Rest & Renew

As one of the most unique and intentionally created retreats on Vancouver Island’s wild coast, Tofino Hummingbird Cottage holds the possibility of awakening to the gifts within ourselves.

So often, in our daily lives, we forget about our needs as we rush to accommodate everyone and everything. But we need time and space to repose, away from the demands of the world. We need to give ourselves the gift of sea air and the quiet of nature. When we give ourselves time to rest, pause and reflect, we can hear the voice of our inner wisdom and see the direction of our next steps.

Nature rests. So too can we.”

– Vivienne O’Keeffe

Your Retreat Guide

Tofino Hummingbird Cottage is ideally created for those seeking a retreat. As Joan Anderson writes in her famous memoir A Weekend to Change Your Life, a retreat is a time to:

“… find, not seek; relish what comes by chance; repair body and soul; wait patiently; and live into the questions. It is a time to get acquainted with silence – that friend we’ve kept at a distance; a time to be open to the spaciousness of a day; a time to live on the other side, in another world, where spirit, deep thought, and a new kind of wonder can flourish. Above all, retreat is a time to honor all that we have experienced and the way it affects our hearts.”

The idea of retreats or sabbaticals has existed since ancient times. In agricultural societies, sabbaticals happened every seven years. People would rest for an entire growing season while letting their fields rejuvenate. Later, scholars began taking sabbaticals to travel, research, write and inspire fresh ways of thinking. Today, there is an increased awareness of the value of taking a sabbatical to fortify your wellbeing.

One of the locales most conducive to retreats is the seaside. Indeed, the sea’s therapeutic effect on the mind and body is affirmed in several studies, including a 2013 study where 20,000 smartphone users recorded their sense of wellbeing and their immediate environment at random intervals. Not surprisingly, those people living in marine and coastal locations were found to be the happiest, even more so than those surrounded by green space. A stroll by the sea will help you sleep longer too, several studies have found.

As it turns out, humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. That’s why Tofino Hummingbird Cottage’s location between forest and sea is ideal for retreats or sabbaticals of any length.

Rest & Renew | Wellness Retreat | Tofino Hummingbird Cottage
As founder Vivienne O’Keeffe says, “Being near the sea is the perfect place to breathe in possibilities and breathe out self-limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.” As Tofino Hummingbird Cottage is located just steps from Chesterman Beach, you can sleep at night to the sonorous sounds of the waves breaking on the beach and wake to birdsong in the trees.

“Embracing nature’s beauty and becoming more aware of it,” says Vivienne, “boosts our cognitive abilities and moods, promotes healing, and reduces stress and negative feelings.”

The Self-Directed Retreat

Whether you crave an informal relaxation getaway or a soothing retreat with purpose, for example to write, Tofino Hummingbird Cottage offers the serenity you seek. Given our busy lifestyles and obligations, taking even a day for ourselves – much less a longer period – can seem like an unreasonable luxury. But the time can offer inspiration and value that will enrich the relationships to which you return, and drastically alter the ways in which you perceive the world.

Come to Tofino Hummingbird Cottage, whether you desire a quiet meditation retreat or simply a tranquil place to read or write, practice yoga, journal or just to rest and put life in perspective. Onsite massage, yoga and meditation instruction is available upon request.

10 Pillars of Wellness

Tofino Hummingbird Cottage is designed in complete harmony with founder Vivienne O’Keeffe’s 10 Pillars of Wellbeing, which she defines as the essentials in achieving peace, happiness, health and serenity in our lives.

1. Sleep: A powerful restorative for body, mind and spirit. Researchers from Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research in the U.K. report, “Better sleep is the single biggest contributor to living better.”

2. Nourishment: Food is our medicine, and what we nourish ourselves with affects our health and wellbeing.

3. Movement: Moving our body offers stress relief, improved mood, better circulation, improved heart health, boosted immunity and more.

4. Nature: Immersing ourselves in nature reduces blood pressure, regulates our heart rate, eases muscle tension, and decreases the production of stress hormones.

5. Mindfulness (being conscious of being aware): Inner exploration through journaling and meditation allows us to explore and gain insights into our thoughts and feelings. Meditation can take many forms, including walking meditation. Reading inspiring books can also feed growth and development.

