How to Love Your “Job” & Live Your Vision of Success Part I

Segment Title: My Story: How I came to be living my vision of success. (#1 out of a 6 series FB Live Event. Next Date: 12/20/17)

Click on the pic to watch the first installment of my FB Live Event on Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts Facebook page. Post comments and questions directly to video and I will reply!

Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

Do you want to love your job? Jump on this ONLINE Event Dec. 13-Jan 17th

Join us at this FB Live event if you have you been promising yourself to break out and really live the life you love for some time now.
Are you succeeding at a job that you don’t even like let alone love? Do you know what you would rather be doing for work but keep procrastinating on getting started? Or, have you gotten started on creating the life you love but are encountering roadblocks?

If any of the above describes you then invest (15 mins) of your life to join this discussion on Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts FB page and get expert advice on how to really live your Vision of Success!

I will be on FB Live starting 12/13/17 and running for six weeks to share tips on:
1) Clarifying your Vision of Success
2) Setting goals and achieving them!
3) Removing self limiting thoughts
4) Navigating real life obstacles like paying bills while doing work you love
5) Creating a plan that you can follow to get you out of a job you don’t love and into one you do!

Looking forward to “seeing” you there!

Questions? Drop me a line at

Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

What Lives in Your Cave of Shadows?

Reading “The Cave of the Shadows”-an excerpt from Journey to Orphalese

In The Adventures of Isabelle Book II: Journey to Orphalese our heroine Princess Isabelle of Xamayca has to overcome some pretty scary challenges. As we all know trials and ordeals in the form of dragons and other baddies are pretty common when you are on the heroine’s quest to achieve your Vision of Success. For that matter so are visits to shadowy places like the Underworld. Remember Orpheus and Eurydice and his little trip down there to pick her up? But what of the “dragons” that live in our own minds? On the quest to living her Vision heroines often have to contend with the dragon named Self-Doubt and other limiting beliefs about ones abilities and chances of success.

These self doubts live in The Cave of the Shadows, the dark recesses of our mind and they often appear as whispered or even shouted negative self talk. They say things like “You are too old, not strong enough or smart enough etc.”  Here’s a secret, the voices often get really loud the closer you get to your Vision so beware but know this means you are on the right path. Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way calls these little nasty voices “blurts” and even has nifty exercises to help you contend with them.

These inner demons of self doubt revolve around FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) and in a weird way they are your ego’s way of trying to protect itself. The ego will tell you that it is protecting you, but do not be fooled! You are perfectly safe whether you succeed or “fail.” It is the ego that will be diminished and this is a good thing! Your ego slows you down and blocks your way. If you are afraid to fail you will not take risks and you will not try. If you are afraid to succeed the same things happens. (Check out my post Overcoming the Fear of Success )

Now what the ego and all the other little boogie men in your head (cave of shadows) will never tell you is that achieving your Vision of Success has NOTHING to do with you, nothing to do with how you look or how popular you are or what others think of you. Your Vision of Success is your Mission in life. It’s what you are meant to bring to the world through you for others.

Trust me. Whenever I am afraid (walking through the cave of shadows) my ego is always involved, but as soon as I remember that I have a mission and that it is to serve others, that fear and anxiety goes right away and I get brave. A prayer or two usually helps me to get back on track.

So the next time you find yourself plagued with self doubt or fear, when you hear those negative voices pop up in your head tell them “thanks for sharing” and live your Vision anyway. Or as our friend Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” I personally would have said, “Don’t stop!” but don’t tell him I said that.

Book II: Journey to Orphalese coming soon, so if you haven’t already, get Book I: The Embryo Goddess and the Morpho.


Posted in Ask Dr. Cutts, Success, Visions | Leave a comment

Capture Your Bliss -Women’s Retreat- Costa Rica Vision Quest Retreats

“Capture Your Bliss” Women’s Retreat

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

January 11-16, 2018

Are you ready to Relax and Recharge? Do you long for some serious “me” time to reconnect with yourself and come back with a renewed “Personal Strategic Plan” to kick butt in 2018? Are you ready to banish your fears, achieve new goals and capture your bliss?  Perhaps you have conquered many fears, achieved goals and found success but lost touch with your bliss? 

