Resilience: Change Your Story, Change Your Life – February 2018 Retreat

Resilience: Change Your Story, Change Your Life
 Day-long workshop with 
Mike Zeglarski
Friday, 23 February 2018

The 21st Century is not a time for sissies. The world is in turmoil, our political systems challenge us, our lives seem to move faster and faster every year and we are assailed by a continual flood of information delivered via every form of electronic media. But the Buddha and other teachers tell us it is possible to create an island of peace within this storm. As the bamboo stalk bends in the wind, we can learn to flex with the winds of disorder that blow around us.

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences.” Being resilient is about living fully and peacefully no matter what storms are brewing around us. We can’t eliminate all stress from our lives—nor should we want to—but we can choose how we respond to it and how it affects our health and the quality of our lives.

As we see in many of the core activities we share at the Foundation, mindfulness forms the underpinning of healthful practice. With awareness comes the wisdom to make healthful choices to build our resilience. It’s important to be aware of what we can and cannot control in our lives and to let go of our attachment to the suffering we create around those things we cannot control.

And it’s of extreme importance to be aware of the stories we tell ourselves. All our joy and all our suffering are based on our stories. We are story-making machines: it is our nature to have a story about everything that happens around us. What most people don’t realize, however, is that we are not at the mercy of our stories: we’ve created them, so we can change them. This is about identifying the painful stories we hold about our past and simply reframing them to take away their power to harm us. Wayne Dyer has said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

This is powerful stuff! I know because this wisdom has helped me to move out of a state of deep, unrelenting depression to the experience of living a magical life full of promise and opportunity.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Practice a variety of simple mindfulness exercises to enhance their awareness of thought habits that cause harmful stress in their lives
  • Describe and appreciate the difference between harmful and beneficial stress in their lives
  • Identify unfortunate self-talk that brings harmful stress into their experience
  • Reframe negative narratives so as to lessen their ability to disempower them
  • Clearly identify factors in their lives that they can and cannot control and lessen the impact of uncontrollable negative aspects of their lives
  • Build a practice to support healthy habits in the areas of Body, Mind, Relationships and Spirit

The facilitator will utilize the following modalities to assist participants in accessing and retaining information shared in the workshop:

Facilitator presentation (lecture)
Individual and group written exercises
Small group discussion
Large group discussion
Short-term sitting meditation (no more than 15 or 20 minutes per session)
Low-impact meditative movement exercises
Note that the workshop will involve opportunities for individual introspection as well as a great deal of interaction among participants.

Retreat Schedule
9:30-11:00 am

Setting the tone: A Gratitude Meditation

Setting the stage: Stress and Resilience

Creating a vision: The Resilient You

Harmful and Beneficial Stress

Identifying Your Stressors

Blessing the Stressors: A Meditation

11:00-11:15 am

Morning break

11:15 am-12:30 pm

The Circle of Control and Influence

The Stories We Tell

Choosing a Different Story

12:30-2:00 pm

Mid-day lunch break

2:00 -3:30 pm

Moving Meditation: What Stories Do You Have about Your Body?

An Assessment: Body, Mind, Relationships, Spirit

Building an Action Plan: Body, Mind, Relationships, Spirit

3:30-3:45 pm

Afternoon break

3:45 -5:00 pm

Identifying the Negative Stories

Reframing the Stories

Putting the Reframe into Action

Closing Gratitude Meditation

(Note that this is a working agenda. It will be adjusted and customized dynamically during the session based on the interests and desires expressed by the participants)

About the Facilitator
For more than 40 years, Mike Zeglarski has worked to provide people with tools, strategies and insights to help them live full lives personally, professionally, emotionally and spiritually. His educational background includes BA and MAT degrees from Harvard University, as well as a DMin (Doctor of Ministry) degree from Wisdom University, which has evolved into Ubiquity University, an online institution with global reach.

Mike works primarily as a training facilitator for public and private entities in the United States, as a life and management coach for individuals and organizations, and as a facilitator for planning and teambuilding meetings using the vision-oriented Appreciative Inquiry approach.

Just a few of Mike’s activities over the years:

  • US Peace Corps Volunteer for three years in Loei, Thailand, and in Bangkok, teaching secondary-school English and training Thai teachers of English
  • Board chair at Francis House Center, a nonprofit that serves the homeless in Sacramento, California
  • Together with his wife, several years of teaching meditation at a multi-faith spiritual center in Sacramento
  • For ten years, sponsor of a teen spiritual group at the same multi-faith center
  • Serving corporate clients and state and local government agencies through an organization development consultancy he owns with his wifeIn all the work he does, Mike infuses the practice of mindfulness, compassion, and empathy as essential to professional success and personal fulfillment.

In regard to cross-cultural experience and awareness, in addition to his time in Thailand, Mike has traveled extensively to Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America. He speaks Spanish with professional fluency and speaks and reads Thai with conversational fluency. Other languages in which Mike has some knowledge include French, German, Swedish, Italian, Finnish and Turkish.

As one who deeply respects the teachings of the Buddha, Mike’s motto is, at base, “Do no harm.” At best, he strives constantly to express compassion, empathy, and joy.

Additional Information

Places are limited so please sign up immediately so that we can reserve a room for you. For more information, please contact us at

Please DO NOT send your retreat fee prior to registering with us at the above email address.Kindly send an email first to check room availability.

Check-in for outside participants is before 12:30 on February 23. Check out is Saturday, February 24, but there is an option of staying additional nights subject to availability.

Please note that New Life is a non-profit organization. The fee covers only the costs of holding the retreat, including food, electricity, and accommodation.

Please help us spread the word and bring some friends.

We are a vegetarian community. Simple, healthy meals will be served, consisting of breakfast with fruit, eggs, cereal, bread, and yogurt, and Thai-style meals for lunch and dinner. We cannot cater to special diets but do let us know if have any food allergies.

All rooms come with ensuite bathroom, warm water shower, ceiling fan, sheets, and towels. The number of places available is limited so please register quickly.

Retreat fee:

1,900 baht per person, ensuite fan single room.

This fee covers 1 nights’ accommodation and 3 vegetarian meals.

NB: An added cost of 1,000 baht per person per night applies if you wish to stay at the foundation the night after the retreat ends. Please check space availability with us at the time of registration. The retreat fee must be paid in full, in advance.

Please notify us of payment details and send a copy of the transfer receipt so that we can complete your registration.

Want to stay for longer? Enquire about our guest, resident or volunteer programs!

Location: New Life Foundation
No. 49 Moo 1, Ban Samanmit, Don Sila, Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The retreat fee does not include transportation to and from the retreat location. There are a number of low-cost carriers within Thailand and the Asia region if you would like to fly to Chiang Rai. Buses are also a good option. Taxis and tuk-tuks that will take you straight to the foundation can be hired at the airport or bus station.

Travel information

Detailed map and directions

Things to bring:

  • loose, comfortable clothing
  • mosquito repellent
  • torch
  • a refillable water bottle and/or cup or mug
  • your own toiletries
  • a warm jumper or jacket, socks, a light scarf or hat – it can be cool in the mornings and evenings. We provide meditation cushions and yoga mats but please feel free to bring your own if you wish.

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