Writing from the Soul
A Spiritual Writing Retreat in the Rockies
August 22-25, 2024 ~ Colorado Springs
Give yourself a deeply soul-nourishing writing retreat in a Colorado forest monastery imbued with spirit, peace, and magic. We meet at the Benet Hill Retreat Center for four days of writing our way into greater renewal and peace.
Spiritual writing can make us wise and more loving , no matter how each of us might define or experience spirituality. Through gentle guided writing prompts and creative conversation, we’ll come together to unearth our deepest, most genuine voices. With balanced time to wander, discover, rest, and seek solace and meaning, we’ll write across genres (poetry, fiction, memoir, songs, or drama) our way into greater wisdom, inspiration, compassion, and community. Come join us in the foothills of the Rockies for a time out of time as we dwell in unfolding mystery, beauty, and wondrous writing.
We welcome all who want to discover and recover their voice and vision through writing that feeds our souls.
Does Writing from the Soul Call Your Name?
We’ve found through our combined 50-plus years of facilitating writing workshops for many populations and venues that amazing things happen when we gather in community and listen to ourselves and each other. We also continually witness how valuable it is for people to write together across experience and background.
We uphold ground rules that give you a balance of freedom and safety. No one has to read their work aloud if they wish, and everyone is also welcome to write whatever emerges, no matter the prompt. In other words, if you want to work from our prompts (always lots of options) or on a chapter in a novel, a new song, an old set of poems, etc. the whole time, you are welcome.
We offer free discovery calls to talk about whether this retreat is a good match for you at this time. Please contact us to arrange a 15-20 minute visit on Zoom or by phone.
Why We Believe in Writing as a Spiritual Practice
“I’ve been writing since I was eight years old, and even in my first childhood jottings, I was drawn to all that was human–and spiritual. An orange meringue Kansas sunset filled me with wonder and longing, and that’s what turned me to the pen and paper to marvel, seek, question, and reach for the transcendent–a practice that’s continued all my life. Spiritual writing captures the very deepest aspect of our lives and loves. I believe in its power enough to know you can discover beauty, meaning, wonder, and insight through your own practice of spiritual writing." ~ Joy Roulier Sawyer
"Writing has been a spiritual path for me since I first started putting words in a journal over 50 years ago. Each word on a page in the dark lights up the way just enough to see where to step next and how to find and keep to my path. At the least, writing gives us a way to feel just a little more hope, glimpse just a little more clarity, and feel just a little more less alone. At the most, this practice gives us our wings so that we can widen our perspective while taking creative leaps of faith." ~ Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Thursday, August 22:
3-5 p.m. – Check-in
5:15 p.m. – Welcome Dinner
7:00-8:30p.m. - What Calls You?: Opening Writing Workshop
8:30-9 p.m. - Refreshments & Relaxation Together
Friday, August 23:
7:00-9:00 – Breakfast
9:30-11:30 – Finding Your Path: Writing Workshop
12:15 p.m.-1 p.m.– Lunch
1:30-2 p.m. – Preparation for Solo Writing & Wandering Workshop
2-4 p.m. – Solo Writing & Wandering
2-3 p.m. -- Mini coaching sessions
4-5 p.m. – Sharing Our Paths Workshop
5:15 p.m. – Dinner
7:00-8:00 – Collaborative Performance by Joy & Caryn
8:30-9 – Refreshments & Visiting
Saturday, August 24:
7:00-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast
9:30-10 – Check-in & Mini Workshop
10 .m.-12 pm: Morning Solo Writing and Wandering
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Mini Coaching Sessions
12:15 - Lunch
1:30-3:30 – Where Does Your Path Lead?: Writing Workshop
5:15 – Dinner
7:00-8:30 - Coffee House of Spirit: Open Mic
8:30-9 – Celebration time
Sunday, August 25:
7:00-9:00 a.m. – Breakfast
10-11:30 – Writing Your Way Home: Writing Workshop
1 p.m. -- Farewell brunch
Lodging, Meals & Setting
We offer both an all-inclusive fee for people staying on-site and an off-site fee for people staying in a nearby hotel (over a dozen within 10 minutes). Both options include meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday brunch, the retreat, ample handouts, refreshments, surprises, and special gifts. We offer on-site lodging in one of two houses, each with have kitchens, multiple bathrooms, decks, laundry rooms, living rooms, and other amenities.
