November 30, 2017


After an incredible morning making an orchid flower essence, we stopped on the side of the road to get fresh coconuts to greet our friends with at the airport, saying hi to our favorite fruit seller + his dogs. Coconuts in hand, we picked up our friends and made our way at sunset to Nosara, where we were staying at an Airbnb for a week.

costa rica beach LOTUSWEI flower essences
robin on costa rica beach LOTUSWEI flower essences

Nosara is located on the Pacific coastal beach in the state of Guanacaste. It has some of the best surfing, a beach where all the huge turtles go to lay their eggs and some of the best shell collecting I’ve ever seen.

shell collection costa rica beach LOTUSWEI flower essences

After a crazy drive with twisting turns and of course the last 40 minute stretch of pothole craziness (the necessary indoctrination for anyone arriving fresh to Costa Rica), we arrived to our home for the week. After a flurry of instructions from our host, we staked out our beds and settled in.

costa rica retreat LOTUSWEI flower essences

We gathered that first night around the table in the living room. Each of us chose a different card deck from which to pull cards for all of us around the table. We set up a sort of altar of transformative intentions for the week, working with the magic of flowers, animals, star constellations, Kwan Yin goddesses, and Tibetan wild Kwan Yin cards.

oracle cards LOTUSWEI flower essences

Over the week, this table would be like our touchstone. We’d meet there in the morning and in the evening to check in with ourselves and each other: taking a look at our cards, adding additional cards, flowers, shells, watercolor paintings and other trinkets to the mix. It was pretty amazing which cards were pulled, and how they reflected what we were individually and collectively working with over the week.

retreat in costa rica LOTUSWEI flower essences

During the next seven days we split our time between working at home + being at a tide pool at our favorite beach. When we were working, we shared our work with each other in an unforgettable, life-changing way. We enjoyed profound movement practices, wrote poetry + stories and shared them, learned from the wisdom of local animals and took exquisite photographs. Each woman present brought a world of experience within her, sharing with all of us that world of beingness, raw expression and meditative awareness.

lynda sing floating tide pool costa rica LOTUSWEI flower essences

Lynda used to be a professional dancer. Her movement sessions now include accessing the deep wisdom of your own body and the social body through Social Presencing Theater techniques. She has movement and dance pieces of her own and her body is like the canvas of her huge heart. If you ever see her move, it brings tears to your eyes from a place so deep inside you it’s unexplainable.

morgan farley writing coach LOTUSWEI flower essences

Morgan is a poet, a writing coach and trained as a psychologist. She elicits creative projects from everyone around her through writing prompts and weaving the unseen world into the seen world in tangible, profound ways. She spontaneously breaks out into poem in perfect moments and speaks beauty into a place so deep inside you that something in your heart just naturally opens up wider.

costa rica tide pool LOTUSWEI flower essences

Robin has the rare ability to inspire you to trust yourself in the way of communication and interpretation of unseen forces, learning from the magic of animals, plants and other experiences. She teaches about the beauty and reality of death and what is born from that, as well as how to love and nourish yourself more in daily life. She offers a variety of movement practices, meditations, insights, channeling from her team and wisdom through storytelling, cards and life itself - always inspiring you to believe that YOU have the answer.

taylor rico costa rica sunset LOTUSWEI flower essences

Taylor is a traveler between many different worlds, always documenting beauty and capturing/revealing the essence of a person, place, animal or object. On this trip, she held an open heart and wide open space from which to experience and express adventure, depth and meaning. She also shot beautiful photographs, film footage and audio recordings, so we could offer back to you a taste of what we’re up to and what’s possible for all of us to experience together in the future.

Every day I made a dilution of a new flower essence I had just collected in the rainforest/jungle. Most of them were orchids (and are they strong, wow!), and we drank them all day within our water. What happened each day seemed to match perfectly with the catalytic action of the flowers, and on occasion I led rituals like smoke offering, cacao ceremony and meditation.

When we weren’t ‘working’, we’d make time to soak in the magic of the beach. As the beach within walking distance had a dangerous rip tide, we opted to drive to another beach about 10 minutes away each day, which had peaceful tide pools to soak in when the tide was low.

costa rica tide pool LOTUSWEI flower essences

I’m typically more of a forest person, and less of an ocean person, but this beach experience was the most magical I’ve ever experienced. The tide pools were warm from the sun, and filled with so much salt, that it was possible to relax every last little muscle while you were floating on your back, and not sink. For those of us who typically can’t float - we could float here. All of us would go into floating meditations for unknown stretches of time, probably looking like a bunch of water bugs floating on the water for what seemed like forever.

costa rica retreat LOTUSWEI flower essences

When we’d arrive back at the house after a morning or an afternoon at the tide pool, I savored the outdoor shower experience, washing off the last of the sand and salt while looking up at the blue sky or into the lush green foliage around. There was a hammock outside to swing + rest in, and seeing all the bathing suits + towels hanging there all week was so endearing.

