About a week ago I retreated for a much-needed girls weekend to a spa resort just outside of Santa Fe.
I am home from a month in the jungles of Costa Rica where I was vacationing with my sweet family and teaching back-to-back transformational meditation retreats with my older sister Lacy Young. For two weeks we watched beautiful souls soften and transform on meditation cushions right across from us, their lives utterly and totally changed. I left the experience completely renewed and deeply grateful for this incredible work she and I get to do together.
Retreating is near and dear to my heart, and it's something I prioritize in my own life. In the last five years I've attended at least one week-long meditation retreat a year (some years more than one) with many other workshop weekends peppered in for good measure.
I lead retreats because I believe in it. Fiercely. And because I've seen the powerful ripples faithfully attending them has created in my own life. In fact, if it weren't for that first meditation retreat all those years ago, I wouldn't be doing the work I'm doing now.
I'm snuggled up in a hotel bed with the covers practically to my chin. (A good hotel bed is seriously one of my happy places.) My kiddo is snoozing soundly on the roll-away at my feet, and my husband is downstairs hopefully winning a million dollars in the casino. (A girl can dream.)
For the moment, all feels peaceful.
We are on an overnight stopover making our way back to the mountains after a week at the beach. And even though it was all sun-soaked and jammed with joy, I am feeling the call of my space and the gentle pull of my nourishing routines.
My heart is full, but my body is honestly drained.
I am leaving the chilly mountains of Colorado today and jetting off to sunny Texas for a well-deserved girls' weekend with one of my all-time besties! The amount of joy exuding from my heart right now is off-the-charts, and I'm already envisioning poolside cocktails and long leisurely patio lunches.
And even though my energy is sky-high, I never leave home without a little crystal support to see me through the ups and downs of travel and of being away from home. These three trusty crystal companions are some of my go-tos for stuffing in my bra or my carry-on and hitting the road.
I feel so soft this morning. I am connected to myself and the whole in such a sweet, surrendered way.
I’ve been noticing lately how hard my edges get when I am entrenched in the trappings of the mind. When I am consumed with my body or with money or with whatever other distraction the ego tells me is truth. But when I pull myself away and I feel into the soft spaces of myself and the earth, I realize how false it all is.
I meditated on my connection with the earth this morning. I felt her beneath my feet, and I slipped into her steady warmth. I felt her core emanating vibrance and her waters fueling life. I felt a part of something bigger, and I released into it with relief.
I'm sitting on the balcony of our coastal condo and I'm staring out at the sparkling blue waters of the sea. Pelicans are chattering noisily to one another as they take turns nose-diving into the water. Small boats laze by, and the lap of the water is lulling me into a quiet, open-eyed meditation.
All is well.
At least it should be.
But I am not completely present. I keep glancing down at the rolls of belly beneath my thin blue tank top, and my mind jumps back and forth between the beer I'd like to have and the exercising I think I probably should be doing. It's a constant assault, and today it's been particularly exhausting.
On Memorial Day of 2015, my husband and I loaded ourselves and our almost-three-year-old daughter up in our SUV pulling a tiny U-Haul trailer filled with what was left of our worldly possessions and drove 1,000 miles across the Southwest USA to our new temporary home in Durango, Colorado. After nine months of planning, researching and selling our things, we officially began a life of full-time slow-travel and willingly flung ourselves into the Great Unknown.
It seems odd to run to my blog to talk all about the deep call I've been hearing lately to go within. And yet here I am in all my oxymoronic glory.
Life has been a little bit strange for me lately. I'd love to blame the full moon that just passed, but honestly I know there is more to it than that. Aside from the completely nutso sleep regression my two-and-a-half year old has been inflicting upon us all in the last week, our family is about to completely uproot and hit the open road.
Monday was Brian's 33rd birthday, and in honor of the changes brewing in our life (more on that soon), we decided to climb Enchanted Rock as a family. It felt a bit ambitious with a 2-year-old, but we've both been craving a little adventure. And at just under two hours from our house, it is close enough to feel semi-convenient and far enough to feel like travel.
It's day two of the Oprah adventure from St. Louis, Missouri! Today's plan of action? Retrieve our Oprah taping tickets and then trek to the spa for some serious relaxation.
The venue for tomorrow's show is the Peabody Opera House and is conveniently located just a few blocks from our hotel, so we made it over in plenty of time for doors at 10am to pick up our tickets.
They're pretty strict about cameras being allowed in during the taping, so I'm trying to document as much of our journey as possible in the meantime. I'm a lover of the long-arm shot, and Aunt Mary doesn't see why we can't we just walk up to all the perfectly able-bodied strangers milling around and ask them to take our picture.
Our Oprah women's only-weekend finally arrived, and we've made it to ol' St. Louie! The weatherman predicted rain, but we were optimistic...and of course we arrived to sunshine and clear blue skies.
Our theme for the trip is "ease." Everything leading up to this awesomely serendipitous experience has been easy and smooth, so we've decided to roll with it and not get too stressed about anything.
We easily found our way to the metro, had a lovely conversation with a Southwest flight attendant named Octavia while we awaited our train, zipped right over to our hotel, checked in early, and then set out on foot to explore downtown and find food. Easy peasy!