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News from the Retreat

How to Do Less and Accomplish More

“I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. And never let you forget you’re a man!”

I blame this 1980 perfume commercial for my belief I could do it all. I had no idea doing it all was a myth! I spent years trying so hard to do everything myself without asking for help.

When’s the last time you asked for help? If you have trouble asking for help, you need a retreat – STAT. Once you realize you deserve to take time for you, your life will change.

Mason Alexander Polley Born July 20, 2017

With recent custody of my two month old grandson, I’m asking for help from my friends, family and oddly enough, my ex-husband. I’ve realized I can’t do this all by myself. Taking care of an infant is a full time job, and I already have a full time job. And while it’s more exhausting than I remember, there is so much joy.

When I was young and believed the myth of doing it all, I would run myself into the ground to accomplish everything. Asking for help was cheating. As I TRIED to do it all, there was little time left for myself. I was too exhausted to notice or care. I was miserable. 

Fast forward to 2017, I know a thing or too about taking care of myself. I take time for yoga and the gym, spend time with friends and perform my nightly self-care ritual that makes me feel good. It’s the best thing I can do for myself. And for Mason.

In order to make self-care a priority, I’ve had to delegate, prioritize and most importantly, make peace with leaving things undone. ”

What doesn’t get done at this new place in my life is mostly household chores – my home is a bit of a shambles, I’m not cooking for myself and the laundry is piling up. But Mason is well cared for, I’m running my business and I’m honoring myself.

Kaycee is the perfect example of someone who has learned to delgate, prioritize and let go. She is a wife, a mother and she works several different jobs. She is one of the hardest working women I know and one of my favorite people. If you’ve seen her in action at a retreat, you know exactly what I mean.

In the effort to do less and accomplish more, remember there is no right or wrong, there is no perfect scenario. It’s what works best for you. Just like your yoga practice.


  • Find Help – Hire childcare, cleaning or cooking help, if it makes your life easier – do it! The latest research shows that spending money on time saving services is a boost for happiness.
  • Home Delivery – If it’s ready made meals, diapers or shoes that you need, know that you can get most anything in a day. Take advantage of the convenience of delivery to your door.
  • Ask for Help – A dear friend of mine likes to say “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.” Ask for help from your partner, your family, your friends. Gone are the days where the only way to do anything was to do it yourself. It really does take a village.


Theresa & Kaycee

Kaycee is one of the busiest people I know – yet she manages to get it all done with a smile on her face.

  • Do the Important Tasks First – Children picked up from school. Bills paid. Groceries bought. Whatever needs to be done to keep your day-to-day routine up and running is a priority.
  • Paying for It All – If your boss, coworkers or work environment is sucking the life out of you, it may be time to move on. Maybe a career change even. The job market is doing well, now may be the time to make your move.
  •  What Makes You Happy – What experiences bring you joy? Is it time with friends, a bubble bath, a yoga class or walking your dog? Whatever you need to feel nurtured and grounded, make it a priority.
  • Avoid distractions – Constantly checking your phone, obsessively browsing news or social media is only making you feel worse. Stop it. Today.

Make Peace with What You Can’t Do

  • Your To-Do List – Take a good look at your to do list and evaluate what really needs to be done. If you have tasks that keep getting moved from one to-do list to another, maybe it’s time to admit those chores will never get done. Delete from your list. Notice the relief you feel.
  • Minimize – Get rid of items, obligations and people who don’t serve you. Discover freedom from what is holding you back.
  • Acknowledge – You don’t have to do it all. Really. Do what you can do. Forgive yourself for not doing it all. Allow yourself to ask for help. Watch your life change.

I’ve met many women who say they’d love to take time for themselves, but they just don’t have the time. Honestly, you don’t have time to NOT take time for yourself. I firmly believe people make time for what’s important. 

I’ve created Retreat in the Pines so Women can celebrate and encourage each other. Life is hard. Letting go is hard. Holding on is harder. I believe we need our tribe around us for support and to know we are not alone. Embrace your female friends and take time to spend time with them. We are all on different journeys. Let us honor each and every woman and the path she has chosen. Let’s encourage each other to renew, refresh and replenish. And let’s do it together.

Keep Your Cool When Everything Around You is Heating Up

Summer Sun

The Heat of the Summer Sun is Inescapable

Feeling irritated, anxious or critical? Feeling uncomfortable and hot, even inside?

