Retreat: New Year’s Conversations with Your Life

Thursday 28th December 2017 – Monday 1st January 2018
Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia, Canada
{This is a live version of an online course. It will be a tiny retreat for three for four women.}

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Remember that yummy, butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling you used to get on Christmas Eve when you were a kid?

I keep hearing from women that they don’t get that feeling anymore.

That feels really confusing. We all have people in our lives who tell us that it’s normal to lose that feeling. They say that it comes with getting older and having mortgages and children and other important responsibilities. They say, in various ways, that we should grow up and live in the real world.

We can’t help but wonder if they’re right. Perhaps this really is as good as it gets. Perhaps we don’t have any right to complain. After all, our lives are pretty good compared to lots of other people and we have people who love us.

I know that you know, somewhere deep inside your being, that you have every right to want to feel joy and freedom and a million other delicious things.

And I know that you can.

That’s what this retreat is about.
It’s about listening to and talking with your life.
It’s about understanding how you want to feel, who you want to be, and what you want to create.
It’s about taking risks and speaking up for yourself.

This retreat is about falling in love with your life.


For five days in December/January, I’m hosting three or four women in the fishing village of Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia. We’ll work and play at Casa Limon (that’s my home ~ photographed above) and retreaters will each have their own bedroom in a lovely house I’ve rented which is just a ten minute walk from our home.

During this retreat, you’ll enter into a dialogue with various parts of your life and to really hear what your life is trying to tell you.

The retreat will provide opportunities for greater clarity through creative expression and exploration. We’ll dive into our conversations through writing and photography.

Ultimately, the goal of the course is to provide you with the information, tools, and exercises you need to reconnect with your joy and create your yummiest life.

You will:
* listen + speak to your life
* make shifts in your thinking
* take small actions towards yumminess


  • A nurturing, relaxed and fun living room space in which you can share your creative work, your learning and your questions
  • A safe space to explore your fears and dreams
  • Accountability check-ins each day
  • The certainty that you are deserving of love, belonging, joy and yumminess
  • Encouragement for your journey

{This is Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia}


You’ll arrive in Blue Rocks on the afternoon of Thursday 28th December. We’ll have dinner together and get acquainted.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we’ll work together from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. We’ll provide breakfast foods at your house so you can start your day however you like. There’s lots of space at the house for morning yoga and the most breathtaking sea views if you’d like to take a walk. We’ll provide lunch and dinner at Casa Limon (or at your house) each day.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we’ll toggle back and forth between learning, discussing, creating and sharing. We’ll focus on conversations with the following six areas of your life:

  • Conversations with your Home
  • Conversations with your Neighbourhood
  • Conversations with your People
  • Conversations with your Body
  • Conversations with your Greatest Challenge
  • Conversations with your Wildest Dream

On Monday January 1st, we’ll gather at Casa Limon at 10:00 a.m. for one last yummy conversation and lunch before taking people to the airport in Halifax.


  • Transportation to and from the airport in Halifax (Thursday 28th December 2017/1st January 2017)
  • 4 night’s accommodations in a private room at a rented house near the sea
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners and snacks. {Our chef is Damien Pitter.}
  • Lessons arranged around conversations with: your home, your neighbourhood, your people, your body, your greatest challenge and your wildest dream. These discussions will include stories, invitations for creative tasks, and lots of yummy tools from my training as a Martha Beck Life Coach.
  • Workbook (paper and PDF format) to guide your play + work
  • A walk by the sea just five minutes from our house. The scenic village of Blue Rocks is a photographer’s dream. Bring your camera or i-Phone.
  • A driving tour of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
  • A portrait of you taken by Monna
  • BONUS: Each participant will have an hour-long coaching session with me before or after the retreat. You’ll choose when you’d like to have the call and what you’d like us to focus on.
  • Lots of gorgeous support from Monna


{Our studio on the left | Our backyard on the right}


  • You have a sense that your life could be better, more joyful, more interesting
  • You’re positive and open-minded
  • You love to learn by reading and listening to podcasts
  • You’re not afraid to express yourself and your thoughts creatively
  • You’re interested in creating a warm community over a few intensive days
  • You’ll do hard things even though you don’t feel completely ready


  • You’re cynical, pessimistic or a grouch. (To be clear, it’s fine if you are a grouch ~ but this is not your retreat.)


  • I believe that it is not possible for humans to be broken. I believe that wherever we are in our lives, things can be better, easier, more joyful. I believe that you already have everything you need INSIDE you.
  • Something about my writing (on my blog or my newsletter The Sunday Reader) resonates with you. You’ve had that “Me too!” response or perhaps you’ve taken an idea or strategy and employed it in your own precious life.
  • I’m a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach
  • I’ve been a school counselor for 13 years
  • I’ve created two online creative courses: Geography of Now and Poet Laureate of Your Own Life



The cost for this five-day retreat is 1200 US dollars.

Please note that this is a non-refundable investment in your own life so please take time to read my website and ask me any questions you may have in order to make sure that we are a good fit. I’m also happy to hop on a Skype call with you and answer all your questions.

Here are some As to your Qs:

When does the magic happen?
Thursday 28th December 2017 – Monday 1st January 2018. We’ll work + play together from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each day.

Where will the retreat be held?
We’ll work and play at our house in the fishing village of Blue Rocks, a ten-minute drive from the town of Lunenburg, a UNESCO world heritage site. During reflection/creative times, each writer will find her own writing space in our house or studio.

Where will I stay?
You’ll stay at a home that we’ve rented; it’s a ten-minute walk from our home. You’ll have your own bedroom and share a bathroom with two other retreaters. This accommodation is included with the retreat fee.

Are meals included?
Yes! All your meals are included.

  • Thursday: dinner
  • Friday: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Saturday: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Sunday: breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Monday: breakfast and lunch

Meals will be made with local food including cheese, bread and produce from the Lunenburg Farmer’s Market. My partner, Damien Pitter, will be our chef.

What’s the closest airport?
Halifax Stanfield International Airport is a 90-minute drive from our house. We will pick up retreaters at the airport on Thursday afternoon and do a drop off on Monday afternoon.

Do I need a car?
If you can be in Halifax on Thursday afternoon and would like to leave Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon, you do not need a car for this retreat. If you’d like to have a longer vacation and/or more freedom, you can rent a car at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

I live in the Lunenburg area and would like to attend the retreat but I don’t need accommodations. Is that possible?
It is possible. Please email me at monnamcd {at} and we’ll discuss it.

Is there a deadline for signing up?
Wednesday 15th November is the deadline for signing up for the retreat.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered here.
Please email me at monnamcd {at} with any other questions.

What does “Casa Limon” mean?
Casa Limon is our nickname for our house; it means “yellow house” in Spanish. It’s pronounced ka-sa lee-moan. Damien and I lived in Spanish speaking countries for eleven years.