Lead with Vulnerability
Tuition and Application at Bottom of Page
STAY TUNED FOR 2020
THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE THE FIRST-EVER FEMPOWERED A HUGE SUCCESS!
Storyborne is accepting applications for a 4-night retreat tailored for 9 women who are ready to use their voices, bodies and personal stories to practice vulnerability and grow into leadership. The secluded, wild campus of the Rockland Woods Lodge & Lake is the perfect setting to connect to your deepest, truest self. Update: Only 6 Spots Remain!
From a Wednesday night to a Sunday morning at the climax of a Pacific Northwest summer, be enveloped in 15 acres of a mossy wood on the shores of Mission Lake, a 30-minute drive from the Bremerton Ferry Terminal.
From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you will work with a succession of nine exceptional women facilitators. Each of those nine FemPowered facilitators has experienced a profound personal journey—a journey that has led her to grow into a leader by tapping into the power and healing of creative, authentic expression.
Our facilitators will challenge you to practice creative self-expression through experimentations in authentic relating, vocal techniques, movement, performance, writing and photographic portraiture. No previous experience in these techniques is required for participants, only a willingness to be curious and bold.
Tap into your own personal power and establish or renew the foundations of your leadership style by naming your desires and speaking them aloud.
Storyborne and FemPowered Founder, Lead Facilitator
Bonnie is the founder of Storyborne and the FemPowered leadership retreat for women. She earned a B.A. in journalism with a focus on writing about the outdoors from Hampshire College in 2004, after interning at the Los Angeles Times as a feature reporter. As she developed a career in journalism and photography, she continued to explore passions in outdoor adventure travel. That passion eventually led her to found a charter sailboat business in Key West, Florida. When it came time to leave that business in the hands of its co-founders, her journey into the world of historic tall ships drew her to Port Townsend, Washington, where she became a sailmaker. The arts community of Port Townsend summoned her to artistic roots and she became a marketing manager and program assistant at Centrum, a nonprofit that hosts workshops and events in music, writing and visual arts. The rekindling of that creative spark and the scope of her own, personal journey inspired her to found Storyborne, a platform for the creative and varied expressions of personal storytelling, which honors and celebrates our shared human experience.
I will be your point person and guide throughout your FemPowered experience. From the moment you submit your application, it will be my job to make sure I understand your individual needs and goals so all of us can do our best to provide a personalized, caring and powerful experience for you during the retreat. I, along with Talle Selhorst, will be on campus for the entire length of the program, providing you with check-ins and support. I have worked extensively with each of your facilitators. Each of them has inspired me and changed me for the better. FemPowered was born of the strong connections each of us share with one another as professionals, as friends, artists, leaders and teachers. We found so much richness in that connection we could not help but share what we discovered with others through this retreat.
Testimonial about Storyborne:
"I shared a personal story during Storyborne’s “Heart Stories” event about a moment when I felt a connection with my Mexican heritage in a way that redefined my definition of beauty. I told the story as part of an ensemble piece with four other women where we combined spoken word and movement. A woman who was a professional dancer choreographed the piece in collaboration with all of us. The process of sharing my story that way, in a supportive community, felt powerful and important.” -Michelle Sandoval, broker/owner Windermere Real Estate
Dr. Jessica Tartaro
Intimacy Therapist & Connection Facilitator, Founder of SpeakUP PNW
Dr. Jessica Tartaro brings nearly 20 years of leadership and psychological healing experience with singles, couples and groups to her facilitation. Former Fulbright Scholar, she has traveled the world conducting research on growth through trauma as well as studying with leaders in the authentic relating and circling movements. Her gift lies in embodying vulnerability as an invitation for you to find the most authentic, alive, vital and creative parts of yourself through which to connect with others. Her emerging specialty is supporting leaders in the healing arts to evolve our own health and lead from transparency, a commitment she practices daily. Book her for a complimentary consultation for private coaching or to speak at your event at www.DrJessicaTartaro.com.
Session Description: Connect to Your Desires: Empowering Your Requests with Clarity
Join me, Dr. Jessica Tartaro, Intimacy Therapist & Connection Facilitator, to open your retreat with "Connect to Your Desires: Empowering Your Requests with Clarity.” During this two-hour session, I will invite you the participants to consider that words are an extension of your power. And when you wield your words with intention and clarity, your relationships can open up as vehicles for generating strength, vitality and esteem. I will guide your group through simple, interactive communication exercises designed to instantly build your muscles for asking for what you need in a way that others can easily hear. We will also explore how to identify your own authentic "yes" by playing with the power of an unmistakable "no.” You will leave this session with communication tools that you can immediately apply to ensure you create the experience you desire throughout the remainder of the FemPowered retreat.
