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July 06

Personal Reflections: Inaugural Gateway Voyage Virtual Retreat

We met through a box on the computer screen. We are Minna Amanda Nissilä and Lori L. Jacobwith.

Fifteen souls at various places in our voyage of self-discovery. Something powerful had drawn us together as we chose to enroll in the first “Gateway Voyage Virtual Retreat.”

Spanning 17 time zones, from Australia, Finland, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Peru and the US, only added to the power of our retreat. We showed up with open, curious minds and hearts, ready and willing to experience a shift of consciousness towards our genuine presence of I AM.

Just as with the on-campus retreats, we participated in each exercise on our own. Some from our couch. Others from a bed. Others at a desk. Within just an hour or two we could sense the group’s coherent nurturing support energy that uplifted everyone’s individual journey within.

There we were, thousands of miles apart, discovering and healing parts of ourselves as we became more aware of our hidden selves at an unconscious level.

There was an unexpected benefit of the online format—the pure joy in seeing everyone’s faces simultaneously and hearing their instant comments, stories and reactions. Facing each other on-screen made this virtual course a unique experience.


The camera was soon forgotten as everyone was able to connect deeply during sharing sessions.

We felt a unity in this setting that created a very even energy for the group. We were able to be present and “in the moment” for every single person.

We watched as each of us gained more conscious understanding of ourselves and our lives. We saw the freedom felt as, one-by-one, we moved outside of limited thought patterns and fears we had created.

Lori’s healing story:

As a new consciousness explorer, I had a breathtaking journey through the Focus levels. I experienced incredible joy, peace, healing and love. There were many emotional, playful, awe-inspiring moments during my travels.

One powerful example: For each exercise I placed physical pain I’ve experienced for years into my Energy Conversion Box. I did this over and over. In the afternoon of day 2 it seemed the pain from my knee, elbow, shoulder and ankle had simply melted away. I felt, possibly for the first time ever, free to experience my full healthy self.

I’m not sure words will ever do justice to the emotions and physical freedom I am still feeling thanks to the Gateway Voyage Virtual Retreat.”    

Our amazing, kind and talented trainers, Ellen Jones-Walker and Tip Walker, created a safe environment for each of us to go through very delicate journeys within ourselves. As we went through each exercise, it felt as though Bob Monroe was there with us as our third trainer.

For us, “Gateway Voyage” is like a basic user’s manual for what a human experience is all about.

In our wrap-up virtual sharing circle, Joe, one of the participants, captured our experience perfectly, “The completion of Gateway is the beginning of the rest of your life.”

For us, “Gateway Voyage” is like a basic user’s manual for what a human experience is all about. Incredibly relevant and helpful, as we don’t receive a manual when we arrive here in our physical bodies. 

Now, with our every-day toolkit, we continue to explore and expand our awareness. We are grateful for tools to create solutions for the challenges and limiting beliefs present in our daily lives.

Learn More: Next 2020 “Gateway Voyage Virtual Retreat

[Photo included with permission of all participants]


Co-authors Lori and Minna

Minna Amanda Nissilä experienced a total kundalini awakening with OBE, near-death and walk-in experiences prior to attending Monroe Institute courses. She is an Intellectual Property & Technology Commercialization Lawyer in Finland.

Lori L. Jacobwith has just begun her journey to expanded consciousness. She Lori is a master storyteller and fundraising culture change expert living in Minnesota, USA.


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Lori L. Jacobwith

Director of Development and Partnerships

Lori L. Jacobwith is a nationally recognized fundraising culture change expert and master storyteller who has been named one of America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts. She has delivered more than 10,000 coaching and training sessions that have helped nonprofit organizations raise more than $400 million dollars from individual donors. Through her organization Ignited Fundraising, Lori helps staff and board members share their stories powerfully and effectively to inspire donors to give more. With a BA in Political Science and Speech Communications from the University of Minnesota, Lori has training from Indiana University’s Fund Raising School and is a longtime member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.