Grab your passports and join Vision Quest Retreats & Travel With Lady V for this 6 Day/5 Night life changing getaway to paradise! Join other fabulous women for this transformational program at a luxurious 4-Star All-Inclusive property in Guanacaste, Costa Rica on the edge of the beach of Matapalo. Check out the Hotel Riu Palace! Our goal is to provide a relaxing, empowering, stunning and unforgettable 6 days for YOU!

REGISTER BY AUGUST 12 & Receive a FREE 3 Day/2 Night



  • Daily workshops focused on capturing your bliss and achieving your Vision of Success***
  • Spa services
  • Exciting excursions and activities
  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • All inclusive luxury accommodations and 24/7 Room Service
  • Guided meditation and yoga sessions
  • Personal travel consultant to help with flights, excursions etc.
  • Attendees entered to win a FREE CRUISE** (Given away during retreat)


During the retreat you will stay in a 4 Star All-Inclusive hotel with all the amenities you need for a relaxing fun time. Rooms are all Jr. Suites with two double beds or one super king-size bed, a sofa in the lounge area, a hydromassage bathtub, WiFi, satellite TV, air conditioning, a minibar and beverage dispenser, a coffee maker, and a balcony or terrace. This property has a variety of restaurants as well as 24/7 room service. Once you eat your fill you can work it off in their gym or take a walk on the lovely beach. If night-life is your thing they have a disco and casino as well as live entertainment! Other property highlights include…

SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES i.e. Gym, beach volleyball court, group fitness activities, floodlit hard surface tennis court, steam bath, whirlpool bath, windsurfing, stand up paddle surfing, snorkeling equipment, kayaking, and 1 introductory scuba diving lesson in pool.


  • 5 nights accommodation at an all-inclusive resort
  • Workshops (4-5 hrs), focused on YOUR Vision of Success
  • One-on-one success coaching sessions (including a pre-retreat call)
  • All meals, snacks and beverages
  • All supplies for the activities including success tools
  • One spa service and one excursion (optional excursions and spa services available)
  • Transfers from and to Liberia, Costa Rica International Airport
  • Plenty of free time to relax and/or work on success/bliss exercises between sessions
  • All hotel services and activities listed under accommodations
  • On site travel consultant
  • Four post-retreat group success coaching sessions (via teleconference) to help keep you on track with the Personal Strategic Plan you created on the retreat!

What’s not included:

  • Airfare
  • Trip Insurance
  • Additional excursions


The total cost for all-inclusive accommodations (based on double occupancy), airport transfers, workshops, personal coaching sessions, on site activities and travel consultant, excursion and spa treatment is $2899.00 per person.  (Single room occupancy and room upgrades available at a higher rate. Solo travelers can be matched with a room mate.) Single room occupancy $3402.00 per person.

Payment/Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a non refundable deposit of $310.00 paid by August 19, 2017.
  • Final payment required November 1, 2017.
  • It is your responsibility to read and understand our Payment and Cancellation Policy  before making a reservation!


Read our Payment and Cancellation Policy  then follow this link to Travel With Lady V!

Remember the first 10 people to register by August 12, 2017 receive a FREE 3 Day/2 Night Hotel Accommodation

How to get there-Arrival by airplane

Contact Travel With Lady V to to book your flight to arrive at Liberia, Costa Rica International Airport (LIR). Travel With Lady V will also be coordinating pick up and drop off times based on participant flight details.

*Hotel accommodation on future travel for the first 10 people to register by August, 12, 2017. Registration must be completed, paid in full and retreat attended to receive FREE Hotel Stay. (Hotel locations include Aruba, Florida, Las Vegas and more.)

**Cruise Giveaway does not include taxes, port fees and gratuities.

***A word about “Success” Everyone has their own definition of success. Vision Quest Retreats defines Success as being satisfied and happy with what you have, who you are and what you are giving back to the world.

Questions? Contact Nicole Cutts via email or phone 202-669-5777

Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

Gratitude is the Antidote.

