If you’re a hard-working woman who’s craving time out to rest,
relax, be pampered, and gain clarity with your life,
then join Julie McDonald on this transformational retreat
to hit the reset button to a magnificent new life!

Imagine this: You’re lazing on your deck chair in the late afternoon gazing out over the lush, green trees to the majestic blue ocean and the endless horizon beyond. A cool breeze caresses your face as you inhale the crisp freshness of the season and savour the peaceful quiet of the occasion.

Suddenly, the sound of laughter pulls you out of your reverie, and you remember where you are in the tranquil Byron Bay, and you’re not alone, either! You’re surrounded by like-minded women – some of the most authentic, passionate women you’ll ever meet – who’ve gathered here to support each other in a relaxing, rejuvenating space to getting in touch with their most cherished dreams.

Remembering the fullness of why you’re here, you take a deep breath and let go into the peaceful majesty of the moment, smiling with anticipation over what’s to come.

You’ve arrived, and it feels like paradise!


And now, it’s time to hit the Reset Button . . .
Time to get in touch with your heart . . .
Time to begin living your life with passion and purpose!

Now that I have your attention, and before I describe the delights of this remarkable journey, let’s honestly consider a few pressing questions you may have:

Are you exhausted, overworked and just getting by? Then enough of that! During the entire retreat, we’ll be feeding your body and mind all the healthful food, gentle exercise, pampering and positive activities that you will need to get clear and begin to function at the highest level possible!

Do you crave a little time and space to enjoy life but feel guilty because you still should be taking care of everyone else? Don’t wait another week; you can start NOW! At this retreat, we’ll show you how to begin – by letting go of the past, releasing the negative beliefs and opening up to the joy, wonder and beauty of life that are yours right now!

Are you yearning to live your life more fully but don’t know how to change it? Never fear! With simple, practical tools and the warm support of like-minded, open-hearted women, you’ll quickly step into a space of courage where you’ll blast through self-imposed barriers and walk eagerly into the wide-open field of possibilities that lies before you!

Do you often feel anxious about your future and can’t seem to find the clarity you need to make good decisions? No worries! In the laid-back atmosphere of Byron Bay, you’ll quickly drop the worries and anxieties. Our daily mindfulness and meditation practices will deepen your sense of inner peace, allowing you to see clearly what choices will bring you the greatest happiness.

Isn’t it time for you to start living your life by design instead of default? We’ve got just the ticket! Through a combination of deep inner exploration and playful outer activities, you’ll get in touch with your inner you, reconnect with your true calling, and begin to map out a life of fun and fulfilment – starting with a To-Do List for Your Heart and Soul!

So why should you join us?

Because you’re craving a place to slow down and get clear on where you’re going in life!
Because you want to stop living on the default setting, step onto YOUR path and live by design, with purpose and passion!
Because you want to break through your fears, let go of limiting beliefs and experience unlimited abundance!
Because you can’t wait to create an opportunity to grow into the most amazingly beautiful person that you really are!
Because you’re ready to receive the support of some of the most heartfelt and passionate women you’ve ever known – some of whom are bound to become lifelong friends! 

OK, what do you think?
Are you ready to hit the reset button?


Throughout our retreat, you’ll be ensconced in a place apart. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Sangsurya Retreat Centre, a ten-acre subtropical oasis perched on a tree-lined ridge on the outskirts of Byron Bay, Australia, a sleepy little town famous for its mesmerizing beaches and laid-back culture.

Back in the old days, Byron Bay was a hippie haven. Though it’s much classier today, it’s still a mishmash of styles – you’ll see everything from barefoot to casual business attire – where everyone fits in and feels safe and everyone is encouraged to be themselves.

Authenticity, that’s what we’re looking for – and that’s what makes Byron Beach a perfect backdrop for our Reset Retreat!

Overlooking Tallow Beach, with easterly views of the Pacific Ocean, the centre sits amid a backdrop of palm trees and landscaped gardens. Blessed with a myriad of bird and animal life and a variety of walking trails, it’s guaranteed to leave you comfortably secluded from the outside world AND blissfully cut off from all your usual cares and concerns.

