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Live Retreat Testimonials

Ana Rodney: Attending the Sacred Postpartum Retreat/Training was probably the best decision I've made for my personal self care routine. Also it has speed up the trajectory of my postpartum career. Through the deep intentional offerings, I've been able to better process my own birth journey and built my toolbox to create intentional and moving opportunities for my Mamas to heal and grow through their birth journeys. I walked away with tangible skills to offer my Mamas, a sense of continued healing around my own birth story and motherhood journey, and a circle of women who know me on a deep level and have committed to support me moving forward. I give thanks for the experience. Susannah rocks by the way. 

Margaret Lynne: My biggest fear was not fitting in or being accepted because I didn’t have much experience in the birth world. It didn’t come true, in fact exactly the opposite. I was accepted with open hearts and arms. I have never felt more at home with my inner self then I did when I was in the circle with my sisters. I may have had less experience but everyone was so willing and excited to share all their knowledge. I felt safe and surrounded by infinite love and light. I was able to participate fully without fear of judgement. It was truly magical.

My favorite part of the retreat was learning everything especially working with the herbs. I love what our Mother has provided for us and being able to work with this scared herbs truly connected me with her on top of being able to help postpartum mamas heal. What a blessing.

Susannah is pure love and you can honestly feel that from the moment you share the same space as her. The way she looks at you while you open up to the circle makes you feel so comfortable and safe. When she is listening she is truly hearing and seeing you and it is truly evident. She has so much knowledge, warmth and wisdom to share. There was a moment as we did the Witness Dancing where I was so nervous and scared but I looked down at Susannah as she looked up at me like the Goddess that I am and with pure unconditional love and acceptance. In that moment I felt all the chains of judgement, fear and worry break free from me. She truly is an earth Angel.

If you are thinking about attending: DO IT! I will change your life. You will be reminded of that deep inner fire and wisdom that we all have. I have always loved birth and that postpartum journey. But this retreat reminded me how much I want to help mamas in postpartum. Help them heal and adjust to the next step in their journey. I know this course has taught me what I need to know to aid in healing postpartum mamas deeply heal not only physically and mentally but spiritually too.

Stacy de Arenas: I just attend the sacred mother roaster postpartum training retreat in January on the beautiful beach of Panama City in Florida. It was amazing! It’s hard to find the words to describe my experience. Imagine trying to describe seeing the sunset for the first time. I was so nervous the day I was leaving. It seemed like everything that could go wrong, was. I doubted myself for going, feeling selfish for leaving my family. But once I was finally packed and in my rental car I took a deep breath and headed out for my 5 hour drive. Upon arriving I was greeted by our retreat leader Susannah Kolstad. She was very warm and welcoming!! She is the reason I came to this retreat. I had been going back and forth about doing the online class but knew deep down I’d never get it done because life gets in the way. I wrote to her about it and she told me she had that experience. She was very sincere in her answer. The next few days would be life changing!! Coming in I had all these stupid insecurities. Almost like entering high school with the “will they like me” thoughts. These women and I made a beautiful connection, we supported each other, we listened to each other, we felt heard, we felt healing, we shared our fears, our hopes, we laughed, we cried, we danced, we trusted, and most of all we empowered each other! I completely fell in-love with them all! Susannah was an amazing teacher! She was able to answer any questions I had going through our workbooks. She’s knowledgeable and most of all a beautiful bright light that guided us on our journey that special weekend! She met us where we all were and brought us through with grace and wisdom. Susannah is beautiful on the inside and out! The connections I made are for a life time! I am forever grateful!!My dear friend

Alauna Whelan: My dear friend was attending the Sacred Pregnancy and Postpartum retreats and had suggested that I consider tagging along.  It was a difficult decision to drag along my young family so that I could invest in myself and my calling, but one which I have no regrets.  My focus is post partum work and serving women during a vulnerable time as they find their footing in motherhood, whether its their first child or fourth.  It was so affirming to work in sisterhood with other women from such a deep spiritual well.  Much of the work we did felt so ancestral and I truly loved the community that we were able to build in such a few short days.  I loved the sealing ceremony, honoring the placenta and the salt bowl.  Im so excited to be able to expand the services I am able to offer to women.  Sara Harkness was an amazing instructor.  The care and attention to the work she does is beautiful.  I'm looking forward to attending more Sacred Retreats in the future.

Lacey Nedjelski: When I registered for the sacred pregnancy mother roasting I was really unsure of what it was going to be, I had taken postpartum doula training and as much as I love to help the postpartum mommas, that training wasn't for me. I wanted to do more, I wanted to honor moms and make them feel special and really take care of them on a different level, and I really found this with this class. After becoming a doula myself, I expected my postpartum to be really great cause I had so much support through my pregnancy, but this was not the case. I found my postpartum to be even worse then I imagined. Not only did my friends leave me high and dry, when I did see them, they wanted to only talk about te birth and snuggle a baby. Everything that Sara taught us is so valuable and I really believe that this can change the way that women feel and heal during their postpartum period. We have one of the only cultures that we expect women to have this super mom approach and get on with life as soon as the baby comes out. But we all need to take the time and really love on the mommas and even though I knew this in my heart, this class gave me some really amazing tools to go out into my community and show that love to women. Thank you so much Sara for such an awesome class, you were such a joy to work with and are just a wealth of knowledge. Thank you!!


