As women, we are wearing more hats than ever in our busy lives. It’s important to hit pause and create space to ask important questions: How can I live in greater alignment with my true self? What limiting beliefs are holding me back?
Amy Erber, Medical Director of Bright Mind TMS, an integrative psychiatric practice in Bend, and Samantha Morse, a transformational coach at Ascend in Bend, have created Rhizome Retreats to help people explore themselves through a vibrant combination of ketamine ceremonies, creative practices, movement and intentional time in nature.
Why go on a retreat?
Amy: Giving ourselves a retreat provides space to reconnect with our authentic selves and reestablish balance within. By intentionally separating from multi-tasking and juggling our many roles, we gain a new perspective that is grounded in presence. From there, we are able to shed habits and patterns that are not serving us, deeply listen to our voice within, and explore ways to express what our soul truly wants and needs.
Tell us about Rhizome Retreats.
Samantha: A rhizome is a horizontal underground plant stem reaching outward to create connections of shoots and roots. There’s no beginning or end — it’s in a constant state of transformation. Structures that are no longer serving the network die and new ones grow. It’s an inspiring metaphor for what is common during a transformational retreat: shedding old stories and growing new ones.
In addition to ketamine journeys, a Rhizome Retreat also includes intentional practices — yoga, nature walks, music, art, writing, and breath work — that help awaken creativity and ultimately tap into the language of our soul.
We are especially committed to creating a retreat community, so healing is done in a compassionate, relational container. And we can’t overemphasize the importance of nature. Our retreats are held in beautiful locations, allowing us to connect more deeply with the Earth.
Amy: We open the retreat experience before we depart to allow ample time for preparation. We begin “tilling the soil” together by meeting weekly via Zoom to begin practices like journaling, intention-setting, breath work, and establishing group rapport. After the retreat, we follow-up with group integration sessions for ongoing support.
How does ketamine help us explore consciousness and how might this contribute to healing and personal growth?
Amy: Ketamine helps relax the defensive framework we move through the world with. Our defenses likely served a practical purpose at some point, but when they become our default way of thinking, they contribute to habits of mind that drive our limiting beliefs and depressive symptoms. In this relaxed and expanded state, we may release unresolved emotions, and our deepest imbalances may rise to the surface to be worked with. In this state of increased clarity and awareness, we may connect with our innate healing intelligence and receive insights that help us resolve inner conflict. Most things in their natural, undefended state inherently move towards balance.
Biochemically, ketamine promotes neuroplasticity, so as people start resuming healthy habits that promote balance, the neurons that are firing together have a better chance of wiring together. These healthier habits can become the new default.
Samantha: People often experience and emerge with new perspectives and less attachment to old stories about themselves and their relationships. Importantly, this feels true; it's not something you intellectually “force” yourself to believe. Integration is the process of translating the insights from the medicine journey into actionable and durable change that supports continued balance and wholeness.
Join us for a Rhizome Retreat: www.rhizomeretreats.com
● Divine Feminine Retreat, May 11-14, 2023; Oregon
● Tierra Medicine Retreat, September 23-27, 2023; Mexico
● Brave Earth Retreat, October 2023; Costa Rica