Recovery Elevator RE-Connect

What is RE-Connect?

The opposite of addiction is connection. At RE-Connect, you’ll do just that. You’ll connect again with other humans, nature, animals, water, earth, stars, planets, plants, food, and most importantly, your authentic self. The Guanacaste region of Costa Rica is one of five Blue Zones where people consistently live to be over 100 years old and contains lush tropical jungles, spectacular beaches, and cascading waterfalls. The culture ensures an abundance of healthy organic food to support our mind, body, and spirit approach. All of these attributes make Costa Rica the ideal place to RE-Connect with your True Self.

We feel addictions represent part of our personalities that are in deepest need of healing, care, and attention.
Drinking problems are invitations to wake up, make significant change in your life, and be your most authentic self. They are messengers that speak louder and louder until we listen.
When we RE-Connect with our authentic selves, the need for alcohol, or any external substance, fades away.
While this is program is a continued work in progress, we believe our participants will have at least 365 consecutive alcohol-free days after completing the RE-Connect retreat in Costa Rica.

A Fresh Approach

RE-Connect is a fresh approach to the long-standing issue of addictions, or ‘use disorders,’ as they are referred to in the DSM V manual. Presently, addiction treatment is based on the premise that those with use disorders have a chronic, relapsing, brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. While this may be true for some, we believe it’s true only for a minority of people, although it is most certainly an improvement from the previously held (and still held) belief that addicts suffer from some type of moral deficiency.

Prior to A.A in 1935, doctors classified alcoholism as an immoral fatal condition without hope. After that, for roughly the next 60 years, alcoholism was viewed as a serious chronic disease, manageable with appropriate medical and community support. The crucial component of this support came from the intense connections built in the rooms of A.A between those in the trenches of addiction working together to depart from alcohol. Although we don’t completely ignore the disease model at RE-Connect, we feel addiction is a “wake up” call that primes an individual for significant positive change in their lives. We view what can be a death sentence, a drinking problem, as an indicator in life that profound internal change is needed, and we focus more on making that change as opposed to fighting the drinking problem.

At RE-Connect, we’re going to have fun. Lots of it.

RE-Connect has developed novel therapy combining knowledge (the buy-in) with plant medicine (the experiential phase) and follow up (practice phase). The first three days of the retreat contain comfortable classroom sessions where you’ll learn the retreat’s core teachings. This knowledge paves the brain’s cognitive portion (prefrontal cortex) to see the possibility of success. Plant medicine (Ayahuasca) allows both the brain’s emotional and cognitive centers to activate at the same time. This enhances the brain’s ability to heal itself (neuroplasticity), which allows us to create new, healthier stories around past traumas.

At RE-Connect, we recognize what is currently working for attendees and we are also congruent with Wisdom Teachers who believe that addiction is not a disease but merely a symptom of something else. We firmly believe that addiction is an invitation to address this underlying issue. When we are disconnected from our Authentic Self , addiction becomes an easy path to follow.

A separation or disconnect from the authentic self can be very disorienting, resulting in possible addictions to alcohol, drugs, coffee, sex, smoking, gambling, shopping, thinking, and more. RE-Connect isn’t 12-step based, but its course instructors are versed in A.A. Healthy recovery is a collaboration of programs that resonate with the individual. We feel there is no “right” or “wrong” way to internally connect the heart and soul, which leads to wholeness externally.