Sarah Dexter: Right on the tails of yet another Sacred Pregnancy high (hearts pounding, faces brimming, fears forgotten, sisters gushing) we hardly paused and leapt into Sacred Post Partum Mother Roasting. Without skipping a beat, the lovely Sara Harkness lifted us gently from our Sacred Pregnancy state, invited new sisters for us to embrace, and took us to a new and incredible world filled with practicality, intention, beauty, grace, respect, and awe. The scope of amazing new services that I am now able to offer my mamas with confidence is huge and wonderful. I feel so equipped to support women on a whole other level after birth and beyond. I was excited to learn the Art of Placenta Prana but didn't think much about the 'Art' bit until Sara began the lesson and I realized just how much beauty, respect, and intention is infused into her practice. It was such an honour that my sister's placenta was the one we were able to work with, and the way the women handled and blessed it was beyond moving! The retreat covered every angle: there was deep connection between the women, mixed with deep learning from the very first day. We all got to experience the Art of Mother Roasting from a client perspective with a moving and emotional sealing ceremony for everyone. We packed in way more than I would have thought possible but it didn't feel rushed and we got the chance to create and participate and take home the fruits of our labour! I absolutely cannot say enough about having been guided through this journey by the beautiful Sara Harkness, Not only is she skilled and extremely knowledgeable in all areas of the retreat, but watching her teach is like watching an amazingly skilled and experienced Birth Doula assist a women through labour (maybe that's cause she IS a birth doula). She offered support, guidance, love, expertise, softness, intuition, and strength at all the right times, while encouraging us women to guide our own practice. I learned an insane amount at this retreat and from all the other women as well! I just love knowing that there is now another skilled mob of amazing Mother Roasters ready to conquer and prevent all things keeping mamas from having a sacred post birth experience!


Cortney Baca: I’ve long been dissatisfied with postpartum services offered to women, but at a loss when looking at why or how I could improve. Deep down, I knew that while scrubbing up a kitchen, rocking a baby while mom gets a few winks, or doing a load of laundry was certainly helpful and so very appreciated, I felt there was something much bigger that those services danced around, an unseen elephant in the room, so I’ve avoided postpartum work in general, and I’ve felt there’s something missing from my life in doing so.  I’m so happy to have found the right path for me in postpartum work through The Art of Sacred Postpartum. I’ve long admired Sacred Pregnancy for focusing on the whole, the dyad, the family unit, the mother, instead of dissecting such intangibles down. The Art of Sacred Postpartum was an earthshattering continuation of that brilliance. The golden gift of listening to a mother, witnessing her in her story of passage from maiden to mother and honoring her as the amazing, powerful, revered goddess she is sits at the very core of the work outlined in the Mother Roasting program, and the lotus unfolds from there. Conscious cooking,  defining old relationships through a new experience, the art of placenta prana, warming and mothering the postpartum mother in a beautiful blend of the ancient and the modern, each day of the retreat reinforced the idea that I had found exactly what I’d been looking for, something to aid in the practical while nourishing the spiritual, handling business while honoring a deep need that may not even have been felt or spoken before.  Learning to see other mothers through a different lens, seeing the transformations in myself and those around me, THIS is what I was searching for. I cannot wait to go and spread this fire that’s been lit in my heart to mothers in my community and beyond. I want to stand on a mountain top and shout “You brought forth life! You are amazing! Astounding! Beautiful! And so very worth it!” And then I want to sit at her feet and bow, the loud celebration and the quiet reverence. I’m so happy to have found this place I’ve been yearning for, for so, so long.


Jenn Stone: I have known for a long time and have heard it expressed a hundred times over from other birth professionals that there is a deficit in postpartum care in our culture, but no one knew where to improve this period beyond just being present with a new mom and helping her around the house.  Our society has long separated us from the traditions of wyse wombyn of old; leaving a dysfunctional feeling during times that should be honored and celebrated as rites of passage for women.  The Art of Sacred Postpartum fills that gap with ceremonies and traditions of new and old by teaching mother honoring ceremonies, belly binding, sealing the birth journey, and placenta prana.   Along with the Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities of healing we were also taught to keep the mother warm with healing and nurturing soups and teas.  These practices bring beauty, healing, and long needed celebration to the postpartum period.  I am elated to be able to be a part of spreading these traditions and in turn healing the hole that has formed in postpartum care.  Every woman should be honored by a practitioner of The Art of Sacred Postpartum after childbirth!


Kristen Revere: I felt drawn to the Art of Sacred Postpartum training after teaching Sacred Pregnancy courses. The women in my birth journey classes had so many questions about the postpartum time that I wanted to offer them more than just a two hour session. I wanted them to feel as empowered about motherhood as they did about pregnancy and birth. This Mother Roasting program does that and so much more. On the first day of the training, we circled together and told our birth stories.  We laughed and cried and became honest, and vulnerable and raw together as mothers.  We created birth story journals and decorated them as a way to honor the process and claim the birth.  We were introduced to ceremonies to warm and seal the mother. It was all done with the Sacred Pregnancy “beauty way” in mind. Later that day we shed our clothes and swam to the dock in the middle of the lake and designed mandala art to create our own personal signature as a Mother Roaster.  I felt so liberated and so whole in that moment. I will take bits of this training back to my family as well. The food that we created together with love and intention is something that I want to do with and for my family. I want my children to view the kitchen as sacred space and I intend to spend more time around the table together creating new traditions. I want to bring the women in my community foods that nourish and heal after they give birth or whenever they need support. I am still in awe of all of the beauty in the program and am excited to share this with the women in my community. I want every woman to feel honored in such a way after giving birth. To be heard, to be healed, to be loved and celebrated for going through the amazing journey of birthing a child.  I bow in gratitude to Anni and all the sisters who created the Art of Sacred Postpartum.

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