Testimonial about Dr. Tartaro’s work:
“It's so foreign to me, this practice of expanding from the inside out. Sometimes I can’t help but think I'm just going along with the crowd, making things fit to be able to say, "Yes, I feel this way or that way.” Yet there are times when I feel a profound connection to myself, to others, to the earth, and that didn’t just happen on its own. I know that I’ve done the work and am seeing the results. Working with you has taken me a step further in my journey to become the me I'm meant to be. I'm so enthusiastic about sharing your work with others because I want to expand my "circle of community" with people that I know and trust. -Elisabeth Lindauer Brustein
Psychologist, Performing Artist & Educator
Amy E. Sousa holds an MA in Depth Psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute where her research focused on the imagination and eco-psychology. She received her BFA in theater from New York University’s, Tisch School of the Arts. She has lectured at the Annual Conference of Research in Jung and Analytical Psychology. She served six years as the Education and Outreach Director for Key City Public Theatre. She worked as a teaching artist for 15 years in the New York City Public Schools for various non-profit organizations including The Brooklyn Arts Council, AmeriCorps Project Safety Net, Teach for America, The Leadership Program, City Year, Platform Learning, and The Striking Viking Story Pirates.
The wild self is the instinctual self, the embodied self: fierce and free. Through our inner wild thing, we are in touch with our intuition and imagination, with the mental images that can guide us forward and lead us home. This theatrical and visualization-based movement course offers ways to connect to your inner wild thing. Through the location of our physical bodies and the feelings that arise when we embody mental images, we can gain insights into the intelligence of the wild self. In this course, participants will explore the images and landscapes of their inner wilderness as a source of nourishment and liberation. This work offers a pathway to deeply connect with one's personal freedom and power through the image of the wild thing inside each of us.
Founder of SoulSong Vocal Empowerment
Mia Kelley brings to her work over 30 years of experience and training in the performing and healing arts. As an award-winning actress, vocalist, songwriter, and healing artist, Mia has loved inspiring students with effective practices and a holistic approach to vocal cultivation through her SoulSong Vocal Empowerment programs over the past 8 years. Also a leader in heart-centered community development, Mia lives and works in devotion to the healing and wholeness of the human heart as a form of global activism. Her mission as a holistic vocal coach is to create safe and potent environments for exploration and activation of the full creative expression of her students. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation for vocal coaching opportunities after your Fempowered experience please visit movinggracearts.com
Session Description: vocal yoga & Cacao ceremony
Your Thursday morning session with me, vocal coach, Mia Kelley, will build on the evening before in a revitalizing embodiment practice of “Vocal Yoga.” During our time together, you will be invited to relax, release and play with full permission to explore trusting, opening and inhabiting your body as the doorway to your authentic voice. You will be gently led into the realm of impulse and expression—so get ready to meet and greet parts of yourself that have been waiting to be heard, felt and enjoyed by you—maybe for the first time. This is a place to let go and experiment in a safe and brave container; to loosen up and feel free. We will use movement, sound, and breath practices to activate and align you...preparing your full body, mind and heart for the juicy work ahead! Following Vocal Yoga, I am thrilled to share a beautiful, sacred sound and cacao ceremony that will send you into the rest of your day with hearts wide open to all the possibilities that lay ahead.
Testimonial about Aimée’s work:
"I went to Mia out of a desire to be comfortable with my voice. I am not a singer, but I do have a desire to use my voice to share a body of work I am passionate about. Speaking often leaves me exhausted. I grew up with the message, ‘Be quiet and do not use your voice to express yourself’. With Mia’s astute guidance, I learned practices and methods to relax into my voice, how to breath in a way that best supports my vocal presence, how to release tension and how to ground both my energy and voice so I no longer speak from my throat, but from my soul. I ended my coaching sessions so impressed with the knowledge and wisdom Mia has so carefully cultivated to support self-empowerment through fully accessing voice.” -Suzy Carroll, Founder, Sacred Selfishness™ - The Practice of Prioritizing Self
Tanya is the mother of five grown children, an interior designer, a writer, a teacher and relationship mentor. She has spent more than 10 years engaged in the field of transformational education. She always found fulfillment in supporting and training people to build strong, authentic relationships and holistically sustainable environments. In 2013, Tanya devoted herself to the creation and delivery of a curriculum in the study of erotic discipline: Revel: The Audacity of Ecstasy. Revel is a daringly vulnerable investigation into how we relate to ourselves, influence our relationships, and express our unique influence in our community and world. After her childhood years in Germany, she recognized early in life that the source of all true creative inspiration is a deep erotic intelligence. In her experience of our western culture, she found that a woman’s original erotic intelligence is maligned and misused leaving many feeling impotent and afraid to express themselves authentically.