Those of you who I’m connected to via Facebook or Instagram know that I love my (almost) daily nature walks and I take them wherever I can. Being in nature helps me reconnect to my spirit. When I’m home these walks are usually along the Potomac river on the tow path of the C & O Canal. I use this time to commune with Mother Nature and The G*ddess, to pray and meditate and get inspiration.  My routine includes saying three good things I’ve done for myself that day and five things for which I’m grateful. The three good things include things like earning my living and even taking exercise which I’m doing when I walk. The gratitude list can easily be more than five things and includes everything from clean water to drink, to having a vehicle to living my vision.

But, sometimes doing a list of my blessings morphs maniacally into a to-do list or looking at what I don’t have or worst of all I sometimes find myself comparing myself to other people and invariably finding my life lacking! I know that I should not do this and I know that focusing on gratitude is the magic antidote to this perception of lack so the other day when I found myself comparing I put my focus back on my blessings. The discontented feelings that accompany my perception of lack began to lift.


After this I stopped to cool myself at the stream that runs under a sort of covered bridge. I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of tiger swallowtail butterflies puddling in the mud along with one little violet colored butterfly. As I approached, the butterflies flew up in a cloud and danced around me bringing a broad smile to my face and evaporating any remaining traces of my discontent. My heart was filled with gratitude.

After this I realized how amazing my life is; that I get to see things like this on an almost daily basis, that I have created a life for myself where I can work AND have time to take care of myself by going for walks, sitting by streams, meditating and getting to play with butterflies and other beautiful creatures. So life is good when I practice gratitude and stay out of comparing!


Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

Why I Did NOT Love Wonder Woman-Four Reasons

Disclaimer: I don’t have a degree in film. I’m just a chick who loves action adventure movies, watches a lot of films and has a passion for helping women see and live their lives as a heroine’s quest. 

Like many women and especially as a woman who loves action adventure movies, superheroes, and is obsessed by the heroine’s quest, I was excited to see Wonder Woman. Also like many women I long for more movies starring female action heroine’s and super-heroines. This longing is in large part why I wrote my first book The Adventures of Isabelle Book I about a strong adventurous princess.

So,  when my friend Tenecia Brown invited me to see the movie last weekend with a group of other women I said “YES!” We saw it in a stadium theater in IMAX 3D. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the special effects and the fact that this movie depicts a heroine’s quest. It was also a visual treat. I especially loved the scenes shot on the Amazon island of Themyscira an idyllic paradise populated by many strong, athletic, beautiful women of many hues. I enjoyed the fight scenes (again especially on the island) and the costumes (yup on the island again).

BUT there were a four things that kept me from LOVING this movie as I had expected to…

FIRST:  You can accuse me of being shallow, body shaming or looksist, but this is just a matter of personal taste; the look of our lead Gal Gadot’s body. She was very pretty indeed but she did not  do it for me. She was just too SKINNY! It was not believable to me that this skinny Amazon could train in secret then end up being the best warrior among all the others who had trained longer and looked way stronger! I felt distinctly like the “male gaze” was at work again. Of course she has to be attractive and feminine for the movie to sell but c’mon! Couldn’t we put some meat on those bones and some toughness in her face and still have her be sexy?? She would have been to me. There is a scene where she stands, legs spread and arms akimbo (supposed to be a tough pose) on the cliff’s edge on Themyscira in her little short tunic and I remember thinking “She’s too skinny! Why can’t we have a heroine with some muscles?” Why does she have to look like a fragile princess?

SECOND: The relationship between her, her powers, and men. She is SUPER HUMAN and could save all the men but the way they had her go about it was clearly orchestrated to not damage the egos of the mortal men. Really?! Who has time for that? I’ve never seen Superman hold back so the men around him don’t feel inferior. He’s picked dudes up and flown them through the air! She’s not a real woman who often really does have to do this in real life to cater to the male ego. She’s a goddess. Gods and goddesses do not bow to humans but the movie depicted her treading carefully maybe so the men in the audience could better fall in love with her. This left me a bit flat. I go to movies like this for an escape from real life, not to see this stuff repeated! I wanted her to just do her damn thing! Instead she often seemed to let the weak male mortals try something first, so as not to “emasculate” them, then after they failed or weren’t doing it so well she’d step in.  The fate of the world is at stake and she’s gotta soft pedal super powers!? Warner Bros Please!! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