Registration opens Monday, February 1st, 2021

At the moment, we are still working on the final pricing and hope to have it listed no later than January 15th, 2021. For the first cohort starting April 21st, we are offering this retreat at “our cost” in hopes of making this as affordable as possible. For pricing inquiries before January 15th, email

2021 RE-Connect Dates

4/21 Day 1 Wednesday: Liberia Int. Airport/JW Marriott
4/22 Day 2 Thursday: Marriott
4/23 Day 3 Friday: Marriott

4/24 Day 4 Saturday: Marriott/Rythmia
4/25 Day 5 Sunday: Rythmia
4/26 Day 6 Monday: Rythmia
4/27 Day 7 Tuesday: Rythmia
4/28 Day 8 Wednesday: Rythmia
4/29 Day 9 Thursday: Rythmia
4/30 Day 10 Friday: Rythmia
5/1 Day 11 Saturday: Rythmia/Hotel Santarena

5/2 Day 12 Sunday: Integration
5/3 Day 13 Monday: Integration
5/4 Day 14 Tuesday: Integration
5/5 Day 15 Wednesday: Integration
5/6 Day 16 Thursday: Departure/Liberia Int. Airport

Trip Length: 15 nights/16 days in shared accommodations. *option to upgrade to single room available upon request at additional cost. Click here for the detailed schedule.

Western Medical Beliefs:

Use disorders arise either out of a moral shortcoming or chronic, relapsing brain disorder. You are broken or faulty and need to be fixed due to defective genetics and/or environmental factors and are powerless to change this on your own.   Relapsing behaviors are to be expected, and you will need to have treatment now in perpetuity. Despite the fact that scientists have yet to find the addiction gene, western medicine views alcoholism or addiction as hereditary, passed down, or genetic, despite this myth being debunked by addiction gurus and the science of epigenetics.


RE-Connect Beliefs:

Use disorders are an invitation for evolution. We feel addictions represent part of our personalities in most profound need of healing, care, and attention. As addiction Guru Dr. Gabor Mate and Eckhart Tolle say, all addictions start and end in pain. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, and you don’t need to be fixed, just reconnected with your inner wisdom.

According to Dr. Gabor Mate, in his book “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts,” most anthropologists agree there is no record of addiction in pre-modern times. And all agree addiction wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it is today. Since everything serves a purpose in the universe, we view the presence of an addiction as a sign post that things aren’t working in specific or all areas of life and that current life conditions aren’t hospitable for a happy life. To summarize, the proliferation of addiction, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses in the past 100 years indicate we are species living out of balance, out of congruency with how humans are supposed to live and interact with each other.

There’s a quantum law that says – what you seek is also seeking you, which is excellent news because we’re seeking balance at RE-Connect. Our goal is to realize a healthy way of living in an unbalanced, fast paced, technology driven world by maintaining the deep rooted connection with Gaia (planet earth) and other living things.

Similarities Between the Two

At RE-Connect, we believe in Medication Assisted Therapy or MAT, at least acutely and intermittently. Western medicine is beginning to embrace pharmacological treatments with drugs such as NaltrexoneAntabuse, and Methadone. We have selected a more natural medicine, one endogenously found in the human body DMT, in the form of Ayahuasca, and we feel in the right “set and setting,” these chemical compounds, with proper guidance, can lead to miraculous breakthroughs. We also refer some attendees to detox facilities that use pharmacological approaches to ensure eight days alcohol-free before the retreat start date.  

Regardless of how we got here, use disorders are extremely challenging for the person and loved ones. Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, and lightness has a call that’s hard to hear. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s an Indigo Girls Song “Closer to Free.” When we get to a place in life where we feel powerless over our behavior regarding alcohol, or other substances, it is helpful to have guidance from others who have walked the path back to empowerment. All retreat instructors have walked this path of wholeness away from alcohol. Additionally, both the RE-Connect approach and the Western approach support a daily practice or a routine to keep things on course. At RE-Connect, we use what’s currently working for addiction treatment in the western world, and we’re leaving the rest

You don’t need to be fixed, just rE-Connected…

Is the Western Addiction Industry providing successful treatment?

It depends upon who you ask, but according to HBO’s segment on the rehab industry by John Oliver, the answer is a hard NO. The system is incredibly difficult to navigate, has little to no regulation, and many facilities depend on patients relapsing for a successful business operation.