Every morning we ate fresh papaya for breakfast and for the rest of our meals, we came to love one place + just returned there again and again, because the food was so divine. Even the name is great: Harmony Hotel. They had passionfruit juices, coconut chia smoothies, blackberry fizzes, rice paper spring rolls, sushi and coconut curries. In between meals we consumed inordinate amounts of dark chocolate. Seriously, we actually calculated it in the end. Mandatory: one bar per person per day. There’s something about chocolate that helps you move through transformative experiences more smoothly. We felt like we absolutely needed it.

katie hess costa rica sunset LOTUSWEI flower essences

I loved the taste of the salt on my lips and the way my skin felt slight singed after spending day after day in the tide pool. One day all of the women gathered round me and did a sort of impromptu watsu-like experience and it was if I became one with the ocean and the earth and wasn’t sure which way was up or down. I could hear the crabs and other creatures underwater, and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding, as if my consciousness went right into my own heart. And then at one moment I felt as if all of our hearts were beating in unison and I was only hearing one heartbeat within a collective of five women.

katie hess costa rica LOTUSWEI flower essences

At the tide pool there were many types of crabs. The largest crabs lived in golfball sized holes in the sand, and wrote beautiful poems in some form of movement language across the sand. They would appear shyly in a regalia of beautiful translucent greens, yellow and pinks, until they sensed us and popped back down into the sand.

costa rica shells LOTUSWEI flower essences

The hermit crabs were the easiest to spot on the beach, as they hijacked all shapes and colors of beautiful empty shells and ran around in them. At one point I picked up five hermit crabs in my hand and watched how they each found their right timing to have the guts to stretch their legs out of the shell and walk across my hand back to the sand.

My favorite crabs, however, were the emerald green crabs that looked slightly like frogs. They lived at our favorite tide pool and only emerged during low tide. During high tide, they lived inside the holes of the big black rocks, and when the moon pulled the tides back out to sea, they would emerge from their holes, climbing up to the top of the rock, eating algae in the cutest way, with an audible clack-clack as their claws hit the rock and brought the algae up into their mouth. This was the crab I made an essence from on one of the last days (no crabs harmed in the making!).

In the tide pool we’d have movement conversations and meditation sessions. We’d watch the crabs for hours and collect our favorite colorful shells. The sunsets were absolutely insane, and  on our last evening at the ocean it was miraculously breathtaking. With the sunset and the tide crashing in, Morgan shared her poetry and Lynda improvisationally moved to her words in a conversation that left the rest of us totally floored, blown away and moved into tears.

costa rica sunset LOTUSWEI flower essences

The next day we left the tide pool and our little home in Nosara feeling so full … full of the magic of Mother Nature, ourselves and the ability to connect so deeply as humans to one another. All of us had individually and collectively moved through so much in one week, purifying, transforming, awakening … and activating new depths of creativity.

costa rica retreat LOTUSWEI flower essences

It was so rare to be in the presence of four other women whose #1 priority in life is personal realization + spiritual growth. There was so much mindful-awareness naturally woven into the fabric of the week - because of who we were - that occasionally we’d just spontaneously go into total silence with each other for hours on end, eating meals in a rich silence that was full of energy. I left feeling much less alone in the world and much more wide open and vulnerable than ever, with my muscles in a state of relaxation rarely experienced before. I felt totally in sync with everything around me, without a care in the world and barely a fleeting thought in my mind, as I just sank into the now-ness of each moment.

On our way back to the airport, we missed a bunch of flights, because we won the lottery of the 1 in 365 chance of the annual parade in Nicoya, a town we needed to pass through on the way to Liberia. We followed a police car into the left lane to jump the line of cars, as we were swarmed by hundreds of clopping, gaited horses close enough to the car that we could reach out and touch them. What a wild experience!

When we arrived to the airport, the computer systems were down throughout the entire country, so immigration exit paperwork had to be done by hand. It was wild to see hundreds of people in line, without a care in the world, playing games, telling jokes and laughing. Would we be able to make our flights? Who knows? For now, we were just enjoying life with evidence of the magic of Costa Rica even on the windows of the airport.

costa rica butterfuly LOTUSWEI flower essences

Love + flower petals,