In Tanya’s classes and workshops, she helps people unwind long-practiced unconscious associations of their natural expressions of arousal, intimacy and power. This helps to gently restore a truer connection displacing long held misguidance about our own true power.
“The erotic is a measure between our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves.
The very word erotic comes from the Greek word eros, the personification of love in all its aspects - born of Chaos, and personifying creative power and harmony. When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women; of that creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.” -Audre Lorde
Session: A story of desire: living life from the place of our truest expressions of arousal, intimacy and power
In this session, you will begin to explore the deeper truths about what you were born to love about yourself, your life and the world. You’ll then explore how you were born to express that love out into the world. We will do written exercises in which you will examine your furies, frustrations, heartbreaks and disappointments to unveil the values at the core of those feelings. These newfound guides will be a fresh lens through which you can relate to yourself, others and the experiences you have drawn your life from.
Please bring a handwritten, autobiographical story of 500 words or fewer. This story should be about a life experience where you felt powerful, or powerless. Together, we will explore our stories through the lens of our deepest desires, seeing where we connected or disconnected from them at that moment in our lives. The values you unveil will help provide the framework for the following sessions, led by Kerry, Jen and Amy.
Founder of Transient Moorage Artist Collective
At 50 years old, Kerry Christianson lives her life on her own terms. A 1993 graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Kerry has spent much of her life involved with theater, dance and mime. However, she has primarily made her living as a Corporate Executive Assistant, including six years at Amazon. She worked as the Artistic Director for the Little Red Studio in Seattle from 2006 until 2010 and also directed, acted, and choreographed for several theaters around the Seattle area over the last twenty-five years. In 2003 Kerry debuted “Verotica 143,” an erotic mime duo act—and went on to perform for over five years in the burlesque scene. She is in the beginning stages of creating a local performance collective first in Port Townsend and hopefully around the world—Transient Moorage Artist Collective. Recently, Kerry performed her auto-biographical solo piece "Be Mime" as a part of "Heart Stories,” produced by Storyborne in Port Townsend. Kerry loves choreographing for non-dancers and teaching others how to find the nuances and truths found in non-verbal movement and storytelling. She lives with her husband, Donn, on a 35-foot sailboat. They are planning to set sail for more southern waters later this year.
Session: stories in movement
We will find our way into our bodies through simple exercises and explorations. Then, individually and as a group, we will discover the subtleties and nuances of telling a story, our stories, using only our physical presence and movement. You will understand better how you present yourself to others even in the most simple daily interactions. This session will help us take that awareness to the next level and open up the creative world that awaits within each of us. Please wear comfortable, neutral colored clothes you can move in. Barefoot or socks is preferred also.
Testimonial about Kerry’s work:
“Over the past ten years, I have hired Kerry as both an actor and choreographer for various projects through my company, Straight-Edge Theatrics. She is a creative force, encouraging those around her to push the limits of their abilities and to give more than they thought themselves capable of.” - Marcus Wolland, Former Educator Consultant with King County / Performance Artist
Jen Lee Chapman
Portrait Photographer, Visual Storyteller
Hi! (waving enthusiastically) I'm Jen, a life and body photographer. I capture significant life events: wedding, birth, beautiful bodies, family; loud hurrahs, hushed vows, giggles and sighs, hellos and even goodbye. I look for earnest human experience.
I focus on helping my clients forget about the lens. My real work — my best work — comes from their emotions, their quirks, personalities, what they love. We all have a mask we put on in public places and around people we don’t know. My own weirdness seems to make them more comfortable — you can take off the mask and just be yourselves — letting me catch intimate moments that normally aren’t available.
My inspiration comes from artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer and their ability to paint people in the most beautiful light. From nature, and my intimate relationship with wildlife — raw, brutal, and beautiful. From my sons, Maes and Corvus — from raising them to embrace their human experience to the fullest. Philosophically, I like to think of light as my medium, the moment my canvas.
Session: Story in Portrait
After your session of storytelling through movement with Kerry Christianson, we will venture a short distance into the forest that surrounds the lodge to prepare for portrait sessions. We will talk about the story that lives in your body, and aim to capture a piece of that story in portraiture. I will create a private space where I hope you will feel safe to relax into an expression that feels true for you. While I believe every body is beautiful, the intention of the portrait is not necessarily to express mainstream versions of polished beauty. This portrait can be just for you, a window into your truest self, to remember where you dared to explore. I am experienced at capturing tasteful, meaningful images of the body and encourage you to wear as much or as little covering as you are comfortable with.
