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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Trancendence in Costa Rica

Mar 30, 2023 01:23PM ● By Sharon Bruckman

Over a decade ago, I met with Brian and Jody Calvi here in Naples to learn about the healing center they had just opened in Costa Rica. As they described their 42-acre tropical paradise situated 2,000 feet above sea level, I immediately put it on my travel wish-list. The couple lovingly cultivated the mountainside retreat with fruit trees, vegetable and herb gardens, and beautiful wooden cabins overlooking the valley and Pacific Ocean.  

As a result of our conversation that day, we created a contest in all 94 of our Natural Awakenings magazines across the country. The lucky winner was presented with a one-week stay at Farm of Life ( For my role in orchestrating the promotion, I also received a complimentary stay, and 12 years later, I was able to finally visit this unforgettable destination.

My daughter Alina and I just returned from a Women’s Wisdom retreat at Farm of Life that brought together 12 goddesses and an enlightened leader, Lacey Budge, who artfully inspired us with yoga and movement classes, hikes to nearby waterfalls, healing circles, fireside chats and heart-opening songs. Delicious, healthy meals prepared by the vegan chef and her crew brought us together for lively discussions around a big kitchen table. 

We were encouraged to walk barefoot as much as possible to connect to the Earth and receive its many healing benefits. It took a few days before I could proudly report to Alina that I had made it all the way up the steep mountain path without any shoes. I attribute my frequent barefoot walks on the beach here in Naples for helping to prepare me. 

As I’ve been wrapping up this special Earth Day edition of Natural Awakenings, I’m still reverberating from my experience in Costa Rica. With fresh eyes, I am looking for new ways to live more sustainably on my little plot of land here in Southwest Florida, and to support organizations and activities that awaken my community. More than ever, here and across the world, we are experiencing the devastating consequences when we do not honor our Mother Earth and all living beings. Time is overdue to become a bigger part of the solution. 

For now, I hope you can find a nice hammock or lovely resting spot where you can wiggle your toes and read the thoughtful solutions and resources we have brought together to inspire you in this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings. 

Happy Spring,

Sharon Bruckman, publisher 

Brian and Jody Calv