Dancing on the Edge:
Answering Your Soul’s Call for Expansion
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An Irish Immersion Experience with Kimberly Schneider, M.Ed., J.D., LPC
Questions? Contact Kimberly
Crawl on your belly
to the edge of the world
at the cliffs on Dun Aengus
and answer me this:
Don’t the Old ones whisper to you
from the misty horizon?
Don’t the waves crashing against
the rocks below call out
as if to say
That even you
in all your insignificance
have something to give?
That what you declare here
And that who you are
in any given moment
From “I Need A Sky that Moves”
©2009, Kimberly V. Schneider
The Irish Immersion Experience with Kimberly Schneider is not just a tour of sites. It is a spiritual journey, a weeklong transformational workshop and an enlivening retreat. While you won’t see all or even most of Ireland, you will touch Ireland’s soul. Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that Ireland’s soul will open your own soul to something ancient and wild within you.
While your soul will be stretched, your capacity for wonder and fun will expand as well. Our journey together will move easily between awe-inspiring treks and toe-tapping music, contemplative moments and group laughter. There will be time for shopping and singing, dreaming and dancing, feasting and frolicking, relishing and remembering, walking and wondering… every part of you will be engaged and welcomed.
An incredible, creative journey into the heart and soul
Going to Ireland with Kimberly Schneider was an incredible, creative journey into the heart and soul! She and several other wonderful guides shared their knowledge of Irish culture, Celtic Spirituality and the love of the Irish people and land. I feel deeply connected and renewed!
Kimberly will draw upon decades of experience as a group facilitator, counselor, transformational speaker, edge-seeker and creator of ritual, dipping into her own heritage and study of Irish spirituality to create a sacred space for you to be present to your own inner journey.
Ireland Retreat Empowered Me to Choose My Own Path
Often I find myself dissatisfied with aspects of my life and wishing things would change. I rarely take the time to identify the problems or look for specific solutions—I just wish for things to be different, or for someone to show me the “right” pathway. This week, spending time with Kimberly and her Irish connections, as well as other travelers, I have realized that whatever path I choose, on my own, will be the right path for me. I can incorporate a wide variety of spiritual practices; I can seek out things that bring me joy; I can truly face life unafraid, content with myself and confident in my own ‘able’-ness.
Imagine yourself in a fishing village on the west coast of Ireland.You open the door to your thatched cottage in the morning to a view of Galway Bay. Two swans circle in the water and the sun is breaking through the clouds.
After a strong cup of Irish tea topped off with the richest milk you’ve ever tasted, you relish eggs and brown bread with soft, creamy butter and a side of fruit, enjoying conversation with your cottage mates. Soon you will gather in the main cottage with other fun-loving spiritual seekers to have a taste of poetry and reflection and learn about the place you’ll be visiting today.
And what a day! Hiking through some of the most dramatic country in the world, stretching your body and mind, smelling clean Atlantic air. After a rain shower you pull your hat off and watch a rainbow spread across the sky above the ocean. Today, you are remembering how to breathe again. You hadn’t realized you’d forgotten.
Yesterday when you walked into the village you enjoyed a steaming bowl of chowder, so loaded with chunks of fresh seafood and vegetables that you couldn’t even finish it. You did, however, somehow find room for that tasty fruit tart before you walked over to Quinn’s store to peruse the local wares. Should you go back tomorrow to get that Irish drum? Or the wool sweater? The tweed fisherman's cap?
Listening to traditional Irish music and visiting sacred sites in this land of raw yet soothing beauty awakens something ancient and yearning in you. You’re not sure where it is taking you but you know you’ll have a chance to write about it in your journal later. For now, perhaps you will delve into the mysteries of life with new friends over a pint of Guinness at one of Ireland’s most famous pubs. Will local musicians be playing in town again tonight? The Irish certainly know how to throw a party! After an evening of reflection, revelry or conversation, you can walk home from your outing and reflect on the day while staring into your cottage’s peat fire.