Individual treatment centers report success rates of 80% and higher, but much of this self-reported success is anecdotal and unverified. We encourage you to do your research, but what we’ve found from sources that don’t have a horse in the race are success rates (one consecutive year away from alcohol) around 5-15%. Western medicine has an excellent track record with acute illness but often falls short when treating chronic diseases such as cancers, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression, and addiction.

The western approach to use disorders, which classifies them as a chronic disease, creates an environment that isn’t conducive to healing since it comes with shame, stigma, and unconscious belief patterns that you are dealing with a chronic condition; for the remainder of your life. At RE-Connect, we first deconstruct the previously held unconscious beliefs towards addiction, and then prime the thinking mind and body for profound and impactful change in your life.

We want to be humble in our projections of success rates, but we feel 365 consecutive alcohol-free days after this program will be the norm. We’ll also shift our focus on creating a life that no longer requires alcohol, as opposed to staying away from it. When intense internal healing takes place internally, the need for alcohol significantly diminishes in the external world.

Plant medicine and RE-Connect

Ayahuasca activates the amygdala and prefrontal cortex of the brain simultaneously while sidelining the “ego,” resulting in a completely new perspective on past traumas. Then, the brain’s neuroplasticity function allows us to rewire the thinking mind and create a future that isn’t a replica of the past.

Psychedelics such as Ayahuasca have been used throughout history for medical, ceremonial, and spiritual purposes and now have the potential to be a game-changing treatment in mental health. Despite being used as medicines for thousands of years, psychedelics didn’t become commonplace in mainstream Western culture until the 1940s and 1950s. Initially, they were examined in academic settings, but in time psychedelics moved out of the laboratories into the hippie movement and counterculture, prompting political backlash and their designation as Schedule 1 substances in 1970, making it illegal to conduct any scientific studies.

Thankfully, those paradigms are softening as psychedelics were never scientifically deemed ineffective or proven addictive. Moreover, initial research is showing these medicines as game-changers in the mental health world. Science is just now studying the power of these medicines.

One of the founders of A.A, Bill W, was given an experimental plant-based alkaloid psychedelic treatment in his Manhattan hospital bed in 1934 called belladonna. He found this treatment so effective that after having had a spiritual awakening, claiming he has “seen the light,” that he immediately quit drinking and then created the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous – a program that currently millions still attend across the globe. The inspiration and clarity for A.A came from one dose of plant medicine. An idea that has saved millions of lives and repaired countless families came from administering just one dose of a plant-based psychedelic medicine.

Ayahuasca, in particular, has been studied in the field of addiction with promising results. It is associated with statistically significant improvements related to substance use and positive psychological and behavioral changes. One reason for this is Ayahuasca contains DMT, nicknamed the “spirit molecule,” which allows us to experience the quantum law of undivided wholeness, or the state of acknowledgement we are all one. We then recognize separation is the most convincing illusion we experience in life. If the opposite of addiction is connection, then this is the holy grail of connection. You no longer just academically  believe we are all “one,” you feel it at the cellular level in your body, which is then anchored in the cellular structure of your body.

What to expect from the RE-Connect program?

Research shows that profound healing takes place in environments conducive to healing, which is why we have created the ultimate “set and setting” for this retreat. The beach, waves, marine life, sunsets, nature, jungle, organic food, music, animals, and synthesizers all assist in your healing process.

Evidence shows that when people understand how to achieve a goal and why that goal is essential, they can achieve the goal more effectively. This is why the focus of the first three days of the RE-Connect retreat teaches the science of validating our approach. In essence, this allows the left brain to ‘buy into’ rather than resist the process.

The next week is spent fully emersed at Rythmia Life Advancement Center which is the #1 rated hotel on Trip Advisor. They incorporate ancient wisdom and modern healing techniques, including yoga, meditation, breathwork, colonics, massage, bike rides to the beach, and four nights of healing plant ceremonies, including an intense 14 hour, all night ceremony with live music. At Rythmia, we’ll continue to meet as a cohort and come together at sunrise during the fourth ayahuasca ceremony for intense healing.

