Writing & Art Workshop in Mexico for Women 40+

by Lisa Sonora
Our bright spacious art studio in Mexico

The Wiser & Wilder Creative Immersion Art and Writing Workshop offers a unique opportunity for women 50 plus years of age to step away from ordinary life, connect with kindreds, and have the time and space to create without interruption in a safe, supportive and beautiful environment.

Exactly what I wanted

and it turned out to exceed my already high expectations.

— 2018 participant

Wiser & Wilder: Women’s Creativity Immersion

Art and Writing Retreat in Mexico for Women 40+

with Emily Trinkaus and Lisa Sonora

February 20-26, 2019 

Oaxaca, Mexico

Now more than ever, we need women’s wisdom and women’s voices in the world. We need women in their full creative power. Especially women over 40.

Near the bottom of this page, there is a mini-workshop video you can watch, to get to know Lisa & Emily and experience what the writing is like at our retreat.

Sadly, older women in our culture feel invisible and irrelevant. We’re conditioned to believe that our value is in our appearance, our youth, our ability to bear children.


But we know that 40+ years of living on planet Earth means that we’ve gathered a wealth of incredible experience, tools, skills, insights, wisdom and power.

The world needs us to share these gifts in bigger and bolder ways, to be inspiring role models and mentors to younger generations of women who have rarely seen what an older woman in her authentic feminine power looks like.


And WE need – and deserve – the fulfillment, joy and vitality of expressing our creativity and living our dreams and passions.

Are you ready to break the cultural myths around women, creativity and aging?

What if 40 were just the beginning? What if we were just getting started??

I came away from this retreat loving myself more, feeling held, cared for and encouraged. It’s a big WHOOP! WHOOP! for sure!

The Wiser & Wilder Creative Immersion Retreat

offers a unique opportunity to gather, create, play, explore and have FUN in a sacred, safe and supportive container.

The gift of a 5-day creative immersion allows you to step away from your ordinary life, connect with kindred women peers, and have the time and space to create without interruption.

“Being with women in their second — and third acts who were vulnerable and shared themselves so fully, freed my soul and taught me about being an elder.”

Imagine: someone else is be doing all of the cleaning and cooking and organizing! All you need to do is show up and open to your own creativity.

This retreat is for you if want to:

  • Awaken, re-spark or amp up your creative fire and passion
  • Receive support for evoking and inspiring your creative gifts
  • Take your creativity off the back burner and commit to living your dreams
  • Feel nourished and inspired by being immersed in a sisterhood of peers
  • Gain a new perspective on your life, your future and your gifts.
  • Return to your center and uncover your inner guidance
  • Rest, regenerate and recharge your batteries
  • Take a break from your ordinary reality and the everyday demands of your life

It’s Not Too Late to Create!

Even if you think it’s too late to be creative or start a creative project, and even if you have never written or made art, you are welcome and encouraged to join us.

We’re here to support you. Two facilitators with 8 participants max, means you’ll get plenty of individual attention and creative hand-holding if you want it.

“I loved the expertise, genius and generosity of the two facilitators. Especially how they set clear guidelines and upheld them with gentle reminding. They did this so well that I felt deep trust and safety.”

You’ll be immersed in a fun, encouraging, and supportive environment where you can listen to all the parts of yourself, create with freedom and joy, and see the bigger picture.

Our days will be spent in the practices of creative writing, art and optional morning movement outside in the garden courtyard (feel free to bring your coffee). And you’ll have plenty of time to explore the incredible city of Oaxaca, with group excursions and on your own.

You’ll have the freedom and permission to use the time on retreat however is best for you.

Again, absolutely no previous experience in writing or art is needed! All women age 40+ are welcome!

Here’s what we’ll be doing:

Writing Workshop Sessions

We will write together daily in a safe and encouraging environment designed to spark inspiration and allow our creativity to flow freely. The workshop will allow women of all backgrounds, experience levels, and genres to work together and grow as writers.