Your pilgrimage with Kimberly to western Ireland is a celebration of the particular way the soul comes alive in the midst of a magical place. Western Ireland is a land of shape-shifters and dreamers. The rocks and the sea, the moving sky, the soaring cliffs exist companionably with horses, sheep and ancient monuments. Over a period of several visits to this little part of the Emerald Isle, Kimberly has established relationships with locals that allow you to move beyond tourism into an authentic experience of connection with the land, the people and the spirit of ancient Ireland.
The sky dissolves itself again
and again over a startling assembly
of souls offering their disparate
griefs and desires to the ineffable
magic of place.
In this land of shape-shifters and
dreamers the sea becomes the sky
and molds itself into a swollen drop
of moisture, dangling from a naked
branch. It gathers the dying light and
like a kiss, blown into the center
of your soul.
from “Why Beauty Went to Sleep”
©2009, Kimberly V. Schneider
Questions about the trip
What Is the Structure of the Program?
Each day will be different, but on most days, in addition to our visits to local sites we will also gather as a group at one of the cottages for reflection, processing, and poetry. Kimberly will offer perspectives on ancient Irish spirituality and how it speaks to the modern soul, based on her prior visits to western Ireland as well as 20 years of intense interest and study.
You will experience some of Kimberly’s accessible and thought-provoking poetry, as well as the work of other poets inspired by nature and spirituality, to explore the existential questions of meaning, longing, desire, grief, joy, manifestation, and expansion. All poems, reflections and music will be connected to Celtic cosmology as well as the particular activities planned for the day.
Several days will involve journeys outside of the village to sites of spiritual and historical interest. There will be time at each place for quiet, to be with the spirit of each spot and what it evokes in you. Kimberly will share her insights about the places we’ll be visiting, and we will have the assistance of locals who will offer their knowledge and guidance.
Since Irish weather is so variable, daily plans will be adjusted depending on weather, wind and tide.
We will spend a lot of time outside, hiking the trails and woods, moving our bodies and entering into the dialogue between the spirit of place and our own physicality. How does the wind speak to you here? The sea? The moving sky? What message lives in the slippery, cracked grey limestone of the Burren? Or in the swans that swim in the bay just beyond your cottage?
We’ll also be treated to local music, in both ancient and modern styles…a highlight!
“It is one of the perils of our so called civilized age that we do not yet acknowledge enough, or cherish enough, this connection between soul and landscape.” ~Mary Oliver
My experience attending the Ireland retreat/Celtic Soul Experience was life changing!
My experience attending the 2012 Ireland retreat/Celtic Soul Experience was life changing! The opportunity was incredible! Kimberly had a phenomenal week planned for us with amazing people to be with and places to go that provided us with a DEEP connection to Ireland and with ourselves! I am forever appreciative of the guidance to seek and FEEL the spark of God within myself and others!
General Itinerary: (with some flexibility for weather)
Saturday, late afternoon Initial group gathering. Ritual to set intentions for the week. We will come together outside to contemplate the view from our cottages, where the rocky ancient earth of the Burren meets the sea. Here we will begin our exploration of “edges” and “liminal” or between spaces. Between-ness is an integral aspect of Celtic spirituality, for it is at the edges, in the between places, that everything is shifting and un-fixed. The between-ness of the landscape invites us to find the between-ness in our own souls.
After our opening ceremony we will gather for a Welcome Feast.
Sunday through Friday The remainder of the week will be balanced between pilgrimages to sacred sites in and around the Burren, taking invigorating and beautiful hikes, visiting shops and pubs, engaging in ritual, sharing and contemplation, taking in music and poetry, gathering as a group and spending time alone for rest and integration.
We will be staying in a little fishing village on the west coast of Ireland, in small rustic cottages overlooking the bay. The village has several little shops, pubs and restaurants, all within a 5 to 10 minute walk from the cottages.
Staying in one place for the entire week gives us a chance to deepen and become familiar with some local faces and places, spending more relaxed time with each other and ourselves.
Every trip’s itinerary is slightly different as Kimberly builds upon personal connections and discoveries made with return trips to Ireland.
Most mornings will begin by gathering as a group in the main cottage for poetry and reflections drawn from Celtic cosmology and designed to awaken your mind, heart, body and soul to the sights, sounds and experiences awaiting us that day.
