Interview with Jacquelyn Strickland, therapist, coach and promoter of International Gathering Retreats for Highly Sensitive People since 2.001
Jacquelyn Strickland, Licensed Professional Counselor, is the co-founder, along with Dr. Elaine Aron, of the HSP Gathering Retreats since 2.001. Dr. Elaine Aron is a research psychologist who has devoted over 30 years to researching the genetic trait of Sensory Processing Sensitivity, or highly sensitive people. Jacquelyn has empowered and inspired hundreds of men and women by helping them understand this unique trait and to see and manifest the many gifts they have to offer the world
Now, we are travelling to the other side of the Ocean, and we are happy to interview Jacquelyn Strickland, who has been Licensed Professional Counselor since 1993. She is also a coach, workshop leader based in Ft. Collins, Colorado. She has been a certified trainer in the Myers Briggs personality assessment since 1991. Her counseling and coaching practice specializes in blending therapeutic principles and coaching strategies with a spiritual foundation.
In 2000, Jacquelyn was given a vision of the HSP Gathering Retreats. Since then she has facilitated gatherings for highly sensitive people in beautiful retreat centers, castles, country houses, and wonderful places in nature which allows the perfect setting for the HSP to feel nurtured and safe. HSP Gathering Retreats have been held in New York, San Francisco, Colorado, North Carolina, Germany, England, Sweden, among many other places. These unique gatherings are often life changing for the HSP, because “they have the power to educate, inspire, transform, and connect you with kindred spirits who nourish and celebrate your soul as they encourage you along our own unique path and purpose in life.” Many HSPs return home feeling more confident and empowered to create authentic lives in which they can thrive and often become leaders in their own families or communities
Yes, we are with the authentic and genuine Jacquelyn. Jacquelyn is a person of spiritual essence that one does not know quite how to explain. I have often called her an “angel.” She has astonishing analytical skills and the ability to give light to a situation that seemed impossibly dark and unable to be solved. Jacquelyn is joyful and cheerful, and is a smiling woman of many colours. She brings the perfume of the positive American energy, which inspires one to believe they can make their dreams come true with a sense of fresh flowers or the beginning of a new dawn.
1.- What does it mean to be a highly sensitive person, or a HSP?
Being a highly sensitive person means to process emotions deeply, be more aware about the infinity of details and nuances of reality and subtleties in the environment, the world, and Universe that we inhabit.
Highly Sensitive People, or HSP, experience external stimuli, such as noise, lights, or smells with more intensity. HSPs have a subjective perception and also the capacity to experience spiritual depth or intensity.
The brain of HSPs works in a more complex way than most of the other 80% of the population who have not inherited the genetic trait of high sensitivity.
According to the documentary: Sensitive, The Untold Story, there are 1.4 billion highly sensitive people in the world – or approximately 15/20% of the total population. Thirty percent of this 15-20% are sensitive extroverts, or approximately 420 million. The remaining (and majority) number of HSPs are introverts. Scientists have also detected this percentage in over 100 animal species. One of the advantages of this trait is that it can serve as a defense and alert system which can produce fast and intense responses to deal with dangers or predators which can benefit themselves or others.
Having a highly sensitive nervous system allows HSPs to feel the world in a broader and deeper way. Those of us who are HSPs, can experience and luxuriate in a wider range of nuances or subtleties which the other 80% are not able to notice. So, we have the ability to show others important details. The HSP world is more complex, elaborate, intense, and rarely simple.
It is believed that a number of well-known people in history had the HSP trait, including Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Martin Luther King, princess Diana, Nicole Kidman, Woody Allen, Virginia Wolf, Edgar Alan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Steven Spielberg, Michael Moore, John Lennon, Gandhi, Leonardo Da Vinic, Dalai Lama, Edison, Jane Goodall, and Henry David Thoreau, among many more.
This talent of being able to observe the world around us from a perspective in which we have more lenses and angles, has allowed us to invent new ways to respond to human needs, and to make improvements in our communities and the culture and society at large.
HSP often are inventors, artists, writers, musicians, gardeners, spiritual leaders, philosophers, thinkers, poets, historians, teachers, and much more.
