History

Inspirational Journeys was the brainchild of east coast based Dr. Suzanne Nixon and west coast Dr. Greg White. Friends and colleagues for over 30 years, they share common threads as private practice psychotherapists, educators, meditation teachers, avid hikers, nature lovers and travel enthusiasts.

OUR STORY:

I was giving a seminar for massage therapists at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona in 2008, when friends, Greg, Teri and Michael, flew to meet me for a couple of days of hiking in the red rock mountains. We hiked on the beautiful trails in Bonyon Canyon. Sometimes we were side by side in conversation, and other times we walked silently in a line of four. Stopping for a water/snack break, we circled round and entered a soulful conversation about the healing power of nature, the merits of hiking on mind, body and spirit, the joy of having space, time and the freedom, the gift of breathing fresh air and the fellowship of being with like-minded companions.

Emerging from the fire of this conversation was a larger idea. What impact would this “Whole Feel Good Experience in Nature” have on people seeking psychological, physical and spiritual well-being?  What if more people had an experience “out of the doctor’s office”, “out of the therapist’s office”, “out of their home” and “out of their place of business”? Would their health and well-being be enhanced?

Thus in 2008, with passionate hearts and soaring spirits, Greg and I founded Inspirational Journeys. In 2009 we launched our first retreat with a group of 9 seekers to Sedona, Arizona. It was wonderful and affirming.

In 2011, Greg left as a business partner due to the demands of being a University Professor and Department Chair, yet remains a retreat leader. I took over the company and led several womens’ retreats to the Canyons of Utah and the countryside of Virginia.

The platform of retreats and destinations, as well as guest teachers and retreat leaders, has expanded. Start your Adventure to Extraordinary Wellness today!


WELLNESS PHILOSOPHY

According to the World Health Organization, people are more apt to get well, feel well and make positive behavioral health changes through a wellness program that is based in Whole Health and Lifestyle Wellness.

Our Whole Health model is based on the 5 tenants of wellness and is enveloped in the powerful wisdom of mindfulness.  It is only when we are mindfully present that we can we deepen into awareness and awaken to the reality of our health and take action to heal.  

 

 The 5 tenant model is the original work of Dr. Suzanne Nixon and is comprised of the belief that Whole Health, Whole Being, is comprised of all aspects of the self: Mind, Emotions, Body, Spirit and Relationships.

The 5 tenant model is the original work of Dr. Suzanne Nixon and is comprised of the belief that Whole Health, Whole Being, is comprised of all aspects of the self: Mind, Emotions, Body, Spirit and Relationships.


I strongly believe we become shaped by where we live and by our experiences. Leaving home, being on the road and traveling to a new place, is the pause we need to take from our daily routine, the essential step towards reconnecting and empowering ourselves to be well and happy.
— Dr. Suzanne

Dr. Suzanne Nixon

Founder, Owner and Lead Faciltator

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I am a true geek for anything having to do with health, wellness, the mind-body connection, mindful living, spirituality, the inner life, and travelling. Call it what you like, I am a “journey woman in all ways”, exploring the inner life and the outer life, and embracing the experience of learning through day to day living and on the road traveling stateside and abroad.

I learned so much from my inner and outer travels, I created two companies, Inspirational Journeys, LLC and Northern Virginia Integrative Therapy Center. My intent was to create supportive learning and therapeutic venues for people to get well, become healthier, heal from afflictions, be happier, nourish mind, body and spirit, learn to live mindfully, discover purposeful living, experience other cultures and enjoy inspirational travel.

My robust, professional credentials include licensing as a Professional Counselor and Marriage & Family Therapist, Certification as a Gestalt Therapist and Massage/Bodywork Therapist, and professional training in Integrative Health Coaching with Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Center, Meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Energy Medicine/Healing with Barbara Brennan and Rosalyn Breyure. I am currently in a two year Teacher Certification Meditation Training with renowned meditation teachers, Dr. Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. In private practice for over 35 years, I helped thousands of people in their journey towards greater health, healing and optimal functioning in both their personal and relational life.  It is a joyful and humbling experience to share with you that I am known for my authentic embodied presence, intuitive knowing, deep insight, meditation expertise, skilled facilitation, dynamic speaking and ability to help people make transformational shifts in their lives. 

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I have traveled throughout the United States and internationally, solo, with family and friends and with organized groups. I have participated in sacred journeys, in the UK, Brazil and New Mexico; treks in New Zealand and Hawaii; and biking adventure(s) in Maine. However, my first and most significant travel experience was at age 25, when i was feeling out of sorts, lost and searching for answers. In search for myself, I signed up and participated in a 24 day mountaineering trek with Outward Bound in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Little did I know, the experience of travel and adventure was to imprint me for the rest of my life.

