It wasn’t until this morning when I got to work that I began to feel settled back into my real world. As some of you already know, I went to my first yoga retreat this weekend, with a group of wonderful women from all around the Pittsburgh area. Alyssa, the yogi who led the trip, rented a cabin in Ohiopyle where we all stayed. We cooked together, meditated, chanted and practiced yoga together. From Thursday to Sunday, I ate, slept and adventured with 7 other women. We cooked healthy meals, and I discovered the joy of avocado toast (where have I been?!)
We practiced soulfully in the open air of nature, and flowed through beautiful, feminine poses with grace. Alyssa slowed us down, having us close our eyes and imagine we were flowing through honey. One night, we did a restorative class under the stars and the coyotes howled from the woods behind us while fire crackers exploded from the other direction. Somewhere in the middle of the noises, 8 women stretched and moved together in silence, feeling and accepting the energy of the woods.
We saw each other through the first half of Desire Map life coaching, where you continually ask yourself “how do I want to feel” until you begin to see patterns in your answers. At the end of the weekend, we left with Core Desired Feelings in tow, and a new sense of community around us.
I chose 5 core desired feelings:
I also was able to share, out loud, my dreams and my five year plan. During one of our workshops, we went around and each shared our ideal day-to-day. While I shared, Alyssa asked me questions about how it would feel to have the life I had described, one that is truly just a more enhanced version of the one I live now. How would it feel to have my own office, to build that dream space and be inside of it, as a published and successful author? Wow, I kid you not when she said author I teared up.
On Saturday we ventured down to the river to swim and play. Despite the chilly water, I jumped in and let go of my inhibitions. We spent over an hour just relaxing on rocks and chatting, soaking up the sun and splashing our toes. When we got back to the house, I felt serene and smiley, happy to just be feeling all of the joy and high vibrations of those around me.
On Sunday morning, not only did I leave Ohiopyle with 5 Core Desired Feelings, I left with new friends, a stronger community of yogis to ground and inspire me, and a newfound sense of belonging in my own life. I was eager to be home, to feel the comforts of my bed and my family, but I was also eager to incorporate my new inspirations into my life. To write more, working towards that book, and to slow down my practice, moving through honey on my own time. Yoga helps me love my body, and myself. It is a daily practice of accepting who I am and seeing and feeling myself move with intention and ease. Self-love is the best love.
“Do not speak badly of yourself, for the warrior that is inside you hears your words and is lessened by them. You are strong, and you are brave. There is a nobility of spirit within you. Let it grow.” – David Gemmell