In Japan and other cultures in which being sensitive is more valued, highly sensitive children are often more liked and respected. However, in Occidental cultures, like Spain, that are strongly externally oriented, highly sensitive children might be more likely to be considered like "shy," “anxious” or identified as children with problems.
In these type of cultures, the HSPs that are not aware of being highly sensitive, often find themselves struggling as they make a constant effort to "adapt" to the dominant culture, which often invalidates their own inner experience.
2. - What are the features that are unique in an HSP?
Highly sensitive people are more susceptible to environmental stimuli – whether that stimuli is positive or negative. When our environments are positive, we tend thrive, and when they are negative, we are challenged to maintain a sense of well-being.
In her book, Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person, Dr. Elaine Aron has identified four things all HSPs have in common. These are D.O.E.S.
D ~ Depth of Processing – Our brain processes and reflects on information more deeply. Reflecting more than others about the “way the world is going;” “the meaning of life
O ~ Over Stimulation; ~ we are more easily overwhelmed by the immense of amount of stimuli we can encounter, especially if we have not learned to set boundaries and create filters which allow us to selectively choose what stimuli we allow into our experience
E ~ Emotional Intensity and Empathy & Responsiveness – our nervous systems are naturally more highly responsive to both positive or negative events, emotions, or experiences
S ~ Sensory Sensitivity ~ our finely tuned nervous systems are more aware of subtleties in our environment
3. In general terms, how does an HSP feel the world compared to the other 80% of the population who have not inherited the HSP trait?
The HSP experiences the world in much greater depth and breadth than the non-HSP. This is because of our sensory sensitivities and our awareness of the many subtleties in our environment. This may be seeing a range of colors in a rainbow and experiencing more emotion, or it may be seeing and understanding an event or situation more deeply than the non-HSP. This type of depth of processing can easily lead to overstimulation.
4. - How would you define someone who has not inherited the HSP trait? Sometimes, when referring to being “highly sensitive” it might tend to infer that others are not sensitive, or that we HSPs are somehow better than others. Could clarify this, please?
Everyone, including the non-HSP can be sensitive, kind, thoughtful, and caring. Yet, the non-HSP does not have a more finely tuned, highly responsive nervous system. And so it is important to distinguish the word “sensitive” as something different than being “nice or kind.” In fact, an HSP who is overstimulated can often resonate with “being like a child without a nap” ~ anything but “nice.” The D.O.E.S. mentioned earlier is a good way to help discern the HSP from the other 80%. Also, merely taking the HSP Self-Test from Dr. Elaine Aron’s website is often very helpful to separate those who are kind, thoughtful and caring, from those who have inherited a finely tuned nervous system. See, www.hsperson.com
5. - One of the most well-known features of HSPs is that we are very empathic, and can tune in deeply to the feelings of others. Could you explain to us, please?
Yes, it’s true. As HSPs we do feel a lot of empathy toward and for others, as well as for things and events happening in and around us, and in the world in general. We reflect more on the “meaning of life” and seek a deeper understanding of our deep moral values and how our world can be improved upon.
Results of fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) research conducted by Drs. Art and Elaine Aron, and colleagues from various universities, has provided evidence that the mirror neuron system of the “highly sensitive brain” responds more powerfully to emotional images. Another area of the brain showing up in the study as ‘over active’ was the insula, sometimes called the "seat of consciousness" because it brings together all aspects - thoughts, feelings, perceptions, bodily states, etc. - all of our moment-to-moment experience.
The prefrontal cortex of the HSP brain also shows greater brain wave activity thus explaining our tendency to process information deeply and broadly.
So, in short, yes, HSPs do experience a lot of empathy for others. This can be both a positive and negative aspect of our genetically inherited trait, and we must learn how to use it in service to ourselves and the world, rather than become overburdened by it.
6. - Why do HSPs feel more overwhelmed than others?
The HSP’s nervous system is highly organized but can become easily overstimulated not only by sensory stimuli, but also because of their more active prefrontal cortex, resulting in greater Depth of Processing.
Further, HSPs process stimuli in a highly organized, big picture way, which includes awareness of nuances and subtleties that others might not notice. At times, HSPs can become extremely overstimulated by the sheer amount of information they may be asked to process. Non-HSPs in our society, who make up about 80% of the general population, do not experience the same level of overstimulation that causes distress to HSPs, in their day to day experience of the world.