6. Going into silence: Silence is golden, because it is in silence that we can listen to the whispers of our soul. Turning off your devices and giving yourself the gift of quiet is not only soothing, it will help regenerate creativity in your life. (Learn More)

7. Light: Just as plants and animals respond to the cycles of sunlight so do we. In fact, light is essential to our wellbeing. That’s why the bedroom, dining room, living room and bathroom lights in the cottage have dimmers so you can reduce your light exposure later on in the day. This will help your body and mind wind down for sleep. And then, In the morning, light exposure, such as opening the curtains and allowing the daylight in, will help your body’s systems to wake up. Sunlight, which produces vitamin D, helps prevent depression, improves sleep and supports our natural circadian rhythm.

8. Love and care: Firstly, we must love and care for ourselves; only then can we truly be present for others whether people, animals, nature. Love is a magnetic force that can cross time and space to heal and restore.

9. Rest and digest: Just as our digestive system needs time to absorb the nutrients from our food, so too do we need time to rest to allow our mind and body to reset and repose. As we become rested, we then have the capacity to assess where we are – and where we are going in our lives. It gives birth to creativity and solutions, and it recharges energy while opening the doors in the fertile garden of our inner landscape to clarity, and provide purpose and a fidelity of life direction, next steps and newfound vision.

10. Grounding: This intentional connecting with the earth’s core can be achieved by walking barefoot on the sand, the forest floor – or anywhere that feels comfortable. Throughout the day, envision and feel your feet connected to the ground and see that connection to the core of the earth. You can do this anytime you feel you need to centre yourself. It will help you feel more present. When combined with the breath, it further amplifies the calming benefits for body, mind and spirit.

Click to expand.

1. Sleep

A powerful restorative for body, mind and spirit. Researchers from Oxford Economics and the National Centre for Social Research in the U.K. report, “Better sleep is the single biggest contributor to living better.”

2. Nourishment

Food is our medicine, and what we nourish ourselves with affects our health and wellbeing.

3. Movement

Moving our body offers stress relief, improved mood, better circulation, improved heart health, boosted immunity and more.

4. Nature

Immersing ourselves in nature reduces blood pressure, regulates our heart rate, eases muscle tension, and decreases the production of stress hormones.

5. Mindfulness (being conscious of being aware)

Inner exploration through journaling and meditation allows us to explore and gain insights into our thoughts and feelings. Meditation can take many forms, including walking meditation. Reading inspiring books can also feed growth and development.

6. Going into silence

It’s very true that silence is golden, because it is in silence that we can listen to the whispers of our soul. Turning off your devices and giving yourself the gift of quiet is not only soothing, it will help regenerate creativity in your life.

7. Light

Just as plants and animals respond to the cycles of light so too do, we. In fact, light is essential to our wellbeing. That’s why the cottage lights in the bedrooms, dining room, living room and bathrooms all have dimmers installed for you to reduce your light exposure later in the day. This helps facilitate the body and mind to wind down for sleep. In the morning, light exposure helps the body’s systems to wake up. Sunlight, which produces Vitamin D, helps prevent depression, improves sleep and supports our natural circadian rhythm.

8. Love and care

Firstly, we must love and care for ourselves; only then can we truly be present for others whether people, animals, nature. Love is a magnetic force that can cross time and space to heal and restore.

9. Rest and digest

Just as our digestive system needs time to absorb the nutrients from our food, so too do we need time to rest to allow our mind and body to reset and repose. As we become rested, we then have the capacity to assess where we are – and where we are going in our lives. It gives birth to creativity and solutions, and it recharges energy while opening the doors in the fertile garden of our inner landscape to clarity, and provide purpose and a fidelity of life direction, next steps and newfound vision.

10. Grounding

This intentional connecting with the earth’s core can be achieved by walking barefoot on the sand, the forest floor – or anywhere that feels comfortable. Throughout the day, envision and feel your feet connected to the ground and see that connection to the core of the earth. You can do this anytime you feel you need to centre yourself. It will help you feel more present. When combined with the breath, it further amplifies the calming benefits for body, mind and spirit.

Wellness Resources

Mental Wellness Initiative Whitepaper
The world is suffering from a mental wellness crisis: Roughly one billion people suffer from anxiety, and one in four people experience mental disorders. This new free and downloadable report from the Global Wellness Institute’s Mental Wellness Initiative answers this need for more evidence-based pathways to mental wellbeing.

Palouse Mindfulness
This online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training course is 100% free, created by a fully certified MBSR instructor. It is based on the program founded by scientist, writer and meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Book Your Stay

If you're ready to book, you can check availability using the online booking system and we will reply to your enquiry.

 

1258 Lynn Road
Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0

Steps from beach access path to North Chesterman Beach