THIRD: I wasn’t really feeling the romance between she and Steve Trevor. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t dislike it (and Chris Pine is nice to look at and funny) but to me the romance can kind of slow down an action movie. What I did like about this relationship was that he was not central but more of a tool to her self growth. He played the role that the women often play to our male heroes. He’s on the side and we like him and we want her to have a boyfriend and all that but let’s get back to saving Earth shall we? In short I’m glad he blew himself up and that there’s no way he can return in a sequel.  I want Wonder Woman to focus on her mission. I don’t think she has time for a long term monogamous relationship. In case you think I’m sexist I don’t really like when 007 gets too serious with anyone either. I’m like, “Yaaaawn! Get back to work!” It would add to the adventure and fun for me if she met a bunch of hot men and/or women and just dated. I know every movie can’t have everything for everybody and this is why my princess is bisexual. Yes, The Adventures of Isabelle Book II: Journey to Orphalese (coming soon) is going to heat up a bit.

FOURTH: While I dug the multicultural representation in Steve Trevor’s crew and the women of color on the Amazonian island, I wanted more women of color in larger roles. If we had spent more time on the island we would have probably seen more of this as we had been introduced to some high ranking officers and stateswomen of color. Again a good reason to not leave the island and again why sometimes we have to write our own stories and make our own films. In Book II of the Adventures of Isabelle there is a band of female warriors of all hues, colors, shapes and sizes and they are all Bad B’s!

So there you have it. My two cents. Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts???

P.S. I can’t wait for Black Panther

Coming soon…


Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

Coping with Disappointment, Loss and Hurt

In light of our recent elections many Americans (my clients and myself included) have been processing our grief and disappointment and I want to offer something that may help folks cope and even thrive through this time and beyond. While I have many political and socio-cultural opinions I am not an expert in those areas so I’ve decided to stay in my wheelhouse as I approach offering help to those around who may either be suffering or just challenged with coping with disappointment, loss and the resultant grief.

As a psychologist, success coach and organizational consultant I favor simple and elegant solutions like the use of the “Serenity Prayer” and the exercise below. That being said these solutions are not necessarily “easy” real growth never is. So here goes…

God/Goddess (Higher Power), Grant me the SERENITY to ACCEPT the things I can’t, the COURAGE to CHANGE the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.

  1. List the things you can’t change i.e. other’s attitudes or opinions, the outcome of elections and contests.
  2. List the things you can change or better yet DO i.e. change your attitude, volunteer, work for social justice, love someone, forgive, get to work!
  3. DO the things you CAN (Maybe not all of them but you can do something)!to-do-list
  4. Keep praying for acceptance, courage and wisdom to discern the difference between 1 and 2.
  5. STOP wasting your energy complaining or just being mad. That leaches the energy you NEED to DO something and it helps no one. That being said you can benefit from speaking about how you feel but that is different than complaining.
  6. Take a look at my video above that may help too. Please note the definition of real success according to the mission of Vision Quest Retreats must include bringing something of value to the world and others. It does NOT mean success just for you so you can think you are great…LOL.

I hope the above helped,


Posted in Ask Dr. Cutts, Success, Visions | Leave a comment

Western Caribbean Getaway

I hope you enjoy my travelogue!

Written 10/10/16 in Ship’s Library aboard the Norwegian Getaway (at sea).

I really wasn’t sure that we would even get to go on this trip. With Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Nicole threatening the Caribbean Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the South Eastern coast of the U.S. it seemed inevitable that our Friday morning flight to Miami would never take off. After a few stressful months of work I was more than ready for a holiday. I had also been desperately searching my schedule for an open week in which I could get away and do a final review/edit of my manuscript of Book II of The Adventures of Isabelle: Journey to Orphalese. That opening had not come up until now. I had conducted a women’s writing retreat to the Chesapeake Bay at the end of September but as a facilitator I had not had time for my own writing.

After anxiously watching the weather and obsessively checking Flight Tracker for the past three days by Thursday night it seemed that our plane was actually going to take off and head to Miami Friday morning. I had a speaking gig Thursday afternoon and didn’t dare to start packing until after 10 that night. By the time I headed down to D.C. it was almost midnight.

