioritize process and approach above end result. We see art as a continual practice. You can expect to be extremely productive and have a lot of fun at a Wellness and Writing Immersion Retreat. Many participants produce their best work while on a retreat, and they also make discoveries that open new doors for the future.
Each day at the retreat, just after dinner, we meet as a group to read and share what we’ve been working on. Since these are works in progress, we focus our responses on passages that strike us, and share how the work resonates with us.
We select retreat participants from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels. This makes for a fruitful and dynamic experience. The challenge for us as instructors is to meet the needs of each participant on an individual level. We’re creative, and we draw on a wide range of experience.
Over the years, we’ve noticed that each participant’s real needs sometimes differ from their initial expectations. The inspiring environment, the holistic schedule, and the chemistry from peer interaction leads to an experience that is transformative because everyone is encouraged to be who they truly, deeply are.
Jade and I do everything we can to be innovative and make each retreat a resounding success. This work has been immensely fulfilling for us.Stephen Lloyd Webber (photo by Josh Bowen)
Stephen Lloyd Webber earned his MFA in Poetry from New Mexico State University and teaches writing online via writingimmersion.com and at several universities. Stephen is the founder/coordinator for Wellness and Writing Immersion Retreats in Tuscany, Umbria, Mexico and Bali. His poetry, fiction, reviews, and essays have been published in various literary journals including Black Magnolias, Free Verse, and Verse Wisconsin. His book Writing From the Inside Out is forthcoming from Divine Arts/MWP.
Read the Exaclair interview of Stephen here.
Read Jen Grisanti’s Huffington Post article about Wellness Immersion Retreats hereJade Webber (photo by Josh Bowen)
Jade Webber has painted, exhibited and sold her work in Italy and New Mexico for the last four years. She coordinates Wellness and Writing Immersion Retreats with her husband and teaches the painting and yoga classes. She is an environmental activist and donates a substantial portion of all income to environmental causes.
Her current work is a series of painted bears. The paintings are about animal wisdom, about the need for more formalized animal rights and about a positive and respectful relationship with sentient beings. She has also been performing what she calls Flying Rituals For Mother Earth. See more of her paintings here: JadeWebber.com and here: PaintedBears.etsy.com
She is a yoga teacher and practitioner and a certified Thai yoga massage therapist. She devotes herself to serving the individual needs of each client and retreat participant. Jade has been trained in Pranakriya Hatha yoga by the renowned Yoganand Michael Carroll in his own deeply traditional practice.
Stephen and Jade were happily wed in Spannocchia, Italy on May 30, 2010.
View Jade’s paintings online here.
Click here to learn how to apply.
“Don’t be fooled by their youth and beauty, they are the real deal. The Webbers have had successful retreats like this one all over the world.”
-Excerpt from Jen Grisanti’s Huffington Post article on her experience at our 2012 Tulum, Mexico retreat.
“Jade is so nurturing and loving – she’s really great at pushing you at yoga… If I could, I would have her come home with me and practice yoga all the time– I would!
Jade and Stephen are beautiful people and you should definitely come on their retreat. They’re so fun!”
Katie, Casa Della Pace retreat member, 2010Jade and Stephen at the Spannocchia Writing Immersion in summer 2011. (photo by Josh Bowen)
“For those two weeks in Umbria we all belonged together–and I know the friendships begun there will continue. For me personally, the goal writing and creative exercises helped me to find my writing voice again; it had been buried for a fewyears and now I’ve got it back. That is one of the greatest gifts I took home with me from the retreat. Thank you, Stephen…”
Sharon, Wellness and Writing retreat member, 2010
“Stephen and Jade are like two trees whose shade shields those in the retreat from distractions or worries. They open their limbs to everyone and let people climb along their trunks of wisdom. They teach all to root ourselves in enriching soil so that we will grow taller and stronger.
The retreat will be some of the most productive time for anyone in a creative process. One feels removed from daily distractions and worries but completely connected and involved with a group of supportive and interesting people.
In a heart beat I would come again. I am a writer and my time at Spannocchia was the most productive time I’ve ever spent at my craft.”
- Rachel, 2011 Writing Immersion at Spannocchia
“Jade is nurturing and goes beyond the classes to help you individually with your yoga practice. She is gifted with a soothing voice and tremendous skill as a yoga teacher, and honors the authentic wisdom of an ancient practice as she makes it accessible to students of all levels. Her talent as a painter is truly wonderful and her painting workshops allow you to create your own paintings of the scenic landscape. You’ll find yourself noticing everything around you through new eyes.
