Soulcation: Sustaining Mind, Body and Soul

Sustainability is such a buzz word. It weaves its way into so many different areas. We do our best trying to become more conscious of sustaining the environment, sustaining others through philanthropy, sustaining the community by buying local, eating organic, and carefully reading our fashion labels. The list goes on and on. But one often overlooked area is when it comes to ourselves. A true sustainable luxury is creating the time to take care of sustaining our mind, body and soul. To recharge, reset and renew.

We recently heard about a concept that is helping to do just that. A mini-retreat created for the modern professional woman who is looking to be awakened to a sense of possibility through spiritual and physical growth, Soulcation promises to restore your mind, body, and soul with an immersive weekend of personal and spiritual development. It’s a way to connect back to yourself and develop a community of amazing women from all over the world. Sounds good to us! Read on as we learn more about how to sustain our inner and outer #warrior from co-founder of Soulcation, Jessica Manley…

Where did the idea for Soulcation come from? 

About a year ago, I moved back to New Orleans from London and was on the phone with my dear friend and co-founder Laina discussing what was in store for me now that I was Stateside. Laina is an incredible life coach and over the course of the conversation it was clear that we wanted to share our abilities for event planning and spiritual enrichment to help other women figure out their own path. Regardless of age, profession, or relationship status, we realized that most of our friends had the same issues and dilemmas of what comes next in their lives. We wanted to build a community that fostered a strong solidarity around these challenges.

What can someone expect from a retreat? 

We aim for attendees to be awakened to a sense of possibility through spiritual and physical growth. We provide a much needed escape from everyday life to help reignite the magic and transform yourself in the process. Throughout the retreat, we will detox and nourish your mind, body, and soul with delicious healthy meals, supportive yoga classes, the great outdoors, and a community of like-minded women all committed to transformation. Each day we provide step-by-step guidance on manifestation to help you create space in your life while also ensuring you get the most out of your beach recluse.

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Sounds fabulous! How many retreats do you host a year?  

We had one retreat last year and this year we are aiming for 3 – 4. Right now, we do it over a long weekend that typically aligns with the new or full moon. This adds some extra positive vibes in manifesting future aspirations and letting go of unnecessary baggage. It adds a whole degree of mysticism that allows for the weekend to be even more meaningful. We will be hosting some longer retreats later this year outside of the U.S.

What is the group size?

We aim to keep the group of women between 10 -12. One of the most powerful aspects of Soulcation is the ability to freely express yourself and build transformational relationships in the process. That’s why we limit the group size so that each attendee can leave with a new group of intimate friends and experience a truly individualized experience.

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What locations can we find The Soulcation?

So far, we have only hosted retreats in Watercolor, Florida, an idyllic white sand beach town just a few hours from New Orleans. But, we are expanding to Tulum and potentially Ecuador later this year. As our love for travel is a key cornerstone of the company, we aim to continue to expand our locations each year. Perhaps Dubai will be next on the map!

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What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

For me, sustainability is all about minimizing impact on my surroundings. I try to be very conscientious of everything I purchase for myself or others and almost always take into consideration how products were made. I look for pieces that I can give a second life. In fact, vintage is a little bit of an obsession for me. Otherwise, I always aim to find pieces made by artisans, whether it’s local or on a wayward journey. I like to know the story behind the products I choose, and as a result, my home and my closet are carefully curated with these treasures.

One way you personally incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle choices. 

I am very careful about what I bring into my life. I purchase products with an eye towards keeping them forever. For me, it’s not about something you can use once and throw away, but rather selecting products that will stand the test of time.

In addition to Soulcation, we know you personally have your hands in many pies. What are some of your key projects this year? 

I find that I’m much better when I’m busy. Having many passions makes that a necessity. This year I am working with former New York interior designer Sara Ruffin Costello, who now resides in New Orleans, to launch a Southern clothing capsule line. It will feature everyday wearable dresses with an understated French elegance. Stay tuned because these will come out in May and should be a staple for any woman’s wardrobe, no matter where they find themselves.

Since moving to New Orleans, I’ve been very focused in real estate and economic development for the city. New Orleans is such a special place and I think now is the time to capitalize on this to make it one of the best cities in America. It’s a magical place with a certain richness you can’t find domestically. I’ve started working with a few developers here to bring some of the trends I’ve seen elsewhere to my new home.

And finally, I recently launched El Merchante, a brand that will source textiles and other handmade goods directly from artisans around the world. As a perpetual traveler, I became obsessed with artisans and their products I discovered on my journeys. I would continually return from trips and friends would be coveting the objects I brought back. As I studied the world of home decor, I realized there’s a huge opportunity for a brand to produce luxurious, unique products for the home that you feel good about purchasing.

We are launching a Mexico collection this summer and Morocco thereafter. (Editor’s note: Watch our blog for a future post about the El Merchante concept later this Spring.)

For more information on Soulcation weekend retreats and pricing contact info@soulcationretreats.com