Welcome to Nikaō Colorado

Nikaō Colorado exists to provide a safe place where people can “search and examine their ways” (Lamentations 3:40) as a means to reconnect and deepen their trust of, and their intimacy with God.

Our hope is that by coming and spending a few days in the mountains a necessary space would be created to experience an interior freedom in your soul. This “soul work” would allow an intimacy and a trust in God that goes deeper and wider than you could ever have imagined. Perhaps it is this trust, combined with grace and mercy, that would ultimately bring you to a place of walking courageously through the dichotomous life of suffering and joy, sorrow and hope.

May you also trust that your spiritual house doesn’t have to be perfectly in order for God to enter.

We offer three retreat options at Nikaō Colorado:

  • Come for an individual intensive retreat
  • Come and be a part of a group, which usually consists of 5-8 women (18 years of age and older)
  • Come with your own group (i.e. small group from church, Bible study group, etc.)

All three of these options consist of Liz Casteel, Founder and Director of Nikaō Counseling and Nikaō Colorado, teaching and leading women through the cycle of transformation. As written in the Nikaō Colorado Retreat Guide, “Transformation is generally understood as a thorough, lasting, perceptible change in form, condition, nature, or character.” Author and speaker Dallas Willard defines Christian spiritual formation as the transformation of all aspects of the human self into Christ-likeness. He notes that the aim is transformation of the whole self through transformation of thoughts, feelings, social relations, body, and soul.

Though transformation happens somewhat differently for each of us, as unique beings with different life experiences, we believe there are reliable principles of transformation, and a pattern we call the cycle of transformation that can guide us as we seek growth and change.

  • Transformation must start with a willingness to live consciously, to be willing to look at the past and present to see how and why certain patterns were formed in our lives as we strive to uncover the authentic self.
  • Transformation is most effective when it works from the inside out, addressing our interior lives rather than just aiming to change behaviors.
  • We need the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • True change is Spirit led, with our cooperation in the process along the way. True change is holistic, involving our thoughts, emotions, social relations and bodies… our whole selves.
  • Transformation is slow work… generally slower than we assume or would wish.

The cycle of transformation model we’ll be using to guide us addresses the question of “How do we really change?” We believe participants of Nikaō Colorado will experience transformation as they share ideas, truths, experiences and stories that have consciously and subconsciously been shaping their life since they were children.

“The most important thing in life is the person you will become.” — Dallas Willard

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Location and Accommodations

Nikaō Colorado is located in Nathrop, Colorado, about 100 miles west of Colorado Springs Airport and 145 miles west of Denver International Airport. You can drive or fly to Colorado. If you fly, you will need to rent a car to get to Nathrop. Depending on the dates you are coming, you and/or your group may be able to stay on the property, but there are also many Airbnbs, VRBOs and hotels in and around the area. Some guests prefer to stay at one of the boutique hotels or a local Airbnb and drive over for the day. Buena Vista, the town closest to Nathrop, has a grocery store, restaurants and a fun downtown area full of local shops. The following is a list of possible places to stay:

Additional details:

Nikaō Colorado operates differently than most places that offer intensive retreats because your retreat can be individually planned to the needs of those coming. You get to choose how long you want to stay and how many hours a day you want to explore your spiritual and emotional life.

For Individual Intensives: These are three to five days where we spend around three to five hours each day together, and there can be some flexibility within that. For instance, if we decide to meet from 9AM-12PM, but want to add in an additional hour, we can usually accommodate that. We often enjoy a meal together and can incorporate hiking as a part of the intensive experience. These can be hikes directly off the property or we can drive to a trail head and hike up to an alpine lake or another beautiful area. The cost for individual intensive time with Liz is $185 per hour. This does not include accommodations or travel expenses.

For Group Intensives: These are three to five days and include group time, hiking, all meals, free time in the afternoons and wrapping the day up with fireside conversation. The cost includes all expenses except travel and one meal on the last night, where we will eat at one of the best restaurants in town. The cost will be determined once details are discussed about length of stay and if the group stays on property.

Liz Casteel, MA, LPC-S

About Liz Casteel, Founder and Director

Liz’s favorite place is living in a small town in Colorado that is surrounded by 14,000 foot mountains called the Collegiate Peaks Range. You can find her hiking trails with good friends (all pups welcome), fly fishing on the Arkansas River, eating at local establishments (preferably those with great patios), snow skiing, and tending her garden. Liz loves beauty of all types from flowers and sunsets to music and laughter, all gifts from an artistic God.

Liz lives between Colorado and Texas, and has been providing counseling and mentoring to individuals and groups for over 25 years. She served on church staff at a couple of different churches before going into private practice in 1999. She is a Licensed Counselor in both Colorado and Texas.

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”

– Brené Brown