A Vacation Rental to Unplug

In my thirties, I was a location manager for the film industry. My job was to locate and negotiate use of both private, public and vacation rental properties for filming locations. During filming I might be managing fifty locations or more. I would prep several locations in advance of filming, wrap locations we had completed filming and manage all the logistics of a location we were filming at, from appeasing the neighbors, buying out adjacent businesses, and working with the local police to close down streets. If anything went wrong while filming, I would receive a call on the walkie-talkie, “Locations? Locations?” During a film with Burt Reynolds, I received such a call and the assistant director informed me, “These planes are killing us. The sound guy says they have to go away.” And I came back, “What do you want me to do about it?” All I heard back was a simple, “Make them go away.” Moments later, I was on the phone with the air control operators and plead my case. To my surprise, he informed me, “The wind is shifting. We can bring then in from the north. Give us ten minutes and you won’t have any more planes overhead.” I notified the film crew that it would be corrected in ten minutes. The A.D. came back and said in an astonishing voice, “How did you pull that off?” Relieved, I responded, “I just did my job”.

In the film industry, there is no room for error. No excuses permitted. When thousands of dollars are on the line each hour of filming, I learned everything needed to be flawless. Of course, this standard of perfection was extremely stressful but I wasn’t aware of the degree because that’s just the way it is in the film industry. You adjust. You accept. You manage until it is too great and you have your own personal meltdown. As they say, “If you put a frog in hot water it will jump out. If you put a frog in warm water and turn up the heat, unaware, it will boil to death over time.” The gradual acceptance of stress in our lives is having a significant toll on our health and our happiness. Many of us don’t notice it, like the frog, and our daily demands at work, our challenges with relationships, and being sideswiped by life, all go unnoticed until we have our meltdown. During these times, Life is Hard.

On the filming of “Homeward Bound, The Incredible Journey”, I had the memorable experience of scouting locations on horseback in the Eagle Cap Wilderness area in north eastern Oregon. Coming off several stressful days of coordinating multiple film locations for a crew of over 150 people, I was looking forward to the break. I had no idea how it would impact my life. Our guide successfully took us through this magic wilderness area with mountains, meadows, streams and an abundance of wildlife. At dusk, he had effortlessly set up camp and began a fire to prepare our dinner. Night came and our world turned black except for the flicker of the flames from the fire. In the distance, we could hear the sounds of nature and we felt the solitude of just us and bright stars above our heads. Millions of them. A calm came over me, my body felt a release of tension, and, to this day, I experienced a peace that I haven’t felt more than a couple of times. In a way, it was a spiritual awakening of bliss. I had no idea how tense I was. Neither did I realize how out of balance I was. There I was, sitting on a log, not a worry in the world: I Unplugged from the “other” world and just enjoyed being. That night I felt a peace that I shall never forget.

Our Vision for Willow Springs Vacation Rental

In 2018, my wife and I bought Willow Springs with a vision to create such an experience for our guests. We were committed to offering a vacation rental space for people to come and be uplifted emotionally, physically, and spiritually with the peace and quiet of a rural farm setting. We intentionally did not install televisions and, while we have excellent cell service and wifi, we encourage our guests to take a break from the world they left behind. So much so, we offer a series of three-day weekend retreats for people to come and unplug. In other words, check out, go off the clock. We believe the experience of simply escaping our frantic world for an opportunity to reboot and rejuvenate is enough. Our series of Unplug workshops also offers a refresher course of what’s important. From couples to parents to stressed executives to those seeking a greater connection to their natural knowing, we introduce our guests to a few simple principles to enhance their lives and help them cope better when they return home.

All of Our Unplug workshops offer an opportunity to relax and enjoy your experience. There is no cooking, no dishes. That’s on us. In the mornings you can enjoy your morning cup of coffee on the back patio listening the peaceful rushing water from our water feature with three waterfalls. You can join us in the yoga studio for mediation and a yoga session. At any time the grounds (including a herb garden, permaculture garden, nature trails) are available to walk, sit, and contemplate. In the afternoons, the Yuba river awaits you for an experience of refreshing solitude. Countless trails await you to connect with nature’s abundant bliss. And in the evening, soak in the hot tub, take a sauna, receive a massage or whatever your heart calls you to explore. In addition to this, and much more, nuggets of wisdom are available to our guests during their stay. Here are a few of our Unplug workshops available and what you can expect to take home with you:

Escape the Rat Race workshop at our vacation rental
Escape the Rat Race

Escape the Rat Race

Meditation is often challenging for people. Doing it right. Having the time to taking 30 minutes out of each day. In this workshop, you will be introduced to a simple process of connecting to your Inner Wisdom with a 3-minute meditation technique that you can slip into your day with ease.

No Kids. Just Us!
No Kids, Just Us!

No Kids. Just Us.

Take a break from the responsibilities of parenting and enjoy yourself with your partner. Learn three simple techniques to improve your communication with your children, convert discipline into learning opportunities, and empower your children to take responsibility for their choices.

Couple Reboot workshop at our vacation rental
Couples Reboot

Couples Reboot

This crazy world and all that is required of us often distracts us from what’s important in our relationship with our partner. This workshop helps define what is important to both partners and how to implement it in your life.

Hot Buttons 3 Day Workshop
Hot Buttons

Hot Buttons

This workshop is ideal for two people in partnership. Lovers, business partners, siblings, and more. Each of us has an emotional hot button that triggers us to go unconscious and act in ways that are not appropriate. Identify your hot button and work with your partner to understand how it impacts your ability to communicate and define steps you can take to have a healthy relationship.

The Inner Voice workshop series
The Inner Voice

The Inner Voice

This is a three-part series takes you from learning to connect to your Inner Knowing, trusting your Inner Knowing and Acting on it, to learning how to have a conversation with your Inner Voice.