7. Why else might the HSP feel more compassion for others?
Since many HSPs have experienced feelings of invalidation, misunderstanding, and of being marginalized, perhaps it is easier for us to have sympathy and empathy for others, especially those who are suffering in some way.
It should also be said, that we can just as easily pick up on, experience and enjoy positive feelings from others as well.
8. Is there a reason why some HSPs often find it difficult to say no, even when necessary? Is there a reason we can feel guilty when saying no, or setting a firm boundary?
Feeling guilty when saying ‘no’ is most likely a learned behavior – just as it is a “learned behavior” to know how and when to set boundaries.
Because HSPs tend to be in the minority, they are unconsciously subjected to the values, norms and behaviors put upon them from the dominate culture. As children, HSPs tend to be kind, loving and eager to please. And yet, the HSP child has not learned (or been taught) to set boundaries, so they can often be more vulnerable to unwanted stimulation or expectations, and are not able to filter out negative experiences or information being ‘fed’ to us from the dominant culture.
As we mature, we realize that “pleasing others” is often not in our best interests. One of the major challenges for an HSP to become “empowered” is to realize that we must resist cultural norms which do not serve us… this may include family norms as well. The resulting conflict and hurt is often quite intense for the HSP … thus the tendency to continue “pleasing others” at our own expense is often a difficult milestone to overcome.
9. What problems might arise for an empathic HSP in their relationships?
The main challenge in being so empathetic in relationships is that we can tend to lose our own sense of self. We can become so influenced by the feelings, thoughts and opinions of others that we lose connection with what we truly think, feel and need. We are very susceptible to taking on the moods and energy from those around us. It takes much practice to distinguish and maintain a sense of our own “HSP reality” and to manifest that in the world
10. Why might an HSP have more problems setting boundaries; asking for their rights and preferences; saying "no" when necessary?
It seems HSPs may have more challenges when it comes to setting boundaries, because most of us have been accustomed to “adapting” to the dominant culture. Eventually, we become aware how of just how draining it is to continually “adapt.” It can cause conflict when we begin to find new ways to be in the world, based on meeting our own needs, rather than subconsciously focusing on meeting needs of the “other.” This conflict is usually with those who are used to us adapting to a “status quo” of sorts, or meeting their needs at the expense of our own sense of well-being. When we stop adapting, it often necessitates an awareness for the “other” to perhaps “adapt’ to a reality that is different from their own. Many in the dominant culture are often not aware that others, many times the HSP have been adapting to them, their ways of thinking or being. It can be a privilege to be in the majority culture, often without one realizing it, where one has not been expected to continually adapt.
11. Often HSPs can find it difficult to resist being defined by the cultural norms and expectations of the dominant culture. Can you talk a little bit more about this?
Being “authentic” or “whole” is often a life long journey for the HSP. Why is this?
With growing awareness of our trait, we begin to understand and honor that we feel so much, we perceive the world around us so deeply and broadly, and we process this information with great respect and a sense of conscientiousness. The desire or “yearning” to express ourselves authentically is a manifestation of all we see, hear, and experience in the world. It is no different from a normal human need we all have, and that is: “to know and be known.”
For the HSP, there is a real struggle to be seen for who we really are, and not for who we are as defined by society or the culture we live in. This would include which “role” or “job description” others might want to fit us into. Learning to define “success” on our own terms is deeply central to our sense of happiness and well-being.
12. Often the HSP is seen by the other 80% as "weird", "weak", or even "unbalanced"?
It is true that many HSPs have grown up with an erroneous belief that they are “weak,” “weird,” “less than,” or perhaps “unbalanced.” Many times the HSP is observed at their worst – i.e. when overstimulated or when trying for too many years to adapt to an environment which is not suited to their gifts or sense of well-being, or which expects the HSP to be like the other 80% of the population. We know this does not work for the HSP.
For the HSP to thrive and contribute at their best, we need environments which do not overstimulate us. Everyone, even the non-HSP can become overstimulated, and thus not function at their best. It just takes much longer for the non-HSP to experience overstimulation than it does for the HSP.
The non-HSPs of the world may “mistreat” or “overlook” the HSP because they are looking through a more narrow, biased, pre-conditioned filter which is not open to differences in temperament or in different ways of working, being, or even defining success.
