I just returned from a very rejuvenating weekend spent at a retreat center in Cape May. Sure, it was cold, and there was still snow on the beach from last weekend’s storm. But it was worth the drive down to spend time with a group of like-minded women (and one nice guy who accompanied his wife) doing all those self-care things we talk about, aspire to, yet somehow never make the time for.
You know what I am talking about. The time spent doing yoga, meditation, learning about crystals, quantum healing, and how to play a drum in unison and harmony with everyone else. The time spent journaling, walking on the beach, talking to each other in person, and cutting ourselves off from TV news, social media, texting and our phones while we were in the main sacred space. Which happened to be the majority of our day, excepting mealtime.
And speaking of mealtime, we had wonderful vegetarian choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Always a salad, and sometimes a vegetable soup, a healthy entrée, tasty desserts, and delicious fruit and vegetables artfully presented. It was a feast for the eyes as well as the gut.
We bonded over our mealtime discussions. Cleaning up after each meal together quickly developed our camaraderie and teamwork this weekend. And I really think this is a good idea for any group retreat, to help instill a sense of fellowship beyond the group we show up with. It is too easy to remain in your tight circle and not venture outside of it, if you are not made to from time to time. I am glad our wise facilitator did just that.
It was a time to get out of your comfort zone, that is for sure. I brought my sister with me, as I have attended many retreats before, and this was something new for her. Besides, I think she often puts everyone else’s needs in front of her own and I thought this would be a good opportunity for her to focus on herself.
Given the nature of my work, I meditate daily, journal with regularity and take the time for exercise. I wanted to share these habits with her and see what resonated. She really enjoyed the yoga and is ready to incorporate that into her habits. She was able to release a particularly stubborn knot in her shoulder just by going through the yoga flow asanas this weekend. She may not start out doing yoga every day, but at least a few times a week is a good start. And she has already seen the benefits.
I, on the other hand, realized two things. One, I am not doing yoga regularly each morning like I used to. Two, not snacking between meals and at night before bed just feels good.
My takeaways from this weekend are to start practicing yoga again daily, but this time at night before bed. I will try a more restorative yoga practice that will settle me down and get me ready for a good nights’ sleep. Oh yes, I slept very well these last few nights.
Now, about that snacking. I don’t generally snack between breakfast and lunch, but I have been eating in the late afternoon, 3:30 or 4:00 pm. Usually, it is an apple (or banana) with some nuts. However, if I don’t have this snack, I tear into anything when I get home. That is dangerous because it could be chips (a weakness) or I could overeat because I am too hungry at that point.
Another thing I realized has to stop immediately is late night snacks – chocolate, cookies, or pie. It has become a reward for finishing my chores, work, or checklist – whatever you want to call it – before settling in for 30 minutes of mindless TV before bed. Not good for the waistline, not good for digestion, not good for sleep. Just plain not good.
It is better to wake up hungry and, in a space, where your body is actually ready for a meal. And it also give your body time to heal, replenish and reset overnight as it is not too busy digesting food.
I learned some new things about people, about energy work, about vibrational energies, and myself. I also got a new deck of divination cards that I will use to suss out new directions to follow in the coming months. I’ll keep you posted, but the oracle card I selected this morning as my reading for today was “The Path”. It simply asks you to consider if the path you are heading down, is still the one you want to be on? That made me sit up and take notice. How intentional am I? Am I still committed to this direction? Does it still align and have congruency with my intentions? Hmmmm.
So you see, we can all get into bad habits that don’t support a healthy lifestyle – even me. Or go on autopilot in our day to day habits.
But the time away from the normal routine, getting to know new people, and eating differently can all help you stretch a little. I am glad I went. If you are interested, this group will be hosting another one down in Cape May in May. Email me if you want some information, happy to share.
Namaste, and have a great week.