We hear the word freedom quite a bit at this time of year. We celebrate our country’s independence on July Fourth, but what about celebrating freedom in our personal lives?
You’ll often hear yoga instructors expressing this idea in class: clear your mind, let go. And in letting go, we can find freedom. This might seem like a very broad concept, so it’s helpful to hone in on what exactly you’re looking to let go of: self-doubt, negative self-talk, attachment to the past, attachment to any ideas of what the future “should” look like, and so on.
For me personally, the journey of letting go is something I must be intentional about. It’s easy to get off track. Here are ideas on how to do just that:
Let go of self-doubt. As women, we play many different roles in our lives: friend, employee, boss, mother, sister, wife; the list goes on. With all the hats we wear, it can be easy to doubt how we are “performing” in any given role. We might wonder if we’re good enough, or if we’re doing enough. The reality is that we are doing the best we can—and that is always enough.
Let go of negative self-talk. Our thoughts have the power to create our reality. At one time or another, we may find ourselves in a cycle of negative self-talk, focusing on the things we see as flaws or negatives about ourselves or ruminating on mistakes we have made. Let go of fixation on the negative. Focus your attention and energy on what you love about yourself, and positivity will follow.
You are either now here, or nowhere.” Baron Baptiste
Let go of attachment to the past and the future. This quote sums up the importance of being present for me. A significant element of the practice of yoga is learning through breath, meditation, and movement to be present. When we focus too much on events of the past—which are already done and gone—we prevent ourselves from moving forward into growth. On the other side of the coin, worrying about the future creates anxiety, which is essentially a fear of something that has only happened in our minds, but not in reality. Let go of what happened in the past and the need to control what happens in the future. You’ll find the freedom to be present, and to live and love the moment you are in.
Learning to let go is one step toward finding freedom from the things that hold you back in your personal life. At Retreat in the Pines, we create a safe, relaxing space for you to step away from the worries of your daily life and give yourself an opportunity to focus on letting go. We’d love for you to join one of our upcoming retreats to find freedom during a weekend away that is just for you. Check out our schedule of upcoming retreats to learn more.
I don’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve felt the stress and disappointment when I failed to keep my resolutions too many times. It’s like a diet – knowing I can’t eat something makes me want it even more! I allow myself to eat what I want and my intention each and every year is to treat myself with the love, respect and compassion I deserve. Life is too short to start the New Year any other way.
By intentionally vowing to be good to myself, I’ve found acceptance for who I am in this moment and where I am in my life. By finding acceptance, I’ve discovered peace, contentment and joy.
My practice of being good to myself has allowed the life I’ve envisioned for myself to fall into place.
It’s as if once I believe I’m worthy of living my dream, my dream comes true.
Begin this year with a vow to be good to yourself. Start by joining us for a retreat.
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!
Let this be the year you celebrate you and what makes you unique. Let this be the year you embrace your body for all of the amazing things it allows you to do. And the year you stop chasing after the “perfect” body.
I posted this quote to Facebook in 2010. I’d spent most of my life punishing my body for not being perfect. Yoga allowed me to (finally) celebrate my body. Celebrate, not only the way I look, but more importantly, celebrate what my body can do and the way I feel about my body.
This is my story of how I overcame shame about my body. Maybe you can relate. If you’re struggling with acceptance for any aspect of yourself, join us for our Love Yourself Retreat. Begin the journey of love, acceptance and compassion for your body and every aspect of yourself.
I started hating my body when I was eight. My dad and brother called me fat and constantly made fun of me. I look back at photos from that time, and while I had baby fat, an 8 year old should NEVER be called fat. Over the next couple of years, I grew taller and slimmed down. But I STILL felt fat. I started hunching over as I grew taller – so nobody would notice me. My dad admonished me, “Stop slouching. Stand up straight. What’s wrong with you?”
Ha. I felt like so much was wrong with me. Not just with my body, but me. It’s interesting how the two are related.
“There are all different kinds of women at a retreat and you’d think we have nothing in common. But we really have everything in common,” Dionna, a frequent retreat guest, sharing with her sister what makes our women’s yoga and wellness retreats so special.
I have found that’s so true. Even though our guests travel from across the country, have different backgrounds and experiences, we are ALL women. And because of that, we have so much in common.
