Winter solstice signifies a time to find stillness in ourselves where we can reflect on the year behind us. For me, Winter Solstice represents the beginning of a season of going within – a time of journaling and self reflection. I look over my journals from the past year or years to see how far I’ve come. This is when I discover the challenges I’v overcome AND the moments of joy. My favorite part? Staying in, usually in my PJs or sweats (no bra!) – warm and cozy, while the weather outside is cold and dreary.
If you need to get away to spend time in self reflection, join us for one of our January retreats. I love the silence and beauty of nature on the retreat grounds at this time of year. Things are quiet around here, as our staff stays home for the holidays, and for me personally, it’s a time to reflect on all the lives that have been touched over the last 12 months at Retreat in the Pines. I’m grateful to be able to offer women a place to find stillness and sanctuary where they can get away for a weekend of rejuvenation and self-care.
I recently discovered the power of stillness. When I take a moment to pause, I create a shift in my perspective and everything else in my life shifts. I find my to do list is less daunting. And by stepping away from the thought “everything must get done right now,” I find peace.
If you need to pause, join us for a retreat – the physical, mental and emotional benefits of taking a time out are phenomenal.
Maybe you’re familiar with the evening routine of cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, answering emails plus a few other chores. Then falling into bed exhausted – maybe even falling asleep while reading or watching TV. That was the OLD me. Let me introduce you to the NEW me. I pick one thing to get done – not everything. And I absolutely do not answer emails past 7 pm. With all of that extra time, I take a bath, read, listen to a podcast or watch Netflix. Freedom!
When I stopped the constant “busyness” I had subjected myself to for years, I found, not only more peace, but more energy.
By giving myself permission to pause, I stopped the cycle of depletion and never enough time or energy. I found stillness allowed me to refill my cup.
If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads in life, wondering if there’s more out there to explore, you’re not alone. Some may argue that if you practice santosha – the yogic philosophy of cultivating a sense of contentment – then there’s nothing else in life that you need. But if you feel the grass could be greener, you can proactively create a life you love. After all, contentment is a choice.
At Retreat in the Pines, we offer weekend retreats so you can step away from the stresses of your life – perhaps even outside your comfort zone – to discover santosha while immersed in our safe and sacred retreat space. View our upcoming retreats here.
Discovering contentment doesn’t need to be a dramatic shift in your life. Making small adjustments in your day-to-day routine will allow you to find change and the greater satisfaction you’re seeking.
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.
When I began my own digital detox, over a year ago, there was an immediate sense of relief. I started by turning off the notifications on my phone. With that first step, I realized, I’m in charge again! Not my phone! I recently deleted social media apps that were distracting me. At first there was a sense of what do I do now? Then I realized I had much more time in my day to engage with those around me. My dining table has always been a screen-free zone and I have memories of great meals and conversations with loved ones and friends over the years.
Many women come to Retreat in the Pines seeking a way to “unplug” from their daily lives. Often just getting away to a place where the focus is relaxation and the only thing you really have to do is breathe, is enough to get grounded, settle into a clear headspace and calm emotional state. If you’re in need of a get-away, book a retreat with us.
Relaxation is easy to achieve while away at a retreat. But what about unplugging while in the midst of daily life? Modern society is hyperconnected, and the tools that were designed to make our lives easier can, in some ways, make our lives more complicated. The apps on our phones often distract us from being fully present in the moment. While it’s almost impossible to completely unplug, there is a new trend in managing the overwhelming and nearly constant stream of information at our fingertips: a digital detox.
I love being a woman, but there are definitely challenging seasons. I have survived challenges in my life by consistently taking time for myself on my yoga mat. My favorite pose Savasana, final rest, is even sweeter with Zoe. Our retreats are for ALL women – no yoga experience is needed. Discover the power of yoga, when you join us for a retreat.
As women, there are many ways to approach living a healthier lifestyle. Developing a consistent yoga practice is one of them. For those of us who have already begun our yoga journey, we rolled out our mats for the first time for various, and often very personal, reasons. For some women, the practice begins as physical: we need to add movement and activity to our lives or have a tangible, physiological goal in mind. For others, we’d been advised that yoga can help alleviate stress, promote better sleep, or reduce anxiety.
Whether you’re in the early stages of your yoga journey or have been practicing daily for 10 years, the practice has the power to positively impact your health and well-being in many ways.
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.
I sometimes get asked if we have private rooms at our Retreats. We don’t. And for good reason. I believe sharing accommodations is a great way to meet new and interesting women, get out of your comfort zone and connect with each other on a deeper level.
A retreat is a great way to find your tribe. If you haven’t found your tribe yet, join us for a retreat. I guarantee you’ll walk away with new friends and a strong sense of connection to the world around you.
We come from different places and it may seem like we have nothing in common, but we really have everything in common.”
“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.
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.
I know a thing or too about taking care of myself. I take time for yoga, 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. ”
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.”