Again, one of the challenges for the HSP is to define success on their own terms, and to continue to create our own environments which honor our own value system and the ways in which we work and thrive.
13. Often an HSP can been seen as naïve and / or innocent. Unfortunately, this can allow an HSP to be easily manipulated or hurt by others. Is this true
Certainly possessing a certain type of “innocence” can be harmful to anyone, not just the HSP. Before the HSP is aware of their trait, they might be more easily manipulated or hurt simply because they have not learned to set boundaries. Another challenge of becoming what I have come to call an “empowered HSP” is to not lose sight of our ideals, visions or innocence. Yet, we must also protect this part of ourselves from those who might manipulate, take advantage of hurt us in some way. There is a Bible verse I often quote. Matthew 7:6: "Do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” I think this is applicable here.
14. What are the blessings of being an HSP?
We tend to be more reflective and contemplative about the world around us. Many of us are passionate about social justice issues, and care deeply about the Earth and its inhabitants, including plants and animals.
Many HSPs are artists in a variety of diverse ways, including art, poetry, photography, music, dance, or acting, and their efforts can be directly felt by those in the world at large. Their work often produces peak experiences which others benefit from, but may go unrecognized as coming from the HSP. Many HSPs find fulfilling careers in healing occupations, or in occupations where they are creating and manifesting their visions, which serves families, communities and the world in infinite number of ways.
Because of our emotional intensity, we are just as easily moved to tears of joy, or gratitude, as we are moved to tears of sadness, grief or anger by “honoring our inevitable emotional reactions to disturbing events.” When directed and safe, this emotional intensity brings a sense of passion and purpose to an environment.
15. What are the challenges of being an HSP?
Because our nervous system is easily overstimulated, we can offer suffer from stress or burn out, and in the worst case: chronic overstimulation. Chronic overstimulation can lead to higher levels of cortisol in the body, which in turn can lead to anxiety or depression. However, it should be noted that the HSP trait would not be the ‘cause’ of this type of depression or anxiety, only a result of chronic overstimulation.
16. Are there any “dangers” an HSP should be aware of?
If someone is not aware of their HSP trait, they most likely are trying to live a life like the other 80% who have not inherited the genetic HSP trait. This can cause undue struggle, in trying to be someone you are not. It can cause undue stress and constant overstimulation if one has not learned to manage their trait so that their nervous system can perform at its absolute best. If one’s environment is negative, dysfunctional or even toxic, the HSP will not thrive. This environment could be the home, workplace, or even one’s culture. Imagine a person who had diabetes living in a very unhealthy home where nutrition is neglected. This diabetic person is unaware of the impact sugar has on his body…thus consuming it frequently. What is the long term effect?
Imagine the effect on a highly sensitive person living in an environment in which he is constantly overstimulated from external stimuli. This might include noise from television that is never turned off, music played too loudly for too long, hurtful arguments, continuing disagreements or other stressful events.
Without relief, the HSP in this environment might react physically by experiencing digestive issues or disrupted sleep. They might become overstimulated by trying too hard to “correct” the environment; or they cry easily from frustration. Others in the environment would question these reactions with comments such as: “Oh, you’re so sensitive.” Or, “Your sister doesn’t act this way, what’s wrong with you?” These negative comments create a negative environment in which the unaware HSP will suffer. A 2009 research study by Belsky & Pluess, identified “differential susceptibility” which basically revealed that highly sensitive people thrive more in positive environments and suffer more in negative environments than the other 80% of the population. ( Beyond Diathesis Stress:
Differential Susceptibility to Environmental Influences ~ Jay Belsky and Michael Pluess Birkbeck University of London)
17. What would the most suitable environment be for the spiritual, personal and professional growth of an HSP?
Research has shown that sensitive children are negatively impacted by distressing environments and are equally nourished by supportive, enriched environments.
An “ideal” spiritual, personal or professional environment for HSPs would be one in a non-hierarchal structure, where each voice and opinion was given consideration. It would be an environment which focused on meeting needs of individuals so that each could grow and contribute at their own pace and with their best talents. This environment would handle conflict openly and gently with a goal of a win-win outcome.