By listening deeply to ourselves and each other, we will allow our voices to emerge, expand, and have deep impact. All of our workshop sessions will use the Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshop method, created by Pat Schneider and described in her book Writing Alone and With Others.

“This retreat brought me back into relationship with my creative practice. I can go home and step right into it.”

Mixed-Media Visual Journaling in the Studio

It’s easy to access this wisdom waiting to guide you. It’s right here inside you. Hiding in unexpected turns of phrase, in daring splotches of color, and bold mark-making.

Creating a Wisdom Journal taps into your intuitive, imaginative and creative powers as you play with all manner of art supplies in the least intimidating and most freeing ways possible.

You’ll quickly transform big, unassuming pieces of blank paper into collaged, painted and inked pieces that automagically become the pages of your Wisdom Journal.

“I loved making the wisdom journal.
I had anxiety before I came to the retreat, worried about, ‘What if I have no creative talent…’. Seems silly now.”

Watch the Wiser & Wilder Mini-Workshop (scroll down for the video)to get a sense of what working with us is like.

Workshop Location — Oaxaca, Mexico 

Oaxaca is a Unesco world heritage site, with one of the most beautiful zocalo’s (town centers) in all of Mexico, and no less than 21 cathedrals within the historic center. (Oaxaca is pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka, and is both a city and a state (like New York, NY) in Southern Mexico).

Oaxaca, Mexico is a land of magic, mythos, and art. You’ll find traditional weavers, sculptors, potters, dancers, musicians, storytellers and curanderas (indigenous healers) mixing it up with modern painters, photographers, writers, and poets—all in a renown food destination.

The pace of life is slower here, and things are still done the way they were thousands of years ago: vibrant local markets, deep social connections, food of the Gods. Think: Chocolate and Mezcal.

The light and air are extraordinary, without humidity. Oaxaca is situated in a high desert valley ringed by mountains. Warm, sunny days and cool balmy nights.

Art & Writing Retreat Details

Lodging Options:

Our workshop is held at Lisa Sonora’s own art studio in Oaxaca, Mexico. There is a villa on-site with four en-suite rooms available. Meals are plant-based, organic and are prepared and served in our cafe (with full espresso bar!) right at the studio.

“Being cared for my the Art House kitchen and grounds staff soothed me again and again.”

February 20-26, 2019

February 20 and 26 are travel days with no activities. Workshop dates are February 21-25.

SOLD OUT:  $2,295 Registration with Double Occupancy room on-site



SOLD OUT:  $2,595 Registration with your own Single room on-site

There is space available for those attending the workshop and staying off-site at a hotel down the street.

Workshop Registration Only: $1,995

Stay OFF-Site and arrange your own lodging in Oaxaca (we’ll email you our list of favorite places a short walk away when you register).

$400 deposit to hold your space. We will invoice your for the balance due (balance is due by Dec. 1, 2018)

Registration includes:

  • Workshop instruction
  • Pre-trip notes and guidelines
  • Six nights double occupancy lodging if staying on-site
  • Six breakfasts
  • Six lunches
  • Our meals are plant-based whole foods, and accommodate gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan diets (we get it!)
  • Advice on travel plans before or after the trip, if desired

Because Oaxacan cuisine is so wonderful, dinners are not prearranged to give you freedom to choose where and what to eat. We will point you to our favorite restaurants and even make reservations for you.

Everything is an easy walk from Art House Oaxaca (where you’ll be lodging and enjoying studio time). Taxis are abundant and affordable if you prefer not to walk.

Most people pair up or go to dinner in groups, so don’t worry about dining alone.


By registering, you agree to these terms. Confirmation: You’ll receive an email after you make your deposit. This is your registration confirmation, and contains helpful info to get you started planning your trip to Oaxaca. Please keep this email in a safe place. It’s recommended that you print it out.

Important: All retreat information will be emailed to the email address you used when registering. If you require the materials be sent to an alternate email address,  please email Jen (@ lisasonora  (dot) com) and let her know right away.