Here you’ll be able to let down and focus on the ONE thing that’s most important to you right now: hitting the Reset Button! Letting down and getting clear about you and your life!

Our planned activities in the beautifully designed hand built houses will take you even deeper into relaxation and self-discovery. Sangsurya features an open, airy meditation hall, a saltwater swimming pool, and a dining room with outdoor seating and expansive ocean views.

You’ll be staying in one of two light-filled Balinese style bungalows, each decorated with polished timber floors and bamboo ceilings, each impeccably designed to reflect the essence of magic and serenity.


We can’t talk about the delectable food without introducing our delightful retreat chef, Deborah Preston! Before she moved to Byron Bay, Deb ran One Earth Foods, a wholesale kitchen that supplied over 30 health-food shops in Sydney with freshly baked goods for their lunch bars.

Deb has also studied both Western naturopathic nutrition and Eastern macrobiotic health and healing. As one Sangsurya’s very popular retreat chefs, she now combines the best of both worlds with 20 years of devotion to her craft, preparing meals that are well balanced, nutritious, healthful and literally zinging with flavor!

Much of that flavor springs from the variety and freshness of the ingredients. The daily menu caters to vegetarians and omnivores alike, with mostly organic produce as well gluten-free options and minimal dairy and sugar.

Hankering for a sample menu? All right, imagine feasting your eyes on a buffet breakfast selection of organic yogurt, fresh-made muesli, pancakes with stewed fruits; artfully constructed omelettes with avocado, tomato, mushrooms and feta; and fresh organic sourdough spread with tahini, almond butter or an assortment of sugar-free jams.

Or for lunch, how about a medley of fresh, green salad ingredients with herbal and balsamic dressings? You’ll see some lunch surprises, too – for example, Thai fish noodle cakes with sweet chili sauce. Or savory baked tofu with fresh turmeric. Or even thinly sliced buffalo ham with seeded mustard!

Dinners are always an adventure, with unusual flavor combinations such as Asian cabbage salad with lime and peanut dressing, jasmine and brown rice with sultanas and cashews, marinated baked chicken with assorted steamed veggies, and – fasten your seatbelts! – Deb’s Rocket Salad with lemon dressing and shaved parmesan will take you to the moon!

It doesn’t stop there, either! Wholesome desserts are usually served every other night (baked nectarines with sweet yogurt and cream, anyone?) And each day, we’ll have access to a coffee-and-herbal-tea station offering a medley of fresh fruits and organic nuts.


And what will we DO at Sangsurya? We’ll start off each morning by awakening your senses with the subtle movement practice of Qigong, a gentle Eastern art aimed at gathering life energy while relaxing and strengthening the body.  And we’ll finish our morning wakeup with a peaceful, guided meditation, leaving you truly relaxed, centered and ready for the day.

SELF-DISCOVERY AND REBOOTING. After our sumptuous breakfast, each morning we will meet in the lovely Bali Meditation Hall, where we’ll dive into daily life-changing practices:

Emotional practices to help you release old baggage, de-clutter your mind and develop a deeper compassion for yourself.
Movement practices designed to help you relax and strengthen your body.

Foundational exercises to help you discover your unique values, who you really are and what’s important to you.

And rebooting exercises in which you’ll redefine yourself and create fresh goals that bring your life into alignment with your heart.
In other words, get ready for an enlightening mixture of thought, action and emotion – all artfully enhanced with periodic meditation, movement and mindfulness practices.


After your gourmet, organic lunch, you’ll have plenty of “me” time to do whatever you please – for example, hang out by the pool at Sangsurya; stroll along the local beach picking up shells or swim in the cool, soothing ocean; chill out in your own quiet space with some reflective journaling; or perhaps take a short drive into the township of Byron Bay.

In Byron Bay, you can enjoy the café culture, stroll among the locals, buy yourself some holiday gifts or head up to the lighthouse. And did I mention the famous Byron Bay Beach? It’s just the place to sit and watch the world go by!


