I Learned How To Manifest My Soulmate At A Day Retreat In Los Angeles

Stay open and trust the process.

by Dahvi Shira
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Calm and quiet, spiritual harmony with nature. Mindfulness and life balance. Vitality in life and me...

Shelling out thousands for a days-long sacred escape is no longer the only answer to a quick mental and physical refresh. While traditional experiences certainly still do exist (and I’m all for it), six-hour workshops are becoming increasingly common. Among the many one-day wellness opportunities that found me this year was a Manifest Your Soulmate retreat invite.

Tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles I was offered a chance to heighten my emotional intelligence, inner clarity, and compassion, while clearing past emotional patterns and belief systems. With a full agenda of nature, noshing, journaling, and guidance from relationship and healing experts, I was quickly sold on the experience.

When it comes to spiritual healing, I’m totally open. I’ve always been the girl who kept newly charged energy stones in her handbag, while my friends mocked me (only to see them — and everyone else — doing the same thing a decade-plus later). I’ve also been a longtime proponent of reiki therapy, sound healing, sage-clearing, you name it.

Manifestation, however, is something I’ve only started to grasp recently. There was a longtime sense of thinking I wasn’t good enough for the partner or life I wanted, so I didn’t feel like manifestation served a purpose for me — that is, until around 2019 when I began to shift how I spoke about myself and the life I’m set on attracting. It was around this time that my confidence grew in a significant way. I started working out regularly, seeing a life coach (who proved pretty useful) and just started feeling so much better about myself. That self-love mindset led me to explore manifestation and the power of words — I refused to speak negatively or even comically about myself or the goals I had in place.

And while I haven’t had any grandiose “aha” moments of manifestation over the past few years, I have felt a general energy change when I started putting out more positivity about myself and truly believing I was capable of achieving what I wanted and what I deserved. Opportunities — both professional and personal — just flew to me. This is obviously also due in part to me doing the work, and spending time with successful people who are also in happy and healthy places in their lives. The part about attaining a serious relationship, however, hadn’t been fully realized yet. And I knew there was more work to do there.

Hence, I accepted the offer to attend a retreat designed to attract a serious partner. Even if a relationship didn’t come to me immediately, my goal was to better streamline my desires and non-negotiables regarding someone I could potentially be with forever. I wanted to connect with what truly mattered most to me, and learn how to secure this person into my life.

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

When I pulled up to the retreat at 9 a.m. on a Saturday in May, the nerves I was feeling were immediately settled by the location, Casa Muse. This stunning, secluded villa sat on a mountainous, 10-acre property of land. Natural light beamed through the huge windows, as I was greeted warmly with tea, coffee, fruit, and an introduction to event leader Adora Winquist. The alchemical healer and founder of The Soul Institute and author of Detox, Nourish, Activate was joined by Shawn Christian, a Jay Shetty certified life coach who would assist in guiding us through the next six hours of self-work.


Moments later, the rest of the group filled up the approximately 15 mats on the spacious floor. Within minutes of group conversation, I could tell this group of complete strangers in vastly varying age brackets would easily connect. After all, we were collectively there for the same reason — to map out our ideal partner, and develop the tools to bring that person into our lives.

The group wasted no time in creating an open and harmonious space for healing and setting intentions. A teary-eyed attendee in her 60s opened up about her refusal to give up on true love at her age. This was just before a woman in her early 30s broke down about a failed long-term relationship she thought was forever. To witness a group of strangers comfort and connect the way they did so early on in the session set the tone for a beautiful day ahead. It also didn’t hurt that I was in an extremely clear headspace, which I know from experience is key when it comes to attracting. I felt a deep sense of gratitude and was eager to welcome the moment with open arms.

Letting The Manifestations Commence

Needless to say we began immediately, digging deep and identifying our attachment style and love languages. We collectively reflected on why we either continue attracting the same people or have recurring behavioral patterns in relationships and dating (or both).

In this session, I came to the realization that I have a lifelong history of attaching myself to unattainable men — mainly those who liked me romantically to some degree, but not deeply enough for me to get too personal with them. Reflecting during the retreat, I recognized how that dynamic filled a void in my life, a void that desired true intimacy and companionship. While those connections have indeed been meaningful, the energy I put into them detracted from the energy I could have put into people who could actually give me the mutual and equally loving romantic relationship I wanted. Now, in a completely different place in my life, I was ready to attract something mutual, long-lasting, and outside of my comfort zone.

