Ciao, Bellas!

I’m writing this to you as I feel the warm Australian air and look fondly back over an incredible retreat spent with a group of the most beautiful souls. Led by the incredibly talented painter Autumn Skye, and surrounded by the beauty of the Byron Bay hinterland, our group spent 10 days journeying to discover our inner creative self through the creation of our own Soul Portrait.

This journey was deep and transformative for each of us—I can’t wait to share the highlights with you!


Our leader, Autumn Skye, is not only an incredible artist but also a wonderfully kind and generous teacher. This retreat was her 7th annual Soul Portraits retreat, and each time her skill and spirit make it clear why this retreat has become so popular.

Through attentive and comprehensive instruction Autumn was able to lead each group member on a journey to connect with their creative self and express it on their canvas. Her ability to encourage inner exploration caused each of us to find elements of our Soul that we hadn’t discovered before.

Our experience was also made special with ecstatic dance led by Lyndsay Lila who got our bodies moving and our spirits on the mend. We were also lucky enough to have Marnie Recker among our group who took stunning footage of the entire experience—tune into the Bella Retreats social channels to see some of the magic she captured!


The retreat location, Paradise One, was one of the most divinely created retreat spaces I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Nestled only nine miles from Byron Bay, Australia, the center is known for hosting the retreats of many visionary leaders and teachers. The energy created and held in this space was perfect for the exploration and growth our group members experienced.

We were ecstatic to arrive and see that rain was falling and it continued to as our stay progressed. As the healing rains fell on the once burning lands we all felt a palpable sense of healing and restoration. Every piece of the location and atmosphere fit together perfectly to make for an inspiring experience.


Our days always began with either dance or yoga and was followed by a fresh, healthy breakfast then we all went right into painting. Other than meals and morning movement, our days were mostly filled with time spent at the easel. Although, there was always opportunity for group members to take a stroll along the river or relax at the pool when they weren’t engrossed in their painting.

One of the most memorable moments, however, was the New moon in Pisces cacao ceremony and dance party that Lila so joyfully led. Along with our halfway group circle, each of us was able to express the deep emotions we were confronting during the process and the support offered by the rest of the group was truly inspiring.

I am endlessly grateful to Autumn Skye for using her gifts to foster creative growth and connection for others and to Paradise One for allowing us to experience the magic of their land. To Lila and Marnie, I thank you for sharing your gifts to make this special experience even more incredible. And, of course, thank you dearly to each of the group members who joined us on this journey and unearthed their own Soul Portrait.

If this journey inspires you, head to my website and browse all of the upcoming retreats in 2020. The opportunities are all unique and lovingly crafted to help you find the healing you need.

Check out our full photo album for even more insight into this beautiful experience and share this blog with anyone you think would be inspired.

Connect with us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all of the latest and greatest from Bella Retreats—we’re excited to meet you, future retreater.

Bye for now,

~ Una Bella