Dr. Joan Borysenko, a distinguished pioneer in integrative medicine and world-renowned expert in the mind-body connection, was the featured speaker at La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center earlier this month at the 14th Annual Barrett Conference on the Ministry of All Women.
Her weekend retreat was titled "Journey to Wisdom: Living Life Fearlessly."
The conference focused on providing women with tools to make a positive impact on a changing world through greater self-compassion, building self-awareness and discovering insight into their fears. She also offered attendees tips and approaches to creating a regular practice for resilience — getting the right spiritual and emotional support and practicing mindfulness, which Dr. Borysenko explained as shifting the activity in the brain to be quiet and taking breaks from the chaos of everyday life.
"All our inner noise kills off our inner wisdom," Dr. Borysenko said. "Research shows that creativity doesn't work well when we are 'fried' — this is a counter-intuitive discipline. Too many projects can create frenzy and conflicting concerns which destroy creativity and connection."
Dr. Borysenko also discussed easy steps that women can take to help build courage and self-awareness, from breathing techniques to reflecting on a moment of each day to be truly grateful for.
Co-founder of the Mind/Body clinic at Harvard University, Dr. Borysenko is the author of numerous books, including Your Soul's Compass, Fried and A Woman's Journey to God.
"It is an incredible honor to present such inspirational presenters and programs to the Santa Barbara community," said Stephanie Glatt, executive director of La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center. "Dr. Borysenko and many of the upcoming experts are renowned leaders in their field of work and we are so grateful to have their wisdom and guidance available to the community."
Much-anticipated upcoming retreats hosted by La Casa de Maria include: "Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent" with Rabbi Rami Shapiro, award-winning author, poet and storyteller (June 6-8); "Our Emergence into Christ Consciousness" with Matthew Fox, PhD., prophetic author, educator, theologian, and contemporary scholar/activist for a creation-centered spirituality (August 1-3); as well as conferences with local speakers Kimberley Snow and Katherine Collis. Click here for a complete list of upcoming programs.
La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center hosts a wide variety of community groups and organizations focusing on spiritual, educational, community building, peace, social and economic justice, at-risk youth and the environment. The nonprofit organization also sponsors its own programs focusing on spiritual renewal, personal growth, education, health and healing, arts and civic renewal.
The Center for Spiritual Renewal, which functions alongside La Casa de Maria, under the nonprofit umbrella of the Immaculate Heart Community, provides nonstructured, private retreats for individuals and couples in the original stone manor house. Click here for more information.
— Juliana Minsky is a publicist representing the La Casa de Maria Retreat and Conference Center.