The last five days of the RE-Connect program occur at a third location where we’ll begin the integration process and begin unpacking the plant medicine experience. Your new life emerges, and the old one fades away at this incubatory location. Here we continue to connect and deepen with spiritual and scientific concepts. This part of the program is fun. In addition to sunrise beach meditations, sound healing workshops, ecstatic dance, and power stance work, we have prepared a full day of fun excursion in Costa Rica. The last part of the RE-Connect program is all about integration. We give you the tools and road map for navigating your new life without alcohol or other substances that are no longer serving you.

After RE-Connect

We offer weekly Zoom meetings during your first month back. We’ll continue to build connetions even after the program ends. You can reach out to the RE-Connect team any time after the program for additional care and support. If you feel the need to attend RE-Connect again, then we’ll be waiting with open arms. As a RE-Connect alum, you also have the option of joining RE-Connect for just the Rythmia component of the retreat at a later date. If you’re still looking for additional guidance and support, we’ll be more than happy to offer assistance.


Words from Dr. Mike

What is actually happening with an addiction? Does it serve a purpose? And if so, what is it?

As a species, we are currently in a critical state of transformation or evolution.

And those struggling with addiction are already primed for this profound change and are forced to alter their lives or evolve before the masses of humanity begin making this same necessary evolutionary leap.

What evolutionary change is taking place? As the Buddha says, we are “crossing to the other side” in terms of consciousness. We are transitioning from living life unconsciously to consciously.

This significant evolutionary leap isn’t one where we grow wings, a tail, or a longer neck, but one where we depart from the thinking mind and begin tapping into our infinite wisdom and intuition. We “wake up” to the illusion of separation and start living life out of love instead of fear.

The thinking mind, which can be duplicitous and has an insatiable hunger for more, leads us to feeling disconnected from the whole and creates stress in the body, leading to inflammation and disease.

According to scientist Bruce Lipton, and author of “The Biology of Belief,” which claims that beliefs impacted by an environment predict human biology and not your DNA, we are becoming aware of how our thoughts and perceptions create the state of happiness in our lives. This view opposes the widely adopted Western medicine view that says our genetically inherited genes predetermine our physical and mental health.

With this new understanding, we depart from a victim mentality and recognize that we are the divine creator in our own lives.

We aren’t the first ones to embark upon this process of “waking up.” The waking up or enlightenment of the plant species was marked by the emergence of the first flower 114 million years ago. We are in the initial phases of the flowering of humanity. With unforeseen challenges to the human race, global warming, and nuclear war are on the top of this list; the timing is critical for this radical change in thinking.

The butterfly is a beautiful example that Bruce Lipton uses to describe this process in nature. The caterpillar comes into its environment consuming its surroundings and can be considered one of the most destructive organisms to its environment. It eats the plant it is living on until there is almost nothing left. Then spins itself a silky cocoon before emerging as the butterfly, one of the most-gentle organisms to its environment, one that causes even human beings to pause and admire this incredible flying colorful thing of beauty.

Using this as a metaphor, we, the human race, who are also part of nature, are about to spin ourselves into a cocoon. If we are to emerge as the butterfly, we’re going to need to re-calibrate our frequency to that of the butterfly, leaving the caterpillar’s frequency (old thoughts and behavior) behind. We will need to leave behind all of the attachments we had to the caterpillar’s way of doing things that do not serve the butterfly’s new way of doing things. In short, we need to transition, or leave behind those unhealthy systems, thoughts, behaviors (excessive drinking) that are no longer serving us.

According to spiritual thought leader Dr. Michael Beckwith, author of Life Visioning: A Transformative Process for activating your Unique Gifts and Highest Potential, it takes a certain amount of life’s experience infused with insight before we reverse this process of relying on our external environment for happiness. We realize we must become self-reliant and tap into our inner resources to live a fulfilling, self-actualized life.

