Committing to Self-Care: Reflections on Retreat

As the dust (and chanting) settles on our annual “Restore the Balance” Retreat Day I reflect with pride - as well as some relief - on the months leading up to it. A word springs to mind that beautifully encapsulates not only my (and my co-facilitators) contribution but that of the retreat participants: COMMITMENT.

Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take your Life to the Next Level says

“Commitment gets you started and propels you through the early stages of any game but it’s re-commitment that ignites your reserves when you feel like you’re going to give up”

and that I did feel at a number of points in the lead up to May 27 as the goal of persuading busy women to take time for themselves seemed un-achievable at times.

I am definitely in the early stages of this “game” and have committed whole-heartedly to this new phase of my working life - I know it’s what I came here to do. Recommitting over and over, I now realise, is what has truly ignited reserves within me that I didn’t realise I had. As I work towards a vision for my life in which I share what I know to be an important message, re-commitment is going to be essential and I refuse to give up. The success of this day propelled me even further forward. I believe in the message I have to share and the theme of the day was this: staying calm and balanced is a daily practice, a state of being that is achievable if we commit to following through, to practice.

And “commit” our 15 retreatants did.

 They committed to taking time for themselves (without guilt) amidst busy family and working lives; to being open to receive practices and new ideas that perhaps they’d never heard of; to relaxing and resting when the world is telling them to keep on moving and achieving - not to mention committing to a few strong yoga poses (and a whole heap of lentils) that pushed them to their limits (physically as well as perhaps “intestinally”!!). Some had never even tried yoga but committed to giving it a go. Others committed to reigniting their yoga, pranayama or meditation practice as well as uncovering some unconscious beliefs that they may have been holding onto - all with great humour and truth. Just for a day they committed to their own needs and care, leaving refreshed and renewed to continue their care of others - as women do. Re-commitment will be important as they take new learning into the fray.

 The day left everyone wanting more - including those leading it!! Some comments from the day shared below give you some idea of the impact that stopping and reflecting and committing to self-care  has - how vital it is to retreat from our busy lives….even just for a day:

 “I feel a sense of calm that has been absent from my life for a long time. The day, including the peaceful breaks between sessions, were nourishing for both my heart and body.”

 “I really loved the day. It was just what I needed to quieten my very busy mind. I feel the most calm and centred I have felt in a very long time. Thank you all so very much.”

 “A wonderful combination of skill and talents to bring such a deep dimension to the lives of busy women. THANK YOU.”

 From the bottom of our hearts we thank all those who attended the day, who received so openly and shared so honestly - who give so much to others. We hope to see you next year as we grow in our practice together.


May Retreat Day - Time for You!

I’m a busy mum, wife, school teacher, yoga teacher, and trainee life coach as well as just about to begin assisting and teaching on a yoga teacher training a few hours a week. I have a dog that needs walking, clothes that need washing and a daughter who won’t sleep at night unless I sit in her room for half an hour until she’s out cold. Sound familiar?

If I didn’t have a good routine of self-care, healthy eating plus a  yoga and meditation practice I know I would soon find myself in a messy heap (as I did a few years back before fully taking responsibility for my own health and energy). These practices sustain me and allow me to live each day with awareness, self-compassion and intention. When we live intentionally we can get more achieved from a calm and clear state of mind, make positive choices and feel good about where we are headed knowing we are in control. We can also notice when we need to and digest all that is happening in our lives. Often we are DOING so much that we don’t make time to simply reflect and bring awareness to our lives. Not being aware of or responsible for your choices is ultimately unsustainable. It will stop you in your tracks - I know this as a fact. You need the space and stillness to bring the light of awareness.

Perhaps you have noticed stress or lethargy in your body, maybe some anxiety or a knowledge that you’ve fallen into some not-so-positive habits. Does it feel like you never have enough time to yourself to think straight or even take a shower without being interrupted, let alone get to a yoga class? Often we’re not sure how to restore the balance to feel well and energetic again and with so much going on it can feel too overwhelming to make a positive change and stick to it so we end up doing nothing. We can end up feeling stuck (and damn tired to boot)!

If you are ready to take a step towards positive, rejuvenating and energy-restoring change in your life within a supportive wellness community our “Restore the Balance” retreat day is the perfect first step. When you give yourself permission to have some time out - just for a day - you can hit pause, click off autopilot and reflect on your year so far. You can acknowledge your places of imbalance and gently take steps towards a more harmonious life - with greater clarity.

Your retreat day on Saturday May 27th will be held in the sleepy coastal village of Lennox Head, a short drive South of Byron Bay, at the peaceful ‘Dharma Cottage Yoga’. The day is run by yoga practitioner and educator of 16 years Emma Waters of Jala Yoga in collaboration with EFT practitioner and hypnotherapist Maureen Bracken and Bridget Ann Murray - Sous Chef at one of Byron Shire’s exclusive spa retreats. You will be stretched, strengthened, nourished and relaxed and given the tools and practices to stay balanced in your busy life. Reignite or start a yoga and meditation practice, learn ways to release negative patterns that are getting in the way of a peaceful life, get yogic lifestyle tips for Winter to prevent illness, partake in delicious and nutritious vegetarian wholefoods and learn how to make some yummy recipes at home to fuel yourself and your family. Leave the day feeling calm, with a fresh perspective and renewed vitality. The day runs from 9am to 4pm.

Our community is welcoming, inclusive and non-intimidating and your facilitators have your wellness and peace of mind as their ultimate goal. We’re passionate about women filling their own cup on a regular basis to give from a place of abundance. We know full well how much you are giving to others and we hope that you take the step towards prioritising your own health and happiness via this truly delicious and practical investment in yourself. It truly is worth every cent.