Of course, we know that this type of “ideal” environment is difficult to find – even among healthy families. Many HSPs, for this reason, have resorted to creating their own environments in which their own values are present and honored, and for many HSPs, this has meant self-employment.
18. Is it possible that an HSP would act with malice, wrong-doing, dishonesty, corruption or control, to achieve their own purposes?
The likelihood that an HSP would knowingly utilize negative, dishonest, or manipulative strategies to achieve their own purposes is definitely not the norm. Many, if not most, HSPs are highly ethical and altruistic, with great desires to make the world a better place, not just for themselves, but for the world at large.
19. What is the best contribution from an HSP to the world; to their own communities and societies?
Most HSPs are highly conscientious and are capable of a wide range of contributions to society, least among these are their psychological or spiritual insights, their passion and commitment to their relationships or their families. Many HSPs contribute knowledge as a writer, historian, healer, doctor, artist, humanist, theologian, teacher, judges, or spiritual leader. A list of my HSP Subcultures might help explain the many different types of HSPs and the ways they might bring meaningful changes and/or contributions to their families, communities, and the world at large.
20. Is it good for an HSP to stay in a complaining position "I feel overwhelmed because I feel deeper emotions", "loud noises bother me more" in order to get stuck in life?
No, it is not good to get stuck or identify as a victim of the HSP trait. Instead, it is crucial that an HSP create their own unique “HSP Owner’s Manual” which provides them with the knowledge, tools and skills to create a lifestyle which honors and works with their sensitivity instead of against it. This may mean that an HSP creates more time in which to practice self-care. This self-care might include extra sleep, nutritious foods, and exercise. It might include time to process emotions and events from their day; time for spiritual reflection and prayer; or time for artistic pursuits, or novel experiences. Remember, it is the enriched environment in which HSPs thrive the most, and it becomes the responsibility of the HSP to create, maintain, and in many instances, protect this self-care environment. Many HSPs may have experienced being a victim. This is why knowledge about the trait is so important, so that an HSP can make the necessary changes to create environments which work for them, alleviating a “victim” state.
20. "Atenea" is the Greek archetype that represents the practical and rational way of acting. "Atenea" was born from the head of "Zeus". People similar to "Atenea" might make an enumeration of facts depriving them completely from their spiritual dimension.
How can an HSP should act in order to give their own contribution and not be "smashed" by others?
I think it is human nature for everyone (HSP or not) to want to be: Seen and Heard ~ this would include those who might be similar to “Atenea” and for whom facts are crucial in helping them make decisions. This would not necessarily mean they are “completely separate from their spiritual dimension.” For many, “facts” come more naturally when making decisions. Some HSPs may find “facts” come more easily to them, although I would say the majority of HSPs use their intuition first, and hopefully use their intellect (and facts) to support their decisions. Albert Einstein may have expressed this best:
Without strong and appropriate boundaries, HSPs can become vulnerable to being hurt, manipulated, invalidated, overlooked, ignored, and so much more. So, it is the important job of the HSP to learn to set appropriate boundaries. By "appropriate" I do not mean "building walls." To thrive, HSPs need to find a way to create and manifest in a world which honors who they are ... And when in " HSP unfriendly places” which tend to marginalize us, we can either choose to "stay small and silent" or we can choose to articulate our reality, our vision, our purpose, our understanding, in respectful way. Of course, doing the latter takes being able to be vulnerable and strong at the same time. It takes being able to share authentically, and in a way that honors opposing viewpoints as well.
I think it is easy for all of us, HSP or not, to forget that there are opposing viewpoints. So being able to "agree to disagree," if warranted, keeps our HSP Authentic Selves from becoming invisible, isolated, and merely surviving. ("If warranted" is a key concept here for we have to choose our "battles" wisely. We also need to understand that choosing not to speak up is a valid choice, sometimes for our own protection. This choice is always a very conscious one ... which in a way IS speaking up - at least to our inner selves.
21. Sensitivity is sometimes related with the feminine. Is it truth?
No, this is not true, at least in the way “sensory processing sensitivity” is defined by research psychologist, Dr. Elaine Aron. In fact, there are an equal number of men and women who are part of the 15-20% of the population who are highly sensitive. Characteristics such as compassion, empathy, creativity, ethical, visionary, passionate, perceptive, resourceful, value-oriented, innovative, to name a few, are neither feminine nor masculine.