“Diving into experiences of early childhood is what I call our treasure map,” Winquist told me a few months later, when we reflected on my progress since the retreat. “It provides greater insight when you start thinking back to how [people in your life] showed love or maybe didn’t show love. These experiences and beliefs, involving intimacy, affection or expressing emotion, imprint on you. Whether or not you’re aware on a conscious level, subconsciously, that information is present and still projecting. You want to identify the patterns that keep appearing. A mistake is letting fear, doubt, and the past come into the present.”

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Next, we completed The Love Code™ Breath Technique, Winquist’s method of breathing in essential oil before releasing negative beliefs, embracing forgiveness, and expressing gratitude.

“Because of the connection between sense of smell and the brain, we can literally change how we feel in the moment,” Winquist said. “The more that we use it, we can repattern the trajectory of our emotional response when we get triggered.”

The workshop wrapped by streamlining our key desires and non-negotiables in a partner. Our once-blank journals that we received at the beginning of our session were now being filled with the blueprint for our soulmate: nine most important character attributes (values), six most important physical attributes (ie. appearance, financial status, hobbies), and three experiences desired to share together.

This was the most important part of the experience for me. This was when I went from listing “full head of hair and beautiful teeth” to simply “someone I’m attracted to mentally, physically, and emotionally.” To be clear, as Christian pointed out right before we began journaling, it’s fine if you want to manifest someone who fits your aesthetic ideals, or someone who makes a specific amount of money with a specific lifestyle. But, he noted, you’ll also have to take into account that keeping your list focused on more superficial may not give you the well-rounded partner you truly desire. As we talked more and weighed our non-negotiables, I began to visualize my ideal partner and the things I absolutely need in a long term partner.

“Envisioning this blueprint daily will energetically magnetize your desired mate to you,” Winquist said. “Your imagination is key in this process, and your brain doesn’t differentiate between actual or imagined. Envision the life you’ll have together, and feel it in your body, down to every cell. Feeling is the joy juice of your manifestation process.”

Maintaining The Manifestation Mindset

The end of the energetically charged day quickly stumbled upon us, but our work was far from done.

“Because human nature is based on creating practices and habits that become automatic responses, we must have actionable steps we take after,” Winquist explained. “Otherwise, like with any dream or desire, if you have it for just a moment, it’s like a balloon that goes up and the air comes out, and everything fizzles.”

To sum up my experience and plan moving forward: streamline priorities in a partner, believe you’re worthy of the partner you desire, enforce actionable effort. And, of course, trust the process.

Since the retreat, if I’ve met or talked to someone and didn’t feel a romantic connection, I’ve reflected back to my list and thought to myself, Ok, what would make me view this person as more of a romantic potential? As I go, I continue reshaping my list of non-negotiables. I find my list far more fine-tuned now than I did even a few months ago when the retreat took place. The good news is, being a triple-cancer sign, I’m extremely in touch with my emotions and how I want a relationship to feel. I’m not someone who’ll waste time going on a second date with someone I’m certain isn’t a match. The more I revisit my list and visualize my happy, healthy relationship, the more confident I am in getting one step closer to the one.

“It’s a common misconception that the moment you leave, your match is going to be right there,” Winquist said, adding that with diligent exercise, a three- to nine-month timeline can potentially be anticipated. “One of the challenges is having unrealistic expectations of when you meet your individual, what the scenario should look like, and even what they look like. A lot of the time, what’s aligned for us — heart, mind, body and soul — is something we don’t necessarily expect because it doesn’t come in the package we want it to.”

It’s also important to keep the early stages of your manifestation sacred. I’ve learned firsthand that the more eyes on any outcome, the greater ability there is to change it.

“As you’re manifesting someone, you want to hold and protect that dream and vision,” Winquist said. “Treat your manifestation like your garden. In the beginning, you don’t want 25 people tending that garden with you. You want to protect it and keep it safe. You only want to share this with ones really aligned with who you are at the heart and soul level. People influence our energy, creative process, and vibration. Only allow those in who are willing to share the joyful vision with you and for you.”

And in case you’re wondering about where I am on my soulmate manifestation journey, he’s obviously on his way.