Top 5 Takeaways From NZ Spirit Festival

TOP 5 LESSONS IN SPIRITUAL WELLNESS FROM ATTENDING NZ SPIRIT FEST - and why they matter to your spiritual well-being

20 / MARCH / 2024

Camping, cacao, dance parties, ceremonies, immersed in nature, drug and alcohol free - a festival where Wellness meets ‘Woo’ as I would call it. NZ Spirit Fest was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. I am grateful I was able to fully immerse myself in the entirety of the 3 nights and 3 full days I spent there, and these are the top 5 lessons I wanted to share with you 😀


1. Dance… more
Ironically in the past week I have not been the only one to notice this, in fact numerous scientific studies have been brought to my attention (hello universe), that support what I am about to say. So before you skim over this one… I encourage you to look at the evidence here.

Dance was shown in one study by the BMJ to be the top form of exercise in reducing depression.

Another was linked to significant improvements in body composition in people who were overweight or obese.

Another found it was just as effective at improving the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s as any other form of exercise, also reducing anxiety, and improving depression symptoms.

Further research supports that dance was superior to other forms of exercise in relation to improvements in motivation, memory and social cognition.
But that’s not the best part, sure the science is there, which is amazing, but the personal reason this was one of the biggest lessons for me, was it was a form of true expression. It helps me become super present, tap into my feminine and move energy somatically (we actually did a 2 hour somatic dance workshop at NZ Spirit that was incredibly empowering).

Dance has always been part of my life, there have been chapters when there has been more than others, however dance, especially somatic which is a form I am really loving leaning into (both after a workshop in the US and here), to see the benefits mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

In both instances I had amazing downloads, creative ideas, and insights about myself. I notice when I attend my Monday night Hip Hop class I get bursts of creativity, and clarity as well as the incredible endorphin high.

Dance is so much more than movement, or exercise, in fact I don’t even see it as part of my training routine for my body, it is for my heart, soul and spirit and to feel connected to my essence and self.

So… will you try a dance class or even blast your favourite song and have a little dance party in your living room?

2. Gratitude for my Mother
This one deserves a blog of its own, but it is also super personal so I am going to keep it short and sweet.

One of the biggest inner workings we can do in our life is to heal the mother and father wounding that we have been exposed to. This is present in everyone, because there is wounding either from an unmet need (often done unconsciously by our parents or because of their own wounding), or from trauma.

This is not to blame our parents in any way, it is my core belief that they did the best they knew how to at the time, and it is our job to undo the conditioning that is holding us back from leading the life we wish to lead.

That being said, it was overwhelming to hear and witness stories from all different workshops and people of how under nurturing their mother was during their childhood. Again, there is no judgement or shame, it just really brought awareness to the fact that I was so deeply blessed to have a mother that nurtured me so deeply in a way I could feel and receive her love. Despite not receiving the same from my father, it was a beautiful reminder and awareness of what an incredible upbringing I had.

There was always a lot of affection, praise and connection as well as fun in my household with my mum around and whilst at times I would consider this nurturing a little over-nurturing I am eternally grateful that I experienced it, because it has shaped me into the nurturing, empathetic and caring person I am today.

My business and work with clients is always heart-centred, and it is reflected to me often. I know I still have a lot of work to do on the mother and father wounds, because heck, we aren’t raised perfectly. But I share this to encourage you to reflect on not only the inner work that needs to be done, but on the gifts you were given during your childhood - there are gifts in the trauma too.

3. Community is everything
We are all craving for a sense of love and belonging, it is one of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see image below). And I can honestly say that there’s only been a few times and places I have truly felt that deep sense of belonging and acceptance.

The first being when I had my work family at Les Mills Howick, the second was my trip to the USA last year and connecting with the women who I’d come to love as sisters over the years, and finally the weekend just had at NZ Spirit.

