"Brilliant, non-linear, inspiring"
Jeannine Ouellette is a masterful teacher and her workshop was the most fun and creatively liberating writing class I’ve ever experienced. –Eric Utne, publisher, educator, author, and social entrepreneur; founder of Utne Reader and founding publisher and editor of the New Age Journal, past workshop participant
"A GUIDE TO GET YOU THERE"
For anyone looking to become a better and more powerful writer, Jeannine Ouellette is the mentor and guide who really, truly will get you there. I know this firsthand because she has been my editor in years past, and the super smart guidance she gave me early in my own writing life had enormous influence on my work, and it still does today.–Katie Allison Granju, award-winning author and creator of the long-running popular blog, MamaPundit, Motherhood and All the Rest of It, which she has now retired in order to create Backyard Farmer 101
Jeannine was an excellent facilitator--open, sensitive, warm, and sharing of her expert knowledge. She was able to treat each one of us as a unique individual and create a bond with us on that individual basis. This I found truly remarkable."--Patricia Wylie, drama teacher and theatre director of Sierra Madre Playhouse, Sierra Madre, California
"Eyes Open and Flame Alight"
The Solstice Retreat was truly a life-changing experience. I'm so much more attuned to the world around me and beginning to see myself as an artist. I already miss yoga three times a day. Hoping to keep my eyes open and my flame alight. --Allison, Solstice 2014
I was honored to be one of the participants of the Summer Solstice Retreat, and it was an experience I will always remember. I take deeper breathes and embrace creativity. Thank you!--Jean, Solstice 2013
I am full up with gratitude and love. Thank you so very very much. The week truly changed my life--big shifts happened for me. How could I ever say thank you enough for that? --Carol, Solstice 2013 & 2014
"How to Describe"
About our retreat...I've been wondering for days how to describe it. Words don't work. It was a feeling. So much pain and happiness alongside one another. I love that everyone brought their heartaches and none of their self pity. I love that stories were a given and everyone honored everyone's experiences without judgement. I love how at any given moment, at any given place on the island you could hear giant booms of laughter. Jeannine, I don't know how you did that but you did. --Celeste, Solstice 2013
I am still digesting all your lovely beings and stories. All day today I've been having moments of periodic Cheshire grins across my face, thinking of you all. Thank you for a most wonderful week. I feel completely satiated :)—Julie, Solstice 2013
"Best Trips of Life"
This was one of the best trips of my life. Thank you ALL for a truly memorable and sacred experience! I am still on cloud nine. The retreat was truly life-changing for me! I am feeling so peaceful, relaxed and connected to my soul!” –Susan, Solstice 2013 & 2014
"Head and Heart"
I wasn't prepared for how much the cleansing aspect of the retreat would change my life when I got back home. I feel like a door has been opened in my writing and my life. I've made different choices--in terms of eating, exercise and where my life is going--in the past few days than I did in the months leading up to the retreat. I feel like there's more space in my head (and, if I am being truthful, my heart) for new/different writing projects. Keep yourself open. Not every exercise is going to be incredibly relevant to you and your work, but it is worth trying everything. The act of trying it all is the most important. Also, I would definitely be interested in future retreats to Sweden or Bali. Keep me posted! I'll bring friends! --Liz, Solstice 2013
All I can say is WOW!!!! I feel like a new woman! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone at the Summer Solstice Retreat!!—Mary Ann, Solstice 2013
"No Word in Dictionary"
My plane just landed and I was thinking about the magical time I had, the bonds I've created and the new soul sisters I found. It has been an out of body experience and no word in the dictionary can describe how I feel right now. I'm excited to see my family and yet I know that I will hold those memories, those stories of courageous women in my heart forever... Thank you for an amazing experience and even now I find my eyes tearful as think of all the healing I didn't expect to undergo.—Dima, Solstice 2013
I miss you all already! It was such a joyful awakening for me. To others considering a retreat, I would say GO!!! You will find it life changing! I will be using all of the exercises I learned to stretch as a writer. I particularly liked the exercise of choosing words at random and then creating a poem/ piece using those words; I thought the “I am….” exercise was marvelous because the environmental elements that we chose to use (i.e. space between the green etc.) reflected our uniqueness as writers. Yoga was an excellent ingredient that opened us up to the sensory experiences that were so enriching. Wonderful synergy! I found that I was able to focus on the moment and the work at hand and not worry about the 'product' which is usually the way in which I work. I felt no pressure to be 'perfect' or even close. Jeannine was an excellent facilitator--open, sensitive, warm, and sharing of her expert knowledge. She was able to treat each one of us as a unique individual and create a bond with us on that individual basis. This I found truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for this wonderful, life changing experience! --Patricia, Solstice 2013
