The Really Alive Program
 Laughing Heart Lodge
Hot Springs, NC

February 1-4, 2018



Hot Springs, NC is just 40 min north of Asheville. It is located at the junction of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest. Hot Springs is home of  famous healing hot mineral springs.


Thursday, Feb 1
3-5pm Check in
5-7pm Dinner (if you need to check in between 5-7, just let me know!)
7-9pm Welcome ceremony

Friday, Feb 2 Water: Letting go of what no longer serves you
9-12am Workshop
12-2pm Lunch
2-5pm Workshop
5pm-7pm Dinner
7pm-9pm Workshop

Saturday, Feb 3 morning and afternoon, Air: Getting clear about what you want
9-12am Workshop
12-2pm Lunch
2-5pm Workshop
5-7pm Dinner
Saturday, Feb 3 evening, Earth: Making it Happen
7-9pm Workshop

Sunday, Feb 4, Fire: Celebrating and nourishing
9-12pm Workshop

Retreat Fees
First 10 participants to register $400
Next 10 participants to register $600

Next 10 participants or registration after Dec 31 $800



The Laughing Heart Lodge a beautiful retreat center where the program will be held and where participants can stay in either their gorgeous B&B rooms or in their hostel, making the range of accommodations a perfect fit for all needs. Prices range from $150 a night for the largest room in the lodge to $20 a night for a bunk bed in the hostel. Breakfasts and lunches are included for those staying in the lodge. To book a room at the lodge, please go to the Laughing Heart Lodge website to choose from the variety of rooms available. Some of the rooms with a king size bed can be split into 2 twins, if you would like to share a room! If you would like to stay at the hostel, which is simple, clean and has a kitchenette, please call Jeff at (828) 206-8487 to discuss the range of options there, which include a bunk bed in the dorm, semi-private and private rooms. Whether you choose the lodge or the hostel, please let them know you are there for my program!

Register for the Really Alive Program!

To register, please call (610) 841-9774 or email me at pana@panacolumbus.com. I’m happy to answer any questions you have! So looking forward to connecting with you!

My passion for understanding how we transform began during my years as a professional actress in New York. I studied how people can literally change their entire being–it’s what I did for a living–changing myself into one kind of character or another depending on my role and the story. These principles of transformation apply to real life.

After 10 years in NY, I went on a 4 -year journey around the world studying how the stories and rituals different cultures use impact the evolution of those communities.  The same principles of personal transformation, I discovered, impacts the consciousness of communities. The stories we tell ourselves as individuals and the stories we tell ourselves as societies, have much to do with the quality of our lives.

In 2004 I founded Circle of Stones Ritual Theatre Ensemble in Allentown, PA to explore how stories can transform communities. For example, I wrote, directed and produced the award-winning production, The New Earth, performed at the Zoeller Arts Center, which catalyzed the creation of a green charter school, which now serves 400 students. I was the head writer and producer of Gilgamesh, performed at Allentown Symphony Hall, called by the Morning Call newspaper, “…an ambitious and stunning accomplishment.” This production catalyzed the creation of a non-profit which set into motion an on-going classical music program in partnership with a symphony orchestra for 70 at-risk youth. I’ve also written the book, lyrics and directed eight original musicals for children. My hip hop operetta, called Tales of Tenacity, launched a musical instrument donation drive, so that an inner-city elementary school could start a school bandUpon moving to Asheville, NC in 2013, I founded Mystic Blue Films, LLC, and am currently co-producing my film, The Apple and the Radish, with the amazing Kat Williams, which seeks to catalyze an electric car movement as a dynamic, exciting response to our current environmental and social justice crisis.

At the same time, my passion for individual transformation continued. I’ve been seeing private clients for nearly 20 years, have been a guest speaker at multiple Unity and Unitarian churches, at a TEDx conference at Acadia University, PechaKucha Asheville, a Surgical Services conference for Mission Hospital, women’s retreats, fundraisers, board retreats and community events. I’ve held visioning workshops for new businesses, organizations and individuals. I’ve been interviewed on WDIY and WEBE Radio and for the book, Those Who Walk With Fire. My memoir, She Wore Blue Invoking the Water, is available in paperback and the sequel, Roadmap to Miracles, will be available soon! My Really Alive Program is an experiential, deeply transformative process I’ve developed which crystallizes all that I’ve learned about the mysterious journey of going into the unknown and giving birth to something new.

Introducing Shanti,
founder and creator of Shanti Elixirs,
and former participant of the Really Alive Program!


When Shanti took my program in 2014, she wrote a vision for her future which included operating a “sustainable, organic business” and which involved her whole family. Soon after, she founded Shanti Elixirs. Her first product line is Shanti-Jun, a healthy, scrumptious probiotic tea, similar to Kombucha, which is love in a bottle! She sources many of her ingredients from local, organic farmers including the raw honey she uses in her small batch brewing process. Her stands at the various Farmer’s Markets are always packed with people, and Asheville restaurants are asking her to put her amazing beverages, like Blueberry Basil Bliss, Genuine Ginger and Lemony Lavender Love on tap! Her husband and three sons can often be found with her at the Farmer’s Markets giving out samples to new customers and refilling growlers every week for their regulars. I’m thrilled to announce that Shanti is going to be a Community Partner with Really Alive, and participants will be enjoying the yummy flavors of her magical elixir, Shanti-Jun, each day at lunch during the program!