Personal coach Shelly Modes works with people of all ages, co-creating the kind of life they dream about. Using a bold, fearless, no-holds-barred but gentle approach, she guides clients through their blocks to their ultimate happy place.  Shelly is also a speaker and writer. In the interview below, Shelly shares with readers the important role retreats have played in her life and why everyone could benefit from a retreat!
STUDIO BE: Shelly, please tell our readers a little about yourself?
SHELLY:  That question always stumps me at first. A “self” is so multilayered that sharing just a little of myself never seems like quite enough. So, let me start with right now.
Right now, I’m into discovery. I am studying connection, expression, relationships, and addiction and the effects of addiction on the family including past and future generations.
I am a writer, a speaker, a thinker, and a feeler. I am a woman devoted to pure love, on a heart and soul mission to do my best work for the greater good of all. I most love to have fun, laugh, dance and sing with my kids, my friends, my family, and my people.
I am learning how to listen to my spirit calls. I’ve discovered the enormous benefits of taking exquisite care of your mind, body and spirit, and the positive effects it has on your soul, your life, your relationships, the work you are meant to bring forward and your deepest creativity.
STUDIO BE: What role do retreats play in your health and wellness?
SHELLY: Retreats have been where I’ve had some of the most fun, done my deepest personal healing, and had my most powerful connections restored spiritually by being intentionally disconnected from outside demands and obligations.
I feel like the moment I step out of my house to go on retreat I step into a threshold of enchantment. I come home more connected with myself, my desires, my heart, and as well as feeling a deeper sense of grounding. The more grounded, connected and soul nourished I am, the better mother, friend, sister, daughter, community member, and human I feel like I am.
I am much better at handling the challenges life brings when I take care of myself by taking the time to relax fully, making time for the things I enjoy, experiencing healing with spiritual guides and practitioners, and being able to make choices just for me.
STUDIO BE:  You’ve been on four different retreats this year. Which was your favorite and why?
SHELLY: That is a hard question to answer! They all held such meaning, purpose, and fun. Everywhere I went I was so well taken care of.
I’ll tell you some of my favorite moments from each one.
In Seattle, on a one-on-one personal retreat, I got to experience Equine guided soul whispering, which is an experience done with horses. Horses mirror and respond to our personal energy. It is a way to learn about your own energy, boundaries and fears.
In Bali, I traveled with a close friend and we stayed with six other women from around the world, none of whom had met each other before the retreat. My favorite moment was doing the Balinese blessing ceremony and yoga the first night with the group of women.
The Bali retreat was also my favorite in terms of fun and food. We had an amazing chef on staff at the retreat space. I always felt well fed and loved gathering together for meals with the other women. I also learned how to surf on this retreat, and the surf instructor was a magical badass of a woman.
On the Eastern Shore, I was with my two daughters, 10 and 14. Escaping technology and personal demands, we laughed and played and told stories. It was dreamy.
My favorite moment was probably the most emotional moment and not the most fun but so important. It was a moment of sharing our deepest feelings about a topic affecting our family. They were able to open up in a safe, non-judgmental environment and express themselves freely. It created a deeper bond between us and became the impetus for important change and communication at home.
In New Mexico, another one-on-one retreat, I felt the deepest spiritual connection with nature and was able to hear my soul calls the clearest. I’ve just returned from a week there where I stayed three days in a tipi and met with a sage guide who has been practicing her kind of medicine for 40 years. New Mexico was the most beautiful landscape and the most personally moving.
STUDIO BE: Who is the ideal candidate for a retreat?
SHELLY:  Everyone is the ideal candidate for a retreat. I am so pleased that retreat opportunities are growing.
I feel like when someone starts to feel called to travel solo or to “get away” from a life that feels more than its fair share of demanding, that it’s your spirit calling for a rest and reconnection. That is the ideal candidate. Sometimes that whisper of need is so hard to hear among outside chatter of all of our obligations.
Helpers, caregivers, the kinds of people who are so generous and giving of themselves before caring for themselves are the people who most deserve a retreat but rarely take them. We all deserve exquisite care. Sometimes we don’t even know what that means until we experience it.
When your mind, body and spirit feel deeply nourished and rested, you can begin to become the best version of yourself. The most beautiful, calm, meaningful version. By giving yourself over to the care of someone else and disconnecting from all the outside demands, you are able to tend to your own soul, your own heart, and do whatever it is that YOU choose to do. Your brain comes off high alert and your creativity, your vibrancy, and your energy is restored and replenished.
STUDIO BE: You and Carla are hosting an upcoming retreat in Mexico at Casa OM, April 10 – April 16, 2016. Could you tell our readers more about the trip and what it includes?
SHELLY:  I am SO excited about our upcoming retreat. It is a dream of mine to provide the space for the kind of experiences I had this year for other women. I’ve tried many different modalities of healing, of exploration, discovery, relaxation, and inspiration. I am thrilled that Carla and I have teamed up to create a retreat for the women of the Studio BE Pilates community to feel what it feels like to JUST BE.
The trip is a full mind, body, spirit experience. It includes luxurious accommodations, Pilates and yoga daily, attentive service, exquisite care, gourmet meals, as well opportunities to explore places like Isla Mujeres (Island of the Goddesses), visits to the local spas, participation in inspirational and spiritual gatherings, and relaxing on the beach or poolside in the hammocks. We plan to indulge all of your senses while taking wonderful care of you.
STUDIO BE:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?
SHELLY: I would like to personally invite everyone on the April retreat with us. Space is limited though so I know that everyone won’t be able to attend. I also know that there are 12 of you out there that the retreat is calling to. I am very curious about who you will be and what magic your hearts are holding for this trip. It’s the beginning of something very special and magical for me. I am counting the days until we all get together!

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