On many days we will journey outside of the village to one of the many special places Kimberly has fallen in love with on previous trips, such as:
I might have been lost without Kim
I might have been lost within the dry desert of convention if I had not heard Kim’s call to come to the wild, moist edges of my soul.
Who Will Be There?
An intimate group of seekers interested in spiritual exploration, nature, poetry, and Irish culture will participate. Along the way, we'll meet up with some of the Irish friends Kimberly has made during her previous trips. These lovely people will add local knowledge, lore, humor, talent and charm to our adventures.
Kimberly's groups tend to attract people who are open-minded, good-humored and who appreciate the balance of group connection and quiet time to commune with the sacred spaces we visit. Some are intensely interested in Celtic spirituality, while others are just happy to be in Ireland and have a new experience. We do a lot of feasting (don't believe what you've heard about Irish food--that info is outdated!) and we have a lot of fun, yet this isn't a "pub crawl" sort of experience. While we will visit pubs to listen to music, and many people enjoy a Guinness or two, folks in 12 step recovery are also welcome (Kimberly herself sips water or tea at the pubs). Several people have made the trip with Kimberly more than once because they love the experience so much! So we wouldn't be surprised if we had at least one return traveler, along with a lot of new people. In addition, Kimberly’s Mom, Mary Lou, with whom she has taught many classes and retreats, will assist with the program. Come on your own, or, bring a partner, a friend, or a group of friends. Couples, singles and groups are welcome.
The entire trip and its memories are beyond words
The workshop in Ireland with Kimberly Schneider was beyond any expectations I had. The connection I made to the ground there was beyond words. I did some incredible hikes that I would never have attempted at home and I completed them with nary an ache or pain. In fact all my daily aches and pains disappeared while I was there. Once I returned to home many of them came back. I truly believe that the connection I made to the earth was very healing. It has been three years and I still share my stories. And when I do I get goose bumps re-living the memories.
One highlight of the trip was a hike on private land with a farmer,who was a friend of Kimberly’s. We hiked for 4.5 hours on his land. So pure and untouched, yet we could feel the energy of those that have walked that same ground for 1000s of years. The entire trip and it’s memories are beyond words and still quite profound for me years later.
Where Will We Stay?
Our lodgings are a group of rustic thatched cottages looking out over Galway Bay in North County Clare. Cottages are simple, charming and clean. Each cottage holds four to six people with a living room and peat fire, and includes a kitchen, one shared bathroom with both bathtub and shower, and laundry facilities. There is no wireless access in the cottages; however, a hotel with free wireless is a five minute walk away. Sleeping rooms are shared with one other person, with a limited number of single rooms available for a supplement of $450 per person. If you want a private room, you should register early and pay the supplemental fee to assure your own space. If you are interested in a roomier, updated cottage those are also available for an upgrade of $200 per person (very limited number of upgraded cottages).
How Much Physical Activity Will There Be?
No part of the trip is mandatory. (You can opt out of anything.) The walk into the village for restaurants and shops is easy. Several of the outings, though, will require at least some hiking. Please take this into consideration before applying for the tour.
We will be staying in County Clare, home to The Burren. The Burren is a vast, ruggedly beautiful area made up of grey limestone, grass and Adriatic flowers dropped by the glaciers that formed the rocks. Walking in the Burren calls for complete attention and moment-to-moment presence as the ground is uneven and the deep openings in the limestone, often hidden by wild grass, can create surprises (that may be an understatement for the feeling you have when you find yourself thigh deep in rock).
We have certainly hiked more physically challenging trails in terms of cardio-vascular stamina. These trails, however, call for good balance and mobility. Chronic knee and/or hip problems, or issues with balance/vertigo may make hiking in The Burren too difficult for some people. Activity will range from short walks to a three hour hike at a moderate pace. The trip to the Aran Islands includes either biking or strenuous walks; however, if we visit the Aran Islands, you may opt to ride in a pony cart.
Are Any Meals Included?