Inspirational Journeys, LLC gives you an abundance of opportunities to become more aware, to focus on being well and creating more health, to help you discern what truly matters, and to provide you with venues for self-discovery, exploration and unique travel experiences.

I maintain a private practice as an Integrative Psychotherapist, Integrative Health Coach & Wellness Specialist, Meditation Teacher and Professional Speaker in Virginia, and lead wellness and mindfulness retreats through Inspirational Journeys.


Expert Co-Leaders

In 2015 Suzanne expanded the company and was thrilled to bring in expert professionals to join her in co-leading retreats and journeys. 

YOGA, MINDFULNESS & TRAVEL

Tim Hutchinson is a seasoned traveler to Costa Rica having discovered this beautiful country when his son was hired to run a Sea Turtle Nesting Conservatory Program on the Pacific Coast in 2006. Over the years, Tim visited Costa Rica frequently and came to know this small country as his second home. Tim has been fortunate enough to explore this beautiful land as a native traveler, experiencing places off the beaten path, tucked between the lush tropical rain forest and the Pacific. Practicing yoga in a studio on the Nicoya Peninsula, residing in a village surrounded by coffee farms and being invited to dinner and conversation at natives’ homes, Tim has truly become an“unofficial” citizen of Costa Rica. Tim understands what native Costa Ricans mean when they say “pura vida”... pure life. A businessman for years, Tim expanded his horizons in his late fifties and embarked on the “inner journey” engaging in yoga as his primary pathway towards “knowing self."  This path was significant and he went on to train as a yoga teacher with Flow Yoga in Northern Virginia. Now as a yoga teacher, 200 hour RYT, he is passionate about bringing yoga to the everyday person as well as yoga enthusiasts.

 

MEDITATION, MINDFULNESS, POETRY, HIKING, HUMOR & TRAVEL

Gregory White, Ph.D., has 35+ years experience as a meditator and as a teacher of meditation methods to psychotherapy clients, licensed medical and mental health professionals, students training to become psychotherapists, and to those attending workshops on wellbeing and personal growth. He is currently a Professor of Psychology at National University (San Diego), where he leads a psychotherapist training program and teaches courses in wellness, wellbeing, and clinical skills. He is a published researcher on the use of dreams to help solve personal problems. In his clinical psychology practice he integrates jungian/archetypal, contemplative, cognitive, relational, and existential approaches. He is currently in training for teacher certification in Mindful Self-Compassion through US San Diego's Center for Mindfulness.

Greg was a founding partner of Inspirational Journeys. He leads IJ sessions in basic meditation methods; the hows and whys of establishing a meditation practice; training in both mindfulness, meditation, and self-compassion; and linking meditation practice to life goals, values, and problem-solving. He also offers training in working with dreams, developing a personal wellness plan, and conscious life transitions. His style combines humor, poetry, research findings, and a strong application focus with a sensitivity to group and personal dynamics that foster learning and openness. 

 

 

YOGA, MINDFULNESS & HEALTH

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Christina "Vani" Renschen began practicing yoga in 2009 and quickly fell in love with practice and the balance it helped her find in her life both physically & mentally. A highly driven Type A personality, Chris found a newfound sense of peace and a way to quiet her mind through her yoga practice. Additionally, the long term physical benefits of her practice helped her deal with her chronic back pain. After an extensive spinal surgery in 2005, Chris’s surgeon warned her of the many future back surgeries she would need, and the life-long physical limitations. Much to everyone’s surprise, Chris has surpassed every expectation of the doctors’ predictions and attributes her positive health and very full and active lifestyle to yoga.
Inspired to learn more and to help others, Chris decided to become a yoga teacher and help others facing similar challenges. She obtained her 200 hour certification in Integral Hatha Yoga from the Swami Satchidinanda Ashram in Buckingham, VA. It was there that she was given the spiritual name “Vani” (an incarnation of Saraswati - goddess of wisdom, art & music).  
In 2012, Chris took an amazing leap of faith and took an early retirement from her highly successful career in the classified IT world. Since that decisive action, she has never looked back. Thanks to her loving husband and staunchest supporter, Chris took another leap and in 2013 opened Loudoun Valley Yoga. In 2018, she completed her Advanced Teacher Training earning her RYT500 Certification with Loudoun Valley Yoga’s Integrative Flow Program. She also is trained as a Thai Yoga Bodywork Therapist.
 

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With profound gratitude toward her family, her fellow teachers and the wonderful community at LVY, Chris continues to find inspiration through the journey, exploration and teaching of yoga.

Christina "Vani" Renschen, MA, E-RYT200
Registered Yoga Teacher & Thai Yoga Bodywork Therapist