*Images, or partial images, captured during these private portrait sessions will not be used by the photographer or Storyborne without a participant’s express and written permission
Jacquie Rae Potter
Sound Healer, Massage Therapist, Yoga Instructor
Jacquie Rae Hansen is excited to bring her sound healing talents to this retreat. Her training in yoga, reiki, shamanic healing and music provides a unique combination to allow facilitation of deep connection to your body, creative mind and spirit. She also loves the idea of lila (Sanskrit for "play") in all that she does and also brings this element into her classes and workshops.
Session: Sound Bath
With the use of my voice and instruments, I create a soundscape specially formulated for those who are present. I create a safe space for you to release and relax into the music. Be prepared to be transported and nurtured in this truly extraordinary experience.
Jacquie will also be available for massage, reiki or yoga sessions during some break times by appointment at an additional cost.
FemPowered resident therapist
During FemPowered, digging into our truest selves may cause us to visit difficult places within ourselves. Talle will be present at scheduled times throughout the retreat as a resource for those who would appreciate check-in sessions. She will provide a sign-up sheet and meet with you privately.
Talle is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Reiki Master and Shamanic Healing Practitioner. Talle believes in the power and resilience each human holds and works with clients to uncover their strengths and develop lasting tools for their own wellness. Talle has partnered with many clients who experience depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. Talle’s current work focuses on bridging the gap between evidenced-based modalities i.e Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) with energy and spiritual healing practices, i.e. Reiki and Soul Retrieval.
Testimonial about Talle’s work:
“Not only does Talle build rapport and trust easily with clients, but she also made a genuine effort to maintain high morale and provide support to other clinicians on her team.” -Michel Paves, Program Manager, Ryther
Healing Foods Chef and Educator
Hanna Nicole brings 12 years of experience in the kitchen with Healing Foods. An acclaimed chef and food-based healing facilitator, she also works as a wellness mentor with individuals experiencing chronic or acute illness. Hanna lives and teaches in Port Townsend, Washington and travels around the globe catering, and educating about the body and food as medicine. Her talents are in supporting an experience of ease and pleasure and fortitude within the body. A returning to one's’ self. Contact her to schedule a complimentary consultation; Hanna@Qigong.com
Tuck In! You’ll be dining with me, Healing Foods Chef Hanna, throughout the retreat. I’ll be serving up Vitality each day with nourishing meals specifically designed to heal your body and satisfy your palate. Ingredients will be carefully chosen from local and organic sources, seasonal and catered to your body’s specific needs. Our life’s potential elevates from a thriving and healthy body.
Subject to Change
Some sessions happen outdoors, weather permitting
Wednesday, August 28
4:30 p.m. Check-in
5-6 p.m. Dinner
6:15-7 p.m. Intro and orientation by organizer Bonnie Obremski
7:15-9:15 p.m. Connect to Your Desires: Empowering Your Requests with Clarity with Dr. Jessica Tartaro
11 p.m. Lights out
Thursday August 29: Power of Voice
7:45-8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m. -12 p.m. Vocal Yoga & Cacao Ceremony, relax, release and play using your own voice with Mia Kelley
12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch
1:30-4:30 p.m. A Story of Desire, living life from the place of our deepest wants and needs with Tanya Brakeman
7-8:30 Sound Bath with Jacquie Hansen
11 p.m. Lights out
Friday, August 30: Power of Movement
7:45-8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9 a.m.-12 p.m. Stories in Movement with Kerry Christianson
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch
2 p.m.-5 p.m. Story in Portrait with Jen Lee Chapman
6-7 p.m.: Dinner
7-11 p.m. Free time
11 p.m. Lights out
Saturday, August 31
8:30-9:30 a.m.: Breakfast
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wild Thing, tapping into instinct through theatrical movement and visualization with Amy Sousa
1:30-2:30 p.m. Lunch
2:30-5 p.m. Free Time, prepare for community share
5-6 p.m.: Dinner
6:30-9:30 Share who you are as an authentic, creative leader through personal storytelling with Amy Sousa & Bonnie Obremski, gift of portrait images
11 p.m.: Lights out
Sunday, September 1
7:45-8:45: a.m. Breakfast
10 a.m. Check-out
The Rockland Woods Lodge, Lake & Land Retreat Center
The forest surrounding the Rockland Lodge is a lush, wild place in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. The beauty and serenity of the woods and lake will lure you into that lush and wild place within your own heart. The late-summer sun will raise temperatures into the high 70s during the day, followed by cool evenings in the mid 50s, helping to keep mosquitos to a minimum. For more photos of the rustic, beautiful property, click here.