And, oh yes, I almost forgot! – Sometime during your stay, you will experience a deeply pampering, full-body massage by a licensed therapist. In her hands, you can let go completely and drift off into pure serenity and bliss as every muscle and bone in your body is sent to heaven. You can choose the day and time of your massage; just make sure to book it when you arrive, this is our treat to you.


Toward the end of each day, we’ll all gather on the Sansurya deck, where we’ll reconnect with each other, share insights and experience the stunning beauty of nature during a sunset meditation.


So what can you expect from this six-day, five-night, rejuvenating retreat at beautiful Byron Bay?

Just a complete life reboot, that’s all!

You’ll have the chance to let go of everything that is holding you back from living a heartfelt, soul-centred life. This retreat will give you the space to get clear and discover what you need, what’s important to you, what you want and how to create it. And finally, you will leave feeling deeply relaxed, refreshed and ready to begin the rest of your life – an amazing, authentic life truly worth living!

Some of our special events and activities to look forward to:

  • Letting go of blocks and fears in a powerful ritual called the Ceremony of the Flying Lanterns.
  • Getting in tune with yourself by creating a To Do List for Your Heart and Soul.
  • Building inner peace and calm through the beautiful practice of Qigong.
  • Gaining clarity in your life direction through our daily meditations.
  • Learning how to live fully, embracing new things and meeting change with self-love and compassion.
  • Discovering what you really want and how to go about getting it.
  • Rejuvenating your body, mind and soul through your lovely pampering massage and “me” time.
  • Learning and practicing how to be a human being instead of a “human doing.”
  • Learning how to manage your energy and emotions so you feel more calm and relaxed in stressful times.
  • Gaining clarity, focus, direction and heartfelt commitment in your life.
  • Learning how to live the rest of your years with purpose, passion and peacefulness.


  • A welcome party with champagne and nibbles.
  • Bali-style boutique accommodations for five nights (There are also single supplements; see supplement details below.)
  • Daily delicious breakfasts to get you ready for the day
  • Delectable, nourishing lunches to keep you going each day
  • Scrumptious evening, buffet-style dinners
  • Morning and afternoon teas, coffee, fruits and snacks
  • One fully pampering massage experience (make sure you book your spot!)
  • Serene sunset group gatherings and meditations
  • A special Chakra Clearing Meditation with a guest teacher
  • Five morning Qigong sessions, each with Mindful Meditations
  • A guided beach trek to a “Let Go of the Past” ceremony, using sky lanterns
  • Surprise gifts and other fabulous extras
  • Incredible conversations, life-enhancing friendships and endless laughter
  • Paradigm-shifting explorations and experiences each morning in the Bali Meditation Hall
  • A bucket full of strategies and new learning to take back home
  • A festive, farewell dinner as we all say goodbye to each other on the last night
  • Free Laundry facilities – bring your own washing powder.


  • Your round-trip travel from home
  • Souvenir shopping, personal phone calls, etc.
  • Personal, medical or trip cancellation insurance (which we strongly recommend!)
  • Transport into the Byron Bay township during the retreat
  • Alcoholic beverages (other than the first night)
  • Your beach towel – be sure to bring one! 🙂




Hello fellow Life Designers!

When I was a little girl, my well-meaning family told me, “Julie when you grow up, you will get married and have children. Your husband will look after you, AND you will live happily ever after.” So that is what I set out to do.

But there was something else inside, too – an urge to see the world and experience life for myself. So I left home at the age of 19, with a pack on my back, $200 in my pocket and a one-way ticket to London.

I was incredibly naïve, but I learned lessons fast.

I slept on beaches on the island of Corfu, met my first true love in Kent, got lost traveling through Wales, danced on tables in the London pubs, toured the Dachau concentration camp, played at Disneyworld, ate Key lime pie and alligator in the Florida Keys, celebrated Thanksgiving in Nashville, partied for six months on the island of Jersey and experienced my first pinch on the backside in Italy. . .

I found work where there wasn’t any, made new friends at every hostel, and discovered how to stay safe and how to avoid pickpockets. After 2 years, needless to say, I eventually ran out of money and came home.

