BLISS! The retreat was a day filled with BLISS!
From the moment the first women arrived, I could feel the energy of the group, and it was a marvelous collection of Souls mingling around the kitchen, as all women do. It was those very first few moments of the retreat that I knew we’d have a successful day. Let me explain.
There are a couple reasons why I host the retreats in my home. The first reason is economical. I want my retreats to be available for all women, and so I can dramatically cut costs by not having to pay a rental fee. I run a very tight budget so that the attendees are getting the most impact for their dollar. It has me panicking sometimes, as I run the budget so tight that I think I am going to lose money on the deal, while my intent is to break even in costs. But it is because I understand that family budgets can be very tight as well, and I don’t wish to exclude people who might otherwise need a day for themselves. This is about women’s wellness, after all.
Another reason I host retreats in my home is because I want the feeling of “women in the kitchen.” For most women, we are most comfortable in the kitchen. It is part of the label we carry once we become a wife or mother. “Domestic goddess” comes to mind. Goddesses of the kitchen. Not sure you buy into that? Just ask your husband or partner where the baking soda is stored. Ninety percent will ask what color the box is. lol And so the feeling I want women to experience when they attend my retreats is one of comfort, a feeling like they would be perfectly okay opening a cabinet door to find another coffee cup. For wellness and healing to occur, we need to feel comfortable in our surroundings.
And so our day began and ended with the gathering of women in the kitchen, and we alternated our time between the kitchen and the studio throughout the day. Our first session of the morning was a 90 minute yoga class. When we think, “ninety minutes of yoga,” it sounds intimidating. And yet spending 30 minutes in our warm up on a Saturday morning was BLISS! We heated our bodies up with some strong sun salutations and then moved into the warrior series, with some of us engaging in a juicy balanced half moon. From there we took to more balance poses, again finding the pose that correctly matched our energy that morning. And then another half hour of stretching which included Savasana with eye pillows. BLISS!
Gathering in the kitchen for a hearty egg bake with fresh fruit, we then gave Elise our attention as she shared with us information about selecting and creating our own essential oils mix. We worked like mad scientists pulling together the perfect blend of oils. The kitchen and porch smelled wonderful! Each woman got to take home their own personalized essential oil blend.
From there, we all moved downstairs for Melanie’s session on the didgeridoo. We had no idea the level of expertise required to play a didgeridoo, from the circular breathing required for continuous playing, to the different key note of each didigeridoo. Melanie shared the chakra-didgeridoo connection and the healing that can occur. Melanie’s presentation was so well organized, and she ended it with about a 15 minute meditation which was one of the best experiences I ever had!
From there, we ate some Indian comfort food prepared by Jyoti. Dahl and roti and rice and yogurt with cucumbers, and my favorite, cauliflower and potatoes with some peas added. Yum!! The whole house smelled delicious!
After lunch, we were joined by Julia the Tea Temptress! She shared with the group the history of tea, how to blend your own tea, and tea etiquette. The ladies really seemed to have fun preparing their own blend of tea to take home. Afterward, we gathered upstairs to share an Afternoon Tea together, honoring the ladies themselves. Libby had prepared the most delicious combinations of plates: cucumber/radish/sprout sandwiches (dill & chive yogurt spread), olive/pecan/cream cheese pinwheels, curried egg salad mini pita pockets, scones, sweet cream spread, lemon curd, coconut macaroons, caramel dipped strawberries, and chocolate dessert cups with French vanilla mousse and chocolate covered cherry! Yes, we were pampered!
We ended our day with a gathering circle to honor all the women in the house. We recognized the power of women in that we balance the world with love and compassion, and so we sent love and compassion out to our families, friends, communities and the world.
As with each retreat, the energy was a perfect blend of the Souls who participated. I was honored to be host to this beautiful group of women.