Our mission is to support and empower EVERY woman. Yoga and meditation are a crucial part of our retreats, but women gathered together, sharing laughter and stories and supporting each other in community is where the real magic happens. Just ask our guests. Our yoga classes suit all levels, perfect for women of all ages and body types, with absolutely no yoga experience required. Yoga is breath-based movement. I tell guests at the beginning of every retreat, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
Join us for a retreat, discover exactly what you need here. We offer Retreat Assistance and keep our retreats affordable, so we can serve ALL women.
It’s an Adventure! When I traveled with my kids when they were younger, my common phrase when things didn’t go as planned (which is quite frequently when you’re traveling with children) was “It’s an Adventure!” Of course they grumbled and made fun of me (and still do!), but now I know when things don’t go the way I plan, it is indeed an adventure. Whether in travel or in life.
My favorite adventure is solo travel. The absolute best place to travel to by yourself is Retreat in the Pines. Find your tribe at a retreat.
My divorce was messy, I was stressed, I needed to do something for myself. As I pondered my future, I knew I needed to do something to challenge my comfort zone and give me fresh perspective. I decided to take a trip by myself.
I started to plan. I was thrilled when I bought the plane ticket, excited as I booked a room with Airbnb (Airbnb is my first choice when I travel) and feeling proud of myself as I figured out the details of a trip to San Francisco for the Yoga Journal Conference with a few nights in Napa.
You know the voice in your head saying…I got this…This is my dream…I deserve better than this. Great news, your voice is right. You’re right. When you hear it, stop what you’re doing and listen. Learning to listen to your intuition, is the first step on your journey to bliss.
If you’re like me and have struggled with listening to your intuition, join us for a retreat. Being away from your daily routine will clear away the clutter. Your voice will come in loud and clear.
I could tell you about the times in my life (disasters – truly) where I had an intuitive feeling about something and I RATIONALIZED it away. Big mistake, every time. Then I can tell you about the times I LISTENED to my gut…and things went amazingly right.
I love this quote by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented, Fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
To think that each of us experience a shift of energy within our bodies, minds and souls, a belief that we are connected to the seasons, is something that resonates with me. Call me a tree hugging flower child, but I know you’ve felt it too. Winter is heavy and dark, a time when we withdraw and go inward, while spring is fresh and light, a time for renewal and rebirth.
Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, teaches us how to live in harmony with nature through a practice of balance. It is a Sanskrit word that translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity.” If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us for one of our Detox & Yoga Retreats.
In withdrawing and going inward this past winter I discovered a great deal of fear, confusion, discontentment and restlessness. Unwilling to face the truth of the matter, I distracted myself by planning what was to be the greatest adventure of my life: farming. It’s not nearly as glamorous as my hopes of backpacking through Europe, or as noble as my intention of going on the World Race, but I was convinced that it would change my life.
Do you ever find yourself wondering “how did I end up here?” You look back at the zigs and zags of your life and wonder should I have stepped left when I stepped right? Should I have skipped a few steps (partners, jobs, ideas) entirely?
Out of necessity we may find ourselves doing things we didn’t plan. Or even losing sight of our hopes and dreams. It’s called reality. If you need a break from reality, join us for a retreat. It will change your perspective and maybe even your life.
Perhaps you’ve spent the last 5, 10 or 20 years raising your children. Or working in a career that didn’t suit you. Or in a relationship (with a friend, partner or even co-worker) that was sucking the life out of you. If I’ve learned anything in my life, “It’s never too late… to turn back, start over, press the reset button.”
And never say never.
- Get Organized
- Lose Weight
- Stop a Bad Habit
- Start a Good Habit
- Save Money
- Get a Better Job
- Find Love
Not only are these all really overwhelming…some are just simply unattainable. Plus, New Year’s Resolutions are known to fail. Don’t set yourself up to fail. A perfect way to change your perspective is at a retreat, we have so many options to choose from, see them all here.
If you are unhealthy I encourage you to get healthier, taking baby steps.
Whatever you do, don’t try this at home: eat only vegetables, stop drinking and run 5 miles a day. I guarantee you will probably eat a lot of junk, drink MORE and you won’t want to walk anywhere, let alone run. Baby steps would be add more veggies to your diet, drink only on certain occasions and walk out the front door and keep going. And if you relapse by staying in bed all day and eating potato chips (close to a vegetable!) and drinking wine (staying in bed can qualify as an occasion, right?), don’t be too hard on yourself.
Start again the next day. Don’t give up on yourself after getting off course one time.
This year, live life. Joyfully. Passionately. Confidently. Just as you are. Because you are wonderful and lovely and perfectly imperfect.
Happy New Year. May this be the year of YOU!