Bags packed and passport in hand we headed out for National (I never call it Reagan) around 8:30 Friday morning. Still not daring to believe it after the hurricane had closed all FL airports just the day before I more than half expected to reach the airport and find that our flight had been cancelled. I don’t think I breathed a sigh of relief until well after we were airborne. After two nights in Miami we were to board a ship that would take us on a cruise of the Western Caribbean; Honduras, Belize, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Splendidly all places I have never been before!

The white sun shone in a hot blue sky as our taxi raced down the freeway to the little apartment on South Beach which we would call home for two days and two sultry nights. As we drove past the colorful art deco buildings lining Ocean Drive it was clear that Hurricane Matthew had not touched one frond on the head of the palm trees that swayed above our heads in the humid air. I felt very grateful for this but at the same time wondered at it hitting Haiti, a country that can ill afford another disaster. I was reminded of how blessed my life is and acutely aware that I should take none of this for granted (link to Haitian relief fund).

Our time in Miami was a lovely time to go on the beach and swim in the warm water, take walks, people watch and have dinner with my cousin on Lincoln Rd at one of my favorite Cuban restaurants; Havana 1957.

We boarded the ship yesterday around 1:00 in the afternoon in preparation for our 4:00 departure. We spent the day getting oriented to this gargantuan vessel with its million eateries, bars and entertainment. Really it’s too much. I quickly realized I’d be spending a great deal of my time trying to avoid the crush of humanity and seeking out peaceful spots from which to actually enjoy moving through this gorgeous ocean. This brings me to my current situation on this couch in the ship’s library looking out this large window watching the cobalt sea drift by as the ship gently rocks from side to side. I’m sleepy after waking early this morning for “sunrise yoga” at 8:00 in the gym but I’m determined to make a start on a “final” edit of my manuscript. My two writing goals for this trip are A) review/edit the first 100 pages of my manuscript and B) keep up with my travel blog.


10/11/16 Ship’s Library 7:15 p.m.

I’m not sure we weren’t drugged last night! It was a beautiful day at sea, just relaxing and sunning that culminated in a couple’s massage that evening in the ship’s spa. We stumbled out of the spa then ate a ton of food at the buffet then returned to our state room. There we lay down and there was talk of a nap. I awoke around 3:00 a.m. in the morning, went out on the balcony and admired the amazing clouds in the sky before going back in and back to sleep. I awoke groggily again after 8:00 a.m. to find us approaching Roatan an island about 40 miles from the mainland of Honduras. We entered the port around 10:00. Low hanging clouds hung over low lying lush green hills ringing the port with its crystal clear water like glass. After coffee and a lovely breakfast we went ashore for our planned excursion; a tour of the island via bus, a stop at the iguana farm then on to the beach. The rain started as we left the parking area and entered the little town which looked much like any Caribbean seaside town if not a bit more bedraggled.

As the bus splashed through the streets our guide pointed out mundane sights like the bank and the airport and the energy plant. Believe it or not I still found it of interest. It was just kind of nice to be seeing a new place. The iguana farm was pretty much what you would expect, but because it was rainy the large scaly creatures stayed up in the trees. I always enjoy wildlife so it was cool to me. After this we drove to the beach at the Las Palmas “resort” where there was a restaurant and bar at the end of a series of wooden walkways. A typical seaside eatery serving semi local fare. A nice touch here where the hummingbird feeders around which buzzed the amazing little emerald and gold creatures.  After a quick lunch; half a grouper sandwich I went for a swim.

The day was still overcast but no longer raining. The water was very calm and a bit chilly as I entered it. I dove into the quite shallow water and swam out to a little lone mangrove tree to examine its roots. Tiny tiger fish swam around it and under the floating blue wooden sunbed that was anchored to the tree. Not much to see here. I kept swimming out past the rock ringed fish enclosure. The bottom was now covered in all manner of interesting coral and the fish were more interesting. The water was deeper here but still only about 15 feet. Bright blue parrot fish swam among the coral and rocks along with other sizable fish. I was a long way from the shore now and the water was only a bit deeper. Suddenly I encountered a drop off into murky bright blue water. The visibility wasn’t great but it was clear enough to realize how deep the bottom now went. Seeing such a deep bottom and not being able to see too far out ahead of me I decided it was time to turn back. It was a lovely long way back and I enjoyed cutting easily through the calm water stretching my arms as far ahead of me as I could and keeping up a steady strong kick to give my arms a break. It was good exercise and I was breathing hard as I walked up out of the water onto the beach.

