Dreams Into Reality
What does one say when passion, persistence and some wonderful fortune land you right smack into manifestation of your dreams? Recently with help from some amazing friends and my landlord (see last post on how serendipitous that relationship is!) I opened a retreat center right here in San Diego. For the past year I have been getting really honest with myself about what I want to do with teaching yoga, how I think I can best be of service to others and what really makes me feel like I'm living my dharma.
In April when I returned from Bali (where many of my best ideas happen) I knew I wanted to recreate the experience of being on a retreat in a way that was more affordable for students and without having to fly so far away. I had been tasked by a mentor to begin writing down my intentions to be clear with the universe and myself on exactly what I wanted. I moved to Southern California based on a vision I had meditating in Bali, where I had a chance to disconnect from my day-to-day and really connect to myself. Upon getting to San Diego I fell in love with the weather, the food, the mindful and kind people I was meeting and then it hit me, "why are there no retreat centers here? We literally have it all!"
A couple days later I saw my landlord Ron for our weekly yoga session and before I could even tell him everything I wanted to share about Bali he blurted out, "why doesn't one of these exist in San Diego? We should think about opening one." Right then and there I knew it was destined to happen even if I had no idea how it would unfold.
Fast forward not even a week and I got a call from Ron saying he had run into his neighbor who had a ranch about an hour north of his house in Poway, that they weren't really using it and really had no idea what to do with it. We jumped in his car a few days later and drove up through Ramona into the mountains of Warner Springs. Unspoiled Native American land lined with vineyards, cattle farms, horses, low skies and high vibrations greeted us warmly. The further we got from San Diego downtown the closer I felt to that wonderful sense of freedom that comes from being somewhere a bit off the beaten path, somewhere special, somewhere to retreat.
Upon seeing the 20 acres of untouched land of 'Boulder Oaks Ranch' the possibilities seemed endless with what could be done to take what was once a fully functioning dude ranch and morph it into a beautiful wellness center the likes of which just doesn't exist in Southern California. Our excitement skyrocketed when upon leaving I caught glimpse of a Buddha statue off the road. We pulled over to find a Lieu Quan Buddhist Meditation Center, a literal sanctuary filled with sacred statues and dedications to Buddhist monks. This was literally too good to be true.
The ranch itself is fed by a naturally occurring spring with some of the most amazing water I have ever tasted. It helps to nourish our garden that we hope will soon make us a fully farm to table offering of all organic and love-filled fruits and vegetables. This same spring feeds a very rare willow tree that greets guests as you drive up to the main house, a tree that the owner told us literally has no business being there but only for being lucky enough to be located directly above the spring.
After months of hard work to create a true shala and adding in some of my retreat favorites picked up over the years traveling abroad, I'm so proud to present Willow Springs Wellness to California and hopefully one day the world. I hope to see you there!