Addiction to alcohol or any external substance provides the required “life experience” needed to cause the individual to choose a radically different way of thinking and living consciously. In short, a drinking problem that probably you and society have labeled as “bad” is the catalyst needed for this radical evolutionary leap. The drinking problem is what primes us for a quantum flip in thinking.

We begin recognizing thoughts of insecurity, loneliness, shame, anxiety, and depression only exist when we live from the false perspective of separation. These thoughts are the drivers behind our current emotional states, which consist of these very emotions. As we become more conscious than ever of our unconscious thinking, a radical change in our lives can occur in a brief period of time.

Keep in mind that we are also programmed to be pleasure-seeking and pain-avoiding beings, and as such, we will generally do whatever it takes to adapt to our environment. In modern society, we live in a world where meaningful social connection is harder and harder to come by. Social media has completely changed the landscape of how we interact with each other. The jobs that used to offer millions of people de facto social networks are increasingly getting outsourced or automated. When interacting socially, many people are likely to avoid direct contact and interaction by mediating conversation and splitting attention with devices like smartphones. All of this adds up to a picture in which human beings are simply not connecting with each other as fully as they used to.

In short, human beings are currently living in an inhospitable environment. Resulting in addictions to countless substances, behaviors, and thought patterns.

First off, give yourself a break. You’ve found a way to self-medicate and survive. Now it’s time to deconstruct these learned behaviors.

Next begins the exciting journey of going within, connecting with others who also wish to quit drinking, and making necessary changes in your external environment.

I want to tell you, with 100% sincerity, there is nothing wrong with you. In fact, you’re just ahead of the curve. The addiction, or a representation in your life that something is out of balance, is actually the answer. It’s what forces you in a direction you previously thought impossible.

While reading this, you may be experiencing feelings of despair, hopelessness, and a sense of “how the hell did I end up here…” but let me assure you, you’ve never been closer to who you truly are, and happiness is right around the corner. In fact, if you allow it, you’re already here. All we’re doing is reminding you who you really are and how to enjoy life again.

Dr. Mike 

you’ve never been closer to who you truly are, and happiness is right around the corner

Michael Steward

Michael Steward

M.D., Medical Director and Chief Medical officer

Dr. Steward has been a licensed physician for over 28 years, and his introduction into health care began much earlier.  As a fifth grader, he was granted special access to visit his grandfather after a massive stroke.  After seeing the clinical improvement in both his grandfather and roommate, staff asked for Michael to return with his mother as often as possible and began referring to him as the ‘little healer.’

After medical school and before his residency in Family Practice, Dr Mike worked in music thanatology, teaching anatomy and physiology to students learning how to incorporate music therapy into the Hospice setting.  Throughout his residency, Dr Mike focused his studies on integrative medicine and HIV care.

Providing HIV care while pharmaceutical care was in its nascent stages, with no accepted standard of care and the can-do attitude of a nartural born healer, Dr Mike became an expert in bringing novel therapies into clinical practice.  His medical practice in Denver, Colorado became the largest Family Practice providers of HIV care in a five state region.  In his ‘free time,’ Dr. Mike was a faculty preceptor for a Family Medicine residency program and served on multiple pharmaceutical boards.

After selling his private practice and moving to California, Dr. Mike became a medical director and team physician for a large hospice organization.  He also worked as the medical director for a medicinal cannabis company and home health care company.  He is presently Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer for a non-euphoric, medicinal cannabis company called Endourage. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice, The American Society of Addiction Medicine, the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, and was board certified in Family Practice, a specialist in HIV treatment, Palliative care, and Cannabinoid medicine. Dr. Steward is co-creator and co-presenter of the program for our retreats.

Paul Churchill

Paul Churchill

Founder and Lead Connector

After finishing college at Chapman University in Southern California, Paul Churchill moved to Granada, Spain in 2006, where he purchased a bar. In the following three years, he became dependent on alcohol, blacking out close to 7 nights per week. In 2009, Paul walked away from the bar hoping a geographical cure would curtail the drinking but continued to drink for another 5 years.