Meals: Benet Hill, a Benedictine monastery, prides itself on hospitality, which is evident in delicious, healthy, often locally-sourced foods with many options.
Benet Hill Monastery: The sisters of Benet Hill maintain a welcoming center, complete with gift shop and many lovely places to perch and write. The grounds, nestled in the foothills of the Rockies, are full of trails, a stone labyrinth, Zen garden, and beautiful places to rest and behold nature. More here.
Health: Benet Hill requires visitors be vaccinated with at least one booster.
Getting Here: Benet Hill offers a shuttle service from Colorado Springs International Airport for a fee. Benet Hill is also only 60 miles from Denver International Airport, and we are happy to connect you with others flying in.
We offer two options: Option A for staying on-site in a double room, and Option B for staying in a nearby hotel (more than a
dozen only ten minutes away) or commuting. Please be in touch if you have any questions by emailing us here.
All-inclusive rate: Rate includes a double room (shared with another participant), all meals and full retreat: $830 early bird until 4/1/24. $880 regular fee. Register on Venmo
(Caryn-Goldberg-2) or Square.
Stay off-site rate: Rate includes all meals and full retreat, but you make your own lodging arrangements: $650 early bird until 4/1/24. $690 regular fee. Register on Venmo (Caryn-Goldberg-2) or Square.
About Joy Roulier Sawyer & Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Caryn's skill, talent, wit, and wisdom have shown me the way to begin writing again, which is a restorative healing process. Caryn has taught me to reach deep within and unabashedly, without apology or shame, to tell my own story.” ~ Julie Flora
"Beyond being detailed, caring, and brilliant in her editing and consulting work, there is something about Caryn's warm, authentic, empowering, Inspiring, and joyful presence that I have rarely observed in other leaders." ~ Harriet Lerner, bestselling author of The Dance of Anger and Why Won't You Apologize?
"I've had the pleasure of interviewing and working with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg for the past decade, and have rarely encountered a more insightful, compassionate, or integrous teacher and coach." ~ Mark Matousek, author, teacher, and speaker
"Infinitely supportive and inspirational, Caryn creates a learning environment designed to honor the individual's unique voice and yet, gently prod them on to better and better work." ~ Sharon Bray
"To work with Caryn is to open your mind to the creative power within, and to show and better appreciate the creative power of others." ~ Tracy Million Simmons, publisher, Meadowlark Press
"I have fallen in love with your writing instruction within the last year. You make us all feel fulfilled and artistic in our striving to express ourselves. Your class has, indeed, saved some lives!" ~ Georgia Copeland
Joy Roulier Sawyer
"Joy Sawyer is one of the most inspiring, uplifting, and energetic writing teachers with whom I’ve ever studied, and I’ve taken literally hundreds of classes with dozens of writing teachers over many decades. She brings a fresh and very optimistic attitude to every class that she teaches. She is amazing." ~ Paula Hagar
"Joy is an absolutely phenomenal teacher: encouraging, enlightening. She’s very knowledgeable and clearly a skilled writer. And she provides such a beautiful, positive environment in which writers can be challenged without becoming discouraged. What a wonderful writing instructor she is." ~ Christina Lewis
"Joy Sawyer has an exceptional ability to discuss the tiniest nuances of writing, all genres, all levels—each writer and poet is encouraged. She gives such welcoming encouragement to each person in her classes." ~Mary Van Pelt
"Joy has a signature style, one that combines her own life and writing experience with a personalized mentoring approach. Joy makes me feel that I have something important to say, and it’s helped me become a better writer. I always feel heard and valued in her classes, and that is worth everything." ~ Carol McDonald
"Joy is a tremendous person and enthusiastic person who has made me want to write at a time when I wanted to be as far from a pen and paper as possible. Her enthusiasm and love for writing is infectious. Without a doubt, Joy is one of the best writing teachers I’ve ever had because she made me want to write." ~ Joe Medeiros