22. Ecologia Espiritual is a magazine about deep, spiritual ecology. Being HSP means to return to the spiritual essence and origin of the human being. Is it truth for an HSP? 22 (a) Why does an HSP need to be so close to the Nature?
No, I do not believe one can say: “Being HSP means to return to the spiritual essence and origin of the human being.” In fact, there are many HSPs who claim no spirituality at all, yet they still exhibit the four things all HSPs do have in common: the D.O.E.S. mentioned previously.
However, Dr. Elaine Aron has often referred to HSPs as being “numinous.” The word “numinous” was popularized by the German theologian Rudolf Otto in his influential 1917 book Das Heilige, which appeared in English as The Idea of the Holy in 1923. He explains the numinous as a "non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self". He writes:
“…The feeling of it may at times come sweeping like a gentle tide pervading the mind with a tranquil mood of deepest worship. It may pass over into a more set and lasting attitude of the soul, continuing, as it were, thrillingly vibrant and resonant, until at last it dies away and the soul resumes its “profane,” non-religious mood of everyday experience...”
Elaine Aron (Comfort Zone: Sensitive Spirituality: The Highly Sensitive Person and the Numinous ~ http://www.hsperson.com/pages/1Nov05.htm
Elaine Aron writes:
“…We all know about subtle peace and sweetness--certain music creates it, or being in nature, or with a loved one. The numinous form of this peace is even stronger--a deep, sweet tranquility, security, or knowingness. It may last quite a while--"forever" would be the goal for most who have had the experience. But usually it fades back into the every-day, nonreligious mood…”
“…Another common emotion, transformed in this setting, is love or devotion. This love is felt towards something or someone, or is received from something or someone, but it is not a love between creatures. It is something more…”
“…What is the nature of the cause of these emotions [associated with the numinous?] Whether we witness it in quiet awe or are swept away by it--it feels mysterious and "above all creatures." It is also, for at least that moment, objective and true, outside the self, not subjective or psychological. It is "wholly other," whether God or the Void or the ghosts. So it produces a wonder and astonishment. And these special emotions and their mysterious source--all of it is extremely alluring. And, I think that for some reason it is even more so with HSPs…”
22(a) Why an HSP needs to be so close to the Nature?
It is true that many HSPs report feeling a great sense of well being when immersed in nature. Perhaps this is true because the external stimuli involved is pure, unadulterated vibrational energy. Our heightened senses easily pick up on the nuances of color, feel, temperature, sight, hearing … This allows our nervous
systems to relax and at the same time be gently stimulated in novel, beautiful ways. Of course, one must be “physically comfortable” in nature, taking precautions involving insects, and turbulent weather. It must be said that the same sense of well-being can be afforded to anyone, HSP or not, who desires to find time to immerse themselves in nature, allowing for their senses to be soothed by the colors, smells, sights surrounding them. It is just that for the HSP, this “being soothed” in nature comes much more naturally and easy for the HSP…and we are wise to seek this experience often.
23. In Spain, frequently, more people read and talk English and is becoming interested in taking information about this issues, how can Spanish speakers can reach you?
24. Jacquelyn, you organize gatherings for HSPs along all the USA and also in Europe. Dorset, Somerset, the UK, Germany have been some of the countries and places. Can you explain, please, what these gatherings are about in order for European and Spanish HSP to attend them?
Yes. The HSP Gathering Retreats were co-created by myself and Dr. Elaine Aron in 2000. The first HSP Gathering was in May 2001. Here is a link which explains all about these unique gatherings for highly sensitive people.
The 2018 HSP Gathering Retreats are now planned.
The theme for both retreats is:
“Knowing and Being Known as a Highly Sensitive Person:
Our role in being known;
Our role in belonging.
The 34th HSP Gathering (Since 2001)
14 - 18 June 2018 (Thursday, 3 pm - Monday lunch)
Dr. Elaine Aron will be joining us via Skype
Gaunts House, Petersham Lane,
Wimborne, Dorset, United Kingdom
The 35th HSP Gathering (Since 2001)
Dr. Elaine Aron will be joining us via Skype
September 30 - October 4, 2018
(Sunday, 3 pm through Thursday lunch)
Menla Mountain Retreat Center
Phoenicia, New York