Your Pitta may be out of balance. Summer is Pitta season and the bright, hot, sunny days of summer aggravate Pitta. To manage Pitta you must keep yourself cool – not just your body, but even more importantly, your mind and emotions. Balance rest and activity, and set aside time to play and relax.

Pitta is one of three Doshas in the Ayurvedic System. Ayurveda is a sister science to Yoga based on our mind body connection and the healing of the body by using the mind.

If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda, check out our Detox & Yoga Retreats.

Awareness of your body is the first step to practicing Ayurveda. Once you’re aware, you can find healing for the mental, physical and emotional symptoms that ail you.”

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Dare to Live Your Dream

Yoga Retreat

My Mantra

The possibilities seemed endless when I was young. All the hopes, dreams and possibilities of youth can quickly be crushed by the reality of making it as an adult. In the complex world of adulting, just getting through a challenging day can feel like a major accomplishment.

If you’ve been daydreaming about a break from adulting, a weekend away may be just what you need. Find space to breathe and freedom from anxiety and stress when you retreat with us. Explore our retreat options here.

My passion in life has always been to make a difference in the world, specifically with women. I’d dreamed for years of giving women a space to find empowerment. Along the way, I became empowered. When my dream became a reality in 2004, I was thrilled, yet I had no idea what I was getting myself into. While there have been bumps along the way, I am so grateful for my strength and persistence to keep going. If I can live my dream, so can you!

Turn Your Dream Into Reality

What Makes Your Heart Sing – Think back to childhood when you believed you could accomplish ANYTHING (know that you still can!), write down everything that comes up. Something on your list may spark your interest and reignite a passion. I recommend making an actual list on your phone, laptop or even a piece of paper. Having a concrete list you can reference allows you to see the possibilities.

Recognize Your Strengths and Limitations – This list will give you ideas on where you can grow, as well as recognizing where you need guidance. When I realized I couldn’t do everything myself, I was able to embrace my talents and grow in ways I never thought possible. Plus I was able to let go of control which was life changing! 

Eliminate – Sometimes realizing what you don’t want, is the first step to realizing what you do want. On the list of things from childhood, cross off the ideas that are no longer appealing. Then make a list of things you have no desire to do – run a marathon, pursue a career as a CPA, travel to India, etc. The more you explore your likes and dislikes the more you can hone in on what you actually want to do.

Look Into the Future – When you think about your life in one, five or ten years; what do you see? Living in a cabin in the middle of the woods writing or painting? Traveling around the world as a lifestyle – living and working in someplace new every few months? Something somewhere in between those two options? Then think about your current commitments, as well as your pets, family and friends. If your dream isn’t attainable based on your current life situation, maybe you plan for further in the future or pursue something that is more compatible with where you are now. 

Brain Storm with a Close Friend – Share your dreams, and while you’re at it, your fears, with someone who will support you, but who will also keep you grounded in reality. Giving voice to your hopes and dreams may spark something else in you. And with a close friend, you’ll be able to get perspective.  

Make a (Financial) Plan – Unfortunately, a lot of dreams need money to get off the ground. Figure out how much you need to get your dream started and work back from there, coming up with a plan for earning and saving the amount you need. Whatever you do, overestimate on the amount you’ll need. What a disappointment it would be to get to the point to live your dream and realize you don’t quite have enough cash. You’ll want to consider living expenses, as well as travel expenses, special equipment you’ll need and so on.

Know your dream is anything you want. You can go big. Choose to travel the world, go back to school, take up a new hobby or make a career change. Or perhaps start small. Take a weekend away, add a new fitness class to your schedule or start volunteering. Realize – YOU – are the only person limiting yourself. You alone give yourself the permission and the freedom to do or be anything your heart desires. Once you realize you’re in charge, watch as things start to fall into place.

I am thrilled to live my dream, in spite of the challenges I sometimes face. One thing I’ve always shared with my children, just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s bad. My dream is to continue to grow Retreat in the Pines – to reach even more women. I also dream of living someplace new, traveling more and whatever else the universe has in store for me.

I’ve discovered when I open myself up to possibility, the possibilities really are endless.


Red, White & Blueberry Bundt Cake

Blueberry Pecan Breakfast Cake

Celebrate Freedom with this Delicious Cake

The latest addition to our summer retreat menu is this amazing cake. Not only is it delicious, it’s patriotic! The red from the raspberiess, the blue from the blueberries plus the dusting of white powdered sugar, make this the perfect addition to your July 4th festivities. And while Heather, our head chef, created this for Brunch, it’s also perfect as a dessert for your BBQ.