Yes. Tuition includes five meals including a welcome feast, a farewell dinner, and a hearty late lunch/early dinner on our hiking day. In addition, pantries and refrigerators will be stocked with a few essentials to allow you to make breakfast for yourself in the cottage for at least two or three days (this accounts for two of the five included meals). After that, you can replenish your pantry and refrigerator as you wish from local stores in the village. For budgeting purposes, plan on spending 10 to 20 Euros per meal you wish to eat out. We include a range because dinner is generally a little more expensive than lunch and also to account for a variety of eating preferences. You could have a huge hearty bowl of fish stew with brown bread and Irish butter that would more than fill you up for 10 euro or less. If you want to save even more money, stock up on some groceries and eat a few lunches or dinners at home in your cottage.
What Should I Wear?
Choose your clothes with comfort, breathability, ease of washing and wearing in mind. Bring layers as we could experience huge temperature variability on our hikes. Also we STRONGLY SUGGEST quality hiking shoes/boots and waterproof jackets. You’ll receive a detailed packing list once you have registered for the tour. Washing machines and dryers are available in the cottages.
Kimberly has studied, taught and written about Celtic spirituality for nearly twenty years.
When Kimberly and her Mom Mary Lou fulfilled a decades-old yearning to visit western Ireland in 2009, it was a cellular and soul reawakening for them both, a connection to heritage (Kimberly has Irish roots on both sides of her family) and to a way of being in the world that has all but disappeared in modern American culture.
Kimberly knew that the trip was not just a personal watershed, but also another dream coming to fruition: a dream to journey to sacred places around the world with other spiritual seekers. She wanted to offer her gifts of poetry, presentation, group facilitation, ritual and meaning-making in some of the globe’s most magical places. In Ireland, she knew she’d found the place she wanted to start.
Kimberly is popularly known as “The Manifestation Maven.” She is the author of the book Everything You Need Is Right Here: Five Steps to Manifesting Magic and Miracles and the Audio CD, Terrible Beauty: Poems and Reflections for Precarious Times. Kimberly teaches Communication at Washington University in St. Louis and has been a regular contributor to Great Day St. Louis television show and The Healthy Planet Magazine. Kimberly is a poet, transformational speaker, licensed professional counselor, edge-seeker, dancer, lawyer, group facilitator, life and business alchemist, wife and mother to two extraordinary children. She empowers disenchanted dreamers to manifest magic and miracles here and now.
Our first group activity will begin late afternoon on September 10, 2016.
Plan for your flight to arrive at SHANNON airport (not all carriers fly into Shannon, be sure to choose one that will take you there) no later than 2:00pm on Saturday, September 10, 2016. For North Americans, this means departing no later than Friday, September 9.
GETTING TO the village…We suggest that you arrive in Ireland a day or two early if you can, to get acclimated to the time difference and dip your toe into Ireland before our experience begins (but that is up to you). Cabs are readily available at Shannon airport and can be hired to take you anywhere you want to go. You are welcome to rent a car if you like but you will not need one during the week of the tour. (Please note: driving in Ireland means driving on the left side of the road. If you aren’t an adventurous and skilled driver you may want to make other arrangements to get to the cottages). Once you get to the village, we will have transportation for our group to all of the activities, and the pubs, shops and eateries of the village are a 5-10 minute walk from the cottages.
You will need to make your own arrangements to return to the airport or continue your trip after our tour is over. The festivities will go into the late evening of Friday, September 16 so we suggest that you not book a flight out of the country until later in the day on Saturday, September 17 if possible. The Cab driver who brings you to the village may be happy to make prior arrangements to come get you at the end of your stay; otherwise you can contact one of the airport transfer services directly. Some people make these arrangements online before coming on the trip.
Each participant needs a valid passport. If you already have a passport, please check the expiration date, since passports need to be renewed periodically. Also ensure that there are enough blank pages for exit and entry stamps. Blank pages can be added to a still valid passport at the places where passports are obtained. For United States residents, there is always a significant back-log of passport applications, so you should apply immediately.
At present, no visa is needed for entry of U.S. citizens into Ireland. If you are coming to Ireland from elsewhere, please check the requirements for travel to Ireland from your country of origin.
