O my soul, come, praise the Eternal with all that is in me—body, emotions, mind, and will—every part of who I am—praise His holy name. Psalm 103:1

καρδία (kardia) is Greek for “Heart” — and yet it is all-encompassing in meaning. According to Strong’s Concordance: “universally, καρδία denotes the seat and center of all physical and spiritual life and the vigor and sense of physical life. [It is…] the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors.” When Paul wrote “let the eyes of your heart (καρδία, kardia) be opened” he meant for our entire being—every part of who we are—to be open to the movement of God’s Spirit within us.

Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care: Integrated Spiritual Direction and Caregiving for Mind, Body, Spirit & Soul is designed to provide spiritual direction, compassionate care and integrated instruction in order to live a more fully embodied, whole-hearted life—the καρδία, kardia life! One of the ways we do this is through Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreats, hosted by Jody Thomae, author and teacher on creativity, spirituality and embodiment, at her private home studio, Rooted & Reaching Lakeside, at Pleasant Hill Lake near the Mohican Forest in beautiful North Central Ohio.

lakeAt this incredible soul-renewing location, our greatest hope is to provide a safe and sacred space for you—the whole of you—to come home to your own self, to embrace your body as a BEaUtiful part of your spiritual journey, to nurture the creative spirit within, and to go deeper into the heart of God.

Studio 1Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreats are designed as an opportunity for you to withdrawal from the demands of daily life and set aside sacred time for rest and reflection, prayer and worship, movement and mindfulness, creativity and exploration. Together we journey with sacred rhythms—again and again—in Christ-centered community, spending time in embodied prayer, mindful creativity, YogaFaith practice, Biblical teaching and exploration, and worshipful movement—all along the shores of Pleasant Hill Lake.

With only six to eight participants and two staff members, the REtreat is designed to encourage deep connection with others also on the path seeking to live a more fully embodied, whole-hearted life—the καρδία, kardia life! 3 laughing

This series of Christ-centered retreats revolve around embodied and creative exploration of the following themes: EMBODIED (embodiment); WOVEN (identity); KINTSUGI (healing); and BEHOLD (purpose). These retreats are a chance to withdrawal from the busyness of everyday life and set aside time to return to the heart—the καρδία, kardia—of who you are, in your fullest embodied expression. Spend time in the beauty of creation as together we explore a sacred rhythm that allows both our embodied selves and creative selves to play a greater role in our spiritual lives.

Retreat activities include:Lake 3

  • Mindful Movement including Movement-based Scripture Meditation, Circle Dances, Candlelight Dances & Sacred Dance
  • Christ-centered, faith-based slow, energetic flowing movement (YogaFaith)
  • Nature Walks and other Embodied Spiritual Practices
  • Creative Spiritual Practices including Mindful Coloring, Music, Movies, and Color Exploration
  • Teaching, Bible Study and Devotional Times

You’ll notice we capitalize the RE in REtreat around here. The prefix “RE” is used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition or with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion. REtreats are planned with this in mind, and as you’ll see, themes reflect this as well. 

REtreat Themes:
While they do not have to be attended in the order below, you are highly encouraged to attend the EMBODIED REtreat first, as it sets the stage, explains our rhythms, and provides the foundation for all the other retreats.

1 EmbodiedEMBODIED: the journey of RElease, REverence & REclamation (Embodiment)
For too long we have moved through many aspects of life (work, play, church) with less than our whole selves. But God wants us to worship him with our heart, soul, mind and strength. Come join us on a journey of reclaiming, revering and releasing our embodied selves.

WOVEN: the journey of REmembrance, REvelation & REformation (Identity)2 Woven
Beloved of God, it is time to walk in your true identity! Come join us as we journey together towards remembrance, revelation and reformation as we remember and re-form our identity in Christ as God reveals who we are created to be in and through him… fearfully and wonderfully woven together by the hands of the Master Creator into the trUly BEaUtiful creation you are!

3 KintsugiKINTSUGI: the journey of REscue, REdemption & REstoration (Healing)
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold-infused epoxy. Rather than discarding the damaged and broken, the pieces are mended, and cracks are filled with precious metal and, in many ways, make the object more beautiful than it was at the start. As a philosophy, it is rooted in the inherent beauty of all objects, no matter what they’ve endured. Come join us on a journey of rescuing, redeeming and restoring with Jesus, as we explore the connection between healing and creativity, prayer and redemption, surrender and beauty, worship and wholeness.

BEHOLD: the journey of REsurrection, REnewal & REaffirmation (Purpose)4 Behold
You were created for a purpose! Are your ready for God to do a new thing through you, your life and ministry? Join us as together we explore our personal mission, serving Christ in the kind of incarnational ministry that brings heaven to earth. Together we will resurrect, renew and reaffirm the plans and purposes for which God has uniquely created us as his trUly BEaUtiful masterpiece.

CampfirePlease come join us for this creative, embodied, spiritual journey!

Individual REtreat Cost: $500 each
Includes Friday evening (6pm) through Sunday afternoon (2pm) retreat; breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday; snacks, coffee, tea; all programing materials; two nights of lodging; and special gifts including Jody’s books God’s Creative Gift and Jesus In My Practice. Dinner and additional reading not included. Bring a friend, share a king-size room/bath and each save $100!

Lodging is available at the Blackfork Marken Inn Bed & Breakfast. This charming Victorian Inn wasscreen-shot-2022-07-12-at-11.16.40-am built in the 1860s and is located in the quaint and quirky village of Loudonville, Ohio. Listed on the National Registry of Historical Places, the Inn stands as a testament to the architecture and craftsmanship of the era. Breakfast in the beautifully appointed dining room is provided both mornings. You will need a car (or to carpool) for transportation to/from the lakeside retreat location (15 minute drive). Cost of two-nights lodging with private room and bath is included in the retreat price. Bring a friend, share a room/bath and each save $100. Add an extra night to your visit to enjoy some nearby hiking and recreational activities by contacting the Inn directly.

Private Group Option:
Come enjoy a Rooted & Reaching Embodied Care REtreat for your group alone! If you have a group of six to eight people who would like to experience this retreat together, please email Jody at for more information. Limited private group REtreat dates are all booked for 2022 —reserve your group’s date now for 2023!

EMBODIED: the journey of RElease, REverence & REclamation (Embodiment): November 4-6, 2022
WOVEN: the journey of REmembrance, REvelation & REformation (Identity): TBD
KINTSUGI: the journey of REscue, REdemption & REstoration (Healing): TBD
BEHOLD: the journey of REsurrection, REnewal & REaffirmation (Purpose): TBD
To be notified of retreats and other special offerings please sign up for the Rooted & Reaching email list.


Looking forward to hosting you or your group for an EMBODIED REtreat at Rooted & Reaching Lakeside sometime soon!