After another quick trip out into the blue and back it was time to go so we boarded the bus that took us back through the humid streets to the port. After boarding and changing into dryer clothes we went back out to walk around the town. We had lunch at a little rundown local place on the water’s edge. Our server, an older man named Wellington made us feel very welcome and wasn’t shy to express his gratitude for tourists. The lunch was nice; cracked conch in garlic sauce with onions and grouper prepared pretty much the same way but with sides of rice and peas and pieces of fried green plantain. I tried their local banana soda which was bright orange and tasted an awful lot like Kola Champagne. Wellington agreed but pointed out that Kola Champagne isn’t banana flavored. Indeed I could read “Hecho en Honduras” printed right on the side of the bottle. Oh well there is enough room in the world for two yummy tropical sodas that taste an awful lot alike.

After this we walked back toward the ship and walked around the little souvenir shops ringing the harbor in the shadow of our behemoth of a ship. We stopped at a little coffee stand serving Honduran coffee and I got a double espresso. We sipped our coffee on the water’s edge admiring the quiet harbor and dark green mountains before boarding the ship for the evening and the overnight journey to Belize. We dock early and will be on a long tour so I plan to make it an early night after a bit of time editing here in the library.


10/12/16 Aboard Ship 8:30 p.m. Belize and Cozumel

Today was a long hot day in Belize. We awoke around 6:45, had a hasty breakfast and coffee then headed ashore for our excursion to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai. The ship can’t dock at Belize City so we boarded tenders for the 20 minute boat ride to the shore. The sky was slightly overcast as we boarded a bus to take us along the Northern Highway to Tower Hill. Here we boarded a river boat to take us to the ruins. The hour trip took us past mangroves and many little creeks. The sun stayed behind the clouds and the air was not yet hot as we took this lovely ride south. We saw very little fauna save for one iguana, about four bats and a few jacanas walking atop the broad lily pads. We did see an interesting epiphyte or air borne cactus that wrapped its plump light green arms around the trees earning its name; snake cactus a.k.a. devil’s cactus.

The sun had made her full appearance as we docked at the small rickety pier at Lamanai and the day was hot and unbelievably humid! Following our guide along a gravel path on the forest floor we made our way to the first site a small pyramid to the Maya Sun God also known as the Mask Temple. Huffing and puffing and sweating not just a little bit we climbed the steep steps on the pyramid’s face to the top. From here we looked down the three story face that we had just climbed and into the trees. After climbing down we stood sweating in the shade while our guide Adrian told us the history of this particular pyramid, how it had been built and rebuilt over the centuries. Visiting the following pyramids would follow the same protocol. After traversing through the forest we came to the second temple of the day which stood three times the height of the Maya Sun God. It was aptly named the High Temple and when I looked at its steep face had no intention of climbing it. However after being challenged by my partner I had to. To reach the top one did not climb the face but instead took several long flights of wooden stairs built around the back part of the edifice. This was some relief but not much! After catching my breath at the top of the stairs I followed him to the top of the pyramid climbing up the steep uneven rocky steps. From the top the panorama was pretty amazing. To the left we would see the river up which we had come and to the right nothing but lush trees and land. The view and the sheer drop off reminded me of a pivotal scene in Journey to Orphalese (that I can’t tell you about).

Last we visited the largest temple at Lamanai, the Jaguar Temple. It was lovely but after the first two temples I was quite content to admire it from the shade of the trees while our guide told us of its history. After this, exhausted and drenched in sweat we walked about eight mins back to the starting area. A quick visit to the sparse museum then back to the boat for a fast forty minute ride back to the palapa where we had begun the river boat tour. The wind on our wet bodies felt delicious and the sound of the boat cutting through the water and the motion threatened to lull me to sleep.

Back at the palapa we were treated to a Belizian lunch of chicken, rice and peas cooked in coconut milk and coleslaw. It was delicious and I ate too much. The bus ride back was hotter than the ride there I was sticky and uncomfortable. This however did not stop me from taking a little nap. After this back at the pier we joined the line to board a tender to return us to the ship. After this 20 min ride which seemed interminable in the hot crowded boat we made it back to the ship where I practically ran to our stateroom to undress and take a lovely shower. Recovered, I’m enjoying the rocking of the boat while I write this while my partner is gently snoring away.

