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, meditators in the Buddhist tradition, avid hikers, nature lovers and travel enthusiasts. Here's Suzanne's 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.
Now, in 2016, the platform of retreats and destinations, as well as guest teachers and retreat leaders, has expanded.
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.
This past decade there has been a well of evidenced base research reporting the health benefits of mindfulness and meditation practices. Outcome studies show the effect of these practices on our physical, psychological and relationship well-being.
Our Whole Health model integrates the wisdom of mindfulness with conventional healthcare principles and eastern philosophies and modalities of health. Our philosophy of mindfulness, gratitude and the appreciate for nature, is reflected in all our teachings, and highlights the merits of being present, deepening into awareness, cultivating an open and accepting heart and a spirit of gratefulness.
Dr. Suzanne Nixon
Founder, Owner and Lead Faciltator
From a young age, Suzanne was always physically active and loved playing outdoors in nature. It was during her high school years that she began to engage in women's sports. Suzanne was a skilled "gymi" and co-caption of the Gymnastics Team and Cheerleading Squad. Senior year polls voted her the Most Athletic Girl in the school. In her college years she continued to play sports, and it was then she became aware of nutrition and it's impact on well-being; mediation as a way of pausing, centering and being present and traveling for leisure, play and cultural awareness. These interests took root and years later manifested into 2 private companies: Inspirational Journeys, LLC and Northern Virginia Integrative Therapy Center. Suzanne lives an active lifestyle, follows a personal nutritional program, enjoys a daily mediation practice, and of course loves being in nature, traveling and exploring.
Inspirational Journeys, LLC has provided Suzanne with the opportunity to weave together her formal education & experience in counseling, psychology, education, energy medicine, holistic health and meditation, with her personal passion in wellness, travel, nature, hiking and the healing arts, to create a platform for providing wellness travel experiences and retreats. She has been leading retreats since 2009.
Suzanne is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Bodywork Therapist, professionally trained Integrative Health Coach (Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Center) and meditation teacher (Jon Kabat-Zinn). Over the course of 35 years, she has helped thousands of people in their journey towards greater health, healing and optimal functioning in both their personal and relational life. Suzanne’s professional speaking both nationally, regionally and in the UK, began in 1985. She has given over one hundred professional presentations, seminars and trainings in the field of the mind-body connection, holistic healing and personal/professional ethics, and has given trainings for professional behavioral and massage therapy staff at top destination spas including Canyon Ranch and The Enchantment Resort. Dr. Nixon has published 20 articles for the professional and consumer, and occasionally writes blogs for her website and business organizations. Dr. Nixon is known for her embodied presence, intuitive knowing, skilled facilitation, dynamic speaking and ability to help people make transformational shifts in their lives.
She has traveled throughout the United States and internationally. Prior to the birth of Inspirational Journeys, Suzanne participated in sacred journeys, in England, Brazil and New Mexico; treks in New Zealand and Hawaii; and biking adventure(s) in Maine. Her first experience in adventure travel began when she was 25 and participated in a 24 day mountaineering trek with Outward Bound in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Suzanne maintains a private practice as an Integrative Psychotherapist and an Integrative Health Coach & Wellness Specialist in Virginia.
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.
NUTRITION, MINDFULNESS, HEALTH COACHING, HUMOR
Dave Hellman, B.S., in Computer Science and Psychology, is a certified Exercise Nutritionist (Precision Nutrition), Integrative Health Coach (Duke University’s Integrative Medicine Center) and most recently author of The Karma Sense Eating Plan. In private practice as a health coach, he supports clients from all walks of life who share the trait of being over-scheduled, overwhelmed and yet yearning to be “well”. Prior to entering the field of healthcare, Dave was in the high-tech products sector for over thirty years, and his claim to fame was co-inventing two patents focusing on the clinical data management that served as the springboard for a machine learning and medical informatics startup still active today. He is naturally blessed with an uncanny sense of humor, remarkable memory and insatiable curiosity about the human body and good health.