Mission Lake, Bremerton, Washington State
Exact address provided upon acceptance into the program
Driving time from Port Townsend: 1 hour 20 minutes
Driving time from downtown Seattle: 1 hour 30 minutes
2 shared bedrooms in main lodge, each with 3 beds
3 private, 12’ x 14’ canvas “glamping” tents, sealed with waterproof coating, on raised wooden platforms, each with a comfortable bed, 2-minute walk from main lodge. Tents have power outlets, electric fans and heaters. ONLY ONE TENT LEFT!
If desired, you may bring and set up your own tent on the property
2 Shared Bathrooms in main lodge, each with a shower, and one additional outdoor shower
Swimming off dock in Mission Lake
15 acres of quiet woods
Barn “open studio” for indoor sessions
*If a regional burn ban is in effect, campfires will not be allowed.
There is free overnight parking on a wide, dirt shoulder along the quiet, public road on one side of the property. While the area is known to be safe, we cannot guarantee the security of your car. We will do our best to facilitate carpooling and/or transportation from the Bremerton Ferry Terminal, depending on the needs and desires of our FemPowered clients.
This beautiful property bursting with life remains very wild. In order to navigate campus, you will have to walk over uneven, unpaved terrain. Access to the lake and parts of the buildings requires the ability to go up and down very steep staircases. The easiest way to enter the lake for swimming is to slide into the water off the end of a short, floating dock. There will be no lifeguard. Swimming or use of the canoe or paddle boards will be at your own risk.
**There is no Wi-Fi connection at the Rockland Woods Lodge**
Price if booked before July 31:
$1,200 + tax per woman (limited to 9 participants aged 18 or older)
Four nights at The Rockland Woods Lodge, Lake & Land Retreat Center
One bed in a private “glamping” canvas tent OR one bed in a shared room the main lodge. All rooms have access to two shared bathrooms. A participant may make a choice of bed upon receipt of tuition deposit on a first-come basis
Eleven thoughtful and delicious, organic, locally sourced meals prepared by Chef Hanna Lose-Frahn
Eight sessions, each led by a different facilitator, designed to help restore and deepen your connection to your own personal power
Access to 15 acres of woods along Mission Lake
Limited access to an in-house therapist
Some program customization based on information participants provide through a pre-retreat inquiry
Digital file of your portrait by Jen Lee Chapman
*Weather permitting, many retreat activities may take place outdoors on the wooded grounds surrounding the lodge
What we hope you will gain from this experience:
An introduction to:
Rooting leadership and power in your own strengths and desires, rather than the expectations of others
Practicing authentic communication in your private and professional life as a way to grow into the person and leader you would like to be
Using creative expression as a way to practice communication and reveal sources of strength that you may have overlooked in the past
A sense of:
Deep healing, renewal and clarity
Feeling rooted and powerful in your own body, voice and personal story
Deep, personal connection to a group of women leaders, artists and healers
Additional notes on application/deposits/refunds:
Women may apply to this 4-night program by filling out the application below. We will contact accepted participants, who will then have 5 business days to submit a 50% deposit to Storyborne. Tuition must be paid in full by July 31. This retreat requires a minimum of 9 participants to register by July 31 in order to occur. If minimum is not reached, deposits will be returned in full. Otherwise, deposits or full payments are non-refundable after July 31.
*Alcohol, smoking and other recreational drugs are not permitted during this retreat.
This application will let us know if your intentions and desires align with the offerings of FemPowered. If selected, we will contact you via e-mail or phone call to follow up. At that point, if you would like to join us, you will have 5 business days to submit a 50% deposit to Storyborne. The second and final payment is due on July 31. We will also mail you a secondary form with additional questions that will help facilitators personalize their sessions to your needs and goals. Thank you in advance for your application! Questions? Email Bonnie Obremski at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 774-272-0730.
A note from Storyborne Founder, Bonnie Obremski: The leaders of the very first FemPowered retreat are friends and colleagues I respect and admire within my community in Port Townsend, Washington. I would like to acknowledge that I am aware of the shortcoming that no women of color are represented in that leadership. It is my hope that as this program develops, I will be able to expand my network to develop relationships with more artists and healers of color and pay them fairly to be a significant part of the leadership team.