Diving Deeper: The Container of A Retreat

Spring Breathwork Retreat x Ashley Neese

I attended my first spiritual retreat nearly ten years ago. It was in the middle of winter on a off the grid property in Oregon. The retreat was centered around meditation and recovery. At that time I had been sober and meditating for six years and was seeking an experience to support deepening my practices. I had been studying meditation formally in the Zen tradition and while this wasn’t a Zen retreat, it was an opportunity to unplug from my daily life and immerse myself in nature, practice, and community.

For thousands of years spiritual seekers have taken time away from their everyday lives to attend to their inner work. Whether it’s an annual pilgrimage to the Holy City, a coming of age vision quest, or a ten day silent retreat in the woods, setting aside this time to go within, away from home is essential.

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Friday Feels 25

The full Oprah speech transcript.

An incredible advice resource for life & work.

Breathwork taking the front stage in the NYT.

How I’m warming up my lunches this winter.

Hitting reset with the annual Goop detox.

Planning a hot springs get away in a couple of weeks.

The ultimate cleansing face balm (Pro tip you can also use this as a nourishing mask).

Got tickets to this incredible duo in two weeks!

An accessible and gorgeous guide to crystals.

Dreaming of this restorative cedar bath.


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Creating My Own Lane & Staying In It

Creating My Own Land & Staying In It x Ashley Neese

Welcome to the first post in my 2018 intention series! I am excited to elaborate on my intentions for the year and delve into why they are so important. I’m finding that the more willing I am to explore my intentions further the more I can integrate their teachings. This practice also helps me pay closer attention to when I am growing and when I am sliding off track. Because let’s face it, it can be all too easy to get over in someone else’s lane than stay in your own.

A few years ago when Marie Forleo coined the term multipassionate entrepreneur, I was like, yes, finally someone who gets my life! As a new entrepreneur I was having a blast doing what I loved for money and said yes to pretty much every opportunity that came my way. I saw clients, taught classes, hosted immersions, ran online programs, created sponsored journal and Instagram content, and was wellness editor for a major women’s website. It was incredible to feel like I could earn a living doing what made me happy and this was really important for my growth and development. It gave me loads of self confidence in my abilities and I learned a ton along the way.

A couple of years ago I started noticing that there wasn’t a single day that I wasn’t stressed about something work related, it was encompassing my entire life. The ‘having’ to post on Instagram for work, the continual essay deadlines that kept me too tired to write for my own journal, the need to keep up with stats, and constantly monitoring my social channels for likes and comments. I became overloaded. I was doing too many things and needed to make some serious changes. I started meditating on how I wanted to feel and what I really wanted to focus on and recognized that I had outgrown my life. How awesome is that?!

While it was essential for me as a new business owner to cast a wide net and monetize many aspects of my practice, it became clear that in order to thrive in the way that I most desired and become a leader in my field, I needed to create my own lane and stay in it. This meant downsizing the number of revenue streams I had in place and diving deeper into the areas that lit me up inside the most.

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Friday Feels 24

Hello! After a long break I am back to my weekly column sharing what inspires me, what I love looking at and just generally what I’m interested in. More soon and happy *almost* weekend!


Spent the day in this dreamy coastal town and fell in love.

My new go-to turmeric blend.

An incredible relationship resource from Esther Perel.

Restoring my eyebrows with this serum.

My dear friend and teacher just launched Integrated Meditation and it’s amazing!

Everything you need to know about crystal rituals.

Booked a room at this historic hotel in Palm Springs for next month.

The new Angel Olsen on vinyl.

Gearing up for the largest gem show of the year.

Found my spring staple shirt, just waiting for it to get warmer!