Wed, Jun 12 | Creag Creek Farm

Contemplative Connection

Exploring Various Avenues of the Present Moment Experience Through Movement
Registration for this event is closed.

Time & Location

Jun 12, 2019, 8:00 AM – Jun 14, 2019, 7:30 PM
Creag Creek Farm, 740 Odoms Chapel Rd, Bakersville, NC 28705, USA

About The Event

Having secured access to an 18-acre parcel of land resting below the natural border between North Carolina & Tennessee, PIVOTPoint WNC, LLC has designed a mindfulness-intensive retreat to cultivate healthy and compassionate self-reflection through the facilitation of discussion and movement under the guidance of seasoned practitioners, specialists, and facilitators.

Surrounded by the embrace of the Roan Mountains, the land itself contains the remnants of stone wall borders dating back the the mid-1800s. The current owners of the land bring with them an energy of compassion and healing and have enthusiastically agreed to offer up this space to promote self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance.

The practice of self-discovery will be discussed and practiced throughout every activity and session of this retreat. Beginning with an introductory, exploratory discussion around the practical benefits of incorporating mindfulness into one’s everyday life.

Through consistent attention and guidance on the opportunities to engage in mindfulness, this contemplative restorative retreat provides introduction and cultivation of the promotion of healing through the engagement of safe and supportive reflection and an open invitation for all participants to reframe their relationship with what is uncovered.

An on site licensed nutritionist will be facilitating mindful food preparation as well as providing mindfulness practices for engagement throughout each group meal setting. There will be camp fires in the evenings to provide processing opportunities for all participants. Additional activities are scheduled to include mindfulness fly fishing** in the Doe River, low-impact mountain biking in Roan Mountain State Park*, mindfulness/trauma informed yoga instruction, mindful masonry introductions, and more!


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12 - Morning Session (8:30am start time)

We will focus on trauma-informed, mindfulness meditation, gentle movement and self-compassion practices. Rather than escaping from obsessive thinking and painful feelings, mindfulness and self-compassion encourages us to sit quietly with ourselves, paying close attention to thoughts and feelings without judging or taking action to change them. It is not about apathy or suppression of feelings or simply “learning to relax”, but rather the freedom to embrace the full range of our experience and strategically choosing how to respond. Participants will be able to clearly understand how to do these practices for their own benefit. These practices will be built into our time together.

Themes we will explore and discuss:

Common myths and misperceptions regarding meditation and yoga | How to effectively work with past trauma and current chronic stress | How mindfulness, therapeutic movement and self-compassion impacts the brain and nervous system | The Window of Tolerance/Resiliency Zone, how to self-regulate and build distress tolerance | What does "trauma-informed" mean | How to apply mindfulness in day-to-day activities | Noting and tracking sensations in our body and why that is key | How to work with cravings and other urges | The Brahmavihāras, a series of four Buddhist virtues | The Five Mindfulness Trainings/Precepts and the value of ethical living | Skillful (mindful) communication | How to develop and sustain a home practice | What is "spiritual bypassing" | Resources

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12 - Afternoon Session (2:30 start time)

Mindful Masonry: Participants will be invited into guided slow yoga movements to begin the session followed by masonry instruction and hands-on practice engagement with the environment. Participants will engage in walkabouts the property after introductory instruction of the 6 basic building blocks of stonemasonry (Corners, Faces, Flats, Fillers, Keystones & Backfill) and how to locate and identify them. Portions of the session's practice will take place in noble silence. The day will conclude with a mindful roundtable dialogue to debrief from the day’s work.


Thursday's activities will be anchored around Steve Hanna's expertise in mindfulness practice as well as fly fishing on the Doe River. As Steve always says, "The river is a mirror ,it reflects the laws of the universe and how you relate to them. Fly fishing is a mindful practice that is not about going to the river and making things happen, it’s about discovering what is going on and becoming a part of it." There will be a morning session and an afternoon session with Steve. For those not fishing, you can join local photographer, Violet Wiseman, on a leisurely hike through the Roan wilderness. On this outing, you will learn about the local flora and fauna, how to be present and practice mindfulness while on the trail, as well as how to capture the raw beauty of the nature that surrounds us. There will also be access to a shuttled ride to some entry level mountain biking in the area on provided hard-tail Specialized Rockhoppers for those seeking to engage in a slightly elevated activity during our time together.


Led by instructor, Ruth Morrow, this style of yoga is great for injury prevention, joint health, and restorative energy. The essence of yin yoga is surrender. that lengthen the muscles surrounding the hips, pelvis, and lower back. Students typically hold these postures for 3-10 minutes per side in order to lengthen the connective tissue that surrounds the joints and increase its elasticity. Since a Yin yoga practice often includes several long, seated forward bending postures, it also restores energy and calms the nervous system.


