Maybe you’ve been here before: you set a resolution for the new year, stick with it for a few days or weeks, and by the time spring rolls around you have already “failed” at keeping your resolution.
Why does this happen? When setting resolutions, it’s natural to fixate on something we consider problematic or negative about ourselves. We want to eat less of something (sugar, carbs, meat, etc.), do more of something (exercise, sleep, socialize), be more or less of something (more outgoing, less chatty, the list can go on); and all of these resolutions seem to indicate that who we are isn’t enough. And when those resolutions fall by the wayside, which research has proven that they do, we’re left feeling a little bit like we failed…and that we’re still, somehow, not good enough
Intention setting, on the other hand, is different. In the practice of yoga, we set an intention at the start of class. Sometimes this is guided by the instructor, but we are always free to choose one thing to focus on to help keep us present in the moment. In a class, that can be anything from letting go of self judgement to cultivating gratitude to sending energy to a specific person in our life who needs a little extra.
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.
I love the season of Fall: the cooler weather, the changing colors of the trees and especially Fall Dishes – soups, stews and and any recipe that uses the produce of the season.
These roasted veggies are heavenly. And so simple to make. When I make these at home, I add sweet potatoes or red potatoes.
At the retreat, this is part of our Friday dinner – served with Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and of course our Homemade Rustic Rosemary Bread.
Now that it’s November, you’ve probably seen different variations of a “gratitude challenge” or “30 days of gratitude” floating around on social media. Taking a moment each day to state – privately or publicly – what you’re grateful for has proven scientific benefits to the mind, body and spirit.
At Retreat in the Pines gratitude is part of everything we do – from each yoga practice to our outdoor Gratitude Meditation to our Gratitude Brunch (where guests take turns sharing what they’re grateful for) and of course our community of strong women. Discover gratitude as part of our retreat community.
At Retreat in the Pines we are a diverse community of women who come from different backgrounds and places. On the surface it may seem like we have nothing in common. But we have absolutely everything in common. We are connected by our common bond of what it’s like to be a woman in 2018.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day minutia of life – the chores, the to-do lists, the schedules – and ignore not only our self-care but the human connection that is essential to our physical and mental health. Science tells us we need connection not only to thrive, but to survive. Here’s the article. If we don’t take care of ourselves who will? As women, we MUST take charge of our self care. Only then are we able to serve our family, our friends, our country.
At Retreat in the Pines, you’ll meet women who prove you don’t have to do it all, to have it all.
Sometimes we get caught up in our busy lives and don’t take time to experience contentment. You too can find contentment when you join us for a retreat.
Recently PJ and her daughters, Sara and Megan, journeyed to Retreat in the Pines for our Mindfulness and Meditation Retreat. This is PJ’s story.
Our drive from the Dallas/Fort Worth area was about two hours. As we drove further and further, the landscape became greener and greener, with tall pines, sycamores and live oaks reaching to the sky. We treated ourselves by stopping at the Dairy Palace in Canton and I had the BEST peach ice cream I’ve ever eaten!
Theresa has created the perfect retreat center, with everything that today’s woman needs to relax, recharge and re-energize her life. The modern cedar Main House has a full kitchen, community room, three bedrooms and 2 full baths. My daughters and I shared a bedroom with 3 twin beds, which was perfect for us. A large closet, night stands, lots of electrical plugs and nice bedding were available. Theresa even provided ear plugs! The bathroom offered nice towels, body wash and other niceties for our visit. Two bathrooms meant there was rarely a time when you couldn’t get into one! If it happened, there was a bathroom in the Dining Hall, one in the Yoga Studio and another one in the Guest Quarters.
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.
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. Ayurveda teaches us less effort. Too much effort leads to irritability, anger, frustration and judgement. Sound familiar? Less effort equals peace, calm, contentment and the ability to roll with it.
If you need a weekend with less effort and more relaxation, join us for a yoga retreat.
My favorite way to start the day now, is taking my cup of coffee and Mason (he’s one now) out onto the deck in my backyard. We both wake up to the sounds of our neighborhood waking up and we watch the sun rising together.
I’ve found my life changes with small simple habits. 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. I remind myself the appearance of no effort, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effortless.
I have to admit, I absolutely adore chicken salad. Especially in the warmer months, when eating anything hot just seems like too much. Eating hot food (in temperature or in energetically) actually increases your feeling of heat. Something to avoid when the thermostat gets up to 100!
This recipe is a healthy take on a more traditional chicken salad.
If you love chicken salad as much as I do, you may be excited to know that Chicken Salad Chick is a restaurant that serves all sorts of chicken salad. I plan to check it out soon!
- 2 cups chicken, chopped
- 1 cup jicama, chopped
- 2 cups grapes, cut in half
- 1 cup roasted pecans, chopped
- ½ cup Mayo
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Let refrigerate before serving.
Serve on a bed of greens or in a wrap for a delicious lunch!