History

Inspirational Journeys was the brainchild of east coast based Dr. Suzanne Nixon and west coast Dr. Greg White. Friends and colleagues for nearly 40 years now, 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 in mind, body and spirit and make positive mental, emotional and behavioral health changes through lifestyle wellness programs based in Whole Health model.

Our Whole Health model is based on the 5 tenants of wellness and is enveloped in wisdom of mindfulness, the value of true connection, and authentic conversations.  When we are in a safe container of acceptance and mindfully present we can we deepen into awareness and awaken to the reality of our health, ourselves and take positive action.  

 

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 Facilitator

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I became aware of the mind-body-spirit connection, meditation, and eastern philosophies as a late teen. I was a high school gymnast and my passion was to become a competitive college gymnast. I was accepted into my top choice college, Springfield College, MA, for it had the best women’s gymnastic team in the county. Well, I failed miserably for I didn’t realize what “the best” truly meant. There was a silver lining to the story, Springfield’s motto - “Mind Body Spirit”, and I seized the opportunities to learn more. My journey into mindfulness, meditation, physical and psychological well-being, eastern religions and spirituality was launched! And, it only grew exponentially from then on out.

I became a seeker, curious about the inner journey - going within and exploring one’s inner landscape through mindfulness & mindfulness, and the outer journey connecting with people, being in nature and learning about diversity and culture. At age 25, I was in a difficult relationship, feeling distraught, disillusioned and grasping to know who I Really Was, I signed up for a 24 day Outward Bound adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With a 40 lbs. pack on my back, I, along with 8 other people, hiked hundreds of miles, secured capons on my feet and climbed snowy mountains, explored caves, ate raw or dried food, lived under tarps, bathed in very cold lakes and learned how to trust a group of strangers and survive in the wilderness. It was life changing, for being in nature and with a group of like-minded strangers, empowered me to cultivate strength, courage, confidence and deepen my feeling of gratefulness for all that is.

Here I am 40 years later, a licensed psychotherapist specializing in the mind-body-spirit connection, somatic therapy, wholistic health and relationship well-being. And, an educator, teaching vipassana meditation to teens and adults, searching to find stillness in the midst of confusion, distress and chaos. I am grateful to have been in professional certification trainings with Masters, Dr. Tara Brach, Dr. Jack Kornfield, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dr. Richard Schwartz, Rosalyn Breyure, Barbara Brennan and seminars with Dr. Daniel Siegal and Dr. Brenan Brown., Bar and at Highly Regarded Universities, Boston University, Virginia Technological Institute & State University and Duke University.

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Having traveled throughout the United States and Internationally, solo, with family, friends and organized groups. I deeply value the experience of being on the road and learning about our world and the kindness, love and acceptance that is truly present. Most influential were the sacred journeys I went on, places that held the mystery of what is, in the UK, Brazil, New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii and New Zealand.

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Inspirational Journeys, LLC was a soulful calling, and I am happy to be able to offer you the experience of learning, living and traveling within and without.


YOGA, MEDITATION, PROFESSIONAL SPORTS COACHING AND TRAINING

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Cindy Deugo’s personal and professional journey has been an extraordinary adventure, blending physical well-being, competitive sport training with eastern contemplative practices and philosophy. She is a living embodiment of what it means to be in touch with your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self, and to “walk the talk”.

Cindy grew up in Ottawa, Canada, studied Exercise Physiology and Psychology at Queens University and went on to earn a teaching certificate from McArthur College. For five years she taught physical education at Canadian High Schools. A lover of adventure, Cindy heard the call to nature, and in her late teens turned to flatwater sports, canoeing and kayaking. Water, was a living teacher, presenting her with great challenges and great accomplishments, and offering the opportunity to cultivate friendships, presence, patience, courage, strength and athletic skills. She began competing and coaching water sports at the National and World levels, and in 2015 was invited to be part of a team that represented Canada in the Queen Liliuokalani outrigger race, the largest long-distance canoe race in the world.

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Expanding her scope of sport, she took an interest in land sports. In 1983, as Triathlon competitions were just developing, she began competing in all distances from sprint to Ironman nationally and globally. Her expertise in racing paired with her high–level athletic ability, launched her into a career of coaching world class athletes as well as everyday people.  The path of awakening, as always, is paved with dichotomies: obstacles, detours, gifts and lessons. When Cindy’s marriage fell apart after relocating to the US, she began living life as a single working mother with two beautiful, young children in Leesburg, VA.  Life was a challenge and a blessing, yet her wings expanded and her true purpose was crystalized.

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Sport and athleticism deepened her connection to body and opened her awareness to conscious presence and conscious living.  She began practicing and studying yoga and meditation. Within months of that opening, she realized she would become a certified yoga instructor.  Cindy incorporated yoga in her training programs with competitive athletes, re-discovered the power of sport and contemplative practice, and will be publishing her book, The Conscious Athlete in the Fall of 2019.  Cindy is truly a midwife to the human spirit, helping people give birth to powerful things from deep inside themselves, through the vehicle of consciousness in sport. She is truly an extraordinary asset to our Inspirational Journeys Retreat Programs and women retreats.


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

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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.