While getting a master’s degree in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership at the University of Washington, Paul quit drinking for 2.5 years. He began drinking again in 2013 becuase his willpower ran out. He recognized he was simply staying away or avoiding alcohol. When we view life without alcohol as a sacrifice instead of the opportunity of a lifetime, eventually, the willpower muscle becomes exhausted.

In February 2015, Paul launched the Recovery Elevator podcast as an accountability tool to quit drinking. Today, it has been over 6 years since Paul had his last drink, and the podcast has surpassed 5 million downloads in over 145 countries.

Recovery Elevator has evolved into a private membership community with over 1,250 members from all over the world. Paul has spoken to thousands of students about alcohol awareness across the country. Along with putting on alcohol-free wellness retreats and seminars across the country, he hosts alcohol-free travel trips worldwide. Paul is the author of the best-selling book Alcohol is SH!T, has delivered two TEDx talks, was a featured speaker at My Brave in Los Angeles, and plans to continue eradicating the stigma surrounding alcohol and addiction.

Paul is excited to work on this project because he feels a monumental shift is taking place in how addiction is treated and wants to be part of it that change. This shift is incorporating natural plant medicines with traditional therapy or twelve-step work. When creating the RE-Connect program, Paul focuses more on facilitating connection than fixing or fighting an addiction. Paul loves to get outside with his sober canine sidekick Ben in his free time and spends as much time as possible in nature. Without alcohol in his life, he’s picked up ice hockey, skateboarding, music, and surfing again.

Odette Cressler

Odette Cressler

Creative and Marketing Director

Odette Cressler has been in the recovery world for some time now. She struggled with an eating disorder for about 10 years and after seeking treatment and stabilizing her body, she found that she was now chasing alcohol to cope with distress and pain in her life. Odette no longer drinks and a big part of her life is helping others while they are on their healing journey. 


Odette was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. She currently lives in California with her family. She loves spending time outside, going to the beach, and exploring new places. She also enjoys getting lost in nature, hiking and connecting with the earth as much as possible. Tea, puzzles, kitchen dance parties and chili mango are some of her favorite things. She is also the current host of the Recovery Elevator podcast. 

Odette firmly believes in adding tools to the menu of recovery and self-healing. “Whether or not you struggle with addiction, it takes courage to take inventory of your life and remove things that are no longer serving you. Coming back home to yourself is the path.” 

Eileen Flanigan

Eileen Flanigan

Director of Operations

Eileen serves as a Director of Operations for RE-Connect supporting retreat attendees through comprehensive strategies and logistics. Being a part of RE-Connect is an important role because this program allows a new way of being beyond peoples’ history and their current beliefs.

Eileen, is a lifelong student of wisdom and truth, an athlete and founder of Flanigan Lifestyle Management, LLC. Eileen’s 20 plus year career in service includes designing events that span across the globe and supporting many ultra high net worth individuals along the way.

Eileen loves to create mixed media in her studio in Littleton, Colorado and when she’s not designing with ink, stain and paint on paper, you’ll find her on horseback, on a golf course or on the water.

Donna Bourne

Donna Bourne

Business Manager

Providing leadership, responsibility and accountability for the overall strategic, financial, management, development and operational performance of the business, Donna Bourne  has almost 40 years of management experience, with over 30 years in the healthcare industry as a Practice Administrator and Practice Management Consultant.

Donna specializes in office operations, financial management, human resources management, planning, customer service, quality improvement, risk management, governance and organization dynamics, business and clinical operations, regulatory compliance, patient/client safety and professional responsibility.

Donna is in her element while helping others, she is inspired daily by the hard work, dedication and compassion of the individuals assisting, helping and caring for all those in time of need.

Donna is a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan and Texas Longhorn alum.  In her free time, she loves to read, cook, watch sports and spend time with her puppy dogs.  Dogs are one of Donna’s biggest passions and she owned a not for profit animal rescue for 20 years that housed up to 27 dogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information email

What is RE-Connect? What am I connecting with?