Posted in Visions | Leave a comment

Upcoming Event: Writer’s “Beach” Retreat by the Pool (Potomac, MD)

Mini Writers Retreat Summer 2016 poster

I’m excited to tell you that author Maria Leonard Olsen and I as well as our retreat participants had such a fabulous time on our sold out “Writer’s Beach Retreat Spring 2016” that we want to do it again! A powerful group of women showed up and magic happened. Positive comments and demand for more have come pouring in so to continue the amazing work that began that weekend we are doing a day-long mini retreat poolside in Potomac, MD!

Do you want to hear what participants are saying? Check out some of their comments below…

Sometime God sends miracles. I saw many of them this past weekend. The connections, the love, the food, the talent, the love, the healing tears, the laughter. Our voices. ALL OF US. —Daynna Dixon

IMG_2921Thank you so much Nicole Cutts and Maria Leonard Olsen for creating life moments that heal, affirm and celebrate our stories! –Carol Binta, Author of Civilized Blacks

Rejuvenation! A weekend full of love, authenticity and breakthrough. 2016 Beach Retreat with Vision Quest Retreats is just what the doctor ordered, Literally. Thank you Dr. Nicole Cutts and Maria Leonard Olsen for your vision and coaching.—Spirit Dixon

Writer’s Beach Retreat 2016: Talk about a wealth of information. The workshops, information, tips, and advice Nicole and Maria gifted to us were priceless. We also had a workshop led by Pam our social media maven. Truly an awesome and invaluable experience. I’ve already begun to apply things I’ve learned. —Anonymous

Vision Quest Retreats “Writer’s Beach Retreat” provided an excellent opportunity to tap IMG_2916into and explore the writer I’ve always wanted to be. The retreat led by Dr. Nicole Cutts and Maria Olsen provided the right balance of workshops and one-on-one sessions to educate and arm each individual participant with their own actionable items to move forth to their next level of being a writer or advancing their existing projects. Nicole and Maria were very knowledgeable and encouraging with each participant. They also provided a perfect setting to relax, focus, be deliciously nourished, and have fun. I definitely recommend this retreat and their services to assist anyone in their writing efforts. —Kathryn C. Boxill Satisfied Customer & Writer

composite fr KathrynThe VQR Writer’s Beach Retreat was superb! I gained a wealth of information about writing, and engaged in wonderful dialogue with a group of phenomenal women writers. This retreat was more than just a weekend of writing and obtaining informational resources. It was packed with motivational and inspirational messages, sisterhood, and healing. Vision Quest has inspired me to become the writer that I have always wanted to be. Thank you Dr. Nicole Cutts and Maria Olsen for your enthusiasm, hospitality, and valuable insight and coaching during the retreat. I am looking forward to another writer’s workshop. —Anonymous Participant



Join this women’s day-long poolside mini retreat to reconnect with and strengthen your writing muscles in a peaceful supportive atmosphere.

Do you crave a peaceful creative space to focus on your writing? Would you like to get the support of published experienced like minded women and inspiration to support your writing? If so join us for this relaxing and rejuvenating day poolside in a private home in Potomac, MD…

On this retreat published authors and a success coach will guide you through writing exercises and share tips to help improve and SELL your writing. You will also get a chance to share and get feedback on your latest writing projects in this supportive creative environment.

  • Carve out this quiet time to concentrate on your writing.
  • Improve your writing skills along with tips on publishing, marketing & selling your books
  • Receive feedback & inspiration from like-minded talented women who are living their visions of success.
  • Rejuvenate with healthy food, yoga, & relaxation in nature.
  • Create accountability partnerships to help you advance your writing projects.

Registration: $97.00 EARLY BIRD PRICING: $87.00 (Discounts available for returning retreat attendees)

Meet the Facilitators!