But my wanderlust was ignited. I sprinkled in as many overseas journeys as possible during my years as a wife and mother.

Over the next few decades, I raised three beautiful children, educated myself in Communication, Education, Modern Psychology and set up my business, and tried TWICE to find a life long husband, but neither of them turned out to be the knight in shining armor. I was chronically unhappy.

The pivotal moment of my life came at the end of my second marriage, when I realized I was living everyone’s dream but my own, taking care of everyone else and putting myself at the bottom of the ladder.

Is it any wonder I wasn’t happy? I wasn’t living MY life! I wasn’t being true to myself!

In this very moment, my attitude shifted. Instead of having a pity party and looking back at the past with regrets and what ifs, I looked to the future.  What I saw there was awesome and wonderful. I saw thirty-odd years of doing anything I truly wanted, living my heart’s desire!

It was time to climb out of the dark hole of despair and create the life I wanted. And that’s exactly what I did — no fuss, no muss!

Here is how I reset my life:

1. Defined My Needs. Right from the start, I knew this was about my values, my heart’s desires, my goals and dreams and what was important to ME.

2. Cleared the Clutter. I did a major de-clutter of my past. I not only threw out tons of mental baggage but actually about two-thirds of the “stuff” in my house, because it was that stuff that had anchored me down to the past. In fact, still today, anyone or anything that doesn’t give or bring me JOY, out it goes!

3. Created Daily ME Time. I took time out every day to meditate and exercise and do fun stuff for myself. Oh, how wonderful it is to be doing things just for yourself – it’s what keeps me on my purpose pathway!

4. Created a Determination Mindset. Determination is simply not giving up. No matter how hard things got, or how badly I wanted to quit, I just kept going, one step at a time.

5. Faced My Fears. Every day, I stepped outside of my comfort zone. The more I did this, the more I succeeded in achieving my goals and dreams.

6. Embraced Excellence. Personal excellence is a choice. I didn’t want to just get by; I wanted to embrace life full of energy and passion. What I chose to do had to get me so excited that each morning I wanted to jump out of bed and just do it!

7. Stopped Striving. Allowing and accepting what was and just enjoyed each moment as it was, perfect or imperfect.

8. Worked out what made me Happy.  And gave myself the opportunity to experience it each day.

The journey was amazing!

The more I practiced these things, the more clarity I gained and the happier I became. And everything just worked!

This challenging time taught me that life is about creating how YOU want to live and consciously designing it to make it come true.


If I did it, so can you!

It saddens me to see how many people just accept their “lot in life,” never fulfilling their purpose and passion and being chronically unhappy. We all have the ability to go within and find our true purpose; it’s just about stepping out, asking and trusting.

This is what inspired me to start doing retreats, and it still inspires me. I want to take you away from your shoulds and musts. I want to take you away from your humdrum home existence to places where you can experience life differently – places where you can give yourself time and space to connect to your soul, discover your heart’s desires and live a joyous life.

Bottom line? I spent forty-odd years fooling myself, but when I saw what I was doing, I let go and never looked back. So can you!


So what are you waiting for? Why waste another second?

Start being true to yourself NOW!
Join me at this Reset your Life @ Byron Bay Retreat to create your life by design, not by default!



Before I go, I want to introduce a dear friend who will be assisting me. She’s not only a longtime friend but also a coach and trainer with decades of experience.

With qualifications in psychology, teaching and mindfulness, Catherine’s work is founded on compassion and positive thinking. For years, she has worked with women who are ready to break free from stress or stuckness in relationships, career, or life in general – women like you who are ready and eager to live their best life.

Catherine’s mission, as she puts it, is “to empower women to see and use their inner resources” so they can more easily deal with life’s challenges, create thriving relationships, and live with greater clarity, balance, ease and joy.”

That’s quite a mission, and I’m here to say that Catherine really lives it! Her gentle, inquiring approach sets you at ease right away, making you feel safe and willing to explore your experience with clarity and conviction.

Though she’s usually booked with clients around the world, Catherine is taking time out to join us and be a warm, welcoming part of our group. We’re lucky to have her, and I can’t wait to have you meet her!

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