We get our blueberries from Ham Orchards and our organic raspberries from Costco. You could also use peaches for a different twist, also available at Ham’s.

Ham Orchards is located just outside of Terrell on Highway 80 and draws crowds with their fresh produce, to-die-for peach ice cream and peach smoked BBQ, including chicken, brisket and pork. It’s a nice drive from Dallas, but just a warning, they close mid-August.


Red, White & Blueberry Bundt Cake

  • 1 c. butter room temperature
  • 2 c. Raw Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¾ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 c. fresh raspberries


  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ c. chopped pecans

Powdered Sugar for dusting

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Why You Need a Yoga Retreat

Wine in the Pines

Enjoy a glass of wine in the Pines!

Sometimes all of my responsibilities just feel like too much. I feel like I could use an indefinite vacation. The thought of all that I HAVE to do just feels so overwhelming. Maybe you can relate.

Instead of fantasizing about walking away – do something about your burn out. Hire a therapist, let off some steam with your girlfriends, discover the joy of moving your body in a yoga or a Zumba class. Even a few hours away in a “mini vacation” can do wonders.

Better yet, make time to attend a Yoga Retreat. You get the benefits of all of the above; plus, a change of scenery, a welcoming community, home cooked meals and wine – what’s not to love? A yoga retreat will definitely change your perspective and maybe even your life. And all of that for less than $400 for a weekend. Find out more here.

If you’re like me, finding balance seems impossible. I feel like I spend too much time doing what I need to do and only fantasize about what I want to do. I realized recently that what I want to do – take a break – is exactly what I need to do!

Theresa in Tree Pose

Finding Balance in Tree Pose

I’ve found balance in life, is so much like a balance pose in Yoga. When my thoughts are racing and I feel my life isspinning out of control, I topple over. I’ve found falling is a little easier in Yoga. Falling out of balance in life can be traumatic. Not just for me, but for my family, my friends and most of all – me.

I fell out of balance last year about this time, I ended up physically sick, injured and emotionally overwhelmed. I nursed myself back to health by cancelling all social obligations (even the ones I love!) and spending quality time with myself reading and journaling. The only time I left the house was to take long walks with Zoe and go to Yoga.

This is what I discovered during my “Self-Care Staycation”

Prioritize Yourself – It sounds trite, but it’s so true. If we are not getting our needs we can’t begin to tackle our to-do list. The need for self-care should come immediately after the needs for basic survival and personal safety are met. Our relationship with self is crucial.

Let go of the Non-Essentials – In your life, in your home, in your relationships. I love the minimalist lifestyle. I’m not there yet, but I’m definitely on my way. Getting rid of so much stuff that’s holding me back feels amazing.

Learn to Say No – However you say it, remember a “no” to obligations that don’t serve you, is a yes to you and what matters to you – family, friends, self-care and living an authentic life. Obligations taking you away from you and your journey to your authentic self just aren’t worth it.

Let Go of Perfection, Control, People Pleasing and Any Other Habit that is Sabotaging Your Way Forward – I spent years of my life trying to control – every stinking thing. I’m here to tell you I was stressed and exhausted when I was living that life. When you can let go of whatever obsession is sabotaging you, you’ll find peace, joy and forward motion.

Forgive, Forget and Move On – When you hold onto a particular memory or event that causes feelings of trauma and pain and suffering, your mind is constantly trying to figure out what went wrong and how you can fix it. These memories can be everything from the small (somebody cut in front of you in the self check-out line at the grocery store) to the huge (a painful divorce or the estrangement of a loved one). A skilled counselor is always a go to when experiencing the unrest caused by a devastating loss. Recently, I’ve added Expressive Writing to my self care rouitine. It’s transformational. We explore that concept in detail at the Love Yourself Retreat.

Here are even more tips if you’re suffering from burn out.

Life is too short to waste another minute being out of balance and completely miserable. Take a Self-Care Staycation or join us for an all-inclusive Yoga Retreat. Start with one small step on your journey to you. You really can’t start too soon.

Easy Guacamole


Easy to Make & So Delish!

Summer time, when cool and easy to prepare foods are a necessity! Guacamole is one of my favorites – appetizer, side dish or main dish. I’m only half kidding! I’ve been known to put a serious dent in a bowl of guacamole.

If you follow Ayurveda at all, you’ll know if you eat hot foods, you’ll feel warmer, while eating cool or room temperature foods can keep you cooler in the heat of summer.