We believe that addiction to alcohol isn’t a chronic disease or a lifelong sentence, but these addictions represent parts of our lives that are out of balance and in need of intense healing. Addictions take hold when we feel disconnected in our environments and not because of an addiction gene that scientists have yet to discover. At RE-Connect, we show you how to connect again with other human beings, connect with nature, mother earth, animals, and most importantly yourself. At RE-Connect we use the 60/40 rule which means that roughly 60% of connection work is done internally and 40% externally. Since there is a universal law that states your outer environment is a mirror of your inner environment, we know that once the inner connection has been re-established, then it has to be matched in the outer world.

Is there a more detailed schedule?

Of course! Click here to see a breakdown of each day. Keep in mind, the schedule is likely to be modified, but it’s a good idea of what we’ll be doing each day.

Who is this retreat for?

This intensive retreat is geared towards someone who needs an extra boost of support on their alcohol free journey. We believe most attendees will be in their first 30 days away from alcohol, but if you find yourself feeling stagnant in life, regarldess of when took your last drink, this retreat may be just what you need.

In addition, this retreat is perfect for someone who is seeking or deepening a spiritual dimension in ones life.

 We don’t recommend this retreat in place of a traditional 30 day in-patient treatment facility. We don’t offer that level of surveillance and medical attention.

This invitation is designed for people who want to grow and awaken to the Divine power of who they really are. If your behaviors seem out of control and out of balance, excessive drinking would be an example. These imbalances  can open the doors of freedom to be your best Self by getting in touch with your Higher Self and awakening to the true You.

Is this retreat similiar to "rehab" or "treatment?"

No. We don’t recommend this retreat in place of a traditional 30-day in-patient rehab program or treatment facility. We don’t offer that level of surveillance and medical attention. Although we can provide medical direction for alcohol detox services, this program is for those who aren’t physically addicted to alcohol, which would require medical intervention.

RE-Connect would be a perfect “add on” directly after a traditional in-patient treatment program.



Is this retreat 12-step based?

RE-Connect isn’t 12-step based. However, some of the “connectors” (instructors) do have 12-step backgrounds. We implement the core 12-step concepts such as community, honesty, acceptance, and the spiritual dimension into the RE-Connect program.

Can I attend RE- Connect without participating in the Ayahuasca Ceremonies?

We have created this program because we know that traditional “recovery” programs such as rehab or treatment have success rates in the low teens. We feel using plant medicine therapy not only allows you to rid yourself of habits that no longer serve you (drinking) but allows you the opportunity to live a life in tune with who you truly are in all aspects of life. For this reason, participation in the Ayahuasca Ceremony is intrinsic to our healing program.

Will I be cured by attending RE-Connect? Will I ever drink again?

Our goal isn’t to help you stay away from alcohol for the rest of your life, but to equip you with tools, knowledge, and connections that will empower you to go through life’s challenges without drinking. We turn to the “external” substance alcohol when the “inner” state is too painful. At RE-Connect, we focus on building inner peace, which then relieves any external substances’ need.

If you find yourself drinking again, that’s okay. We live in a world with unprecedented levels of challenge, and sometimes we need immediate relief. This program will insert space and provide you with the tools to get back on track.

We also feel there was nothing wrong with you to begin with 🙂

Is this a spiritual retreat?

The brain processes between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day, and the mind is usually overwhelmed with an endless stream of distractions. RE-Connect will teach you how to rely less on the thinking mind, which always leads us into more of the same, and to tap into infinite gut wisdom and intuition. The thinking brain constitutes only a fraction of the total intelligence the human body possesses. The breath, where the invisible realm meets the physical body in the lungs, is a powerful way to connect with spirit. As Einstein discovered, everything first happens in the invisible realm first (our thoughts) before becoming a physical reality, and the breath is the gateway between the two. In short, yes, this is a spiritual retreat, but not religious.

Why do I have to be alcohol-free for 8 days before attending this course?

