Nicole Fogel had a bustling corporate and celebrity gifting business until she one day got diagnosed with lupus. Although managing her health turned into a full-time job, Fogel turned what most would see as a negative into a positive endeavor through her philanthropic work and now her wellness retreat, Shift.
”My career and life got put on hold when I got sick and was told my future was infusions, procedures and opiates. I chose to not accept that kind of life and seek more. In that, I learned to eat my medicine, focused on mindful awareness and live as healthy of a lifestyle as possible. At the same time, I was caring for my ailing grandmother while getting involved in advocating for the Lupus community,” says Fogel. “I strived to be the voice for Lupus patients whose voices weren’t heard. Giving back has always been important to me and I found a way to do that through being a patient with a voice.”
In 2016 Fogel was named Woman Of The Year in the lupus community, but shortly after her grandmother passed away, whom she was dearly close to, she began a year of healing in all aspects of her life.”It took a full year to grieve and heal after my grandmother’s passing. During that year I would travel to Maui where I felt I could foster my healing the most. It was then I had the idea to take people who have helped me along the way in my healing process to help others who are in need of physical, emotional, psychological and mental healing,” explained Fogel.
Fogel wanted to launch the inaugural Shift retreat in Maui where she herself was able to heal after her grandmother’s passing. Bringing Shift Wellness to life took two years in the making for Fogel. Along with events specialist, Lori Harris, Fogel programed Shift as a transformative and luxurious week of wellness with world-known certified experts at, The Four Seasons Maui.
The seven-day retreat brought women from all different backgrounds together to heal and most importantly, shift. The week was filled with activities to jump-start mental, emotional, physical, psychological and nutritious healing. A Sunrise trek to Mount Haleakala, labyrinth walks, bamboo forest hikes, ocean paddle boarding, reiki healing, sound baths, daily yoga, massages and tailored workshops were just a few of the activities that the women of Shift were able to experience.
The workshops were led by a variety of experts which included body alignment and fascia expert Lauren Roxburgh, holistic nutritionist Elissa Goodman, psychotherapist Erin Lotz and mind architect Peter Crone. The experts also worked one on one with attendees throughout the week to help them take the tools they learned at the Shift retreat to implement them back into their daily lives.
The group had a unique advantage of working hands-on with all the experts present over the week on bodywork, nutrition, meditation, movement medicine, mental stamina, and emotional awareness. Beyond the healing and restoration that the attendees experienced, they built a long-lasting community that bonded them for life.
“One of the bigger joys of my life was watching the connections that were created and the transformations that occurred with own eyes. Helping these women has been my biggest accomplishment to date, I start to cry when I think of it. To know that I was able to take so many of my personal struggles to create an experience for their transformations is beautiful and surreal,” Fogel expressed.
Fogel’s strength, positive attitude and grandmother’s spirit helped her turn her battle with lupus into a vibrant wellness movement. She continues to advocate and raise money with the lupus research alliance in search of a cure. Fogel is working on the next Shift retreat for 2020 and hopes to be able to one day offer the experience as close to free as possible to lupus, autoimmune and chronically ill patients.