A deposit of $400 off-site lodging, $500 Double, or $600 Single Occupancy will hold your space.

Cancellation, Refunds, and Payment Schedule for February 20-26, 2019 Workshop:

Deposit is fully refundable until October 31, 2019. On or after November 1, 2019, your deposit is non-refundable.

The balance is due by December 1, 2018.

You’ll receive an invoice from us for the balance. If you’d like to pay the balance in smaller payments over time, no problem. We’ll set up a payment plan that works for you at no additional charge.

Cancellation before November 1, 2019: a refund of monies paid, less the $500 deposit will be issued to those that cancel their registration. On or after November 1, 2019 registration fees are non-refundable.

Refunds will be issued to those that cancel their registration by emailing Jen at (at) lisasonora (dot) com. Please include Cancellation Request in the subject line, and in the message, include the name and email address you used to purchase your registration.  A full refund will be made to you within 72 business hours of receiving your cancellation email.

Amazing participants. Amazing facilitators.

— 2018 Participant


Watch the Wiser & Wilder Mini-Workshop Replay

Get to know Lisa & Emily and experience what writing is like in this interactive video workshop.

Got Questions?

Please feel free to email us with any questions or concerns about the workshop. Not sure if this is the right workshop / retreat for you? Got travel questions? Please do get in touch.

Email Emily: emily (@) emilytrinkaus (dot) com

Email Lisa: heya (@) lisasonora (dot) com

Hurry! This retreat is limited to 8 women. Reserve now to get your choice of lodging.

“I feel inspired. I want to keep exploring whatever creativeness is inside me.”

Join the Wiser & Wilder Mini-Workshop — ONLINE!

Get to know Lisa & Emily and experience what writing is like in this interactive video workshop.

Your retreat Guidesses: Lisa Sonora (left) & Emily Trinkaus (right) at Monte Alban archeological site in Oaxaca, Mexico

Your Retreat Guidesses

“The facilitators are so professional and peaceful. They taught us so much, happily and with gentleness.”

Lisa Sonora is an American artist and creative entrepreneur living in Mexico, who wants to live in a world where following your heart’s desire is considered practical, and making a living from your gifts is a no-brainer.

Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real (Quarry, 2008), won two independent publisher awards and launched a movement that has helped thousands to make their creative business ideas real. The Creative Entrepreneur is used as a textbook in many business, entrepreneurship, and arts programs, including University of Madison School of Business.

A sought-after facilitator, she’s led international creativity workshops on five continents for the past 20 years: at schools in Africa, inside tech companies, coach training programs, churches and zendos, and at retreat centers and universities. She trains others to lead creativity workshops in her Creative Journey Facilitator Training, and has a Creative Entrepreneur School in the works.

When she’s not consulting or in the studio making stuff, you can find her journeying to foreign lands in search of textiles, trying to take better photos, and adding to her visual journal sketchbooks in cafes around the world.

Emily Trinkaus is a writer, astrologer and teacher currently based in Olympia, Washington. In 1999, after having her world rocked and life changed by participating in a writing workshop using the Amherst Writers & Artists method, she trained with Pat Schneider to become a certified workshop leader. She led writing workshops in Brooklyn, NY, and later moved to Portland, OR, where she founded Portland Women Writers.

For several years she led writing workshops and retreats for women, then took a break to focus on astrology full-time. She now leads writing workshops in Olympia, in addition to teaching unique online classes in Divine Feminine astrology and working with clients around the world.

Emily’s background includes a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in Women’s Studies from Emory University. She is a regular contributor to The Mountain Astrologer magazine, and the author of Creating with the Cosmos: An Astrological Guide to Awakening and Enhancing Creativity.

A devoted practitioner of Yin Yoga for over a decade, Emily loves to share her passion for this gentle yet transformational practice. Her favorite place to be is on the dance floor, practicing conscious or ecstatic dance.