Total cost for the tour is $2,900. Please scroll down to see a list of everything included (and not included) in the tuition price. You can pay by check, credit card or money order: If ALL payments are made via check or money order, you will receive a $100 discount, reducing tuition to $2,800.
PLEASE NOTE: TUITION ASSUMES A CONVERSION RATE OF NO MORE THAN 1.5 DOLLARS TO 1 EURO. SHOULD THE CONVERSION RATE RISE BEYOND 1.5, THERE WILL BE A SMALL SURCHARGE OF $100 TO COVER ADDITIONAL EXPENSES FOR GUIDES, TRAVEL TO SITES, LODGING AND MEALS.
A limited number of private rooms and upgraded cottages are available for a supplement of $450 for private room and/or $200 for upgraded cottage.
Deposit due with application: $500 (add $450 for private room and/or $200 for upgraded cottage if requesting those enhancements)
1st payment due February 1, 2016: $ 1,200
Final payment due April 1, 2016: $ 1,200
[final payment is only $1,100 if all payments are made by check or money order]
What the trip price includes
- Kimberly’s services as seminar leader, speaker and group facilitator.
- Accommodations for seven nights, September 10th-September 17, 2016 (leave morning of September 17).
- Admission to all sites.
- 5 meals.
- Entertainment by local musicians.
- All transport to destinations on the tour.
- Local guides.
- Most meals
- Transportation to/from the village.
After you are accepted on the tour, if you need to withdraw your application prior to February 1st, we retain 10% of the trip cost, or $290. After February 1st, because planning for this program requires a significant outlay of funds by the facilitator, any refund depends upon our ability to find someone to fill your place. If there is a waiting list and we have someone to take your spot, you will receive a refund minus the $290 administrative fee. Otherwise, you remain obligated for the entire cost of the program. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you obtain trip insurance to cover your investment. This is a minor expense relative to the trip and can provide you with peace of mind.
Bring money for meals, drinks etc. - more if you wish to buy local crafts, wool sweaters, gifts, jewelry and the like, or if you plan to dine at higher end restaurants. Also include money for transportation to and from the village.
The currency in Ireland is the Euro. You can change money or traveler's checks at Shannon Airport, which also has an ATM. There is only a traveling bank in Ballyvaughan, where we will be staying, with rather unpredictable days and hours. Even when you can find ATMs in rural Ireland, they sometimes run out of money, so it is best to have some cash on hand. Many, but not all, of the restaurants and shops in the village accept credit cards.
Please obtain insurance to cover baggage loss/damage, accidents and trip cancellation in case of last minute illness or injury. As discussed in the cancellation policy, your trip fee is not refundable after February 1, 2016. If you are an American Express Card holder, they offer trip insurance, or ask your travel agency whom they recommend.
Applying for the Experience
I have traveled to many parts of the world, including Hawaii, the Caribbean, western Europe, Brazil and all over the U.S. No experience has captivated my soul as much as my visits to this magical part of the world. I am absolutely thrilled to be bringing a group back with me again. I look forward to opening a door to the Otherworld for you on the wild western coast of Ireland!
To apply for the tour, please
- choose a payment method below
- send your deposit via your preferred method
- immediately download the application and return it to us.
Questions about reserving your spot?
If you need more info, please Contact Kimberly. Space in this program is limited due to the number of available cottages and the small group elements of the workshop.
Reserve Your Spot on this Magical Pilgrimage Today!
Option #1: Pay deposit by Credit Card
To make arrangements to pay on 2 different credit cards, please contact us first via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Option #2: Payments by check or money order-Save $100:
For payment by check, please Contact Kimberly then download application below.
Please mail the completed application and your check deposit of $500 (plus supplement of $450 for private room and/or $200 for upgraded cottage, if you are requesting those enhancements) to:
Kimberly Schneider Communications
1324 Clarkson/Clayton Center, Suite 177
Ellisville, MO 63011
We will deduct $100 from your final payment when paying by check.
Photography by Maddie Willis, Lynn Merves, Jose Avila & Kimberly Schneider