All meals will be provided upon arrival for the retreat. While we will do our best to accommodate any dietary restrictions, this is a rustic setting for connection on contemplation and we cannot guarantee that cross contamination will not occur. If your diet requires strict adherence to food preparation practice, you are encouraged to bring your own food. There are three (3) tent spaces provided for the accommodation of up to twenty (20) people. We have intentionally limited the number of participants to ten (10) in order to provide ample space for all. Tents and sleeping gear are not provided. All gear and safety equipment for activities will be provided. There are well-water fed showers available for participants by the tent sites; two compostable bathrooms; and additional camping sites available beyond the designated areas. The purpose of this event is to help to peel back elements of distraction and provide a basic, safe, supportive environment for us to remember the strength and joy within ourselves. We have decided to use this private space as the container to reintroduce our participants to the what was once clear and welcomed, the calmness available to all of us within.

**TN fishing licenses / Special Activities Permits pending

Event Facilitators:


Catherine graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, she uprooted and moved to Asheville to complete her dietetic internship and become a Registered Dietitian. It was during this time that she developed a passion for nutrition counseling. She also gained valuable experience working with collegiate athletes and various athletic populations. Catherine enjoys forming authentic relationships with her clients and looks forward to helping facilitate positive change in those that she has the opportunity to meet and interact with. She specializes in the areas of disordered eating, eating disorders, substance abuse, and sports nutrition. Catherine is currently working towards her certified eating disorder dietitian certification (CEDRD) and serves as a group facilitator for T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating. Catherine is excited to work with individuals to create a sustainable, nourishing, and enjoyable relationship with food.


Andy Brown is a 53-year-old husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend who currently works part-time as a Christmas tree and blueberry farmer and full-time as the cold water conservation manager in the southern Appalachians for Trout Unlimited. Andy’s education is very broad and deep. He holds a Master of Public Administration from East Carolina University (1998) and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology from Appalachian State University (1990). In 2015, he completed a three year program in servant leadership from the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro, a wisdom school founded upon the Christian Contemplative tradition. Andy is currently enrolled and taking classes to become a certified life coach from the Institute for Life Coach Training and a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction teacher from the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. As part of this process, Andy is also involved in coursework on Internal Family Systems psychotherapy from the Foundation for Self Leadership and routinely participates in workshops and seminars offered by other leaders in the fields on trauma, attachment, addiction, and co-dependency and modalities useful in healing these wounds. Andy’s quest is to live an authentic life of more attuned and harmonious connection with himself and others, sharing with grace and vitality in the great beauty and full catastrophe of the grand reality we call life. Andy’s great loves include his family, the desert southwest, fishing on the outer banks, all types of music, folklore, mysticism, good conversation and slow food.


Steve Hanna is a seasoned clinician with over 25 years of Masters level addiction and mental health experience in all levels of care. He currently works in private practice in Charlotte, North Carolina. He provides interventions, individual, family and group counseling, case management and Structured Family Recovery to those affected by substance use and mental health issues. He is also the founder of Recovery on the Fly a mindfulness based fly fishing program for men and women in recovery.


Eddie is a Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT 200), meditation teacher, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Intern (CSAC-I), Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS), and trained NAMI Family Support Group Facilitator. His primary passion is bringing evidence-based mindfulness and self-compassion practices into the realms of addiction recovery, trauma relief, and self-care.

Eddie teaches and leads groups in various treatment and recovery settings, as well as in series classes, workshops, and retreats, and works with individuals one-on-one. Eddie regularly presents workshops at conferences addressing addiction recovery, plus trains professionals within addiction treatment facilities for CEU credits.


Ruth is a vinyasa flow yoga teacher who emphasizes finding ease in movement. She has been teaching since 2013. Ruth is a RYT 200-hour teacher registered with Yoga Alliance; she received her training at Yoga South in Boca Raton, Florida under James Kigar and Judy Weaver. She also completed a 200-hour training in Sivananda-style yoga. Ruth loves to take her students to their edges and pulls inspiration from Baptiste and ashtanga styles. She has diverse experience teaching to all levels, including in studios, spas, and offices, as well as with veterans and people recovering from addiction in treatment centers.


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Ruth Morrow - RYT-200
Steve Hanna - LPC, LCAS, CAC-II, CAI-II

PIVOTPoint WNC is a for-purpose, not-for-profit organization providing mindfulness-centered therapeutic wilderness experiences to those at risk/recovering from substance use disorder - cultivating connection, compassion, and character.

TAX ID: 83-4241728


(828) 528-3373

Mailing Address:

30 Cumberland Ave., Suite 103

Asheville, NC  28801-2206

Email Us:


PIVOTPoint WNC operates under a permit by the United States Forest Service and is an equal opportunity services provider.

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