During the transition from summer to fall, The Uplands hosted thirteen nurses and administrators from the Quality Management and Performance Improvement department at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC. This group of dedicated and close-knit caregivers, overwhelmed with the depth of their workload, entered the retreat eager and finding space for renewal and relaxation. Having recently expanded their team, they also sought a chance to further bond and cultivate their friendships.
Their first evening set the tone for the retreat with relaxed openness and lighthearted energy. Loose, open space punctuated with conversations and laughter among friends and colleagues backdropped the group’s arrival, settling in, and dinner. The Lenox Hill team enjoyed a nighttime sound bath, grounding them further into the retreat space.
Saturday showcased the autumn equinox, and a theme of “rest through transition” arose in the group’s morning yoga class. After breakfast, the team convened in Uplands’ cherry grove for nature-focused ice breaker games which led into a team meeting. As the rain began to fall in the early afternoon, shelter was found in the pool and sauna, and the group continued to enjoy generous open space through the day. While some braved a 4-wheeler “roller coaster” ride through the fields, others cocooned indoors, some retreating to their rooms for naps, reading, and “just being”. Before supper the group played an indoor scavenger hunt, and their competitive nature and playfulness emerged while searching for minute details in the eclectic space. Dinner featured a garden-fresh stir fry, creamy mushroom chicken, kale salad, and a “whole orange” cake, and afterward the group enjoyed each others’ presence and conversation by the fireplace into the night.
A drizzly garden tour started off their last day at The Uplands, during which the Lenox Hill team learned about permaculture and stood in awe of some of the largest sunflowers they’d ever seen. The closing activity was creating a nature mandala, an ephemeral symbol of transmuting suffering into joy, together in the art room. Using a mix of sticks, flowers, and leaves they honored the precious work they bring to this world. The group departed feeling refreshed, reconnected with their team, and ready to integrate their retreat experience into their everyday lives.