Stephen is wise beyond his years. As a writing teacher and motivational coach he brings a strength and serenity to the process that is steeped in years of study from well-known experts in personal development and writing. He imparts this knowledge and his own insights in a modest, grounded way allowing you the space to be introspective, authentic, and true to yourself.“
-P.S., Cambridge, MA – 2011 Wellness Immersion Retreat ParticipantStephen and Jade on the Spannocchia grounds 2011
“Stephen was so gifted at bringing us in to focus on the larger purpose of our choice to write and our practice of writing. For me, the writing advice he gave me was the extra nudge I needed to really feel confident in my ideas, to hone in on them and trust their interplay and organic development as a valuable and interesting process. He offered ongoing support after the retreat, recommended reading, suggestions and other guidance in addition to the focus and encouragement. I felt the retreat exercises brought me to the exact place I needed to be in my writing. They opened and emptied me, so I could let the freshness and clarity into my work and let go of the self-criticism and doubt. In particular, the writing exercise in which we wrote from the perspective ofalready having achieved our most important goals had a huge impact on my writing and on me personally. Clearing away obstacles that were keeping me from what I know I want to do, the exercise brought me closer to the pleasure of achievement, so I could take ownership of it and go home intent on not losing it. The yoga, and especially the breathwork, were, like the painting, a necessary and important part of the retreat experience and my writing process. Clarity, emptiness and stillness were essential to the writing work I was doing, and Jade’s insights and instruction brought them to me continually. The extra work Jade did with me that was tailored to my body’s needs gave me practices and learning to take home with me over and beyond the daily classes. The yoga was gentle and restorative, while still being challenging and transformative. It was just like everything at the retreat, and like the retreat organizers themselves–gentle and restorative, challenging and transformative. I am changed forever by this experience, and I would encourage anyone considering the retreat to allow themselves the same gift. “
-Amick, 2011 Wellness Immersion Retreat Participant – Tuscany
Stephen and Jordan at the Casa Della Pace retreat in Italy summer 2011
“Stephen and Jade may be the most beautiful people I have ever seen. The genuine kindness that they share, trickles to others and helped me to see the beauty in mistakes and the beauty of a somewhat chaotic world. They are true examples of the cliche “anything is possible.” They created a life that to many seems unrealisitc, yet somehow, they experience everyday. The proof of their happiness and simplistic style of living, made me strive to discover what I wanted from nature and from myself. The retreat was not only a way to become a better writer, but a way to discover who I want to become, using the tools of the lovely book of exercises and poems that Stephen compiled.”
- Jordan, 2011 Wellness and Writing Immersion retreat at Casa della Pace – Italy
Jade instructing Melanie in a painting lesson at Spannocchia Italy summer 2011 (photo by Josh Bowen)
“Jade’s and my painting session, between two rainstorms, is my favorite memory. I hadn’t planned to paint, and her encouragementJade teaching painting class in Tulum, 2012 (photo by Susan Dupre)
and attention brought out a visual experience of the retreat I know, now, was completely necessary.
I appreciated her allowing me an extra session to finish my piece, and on a personal level, really felt as if my interest and enjoyment of it, and her willingness to cultivated that, made for a really peaceful and delightful new experience of painting, and a special connection between the two of us — when I turned around, I saw she’d painted my portrait.”
-Amick, 2011 Wellness Immersion Retreat Participant – Tuscany
“Jade and Stephen are incredibly kind, receptive and calm teachers. Just looking at them makes me feel relaxed–their energy is positive, good and zen. I think every single person in the world could benefit from a retreat like this (specifically, theirs) because it provides a centering and necessary exploration of one’s psyche while communing with nature, listening and practicing Stephen’s wisdom, and doing Jade’s centering and enlivening yoga. This is a great way to take care of one’s soul. I am so so glad to have done this – I had no idea what to expect (first experience with a retreat) and I can truly say (even if cliche) that it was life-changing.”
-H.S., 2011 Wellness Immersion – Tuscany Retreat Participant
Jade and Stephen at the retreat in Tulum, Mexico on New Years Eve 2012 (photo by Susan Dupre)
Stephen and Jade do not merely offer excellent instruction in writing, yoga and painting, they give gentle lessons on how to live, how to create your own authentic life, how to befriend obstacles and stretch your mind, body and spirit in ways that celebrate you and the divine within you. In love with one another and with the path of service, nurturing, wellness and creativity they have chosen, Jade and Stephen create an environment in which retreat participants are able to learn much about life, love, passion, joy and release if they are open to it.
These two are a remarkable pair. And what they have to give in their particular beauty and individuality is impossible to duplicate. The intention and authenticity with which they move through the world is a marvelous example of lives intentionally and joyfully lived for those in their orbit.
-Bonnie, 2012 Wellness Immersion, Tulum Mexico
Click here to apply.