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Journeys: Meet Our Staff

Susan Lipshutz, LCSW

The trip's primary facilitator is Susan A. Lipshutz. These groups are lead by Susan A. Lipshutz, LCSW, who has more than 25 years of experience teaching and practicing integrative psychotherapy. She brings a foundation in Western medicine and indigenous spiritual practices to her work. Previously, she has served as the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Family Practice Residency Training Programs with the Illinois Masonic Medical Center and West Suburban Hospital.

Today, as a student of crosscultural spiritual practices including Andean wisdomkeepers and Mapuche ceremonialists, Susan integrates the ancient divine feminine wisdom of our grandmothers with her own powerful modern teachings, crafting an easy-to-understand style of empowerment and self-love attuned to the complexities of today's modern woman.

Because the sacred feminine archetype is always growing and evolving, Susan is dedicated to weaving this understanding into ongoing training, studies and sacred journeys around the globe, as well as in her individual practice in Chicago. She has worked to create intentional communities where healing and evolution can occur at the deepest level, and encourages others to offer their personal change in service of the greater collective. Her passionate work in support of universal divine feminine wisdom teachings, embodying heartfelt love and shared purpose, offers both women and men the realization of an ancient and timeless dream — a dream that we have the privilege and responsibility not only to witness, but also to co-create.

See more in Susan's Bio >>


Grandmother FlordemayoGrandmother Flordemayo

Born the youngest of 15 children in the highlands of Central America,Flordemayo was found at an early age - like others in her family - to have the gift of Sight. By age four, she was being trained in the art of curanderismo which had been handed down from mother to daughter for many generations. Flordemayo's mother was a midwife and healer and taught her daughters in the use of herbs, women's medicine and how women are to honor and care for the Earth. Flordemayo is a member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She now lives in New Mexico where she is Founder and Spiritual Director of The Path, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting others in finding their personal path of enlightenment through her teachings and tools of empowerment.

“Humanity is at a crossroads, we can only go one way, as one can’t go in two directions at the same time. We do not know what we need to do as a human species, there is only one place to go and that is into the light, as one tribe”.

~Grandmother Flordemayo


RobinRobin Varnado

Trip coordinator Robin Varnado is an integral part of the Everyday Medicine Woman community, recently facilitating several women’s gatherings in Tulum, Mexico. As a lifelong advocate for social justice, Robin has also led service trips for adults and students to East Africa and developed a fair trade company that expanded economic opportunities for East African women’s groups, including the “Vision Mothers” who care for AIDS orphans. She currently works at a Chicago children’s charity that strives to provide opportunities for low income children.

"I am delighted to be of service to this community of women, and am dedicated to supporting women’s spiritual growth in whatever way I am called."


Corinne PetersonCorinne Peterson

Corinne Peterson has been teaching yoga since 1994. She received her first yoga instructor certification through the Temple of Kriya Yoga in 1995 and a subsequent certification as a teacher and yoga therapist through the American Viniyoga Instittute in 2006. She is registered through the Yoga Alliance at the 500-hour level. Corinne has a nurturing teaching style influenced by 20 years of study in the traditions of Viniyoga, Kriya and Iyengar yoga. She has been a nationally certified massage therapist since 1997, specializing in therapeutic needs and women's health. Corinne also holds a masters degree in public health in the area of health education and promotion. Her certifications include pregnancy massage, doula services, infant massage instruction, oncology massage, and yoga for people with cancer/heart disease.

"I am awed and amazed at the strength, power and grace with which women move through the world. Yoga offers us breath, movement, sound, prayer and ritual to support this journey. I love creatively blending these tools to offer practices that speak to every woman, individually and collectively - taking us into the labyrinth of ourselves with compassion and back out into the world with joy."


Mary EllenMary Ellen Sullivan

Mary Ellen is writer who first opened up to indigenous medicine and shamanic healing through her travels around the world. She has studied Earth-honoring traditions for more than a decade, is a mesa carrier, djembe drummer and a Kultrun carrier, and has assisted with numerous medicine workshops for women. She is deeply committed to helping women find their voices and their place in the world.

"Doing this medicine work has helped me come home to myself. And being a part of this community of women committed to personal and global transformation is nothing short of amazing. It is an honor to serve it, and is breathtaking to assist others through their own journey— seeing them transform into the beautiful, empowered women they were always meant to be."



Susan Lipshutz



Pura Vida Retreat and Spa
Costa Rica




“I just have to say that the atmosphere and community that is created by much hard work by Susan is uncomparable to any other gatherings I have attended."


Read more Testimonials >>


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