We offer informative classes in healthy diabetes lifestyle, effective blood sugar management using mind body techniques such as  Tai Chi, Qi Gong, meditation and yoga, dancing and introspective exercises all uniquely designed by Women of Diabetes for their sisters.  


This is a retreat experience for women with diabetes who are seeking something more fulfilling and satisfying in their search for diabetes self-care knowledge and personal empowerment.  The Women's Weekend of Wisdom is designed for women who wish to embrace their connection with each other and their higher knowing self as part of living with diabetes.


Discover the Wise Woman within who knows exactly what she needs to fortify herself and her spirit.  Take this unique opportunity to explore, delight, discover and transform yourself in the company and sisterhood of other wise women with diabetes. 

Our Retreat Model

When the presenters gathered to discuss the benefits of the Solstice Retreat in 2013, we rapidly saw a theme in the classes, experiences and feedback from participants.  On the spot, we identified an acronym that embraces the soul of Self-Care.  We called it D.A.R.E to Self-Care.  


It is a loving challenge to each and every woman with diabetes (no matter her age, ethnicity, or culture) to dare herself to discover what it really means to take care of her diabetes and herself!


What does it mean to be a woman with diabetes?  While we manage the needs of our families and contribute in the home or workplace, we also have to juggle the complex demands of a serious medical condition.  Often we place caring for our diabetes lower on our list of priorities.  We are often reminded by health care practitioner's that our life styles truly matter our abilities to self - manage diabetes.  Yet, it is so very difficult to make the changes necessary for good diabetes self-care.  

D +A + R + E = DARE to Self-Care

Discover Awareness, Respect, and Empowerment


An equation that actualizes our well-being and ability to take back our health in the most loving and responsible way possible.  Each woman develops her own equation for the vast palette of offerings at the Retreats!

Healthy Meals from Local Organic Gardens


We dine in Spirt Fire Retreat Center's formal dining room.  Fresh and healthy foods from vegetarian, vegan and traditional meat fares are lovingly prepared.  Chef Tim is T1 and loves to share his diabetes culinary wisdom and kitchen secrets!

Classes and Workshops on Diabetes Issues and Healthy Lifestyles


Informative classes on healthy lifestyle, stress reduction, and diabetes self-care topics such as:

  • Insulin Resistance, Type 1, Type 2, LADA and other forms of diabetes

  • Neuropathy, skin conditions, and blood sugar testing

  • Juggling the demands of self-care and diabetes management

  • Things your doctor might not know

  • Sexual Health

  • Relationships

  • Stress Management

  • Healthy Eating for people with diabetes

  • Diabetes Burn-out

  • Self-care skills to deal with the challenges of newly diagnosed and advanced duration diabetes 

Left) Gita Patel (Type 2) Dietician, teaching a class on feeding your health.

 Wise Woman's Diabetes Backpack 


Each attendee receives a backpack with information, flashlights, trail bars, juice boxes, glucose tablets, a journal for keeping notes about their experiences and other surprise gifts.  The contents are donated by a variety of private sponsors who believe in the powerful message this Retreat Project is sending women with diabetes.

(Left) Diabetes preparedness backpack contents

Contemplative and Stress Reduction Training 


Meditation classes, stress resiliency and relaxation training with Janet Doucette (type 2), licensed psychotherapist, biofeedback specialist are held in the Retreat Center’s Meditation Hall.  Past Retreats included:

  • Meditation as Medicine

  • Mind Body Techniques for Reducing Stress and Managing Blood Sugar

  • Practicing Self-Kindness and Compassion in the Face of Stress

  • Biofeedback demonstrations

  • Reiki Energy Healing Classes

  • Chair Yoga 

(Left)  Traditional Meditation Class 

Nutrition and Healthy Eating Classes 

Learn about diabetes wellness from Gita Patel, dietician. Food is medicine and there is so much we can do to help ourselves with the right knowledge about the foods we eat.  

  • Joyful Eating with Gita Patel

  • Simply Eat Real Foods (SERF) 

  • Cooking demo classes in the Retreat Center kitchen

(Left)  Healthy Meal Demonstration

Creative Expression


Ann Marie DiNino, our creative art therapist in residence, gently leads her students in developing an inner language of self expression. Explore art and discover your hidden creative talent. Who knew creativity could help you live more effectively with diabetes?  This rewarding experience is not to be missed.  There are projects for everyone! Learn to journal, paint, draw, and express yourself through a number of creative means.  Each retreat has a different theme!

(Left) Collage boards from 2019 Retreat 

Motivation to Move


Judith Jones-Ambrosini takes us outdoors to learn simple, gentle Tai Chi and Qi Gong moves that strengthen our sense of balance, inner symmetry in motion, energy flow and exercise.  

(Left) Judith Jones Ambronsini (type 1), chef and author, leads us throughout the weekend in a series of movement and Tai Chi classes, Qi Gong and Morning Stretch Classes

Charting your Lifestyle Action Plan


Attendees learn new ways to improve their health and happiness from a series of classes at the Retreat.  In this workshop they learn the tools of "putting it altogether.'' Melanie Masdea-Dignum is a behavioral therapist who is an expert in navigating the obstacles to achieving your goals. 

From creating a personal wellness intention, to identifying resources and charting an action plan, she helps women with diabetes make clear resolutions that are realistic and achievable.

(Left) getting prepared to take some notes on readiness for change!

Expressive Dance

Many women with diabetes have a poor body image which restricts them from joining dance and exercise classes.  At the Retreat, women of all body types and sizes join together for an evening of fun.

At the 2013 Solstice Retreat Connie and Dawn, both belly dance teachers, led us in an evening of sensuous and delightful music, learning to sway, undulate, shimmy, and flow. Belly dance is an intimate experience for the dancer; an inner dance of allowing the body the freedom to move in its own unique choreography while conforming the rhythm of ancient, pulsing feminine form.  

Not unlike diabetes itself, Expressive Dance has its own movements and wisdom – its own unique shape and flow.  Each Retreat explores a different form of movement expression.

Creative Dance, Expressive Movement, Belly Dancing and much much more!

Wise Women of Diabetes Ceremony

Each Retreat has a Give-Away/Take-Away Ceremony in which we honor all participants for sharing their personal journeys and the relationships of diabetes sisterhood that have been either newly formed or strengthened during the weekend.  

Each participant brings a gift to share and receives a gift to remind them of the wisdom of sharing time with other women with diabetes.  

Become a Diabetes Women of Wisdom!

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