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Nikki, 39

Depression

“My marriage fell apart 3 years ago and I’m now a single, working, mother. I’ve been dealing with depression caused by my separation as well as the stress that comes with raising a child and working at the same time in a demanding industry. I was referred to Martha through my OB who saw that I was struggling.

“After a few sessions with Martha, she offered for me to be a part of their program at their new intentional self-care center in Caliraya. I knew this was something I needed to do because my main goal is to be the best mother and provider for my son, and I knew that I needed to take care of my mental health in order to do that.

“My first day at the center was a bit awkward for me. I was afraid of opening up in front of people I didn’t know. But when I allowed the place to wait, to do its magic, I started to see progress. The activities that they had for us gave me clarity. Being away from the city is always therapeutic, but paired with therapy, I felt like this was the first time I really appreciated what nature can do for the soul. It wasn’t about losing more weight for that bikini body (haha). It was about me being vulnerable and just being true to myself, and about not judging myself.

“It is what I needed when feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. It is the break I needed.”

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John, 30

Self-discovery, Life Orientation

“My stay at Caliraya LifeConnect helped me differentiate between the values that are important to me as an individual versus the values that are important in general. Being able to discern my passion is a crucial skill that I will carry with me into my career and into the overall direction of my life.”

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Louise, 32

Burn-out, Anxiety

“I describe myself as a “recovering overachiever”. I went into this program thinking that it would be a good old time, and in a lot of ways, it was! The place was beautiful, and the afternoons spent by Lake Caliraya were exquisite. But it was very challenging in the sense that I was able to reflect on some real issues that have been plaguing me for years. Learning to adopt new coping mechanisms to manage my stress and anxiety was a highlight for me.”

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Marlena, 24

Bi-Polar

“I am a person who has struggled with bipolar disorder and anxiety for 7 years. I wasn’t sure at first if the program and the place would be suitable for my needs because my mood swings tend to be really bad. I came to this place at the very onset of what could have been a really drastic, depressive episode. I know, by now, what the signs of my depression feel and look like, so it was easier to know if it was still early on or not.

“But upon coming to the center, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the overall ambiance and feel of the place was very calm, peaceful, and very welcoming. The warmth and kindness of the facilitators made for a more homey feel to the place. The food is also excellent, you probably won’t notice that its healthy with how good it is!

“More importantly, there was space and freedom to just be yourself. No judgement. No pressure. It made it easier to rediscover who I am and to realign.

“The activities that we did (such as group discussions, meditation, yoga, watersports, etc) gave someone like me who has not gotten to interact with many people outside of my family, a chance to socialize and interact. The whole flow of the program is also very introvert-friendly, you can opt not to join and have alone times.

“It was brief, but sweet, and great for those recovering.”

Anne, 54

Anxiety, Depression, Anorexia

“Is there such a thing as too late? What happens when one reaches their golden years, an age when everyone always dreams about retirement, getting to do what one wants, having family love and closeness, grandchildren to cuddle, children remembering what great things mom has done for them, and reciprocating with love in ways that adults can.

What happens when one wakes up and realizes everything is the opposite? I lost of lot of things…financial, physical health, emotional well-being, and the hardest ones were my family and myself. For a while, life did not mean anything. It really did not matter what tomorrow brings because I didn’t care. I tried seeing my doctor, but I had no clarity. Everything was a blur.

I was introduced to Martha through a friend. In all honesty, my family did an intervention and during the discussion, something Martha said struck a chord with me. The science side of it appealed to me and a feeling of hope enveloped me. It made perfect sense and logic. This time it was I who convinced my family to allow me to work with her. We did a few months of work. I knew the center she and her husband were starting was coming up, though I did not understand how a few days there would benefit me. The description of my daily routine and schedule was the main issue and a trigger for me. I tried to worm out of it but I did decide to attend the 4 day Short-Program this last week.

I have to say that I did not expect to like it initially because it took me out of my comfort zone. But I decided to squeeze out everything from this opportunity.

Initially, just the surroundings gradually calmed me down. It left me with an openness to receive. It prepared me for the sessions interspersed with quiet time to reflect. It was a slower pace then what I was used to. But the effect on me was so much more than being with in out-patient, traditional therapy. The surroundings, compounded with the opportunity to practice breathing, meditation (imagery), yoga, informational sessions and debriefings, worked like the solution I have been looking for. This center allowed me to work the mind, work the body, and work my emotions and consciousness.

I am going home with a plan. From a few months ago with no hope, I have to a clarity of what to do. It’s still a journey, but I would not have been in the position I am without coming to the center.”

 
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Theresa, 28

“I decided to join the program because I was losing hope in my family situation and it was creating a great deal of stress and inner conflict. At Caliraya LifeConnect, it was difficult not to feel calmer with the beautiful surroundings and warm hospitality. Their personalized program and guided therapy really brought me into a safe place of trust and openness. It allowed me to confront certain issues that I truthfully wouldn't have been able to face in my current environment. I learned useful tools such as record keeping, scaling, value system identification, and dealing with confrontation. At the end of the program, I was surprised to feel physically better than I felt going in - it was quite a reminder for me that your mind, body and spirit are all connected. I would recommend this program not just to people going through difficult times, but also to others who just want to get to know themselves better.”