Costa Rica Diary: Setting Intentions

It’s our 5th day here in Nosara, Costa Rica, and we are so excited to finally have all of the winners of The Pura Vida Sweeps here with us!

Seeing all of their smiling faces as they arrived at the retreat center was such a special moment. Hugs were shared all around, and I think everyone felt an instant bond with one another. All of the girls settled in and immediately hit the pool to relax before Rachel Brathen hosted an intimate welcome circle to kick off the week. With so many new faces, having traveled a long way from all parts of the U.S., this was the perfect way for everyone get comfortable with one another.

Dusk fell as we made our way to the yoga pavilion. Rachel and her assistant Dennis were waiting for us, and the smell of burning Palo Santo filled the room. We formed a circle as Rachel lit a single candle and placed it in the middle, providing the tiniest, but warmest bit of light. One by one, everyone introduced themselves, and stated what they were looking forward to on this experience. Personally, I’m most excited to see how my body reacts to a week of two-a-day yoga classes, and to open my mind and search for a more spiritual self. One thing that Rachel brought up during our welcome circle really struck me though: Each person who won this trip was chosen at random from a random number generator, but really, it’s anything but random. Everyone, including myself and the rest of the team, has a purpose for being here. Everyone sitting in that circle has been brought to one another for a certain reason. That reason might not be clear, but this journey is going to help us find it.

Rachel passed around a deck of angel tarot cards and everyone pulled one out from the deck. The cards we chose would help us to set our intentions for the week ahead. I chose the card that read “Change In Direction.” This card couldn’t have been more true to things I’m experiencing in my personal a life, and as everyone shared what cards they pulled, I started to get a feeling of pure happiness. A fast connection was being formed, and a sense of love and unity was present within the group. It’s really powerful and special to be a part of something like that.

That night before bed, everyone set their intentions for the week and wrote them down in their journals. As this trip unfolds, I think we are all curious to find out what we learn about ourselves, and I think we are all eager to find our individual purpose for being here. This experience so far has been incredible, and the energy all around us is strong and inspiring. It feels good and I’m excited to see where it takes us next.

rachel doing yoga

lighting stick

dark room

angel card

writing intention


house decoration


outdoor setup



yoga and light

looking out at view

everyone doing yoga


sipping tea


group walking

everyone at dinner

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9 years ago

Loving these sunny photos! Have a great time in CR everyone! :)

9 years ago

Love, love, love these images!

9 years ago

These images are breathtaking. I’ve always wanted to travel to Costa Rica.

– Claire from

9 years ago

beautiful! i hope you ladies have an inspiring and soul searching trip full of love and light!


9 years ago

the view from the yoga shala is amazing! What a wonderful place to practice.

Maria Soto
9 years ago

Gorgeous pics! Super bummed I missed out on this amazing opportunity! I hope you all have a wonderful time! ☺️

9 years ago

Looks perfect! I’m really craving a tropical vacation!

9 years ago

Stunning place and photos. Enjoy the journey! X x

Great blog! Stuart A. Kaplowitz, MFT

Sue T
9 years ago

Beautiful photos. I’m ready for a change in direction too.

9 years ago

Stunning words, stunning photos, also really stuck on that beautiful moonphase tattoo

9 years ago

What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing your words and beautiful photos.