A couple of tips: I like to buy my avacodos before they’re ripe and then let ripen in a paper bag. I always wash my produce before slicing into it, even organic, you never know what might be on the outside and if you cut into it, you risk spreading bacteria or something worse. If you put the lime in the microwave for about ten seconds (no more or  you could have a disaster!), you can easily squeeze all of the juice out of it.

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A Celebration of A Life

One of Megan’s Cranes at Home at Retreat in the Pines

The recent loss of a woman from our retreat community has not only been devastating, but also a reminder to reach out and connect with each other.

Megan was an inspiring woman who lived life on her own terms. She loved her cats, her friends, reading, yoga and being outside. She lived alone. She was what I consider a strong independent woman,  with a soft heart for good causes – rescue cats, Stefanie Tovar’s community outreach program, and friends in need. She was caring, thoughtful and sweet natured.

When I first met Megan in November 2015 she’d made origami cranes for each guest at the retreat. Everyone was touched by her thoughtfulness. As we were leaving the retreat, one of the other guests had a dead battery. Megan saved the day with her jumper cables. Just another example of her thoughtfulness and practical nature.

We chatted about her bike riding, her hiking, her cats, her adventures with REI. A little about her job, I got the feeling that while she was good at what she did, it didn’t define her. She enjoyed and lived life to the fullest.

I thought to myself, we’re kindred spirits, we definitely need to get together sometime. While we chatted occassionally at yoga, I never reached out. I truly regret not making the effort. I would have loved getting to know her better, even if it was just to listen to her contagious laugh.

We’re all in this life together, and as women, even though we come from different places and backgrounds, we have so much in common with each other. Reach out today and make a connection. 

Celebration of Life for Megan Getrum

Megan at the Bhakti & Yoga Retreat in November

Saturday, May 6th at 10:00 am at Oak Point Park Nature & Retreat Center.

 Address: 5901 Los Rios Blvd, Plano, TX 75074

Come with your favorite Megan story or memory, as we are encouraging friends to share with the group.

If you’d like to honor Megan, please consider making a donation to one of Megan’s favorite causes:

Texas Cares Cat Adoption & Rescue

The Nature Conservancy

Hanuman Homies – Dallas Area Community Outreach


Asparagus Tomato & Feta Salad

Asparagus Fet Salad

Fresh Asparagus Tomato & Feta Salad

If you love fresh asparagus, or maybe you merely like it, this recipe will have you hooked.  Perhaps your only experience with asparagus was asparagus in the can, the good news – fresh asparagus tastes NOTHING like canned asparagus. Thank goodness!

Just in time for asparagus season, this  guest favorite is nice as a side dish, or with the addition of a protein (grilled chicken or quinoa are my favorites), a perfect warm weather main dish.

  • 2 lbs  asparagus
  • 2  garlic cloves
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • ¾ cup Feta (or crumbled blue or goat cheese to add an interesting twist)

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Three Tips to Bring More Ease Into Your Life

Stop trying so hard.  What a concept! It may seem most advice given today is to lean in and try a little harder. I’m a proponent of less. Less effort equals less stress which equals more peace. Fewer commitments equals more personal time. 

My Sanctuary Space

Zoe Enjoying My Sanctuary Space

If you need a weekend with less effort and more relaxation, join us for a yoga retreat.

In the past few months I’ve  incorporated small simple habits, which have, quite honestly, changed my life. One of my favorites is this corner in my bedroom where I’ve created a sanctuary for me. By spending a few moments every day in self- reflection and gratitude; I’ve discovered the space between effort and ease, which feels a lot like contentment to me.

There is a concept in Yoga of sukha which means ease or bliss. The challenge is to bring sukha not only to my yoga practice, but to my life. I admit I’ve forced a yoga pose, I’ve cursed and struggled. You know the pose, the one where the rest of the class looks like they aren’t even trying. So I try harder. That’s the point where I lose any ease or bliss. And I have to remind myself the appearance of no effort, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effortless.

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Herb Parmesan Risotto

Risotto has been one of my favorite dishes for as long as I can remember. I found a recipe, and of course, made it healthier. This version can be made vegetarian by substituting veggie stock for chicken stock. 


Herb Parmesan Risotto with Asparagus and Roast Chicken is a Perfect Spring Meal


  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pkg mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 ½  cup Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 4 cup Chicken or Veggie broth
  • ½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated


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