Breathing Spaces is a wellness initiative that invites our clients to explore the healing places of mind, body and spirit through simple and accessible wellness practices. At the heart of the Breathing Spaces initiative is the Community Wellness Program that provides a diverse range of complimentary healing modalities to community organizations that serve those who are underserved.

photo of hands massaging someone elses hand

The mission of the Community Wellness Program is to provide persons in need as well as those who care for them with wellness protocols that restore a sense of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual integration and balance. As we experience the power of our own inner healing energies we are better able to effect change in our outer realities. As each person moves toward well-being and an accompanying positive sense of self-awareness and self-care, the surrounding community is likewise transformed. This is the essence of community wellness.

Wellness Practices 

Trauma is a chronic and debilitating condition experienced by many people who are marginalized by mental and physical illness, homelessness, abuse, addiction and many other difficult life situations.  Trauma traps energy in our mind, body and spirit robbing us of the stability, clarity and confidence to seek solutions. The Community Wellness Program offers holistic practices that begin the process of gradually releasing trauma.  These practices are designed to unblock curative and creative energy and move participants beyond their fears and hesitancies into the larger places of their hopes and dreams. It is indeed like opening up breathing spaces in the soul.

Some of our wellness practices include:

  • Acupressurewoman leading a yoga class on a mosaic are in town square type area
  • Creative Art
  • Qigong
  • Tai Chi
  • Touch for Health
  • Spiritual Focusing
  • Drumming
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
  • Improvisation
  • Journaling
  • Meditation
  • Visualization
  • Play Days

How does the program work? 

The Community Wellness Program comes to your organization to provide onsite services. We offer a flat consultation rate based on a flexible service plan that offers a range of wellness programs on a weekly, monthly or one-time basis. All our practitioners are certified or licensed in their particular field. If you would like more information about engaging our services, please visit our website or feel free to contact us.

Spiritual Direction

Mary Byrne Hoffmann, M.Div, is a certified spiritual director with 16 years of experience in listening to and accompanying people who are discerning the presence of the Spirit in their lives. In particular, she works with individuals who are finding their way through the following life challenges:

  • Seeking balance and meaning in their lives;
  • Moving into or through their wisdom years and exploring the spiritual landscape of “refirement”;
  • Embracing the particular callings of mid-life;
  • Suffering from trauma;
  • Struggling with addiction or are in recovery.

Her holistic approach integrates spiritual direction with wellness practices and dream work.

She welcomes all who yearn for Divine Presence in their lives regardless of their faith tradition or spiritual practice.

Mary Byrne practices in San Diego, CA.

Retreats and Workshops

Our holistic retreats integrate spirituality, wellness and play through reflection, meditation, movement and creativity. All retreats and workshops can be presented in one-day, weekend and multi-day formats. In addition, these retreats can be formatted as an ongoing weekly or monthly series.

Been There … Done That … Now Play!

There comes a time in a life well-lived when the writing is on the wall: ENJOY! This retreat invites you to step outside the box of traditional retirement and leap into the possibilities of refirement … a time of sparks not embers! Join us on a mind-body-spirit adventure into the gracious spaciousness of delight to refire your passion, energy, and creativity. This is your time to play with Divine Imagination to create the next wonder filled stage of your life. Come prepared to be surprised!

This is a timely retreat for anyone is retired or thinking of retiring.

A maze scratched into the sand at a beachTending the Rite of Passage: The Spiritual Gifts of Transition

The Rite of Passage is the story of our journey to wholeness. Since ancient times, the Passage has been a metaphor for our spiritual response to major life events (birth, marriage, divorce, illness, death) and pivotal developmental stages (adolescence, mid-life, retirement) that can open the door to a deepening consciousness of being fully alive. This multimedia retreat uses story, film, movement, reflection and creative expression to explore the mysteries that mentor our souls through the four stages of the ancient Rite of Passage: The Known, The Unknown, The Dark Night, The Return. As we move through each stage of transition, nourished by the wellspring of spiritual practices, we arrive at the other side of our individual story into the universal story of transformation.

Recommended for individuals or communities in the midst of transition and for parents, teachers, wellness practitioners, clergy and caregivers who are guiding another through life changes.

SunsetBreathing Space: Awakening to Presence in the 21st Century

How do we make space for the One who breathes through us in a world that leaves us breathless? This retreat invites you to plug out of the Internet culture of distraction and overstimulation and plug in to the “Innernet” spirituality of simplicity and abundance. The intent of this retreat is to usher you to the portal of the gracious spaciousness of breathing space – that place where you encounter the Divine through the contemplative practices of stillness, silence, surrender and gratitude. By awakening ourselves to Divine Presence in the midst of life’s many demands, we open ourselves to life’s many possibilities for Joy!

Sunny day shorelineThe Return to Longing: Finding our Way Home (For Persons in Recovery)

At the core of our craving for the oblivion of “spirits,” is a deeper longing for the presence of Spirit.  In recovery, we nurture that longing with a daily spiritual practice. But the intoxication of a culture of distractions – internet, texting, Facebook – can subvert our good intentions and pose tantalizing challenges to spiritual sobriety. In this retreat, we will explore the four pillars of contemplative practice – stillness, silence, surrender and gratitude – in the context of AA spirituality and life in the 21st century.  In so doing, we continue to find our way to the place where we dwell in God and God dwells in us – a place called HOME.

For more information, visit our contact page.

Breathing Spaces

Every morning, the Breath that breathes through us reminds us that we are not alone and in that mystery there is great comfort and great unsettling. And so we humbly and gratefully ask for the courage to be present for it all.
- Mary Byrne Hoffmann