• Ronda LaRue

Here's How Healing Happens

I share here the experiences of life healing in a small group spiritual retreat - Yes, It IS Possible!...

This weekend like many others, I watch, as a small group of women arrived, feeling noticeably a bit awkward, expectant, hesitant …not knowing what to expect, afraid they will not be able to break free of the struggles and fears that keep them from feeling whole — tired of the burden of negative self-talk and afraid that they will not ever find their life direction or let go of old self-doubt, fears or regrets that stand in the way.

Here’s the beautiful miracle: Only 24 hours from when we began, I listen and watch, as each person makes that one little mammoth quantum leap and perceptual shift of seeing insight!

As it dawns on each face, the group becomes very silent, rendered speechless and in awe of something so delicate and so strong.

A lightness of being comes on the face of each person (who only a day prior had tight tears from loss of hope).

The shift is palpable in the vibrant stillness. It cannot be explained. No words come close to what is being realized.

And so we sit together in a holy and cleansing opening that each person recognizes as a moment potentized with living transformation- a true awakening; a crossroad, crossed. Each now awakens to the mystery of paradox.

Each now knows something fundamental: that “the issues” aren’t gone away ..but that they are simply “not the issue”! Something much bigger is at hand…

When a heart directly experiences the language of soul, a holy surrender is all it takes to step out of the box of self-mis-identification and into the freedom fields of living purpose.

RONDA ASKS: “What was the one KEY thing you really learned, discovered, or realized during your time here?”


“That the emptiness is where my wholeness lies”

(…"From the mouth of babes", there are the words from one who is seeing from inside of Wisdom!)

And Nadia, her expression of breakthrough coming as a spontaneous freely composed “open song” offered to soul and our group.

And Sharlene, in the realization that her old mistakes and tainted -self, was cleaned and cleared through the act of honoring the labor of loss into love by way of an empty vessel made translucent and ready to be available to life once more…. Beautiful!

COMMENTARY: Carol Bales "Paying It Forward"

Words cannot describe the profound impact of my retreat with Ronda LaRue of SoulArts, Ojai.

How can you describe:

  • at 67 being gripped with the fear of dying before having a chance to live, finally feeling really alive for the first time.

How can you describe witnessing:

  • a phenomenal healer who has helped hundreds heal from diseases such as cancer, yet frustrated with her lifelong quest to heal her very own soul, realize that she doesn’t need to be fixed or healed.

How can you describe witnessing:

  • a gentle woman, who so profoundly yearns for the love of a deceased family member, that suicide is attempted to join him, now finds herself embraced by a self love that overshadows anything possible to obtain from the outside.

How can you describe witnessing:

  • a woman driven with such intensity that she fears wounding those she loves, embracing the strength of that intensity and softening the edges so that it nurtures herself and those she loves.


How did these miraculous transformations occur? Did they take months or years? No, just a day or 2 and sometimes just minutes. Were there tears? Yes. Was there pain? Some, but there was no gut-wrenching reliving of past traumas so common in traditional “therapy.” No one was re-traumatized by the use of the current “psychological treatment du jour.”

So how did these changes come about?

They came with the guidance of a Master teacher, Ronda La Rue. And guess what? This Master was not wearing white robes or sitting on a throne of pillows. We didn’t have to “OM” it in or invoke healing from the angels or our spirit guides. We didn’t have to fast in the desert or meditate on a mountain top. With Ronda’s help we were able to look within and see ourselves as never before.

We looked, we saw, and loved what we saw!

What was different about Ronda’s guidance and that of other retreat leaders I have experienced?

She wasn’t up there and the followers down there. She was us and we were her. Ronda is beautiful, caring, vulnerable, proud, humble, gentle, blunt, wise, childlike, serious and playful and a Master teacher as well. How neat is that?

To me, one qualifies as a Master teacher when their students no longer need look to the teacher for answers but can find the answers within themselves. That is what I am able to do after this retreat. Does that mean I will never do another retreat with Ronda since I can look to myself for answers? Absolutely not!! You do some things just because they feel good. I will attend other retreats, not because I am dying inside but because I again want to feel the safety and unconditional love that I experienced in Ronda’s gentle care.

I want to “Pay It Forward” by sharing this intimate experience with the hope that others may be guided to one of Ronda’s retreats.


Carol Bales


Who can be so lucky as I? Who can be so blessed as to be given the great honor of facilitating and observing the tender transformations of each person sitting here - originally in fear and “caved in self-doubt”, as they let go, open up… and fall in love with their own creative mystery; each one finding a direct experience of insight and wholeness! To directly experience and see a person suffering and lost in an ego-identified entanglement of confusion, become released into the realization of their soul’s own magical language and inner voice of wisdom, is a gift beyond words!

Thank you each who were called through the doorway of pain, to come and sit in our circle this weekend; to engage in the sacred alchemy of inner listening… and to see that it is simply a matter of setting down the need to know, that sets you free into a great inner Knowing :)

To each of you who make the journey to come and sit from a vulnerable place of brokenness, thank you for looking deeply and seeing – for yourself – the wholeness that was being held out to you all along …just outside of the box.

With Love,


Linked below is a podcast extracted from one recorded session of this retreat: It is a meditation satsang on Sunday morning of our closing day together; offered with this prayer to you:

May you, in the listening, hear inside of you, what it only takes to truly change your life and open to your purpose….



LISTEN to FREE PODCAST along with this Blog: The Art of Breakthrough Retreat. “What Does it Take to Truly Change?”

Recorded Satsang Session: 11-11-2012 (33 minutes)

SOME PAST RETREAT (Pardon outdated quality on some of these!)

Republished from 11/20/2012

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