Women's Movement & Writing Retreat: Helsinki

You are invited to an intimate retreat in the gorgeous setting of Southern Finland...

You may not consider yourself a writer, but you know that there's something within that's longing for expression. This piece of work has been living within you... it may have already begun to take shape, or it may have been waiting, whispering the desire to be born.

Life moves, and the months and years dance us, as we twirl and circle around the sun. Sometimes the whisper has been there for years, and it seems impossible to find the time to write.

Perhaps it's a book, a film script, a poem, a memoir... it could be a philosophy, a website, or maybe it's your own soul wisdom that's meant for only you. This retreat is about listening and writing the bones of this piece. Creating space for it's expression, spending time in your wise animal body and bringing movement to blocks that may have been preventing it from flowing through.

Movement Inspires a Different Quality of Writing

We'll use movement as a way to stir creativity, dive into presence and express from a place of embodiment.

Dance helps us to access the truth of our bones, the knowing of our flesh, the depth of our heart and the wisdom of our soul.

Retreat Themes

As your facilitator I will not be teaching you HOW to write. This retreat is quite the opposite. We are opening to allow our wisdom and truth to flow through freely. I'll be guiding you through a process to engage your most authentic expression. Prompts and exercises that support the writing journey will be based on the retreat themes.

The following themes will be woven throughout our retreat:

  1. Attending to the Call: What is longing to emerge?

  2. Listening to the Essence: What is at the core of this work?

  3. Embodied Alignment - Tending the Field: What channels need to open in my body to allow this work to flow through?

  4. Structure & Flow: How can I engage masculine and feminine energies within to support this process?

  5. Earth & Creation: Communing with nature supports me to access embodied wisdom. How can my writing process be supported by the land? What new voices are accessed within me when I attune to Gaia and her expressions?

  6. Celebration - The Currency of Joy Replenishes the Well:
    We will celebrate our discoveries, challenges, victories and self-expression, through ceremony, rhythm and movement.

Our Location

Our City Home...

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a vibrant seaside city of beautiful islands and great green parks. I fell in love with Helsinki the minute I touched my feet down on Finnish soil... Something about the purity of the air and vibration of the land - calm and yet full of quiet power.

The city has a laid back rhythm, while being full of creativity and incredibly efficient - every kind of plastic can be recycled there, and that's skimming the surface of green living in Finland.

Our Helsinki home-base is in Ullanlinna, a part of the city known for it's waterfront promenades, sea-view cafes and bistros. We're about a 15 minute walk to both the open air market (full of local artisanal crafts, fresh food and Finnish street cuisine) and beautiful green parks along the Baltic Sea.

There will be time for exploration and enjoyment in Helsinki, as well as settling in and beginning our writing journey. We'll stay in Helsinki for 3 nights before travelling to our country home location in Raasepori, one hour from the city.

Our Country Home...

Our country home is simple, spacious and beautiful. Indoors we have great open space for movement, sweet nooks for writing, and inspiring views of the lake and forest through our floor to ceiling windows. We'll be here for 5 nights!

We have a massive 60 ft. long deck where we can dance, rest, read, write, reflect... We have our own personal beach and dock, with lots of forest to explore - with the opportunity to harvest fresh berries and mushrooms if we can find them!

Finnish saunas offer many healing and detoxification benefits, along with the opportunity for deep relaxation...

I loved being bathed in the löyly (steam) of the sauna every night, during my last adventure in Finland. The sauna culture feels wholesome and offered a sacred window of time each night for me to be present with my soul and the elements - fire, air, water and earth. I experienced deep relaxation, nourishment and a sense of connection to the Earth. We have a beautiful sauna in our country home.

Your Facilitator

Elisha MacMillan, BA Hons, CPCC, is a sociologist, women's coach, film-maker and dance alchemist. The integral role of drum and dance in everyday life is one thing her ancestors from Scotland, Ivory Coast and Jamaica had in common. Elisha leads retreats locally and internationally, with a focus on self-discovery, healing, communing with nature and dropping beneath mental chatter into the deep wisdom of our bodies. She has worked with women in groups and 1-on-1 in Canada, USA, Europe, India & Australia, over the past 9 years.

Writing has been an outlet of creative expression for Elisha since childhood. Poetry, short stories, blogs, film scripts, dance curriculum and websites are among her most current writing works. Her essay writing and thesis helped to earn her ranking in the top 5% at Concordia University, out of 30,000 students.

Before her coaching business launched, Elisha had a full-time career performing African dance alongside established artists from across the African continent.  Over the course of 6 years Elisha starred in award-winning performances touring nationally and internationally.  Her experiences of studying dance in Guinea, Mali, Ethiopia and Brazil (and receiving the transformational benefits) inform her current philosophy of Dance Medicine.

What's Included

Accommodations in our beautiful retreat homes
We'll spend 3 nights in our historic Helsinki location, and then travel one hour to our beautiful country home for 5 nights! To keep costs low, double-beds will be shared between two people, or your welcome to bring your own air mattress.
Delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner 
Fresh meals are created with local and organic ingredients wherever possible. Vegan & gluten-free options available. We'll dine out for two dinners, this is not included.Daily movement & embodiment, writing time and sauna
This is a journey of embodiment, creative expression and connection. There will be a nice balance of structure and flow, with room for you to rest or explore! Finnish saunas offer an incredible way to cleanse and detox... if you haven't been to saunas with steam or a sweat lodge - this is a whole new experience!Pre-retreat Tuning In Session with Elisha
In this 20-minute phone call, I'll guide you into your own embodied wisdom to receive any information about your creative project, or the role of the retreat in your soul evolution journey, before we actually travel to Helsinki. This pre-trip call will help prepare the energies for our shared time together.
Post-retreat Writing Support/Accountability 
We'll have 2 follow-up group calls during the month following our retreat. These calls can offer support and accountability with your continued creative process.


The early bird rate is still available.
Will you join us?

Retreat Investment: $2500 +hst 

Early bird: $2200 + hst (registered by Aug 10)

Email Elisha to express your interest and set
 up a phone call to
discuss trip details + payment: 

Due to the proximity of our trip once you have registered all payments are non-refundable.

Sign-up to receive Drum and Dance Medicine musings, music, retreats and upcoming events