Winding down a beautiful week here at the Lodge, a wonderful location for a retreat that perfectly melded the art of writing and yoga. A thunderstorm last night and this morning ushered in the Summer Solstice. It was perfect. --Debbie, Solstice 2013
What an incredible week! Thank you thank you thank you and Maria and every one of you who made this unforgettable!—Deb
Imagine that you are in a room with 20 of your very best friends… except you are meeting them for the first time. That’s what the Summer Solstice retreat was like. –Deb
"As one who rarely 'sits' or knows how to relax, I worked on both of those aspects. I won’t lie and say that I learned anything insightful about my own writing specifically, but I will suggest I found a new bit of confidence in my own 'ditty writing' and strength of composition among an array of professionals – which leads me to believe I really should be writing more, elsewhere, for some source of gain. I know of at least nine professional educators, writers, entertainers, and professionals to whom I intend to recommend this exact same summer experience – yoga infusion as well. I strongly recommend you continue to hold this type session – especially in summer – at the same facilities again." --Tim
"Learning about yoga and writing together in a group was great. found the content perfect for the setting, smart and clean of overly sentimental exercises that some poetry groups can digress into…Stout's Island is beautiful and worked well for the writing and yoga format. All you were telling us we would be experiencing was indeed delivered! Also, I was really struck by how many talented individuals you assembled; we could’ve had another week and produced a show!"--Paula
“MORE CREATIVE LIFE THROUGH WRITING”
I had the privilege of attending a weekend writing retreat led by Jeannie Ouellette in the spring of 2010. I was apprehensive about registering, as I do not consider myself a writer and the prospect of spending time writing, especially with others, felt intimidating. However, words and writing have always intrigued me, and this writing retreat seemed the perfect venue to get away and explore something new. I also knew the retreat would be great with Jeannie’s guidance as she is such a gifted and talented teacher, writer, artist, and group facilitator. Jeannie is a rare jewel with a wonderful blend of superior writing talent, a keen ability to give engaging writing exercises, stimulating readings, and a warm and inviting personality that can draw out even the most stubborn and reluctant inner writer. Jeannie’s leadership style is welcoming to all experience levels and backgrounds, whether new to writing or well seasoned in the craft. I highly recommend Jeannie’s retreats to anyone wanting to discover writing in a new and self-nourishing way. You will find Jeannie to be an inspiring guide to a more creative life through writing, and you will come away with more of yourself discovered and a renewed appreciation for what is most important in your world. —Tammi Trelstad, past workshop participant
“LIVELY AND PLAYFUL”
I’ve been meaning to write and say again how much I loved the writing workshop and how fun and relaxing it was. Jeannine’s welcoming hospitality, obvious love of the material, and very clear and readied presence made it a genuine pleasure. Jeannine was lively, lovely, articulate, well-prepared, and very playful. She made room for all of our voices and encouraged us to loosen up our self-imposed limits. Some of the formats to encourage our creative flow felt unique and fresh. Jeannine very obviously has a deep love for the written word, which she shares with generosity. While I have not started the great American novel this past week, I bring to all my daily correspondences more awareness and greater desire to write clearly and interestingly as a result of the workshop. I look forward to taking other workshops with her in the future. —Kate G.R., past workshop participant
"A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND"
Thank you for such a beautiful weekend. Not only did I learn a lot, but I think the flood gates have opened and I can actually write without feeling too self-conscious and stilted. Thank you for this gift! After the workshop, I read many of my writings to my husband (even the ones I was so embarrassed to read to the group) and I read the “shifty” poems to the girls. I also wrote my “letter from the Universe” in my head on Saturday night and put in on paper on Sunday morning. There were quite a few aha! moments while writing it that I will treasure for a long time. This one came from me, more than did the one I read to the group. It feels good to be writing more even after the class is over. I’ll try to continue my writing. I do hope our group can meet again sometime soon! —Linda Wilke, past workshop participant
“JOY, POIGNANCY, BONDING”
The writing workshop I took with Jeannie was wonderful. Jeannie structured the workshop so that the day was a lovely weaving of personal reflection and writing, with guided writing exercise and co-writing with others. She created a warm, inviting, and safe place to share our writing as we chose that brought joy, poignancy, and bonding to our experience together as writers. I am looking forward with pleasure to working with Jeannie again. Her workshop was fun and gave me new tools and perspectives to bring to my writing. —Judith Becker, past workshop participant