I have evolved in my beliefs and as a human in this time, and so has my friendship groups and circles, but nothing compared to being in a room full of people at midnight, sober, dancing to some epic beats after having done a sound journey, somatic dance, talked about microdosing and having an abundance of energy from ceremonial cacao… and it all being normal.

There was no judgement, just acceptance and good vibes from everyone. My soul was lit up from this, I walked away from the 3 days with my heart full and feeling like I belonged.

Now this sort of vibe may not be your cup of tea, but I share this because I finally felt like part of a community (and a local one at that). And that feeling was profound. It’s also exactly why community is such a huge part of the programs I run, being able to connect with and share your journey, support, insights, and receive from other like-minded individuals actually fast-tracks our growth, healing and results because we feel safe enough to be ourselves.

4. Healing to Bliss
In every workshop I attended there were tears of some sort, you could either hear it, see it, or feel it coming from those around you. This is because energy was moving through people, they felt safe to be seen and for the trauma to come up and out. Whether this was in sound baths, breathwork, cacao ceremonies, somatic dance, or talks. The festival created a safe space for healing, and for the inner work to be normalised.

As someone who has been on this journey - doing inner child healing, deep somatic work, unconscious reprogramming and resetting limiting beliefs, I was fully prepared for a lot of emotion to come up. However, what happened truly surprised me.

In every workshop I felt grateful, elevated and hit a state of bliss. This was most prominent in the breathwork where I was laughing, deep belly laughing for over half an hour (or what seemed like that), driven from my subconscious. I had no control over it, but what I had tapped into was this pure state of bliss. In sound journeys I felt nothing but warmth wash over me as we were guided and smiles would just appear on my face. In the somatic dance or even when we were dancing late into the night I was tapped into this high vibration that made me feel the most alive and happiest I have ever been. Pure bliss.

And whilst I know that I have so many layers to go on my healing journey still, the inner work is a life journey, it was healing in itself to see that the work I had done, had enabled me to reach a new state of embodiment, a new set point, a new level of wisdom. Which is why I am so grateful for the deep inner work that we are now as a society leaning into more, and that I am able to support my clients through.

5. Let go of control
Living from that state of bliss was remarkable, to be able to hold it for so long in my body felt empowering. However, there were still deep moments of reflection and internalisation that happened that gave me great insight as to where I can improve moving forward.

This particular reflection was super powerful as it was delivered to me through the somatic dance and again through my friend Michelle who I was with when we were in discussion during a workshop.

“You are not responsible for anyone else’s experience” was the voice I heard. Another way this was expressed was “You need to let go of control”.

Even though I have never thought of myself as a controlling individual, especially when it comes to others, I have always needed to have control to feel safe in my life. Control of my food (cue eating disorder), control of my schedule (hello entrepreneur), control of my emotions (deep inner work), the list goes on.

What I hadn’t realised is that my deeply nurturing self, the one that just wants to help and care for others all the time, was actually (in a loving way), a need for control in some respects. It became my identity. I was always labelled as ‘the mother’ or ‘the nana’ of the group. Caring for everyone else, going into ‘saviour mode’ or ‘care mode’ the second anyone needed support of any kind… and there is nothing wrong with this. However, it meant I was unable to relax a lot of the time. It was a need to be needed that I was self-fulfilling and highlighted to me what I need to work on moving forward. That it is safe and okay for me to have the full experience too, and not feel responsible for those around me. The recovering people pleaser within me struggles with this, but it is a huge lesson for me to learn and integrate into my life.


So…. there you have it. My insights and learnings from one of the most powerful 3 days of my life. I hope that some of this resonated with you, and inspires you to self-reflect. Our level of emotional intelligence and self-awareness I truly believe determines how far we will go in life. Thank you for being her and on this journey with me and please feel free to reach out if any of this sparked questions, curiosity or a need for support.

Much love,
Sheree xo



Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer & Wellness Coach I empower women like you to transform their lives, understand their bodies and feel their best from the inside out!