Women’s Retreat: Empowerment, Courage, and Discovery through Writing

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Max People : 20
Health & Wellness
Tour Details

Lasting empowerment comes from self-awareness, self-compassion, self-trust, and self-love. Come to a safe, supportive space to discover or reconnect to your most authentic self, tap more deeply into your courage and revitalize your sense of empowerment. Be inspired and nourished by the lush, pastoral landscape that surrounds us at the retreat center and invites intimacy and connection. We’ll hold our sessions each day in a beautifully restored barn with a stunning view of Bulgarian mountains and forests, explore invigorating cultural sites, be entertained by Bulgarian folk dancers, eat delicious meals in the farmhouse that forms the centerpiece of this retreat center, cool off in the pool, and end our days gathered around a campfire at night, star-gazing.  This retreat will offer you an unprecedented chance to go deeply within and explore your own vital self while also engaging with—and being revitalized by—a new culture and the thrill of travel. Come away refreshed from the week with a renewed sense of your creativity and power.

Writing is a powerful tool for self-discovery and empowerment, and it is a main modality for this retreat. But the focus is on the writing process—the magic that happens in our brains when we’re focused on creative, courageous, and honest self-expression!—rather than being fixated on the final written product. We will focus on writing as a practice of self-discovery, to build empowerment, courage, authenticity, and resilience. You need no prior background in or experience with writing to participate in this retreat. The retreat is flexible enough to accommodate writers of any level. Nonetheless, even experienced writers will find the exercises stimulating and inspiring, with opportunities to take the writing exercises to even deeper and more structured places.

Departure & Return Location

Flights not included


All ages



Daily Schedule

The world needs empowered and courageous women! This retreat, nestled in a lush, awe-inspiring landscape, will create a circle of supportive women giving you a safe, intimate space to foster your growth in courage and self-compassion, build community, and nurture deep connections with yourself and others. Daily guided writing sessions enhance your self-expression and personal power, allowing you to explore and express your most authentic self, gain a wakened perspective, and approach your life more creatively to allow for transformation and greater empowerment. Art sessions, contemplative rituals, and body-centered practices make this experience truly holistic. Excursions to local cultural sights in Bulgaria round out this dynamic retreat that encourages you to explore both inner and outer worlds. Emerge inspired, joyful, courageous, and connected. Emerge empowered!

The retreat will include group sessions, guided journaling work for self-reflection, generative writing exercises, and personal time for further writing or exploration. I’ll lead sessions each day to help you dig deeply into self-discovery and empowerment.  You will leave with new ideas and insights about yourself, with greater courage and confidence.

Each day we will also use a variety of activities in addition to writing to foster awareness, presence, and compassion, all aimed at creating a safe space that will help you to connect deeply with yourself and with others, to discover more of your own inner voice, and to build courage and empowerment. Practices may include intuitive art making, yoga, morning meditation sessions, and body-centered practices.

We will also be taking time during the retreat to explore cultural and historical sites in Bulgaria, using these excursions to deepen our inner work, self-growth, and discovery. We’ll alternate days of sustained focus at the retreat center with exciting and fun excursions around Bulgaria! In the past, we’ve visited the fascinating and ancient fortress city that was the former capitol of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, been inspired by Bulgarian folk arts at the village of Etara, and we’ve enjoyed the sidewalk cafes, Roman ruins, museums, and stunning Eastern Orthodox cathedrals of cosmopolitan Sofia. These, or other exciting options, await you!

Emerge inspired, joyful, courageous, and connected. Emerge empowered!

Partner Run Tour

This tour is run by Kelsea Habecker. You can book and pay online through Stone & Compass. The tour is held at Stone & Compass Center in Stolat, Bulgaria and Stone & compass provides the logistical support including ground transportation, transfers, accommodations, food, translators, and guided tours of Bulgarian cultural excursions.

Kelsea Habecker

Kelsea Habecker is an award-winning writer, teacher, and coach. Her first book of poetry, Hollow Out, was winner of the Many Voices Award from New Rivers Press and selected by US Poet Laureate Charles Simic. A chapbook, The Walrus Wives, was published in 2018, and her next poetry collection North Wife is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. Kelsea teaches university creative writing and works with clients privately. She has been leading retreats in creativity, writing, self-discovery, empowerment, and cross-cultural exploration for 10 years. She trained in group dynamics, meditation, mindfulness, social justice, and non-dual consciousness at the Center for Action and Contemplation, with Richard Rohr. She earned her MFA in poetry from Bennington Writing Seminars and her BA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, and has a post-graduate degree in education. For five years, she was a teacher in a remote Inupiaq Eskimo village in the Arctic region of Alaska, and she worked with a women’s cooperative in Juarez, Mexico. She has taught public art and runs women’s spirituality groups. For her writing, Kelsea has received grants and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in New York, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She currently lives in the NYC-metro area.


$825 is your all-inclusive* (minus flights) price for this women’s retreat. This price includes 8 nights accommodation in a traditional, restored Balkan farmhouse, writing workshops, restaurant meals, cultural tours, local excursions to cultural heritage sites, guided walks, airport transfers in Bulgaria, all activity transfers, fully catered food including vegetarian and vegan food and non-alcoholic drinks at the retreat center, and full time assistance from local guides/translators. Wifi on site at the retreat center.

*Airfare to/from Bulgaria is not included.

Price Includes

  • Lodging
  • Meals (vegetarian & vegan options included)
  • Translator
  • Museum/Historical Site Admission Fees
  • Transportation
  • Tour Guide(s)

Price Excludes

  • Airfare to/from Bulgaria
  • Private ExpensesSnacks, gifts, shopping, etc.

Payment can be made in full or following the payment schedule below.

Total Price




Due:  April 1, 2021

Final Payment


Due:  May 1, 2021