top of page


The Affluent Soul 

A Gateless Writing Retreat

June 21-24, 2018 

Epona Rise Retreat Center, Kamloops B.C.


What is a Gateless Writing Retreat?

At its core, a Gateless Writing retreat is a genuinely held space purposely designed to elevate, nurture, and celebrate your unique creative voice coming through the written word. In a Gateless retreat, the hub of the experience is the salon-style writing sessions during which we gather and share what we’ve brought to the page. You may be working on an existing piece of writing or feeling the pangs of a literary seedling pushing up through your creative soil. A Gateless Retreat offers the support, tools, space and nourishment to encourage its growth. 


Who would join this retreat?

This retreat is for anyone with a desire to create something from the truest expression of Self.

The medium for this retreat is the written word, however, you do not need to be a writer! What you express in this retreat may simply be the gateway to what’s next on your journey. You need only bring that spark of creativity that moves in us all.

Perhaps you are a seasoned, well-worn writer. A Gateless Retreat may open a new doorway to your writing life, a more expansive view of your literary landscape and a fresh way to move with your words.

If you crave uninterrupted space, time, and creative inspiration from nature, this is what you will receive in abundance.


What makes this retreat exceptional?

A blend of several experiential elements makes this retreat Alchemical.

Each inner and outer adventure is designed to encourage a deepening, opening and expansion of your connection to your creative genius, your muse, your voice.


Here are the elements you will experience:


Inspired Writing Salons

Daily Gateless Writing Salons encourage connection to the written word through peaceful, undisturbed expanses of time curled up in a chair enjoying the rise of mountains out the window, nestled into the foot of a tree in the woods, or cooling your toes into a mountain stream. This delicious writing time is followed by tribe support through sharing, listening and uplifting one another’s creative expression. The feedback time is all about noticing your genius, where your words shine and discussing what moves the listener.


Horse Medicine 

Under the brilliant guidance of Hillary Schneider, a Coach and Equine Guided Facilitator, you will experience a magical and intuitive experience with the herd of 16 horses that roam free on the land. This interaction with the herd will encourage greater depths of self-reflection, self-actualization and written expression. 


Yoga & Meditation

Led by a seasoned and beloved Yogini our day will begin with a gentle Yoga and meditation practice, a time of dropping into the stillness and intention to unfold the day. 



Sacred Ceremonies will encourage dropping into connection with and celebration of the land, the power of nature and any spiritual essence you hold dear. 


Culinary Beauty- It's All About the Food!

Fully catered, satisfying and delicious communal meals will nurture the body as well as our connection to one another. 


Chill out

Whether we are gathered around a campfire or the supper table laughter, fun and free time are guaranteed to wrap this entire experience in lightness.


Gateless Writing Coach Session Post-Retreat

To keep the magic alive in your day-to-day, you will receive a one-hour coaching jam session around your writing with Mel via phone or skype in the days and weeks following the retreat.



Where will the retreat take place?

This exceptional retreat takes place at the stunning Epona Rise Retreat Center. This luxurious wilderness retreat is set in the rugged mountainous interior of British Columbia, just North of Kamloops. The retreat center is a mere 45-minute drive from the airport.

Epona Rise Retreat Center offers a spacious, light-filled and inviting main lodge where we’ll gather to share words, inspiration, meals and laughter while taking in a view that will drop the jaw. For privacy and a good night’s rest, you’ll enjoy elegant, cozy cabins with all the luxuries of home minus the distractions and duties. All of this is set on 80 acres of wilderness that is ours to explore and connect with.  



A bit about Mel, your guide... 

I would say, first and foremost, I have spent my life coming into alignment with my fullest expression, my Affluent Self. Even at a young age, I understood the importance of being your Self and bringing that to the world. At the end of the day I’ve discovered I am a creative spirit with an overflowing need to share the good stuff, the magic, the genius.

There is nothing I cherish more (besides uncontrollable laughter and a really cool pair of Converse sneakers) than guiding others in the expansion, evolution and discovery of their stellar brilliance. Being a Gateless Writing Coach and a writer allows me to play in this alchemy every day. I have a thriving Somatic Therapy and Clinical Counselling practice in Kelowna, B.C., and I love teaching yoga and meditation on the side.


Trees, woodlands and forests are family, home, and medicine for my Soul. Any nature setting is both a balm for my spirit and a channel for my muses. There is no place in which I meet my Self more completely. For this reason most of my time, spare or otherwise, is spent hiking, skiing, exploring, running and writing in the woods, accompanied by my wonder-dog Slim Jim.


A Few Words of Encouragement from Happy Alumni Retreaters


"Mel's workshops and retreats are whole-food for the soul. I leave feeling renewed and full of energetic creativity." Alix H


"I cannot put into words how helpful and beneficial Mel’s retreats have been for me. Through her guidance, I have found my confidence, my hope, my desires, and my happiness. She has shown me so much and continues to inspire me every day. If you have a chance to meet with and share insights with her, do not hesitate. You will only benefit. "   Amber B


"Mel has an intuitive gift for setting the scene to create safety, inspiration, fun and connection in equal measure. If you value belly laughing, beautiful tasty food, and connecting with yourself and others, Mel delivers; her workshops are original, meaningful and authentic - just like her."  Tanya W.S.


"I feel so blessed to have been able to attend Mel's retreat. The whole experience from the moment I arrived was incredibly positive, powerful, and gratifying. I not only learned a lot about myself but I also met some amazing people who inspired me and motivated me to keep going on my personal journey. I'm forever grateful for this experience."    Barb H


"Take time to pause, breathe and reflect. Mel has a gift for inviting and fostering clarity. Join her and your "self" for some meaningful reflection, questioning and the setting intentions. Think of it as a massage for your soul."   Deanne L



Pricing and Other Logistics

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION-sign up by APRIL 15th: $1350+gst CAD (double occupancy)

Double Occupancy Cabin (Two double beds)- $1850+gst CAD 

Single Occupancy Cabins (One queen bed)- $1975+gst CAD (there are 4 available, first come first served)


Payment options are Paypal to Living Balance OR E-transfer to


A down payment of $300.00 is needed to hold your sacred place in this retreat. It is non-refundable except in the case of medical emergency or a death in the family.


Prices include everything but the wings and wheels that get you there.

Shuttle Service to and from Kamloops Airport - by request


Wifi and other office amenities available in the main lodge. Enjoy being unplugged in the cabins.


To learn more about: 

Gateless Writing: www. 

Epona Rise Retreat Center: www.

Hillary Schneider:


Contact Mel if you would like more details.




bottom of page