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Nature Retreats

Compassionate Ecology: Connection Courage Collaboration

Spending time in Nature each day increases our feeling of wellbeing.  Retreats increase the restorative benefits of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for our nervous system and elevates our self awareness and insight.   Nature keeps on growing and thriving as we too can grow our capacity for resilience and compassion.  

 

The World Heritage Blue Mountains area offers endless abundance of Nature, trees, ferns, rocks and waterfalls, fresh air,  a unique ecology of health and wilderness. Psychology has embraced Mindfulness approaches to mental health and research based on ancient wisdom - Anxiety and human suffering is derived from unhelpful Beliefs and Self limiting stories that we live by as social beings.   Stories that guide and limit your self expression and overall wellbeing.  Critical life events and trauma impacts your life in a totally significant manner. Recent research has proven that 20 minutes in nature decreases cortisol in the body, improving overall wellbeing.   Our weekend retreats aim to show you how to turn your greatest pain into growth and practices to guide you to live a fulfilling life.  Instead of being bound by fears you will learn how to begin to grow in your life and to apply your learning in helpful ways. Check out our Airbnb retreat for couples. 

You are part of Nature and whenever you can spend time enjoying and tending to the awe inspiring beauty and wonder your emotional experience can be profoundly uplifted.  Instantly, the content of your mind is improved and your overall wellbeing improves too. You can lead a life that is rich and meaningful. Recent research supports that 20 minutes in nature each day significantly reduces anxiety and improves wellbeing.  You can't worry when you are experiencing wonder and awe.

During your time in retreat you will be guided into restorative mindfulness practices. Opening your heart through learning and practicing the five stages of compassion meditation.  Time to connect with your purpose and values and to share stories with others who have walked similiar paths.

 

When you leave the Nature retreat, you will feel nurtured and inspired. You will also have your own mindfulness and compassion routine to practice throughout your work day and when you transition from work to home.   Taking self care to a enriching, practical and integrated way of life.  

 

Nature retreats are where we can rest

recover and reset

This is a new site being developed for more information of current programs

www.simonettevaja.com

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Evolving Themes and Lived Experience

Resilience from Adversity - lived experiences

I was deeply moved to learn more about my early life and family, after being the full-time seeker,  I became passionate about helping others with similar experiences.  I studied and qualified as a psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist.   Over the years working in my clinic and presenting to corporate groups,  I noticed a strong need for people to connect with like minded seekers.  I  created self development programs and educated others to facilitate their own groups in their local communities.  Wild at heart was a joy to deliver through Nature Care College in Sydney.  For the next five years I taught this popular facilitator for life program to many wholistic creative health and helping professionals. 

 

In 2009 I  moved from these community programs to presenting my resilience programs to the corporate and government agencies.  For the next five years I delivered Beyond Blue's mental health training for employees, managers, senior executives and human resource personnel and visited over diverse national and local organisations. During this time, working as a corporate trainer and facilitator part of my role in trauma recovery work for NSW Police, Ambulance and Government agencies.  A life long learner and student, included trauma-informed practice and advanced diploma in EMDR. All these are evidenced based best practice and receive rebates through Medicare better access to mental health.

 

I have supported many thousands of people in one on one consulting and in group workshops.  Positive psychology and promoting growth from adversity through emotional resilience strategies,  mindfulness and compassion training, creative Arts and time spent in nature as important restorative and transformative activities.

I continue to be inspired by Nature in all her beauty; living in the World heritage Blue Mountains region, I enjoy all the seasons and cycles and encourage people to step into Nature as part of their ongoing wellbeing care.

During the pandemic I worked from home providing telehealth mental health services and wellbeing coaching to large government health agencies, and organisations.  At the same time I commenced a two year teacher training with the Australian Insight Meditation Institute and completed accreditation as a mindfulness and compassion meditation teacher.  

I have heard so many stories from people working hard, and dedicated to their service to others, after decades working in the corporate sector myself, I am excited to be in a position to host regular retreats in nature. With a focus on growth, compassion and realising connections.

Nature retreats and revisiting the deep restorative care that we can provide for each other when we make the time to Retreat and unplug from our working lives.  To get away, relax, and restore our energy, to apply the artistry of compassion to our everyday life. Meditation Retreats have been found through research to have the most effective benefits for our overall health and wellbeing.  

Retreats are one of the best gifts of self care, when we naturally rest, recover and restore our enthusiasm for lifea. Allow yourself the gift of receiving nurturing and restorative time in nature.

 

 

Locations:  Upper Blue Mountains - Leura

                     NSW Northern Beaches

                      NSW South Coast 

 

According to Beyond Blue mental health and the Heads Up campaign, 45 % of our population experiences a mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression.  Though in real terms only 50 % of the population report having a mental health issue, so realistically this means that 80% of our population will experience a mental health issue in their working life.

 

I do believe we need to realise our interconnection - compassionate ecology.  Compassionate ecology is a theoretical orientation I am developing around – giving back, being involved with others, having relationships, action, tending and kindness toward each other and toward our natural environment. Altruism, helping others, I know that working as a health professional has benefited and kept my mental health strong.  My resilience for life tragedies and stresses has increased and given me a way to navigate and deal with the hardships that life can bring.  Generally focussing on optimistic and creative arts , meditation processes, whilst focussing on the needs of others and the environment within your accessible community.

 

Over the past 25 years I  have gained extensive experience and credibility to successfully support people who have experienced critical incidence, workplace traumatic experiences, grief and loss, complex trauma.  I am keen to invite you to connect with my therapeutic programs:  listening to my guided meditations to improve your sleep, decrease your anxiety; you can enrol in one of my  8 week e.learning course or Web-based and Skype individual sessions.  The best will be spending time in the beauty of Nature at my Blue Mountains Wellness Retreats where you can have time to recover and connect to  your own wisdom and creativity.  

Our People

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