Being emotionally available to RE-Connect starting day one is essential, which is why we require eight days away from alcohol before arrival. Also, Rythmia requires those participating in plant medicine ceremonies to be alcohol-free 14 consecutive days before the ceremony. This means you need eight days away from alcohol upon arriving in Costa Rica. To ensure plant medicine participation, April 12th is the last date you can drink. Suppose you need guidance in securing this time away from alcohol. In that case, we can refer you to detox facilities across the country we recommend.

Are there testimonials or reviews for this program?

RE-Connect is paving a new path in the recovery world. So, by definition, we walk away from old and ineffective practices and offer plant medicine therapy to uncover our Higher Wisdom. Part of what’s exciting about this project is that you, the attendee, is helping create the program. You’re a part of shifting how we treat and view alcohol addiction. However, until the first retreat takes place in April 2021, we won’t have any reviews. The first cohort’s price point is offered at cost since we aren’t entirely sure how this program will look.

What type of medical support is available during the retreat?

The first four days of this retreat are all about relaxation and getting the body and mind out of the “fight or flight” mode. However, if you do need medical attention for some reason, urgent care in Tamrindo is only 30 minutes away. 

Rythmia is the only medically licensed ayahuasca facility on the planet and has a full in house medical team to assist you.

While at our integration location, we have medical plans in place for any needs may they arrise.

What will the excursions and group activities look like?

A great way to connect with nature is to get out and explore. We’re working with local guides in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica to set up powerful experiences where we interact directly with nature, the ocean, rivers, waterfalls, and animals. We’ll always be mixing up the RE-Connect schedule, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself zip-lining in the jungle, stand up paddleboarding, snorkeling, surfing, on a night-time nature walk, and possibly holding an iguana. To summarize, we’re going to have fun!

What type of meals with be served? Coffee?
We’ll be eating clean, organic meals during the retreat. A diet free of pesticides and preservatives will dramatically affect your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
With coffee (caffeine), Rythmia recommends tapering off before drinking ayahuasca, but we do recommend tasting the organic coffees of Costa Rica afterward.
Will I have free time on this retreat?

RE-Connect is designed as an intensive retreat. However, we realize free time during this course is essential for inner reflection, processing of your intentions and goals, as well as building connections with your cohort.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?
  • 100% deposit refund for cancellation 90 days before the retreat start date.
  • 50% deposit refund for cancellation 30-89 days before the retreat start date.
  • 0% deposit refund for cancellation 0-29 days before the retreat start date.
How does payment work? Do I get a discount if I pay in full? When does the final payment have to be submitted?

You can secure a spot by making a full or partial payment on the Recovery Elevator website with a major credit card. You can pay for this trip in 3 deposit payments or pay in full and receive a $150 discount.

When is the latest I can sign up for this retreat.

If space is available, April 7th, 2021 is when registration closes for this retreat.

Is there course material before the retreat start date?

Yes, after registering, you’re sent a list of resources and recommended reading materials.

Is there a discount for Café RE members?

You betcha! Email for the discount code.

Are there scholarships available?

At this moment, we don’t have scholarship funds available since this is a new project. Also, we’re offering the first cohort to attendees at “cost,” so we cannot offer discounts to those who need them. If you’d like to financially assist or provide a scholarship, please email That would be an incredibly generous gesture.

What will the classroom sessions look like?
The first three days of the retreat will include approximately six hours of teaching in a comfortable airconditioned classroom setting, giving participants an introduction to the science behind our program. Speakers will give you a good idea of what to expect at Rythmia and you’ll learn core teachings from thought leaders Eckart Tolle. Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Sue Morter and more. The techniques presented here will be expanded upon throughout the retreat both at Rythmia and the integration location. Studies support the notion that when people understand the science behind new techniques or behaviors, they can learn and retain more effectively. In essence, this part of the program facilitates the ‘left brain buy-in’, enabling acceptance of and willingness to actively support and participate in what is to follow.
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