Nicole Cutts is the author of The Adventures of Isabelle Book I a fantasy adventureGleaner Headshot heroine’s quest novel. She is also a clinical psychologist, success coach and master facilitator. Her passion is helping women unite with their passion through their life’s work. Read more about Nicole HERE

MariaOlsenMaria Leonard Olsen is a Bethesda-based attorney and writer.  Her first book, “Mommy, Why’s Your Skin So Brown?” is a consciousness-raising children’s book about biracial children.  Her second children’s book, “Healing for Hallie,” was published this spring by Mirror Publishing.  Her adult nonfiction book, “Not the Cleaver Family–How the Typical American Family Has Changed,” is in production by Tate Publishing.  Maria graduated from Boston College and the University of Virginia School of Law.  She practices civil litigation part time.  Her writing has been published by The Washington Post, the Washingtonian, Washington for Women, Parenting Magazine, Babytalk, among others.   She has presented at the Washington independent Review of Books, and numerous book fairs and diversity festivals.  You can learn more about Maria HERE

For More Info: Maria Leonard Olsen 301.520.6548 or Nicole Cutts 202.669.5777

Visit Vision Quest Retreats

See Images from our Writer’s Beach Retreat Spring 2016!


Posted in News & Events, Vision Quest Retreats, Visions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

POWER! Do You Fear it or Embrace it?

Join the Vision Quest Retreats FB LIVE discussion: Claim Your Power! starting Feb 7th at 7:30 pm est and running for 5 weeks!

It is often quoted,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

Storm superheroI don’t know about you but I certainly relate to this quote. I have often felt that that I am somehow ambivalent about my power. Wanting to take it up yet sometimes fearing and even rejecting it.  I continue to work daily to rid myself of this ambivalence and to take up and use my power but often still find myself held back. I’ve been meditating on this notion of power and my attitude toward it for some time and as I figure I can’t be alone in this quest I’ve decided to share my thoughts on this problem and some possible solutions with you and hope to get your comments and feedback.

When I started musing on this the logical first question was WHAT IS POWER (in the context of personal power)? Because of my ambivalence the next question that came up for me was WHY DO WE DENY OUR POWER? There are many reasons for this, mostly driven by fear. I went on to think about things that DRAIN and LEACH our power and finally with an eye toward a solution I contemplated how we get and then maintain this power. I’ve captured my answers, thus far to these questions below in bullet form and would really love your comments (especially as this post is a stub for a larger article that I’m working on).

005 Forest Scene

Princess Isabelle of Xamayca with her hound Xerxes (Illustration by Wayne Rodney)

Power is…

  • Energy needed to live our Vision of Success
  • Energy needed to take care of ones self and well- being
  • Energy used to protect Self and to set boundaries around anything not in accordance with self-love and that stands in the way of living your Vision
  • Self-love borne out of the knowledge of who we TRULY are.
  • Responsibility to determine our own happiness and attitude and to not be a victim

Why we deny and/or give our power away…

  • Fear of it: There are many sources of this but a common fear is that we will be unloved or rejected if we are powerful. This may be especially germane to women due to gender role expectations.
  • Doubt: We may doubt our ability to do what we need to do to succeed at living our Vision
  • Don’t want responsibility: We may be lazy and fear the responsibility and work that comes with using our power
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of Self Love: we somehow think we are unworthy of it (low self-esteem)

Things that leach or drain our power…

  • Being in relationships with negative people and people who do not affirm us and our visions
  • Tired messages about who should be powerful i.e.  not  women
  • Addictions
  • Abuse by others
  • Anger/Resentment and holding on to the past
  • Worry
  • Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety

We get our Power by…

  • Being connected and in relationship to our Higher Power (I personally do this well in nature).
  • Affirming people: being in relationship with positive people who affirm us and our Vision of Success
  • Prayer & Meditation: asking for it and being willing to be guided by the Source of all Power

We Cultivate and Maintain our Power by…

  • Continually strengthening our relationship with a Higher Power (God, Goddess, Great Spirit etc.)
  • Sharing our power, gifts and talents with others
  • Staying in communion with positive people
  • Disciplining ourselves to avoid fear, self doubt and other power leaches

Marvel-Women-marvel-superheroines-4795826-400-587So, these are my thoughts on power. I’d love your comments and feedback. What does power mean to you? If you are ambivalent about it, why? In what ways do you give it away and what leaches it? Where do you get your power and how do you maintain it?

Do you want to join the Vision Quest Retreats Tribe? JOIN US!

Posted in Ask Dr. Cutts, Success, Visions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment