The final #reasontoretreat is so simple but so vital ... rest. This isn’t just physical rest (though there’s plenty of that too) ... it’s what physical rest implies.
The willingness to rest implies a step away from the pressures of society, culture and conditioning. Doing more, trying harder, fixing and changing are released in favor of a deep release into this eternal moment.
As I rest from striving, from fighting myself and the moment, there’s a deep peace and connection with the heart of the universe.
The willingness to stop and rest implies a rest from being not enough, from needing to do more, know more or have more. Rest says, “I am willing to just be, I have permission to just be, all is well.” “What we call space is a presence, Permission to exist, Rest in this vast expanse, Friends with infinity.” - The Radiance Sutras
Rest heals. Rest allows. Rest builds. Rest creates and dreams. Rest replenishes. Rest is sanctuary.
Notice the way the universe rests at nighttime, or in the winter, or at the pause between breaths. Imagine the mania that would be here on the planet with extreme sleep and rest deprivation. Now rest. Let your soul settle, let your mind cease from its constant churning. Rest as much as you need to. There will come a point when your body will rise up, ready to go and do again. But until then, you are safe to rest.
Day 2 in our countdown of the top ten #reasonstoretreat is ... spontaneous clarity and insight!! Who doesn’t want more of that?! Here’s the deal ... when we don’t give our brains a chance to defragment from the daily grind and wear and tear of taking in constant stimuli and information, to-do lists, and concerns and stressors, we end up feeling wired-but-tired, foggy-headed, uncertain about decisions and generally bogged down. “Thinking with a sleep-deprived brain is like hacking your way through a dense jungle with a machete. It’s overgrown, slow going, and exhausting” - Judah Pollack, author of The Chaos Imperative
Guess what helps? A) Sleep and B) Meditation!
Yoga Nidra is the best of both of those worlds! Studies show that 10-20 minute naps create new space in our brains, pruning away unnecessary connections, so we wake up feeling refreshed and able to think clearly. “Thinking on a well-rested brain is like wandering happily through Central Park; the paths are clear and connect to one another at distinct spots, the trees are in place, you can see far ahead of you” - Pollack
Furthermore, the brain waves that become active during #yoganidrameditation are the alpha waves ... the brain waves of spontaneous insight and creativity.
Come rest your brain with us ... Unplug from technology, reduce the stimulation of daily pressures, rest deeply in a quiet place, and explore the creative aspects of Yoga Nidra multiple times a day!
Counting down ... One of my favorite parts of retreat is the nature I find myself surrounded by.
Since a child, the trees and skies and flora and fauna of a terrain have captured me.
This is a photo I took on #retreat in #petalumaca some years ago ... the early morning light and the unfiltered burnt amber colors magically highlighting the twisty live oak ... right here I feel spoken to.
Right here all the lessons and intentions of retreat come home deeply into my heart, whispered by the trees and the soft streaking dawn - you are enough, you belong, I love you, you have all you need inside you, listen.
N A T U R E ... it’s reason #3 on our countdown to retreat. You can almost always count on retreat to be in a lovely natural setting that draws you out of yourself and into it, into awed and soulful participation with the beautiful world.
WHY RETREAT COUNTDOWN ☀️• #6 in this countdown a couple of days ago is that retreat can support us in developing routines that support our health ....☀️• Today’s #4 on the list is the opposite ... retreat gets us out of our everyday routines!☀️• It’s easy to become stuck in a rut, slightly unaware of how our day-to-day environments at work and home are affecting us. It’s the law of habituation ... what we are around consistently we stop noticing.☀️• When the opportunity of retreat comes to us we may be asked to travel out-of-state, we may have the gift of being immersed in a natural environment far different from our own, and we will likely be exposed to people, lifestyles, teachings and practices that are new to us.☀️• These are reasons for great celebration! As Emerson said, if we’re not experimenting, we’re not actually LIVING.☀️• Neuroscience shows that our brains develop grooves according to our habitual ways of living, moving and being in the world. These well-traveled paths can become deep ruts over time ... I think of the wagon tracks of the Oregon Trail for example. The good news is our brains are plastic ... they can and will change if we give them the opportunity to fire along different pathways!☀️• So while we are all about a nervous system that is at ease, we also deeply advocate embracing the new when it’s into a place our heart is calling us.☀️• Experiment with new, experiment with joy, experiment with pleasure! Experiment with new relationships, experiment with new things to learn, experiment with this vast, beautiful world we live in.☀️• Retreat = Routine Breaking = Reset☀️• Anything could happen ... #experimentsleadtodiscoveries #experimentwithpossibility #retreatlife #oceansidecalifornia #countingdown #fivedaystilretreat #sacredearthretreats
I never intended to make new friends when participating in a retreat. Sure, I knew there would be other people there with me but I never had my heart set on making new friends.
A room full of mostly strangers, committing to sharing the next 1, 2, 5, 10 days together, it can be a unique experience. My nature is to rest back and quietly observe. I find connecting with a few people deeply rather than everyone minimally was my preference.
With large invitations into #silence I was able to do this rather well…until…. #gazing practice. The gazing practice was an invitation to sit across from and gaze into the eyes of a total stranger- #being meeting #being .
The preference and protection of “none shall pass” fell away and tears poured out of me.
We are all friends.
On a global level I felt part of a community like never before. Knowing many of us would not communicate after retreat, and that was ok, we said all that we needed to with the eyes of our hearts.
Yet- there is an intimate group of women, deep #friendship I have maintained and continued to feed with love and kindness even after retreat. Those friendships that feel #timeless were once new. We have laughed, cried, playout out our dramas, painted, ate, practiced, meditated and even planned a #retreat together.
Let yourself be open to seeing the friends that are seeing you. To be connected is a core need for all of us- let yourself rest in the eyes of a new friend- you never know what new delight might be stirring.
D A I L Y R O U T I N E Retreat typically offers rest anchored by 3 fresh meals prepared by the kitchen angels, group practices or experiential time. The meals and the offerings are always nourishing and most often enjoyable with plenty of space to do as much or as little as you like. There is a subtle rhythm happening behind what you are experiencing and that is regular doses of life promoting medicine. It is #sacred and simple medicine.
Regulation in meal times, wake and sleep cycle, catching up on missed sleep, movement, meditation, and environment that is easy to digest- the roses, the pepper tree, the smooth repetitive white arches of the mission...all simple medicine.
There will be special daily practices that will seem to directly speak to your needs. For me it is my daily morning self massage with warm herbal oils. It prepares my body and mind for the day ahead. I feel fed and nourished. It does not have to be self massage, it might be a morning beverage that you savor in silence or a 5 minute guided meditation. The benefits of daily routine and self care practices can begin to smooth out the bound anxiety, overwhelm, constant flood of information in the nervous system. Over continual regular practice, or mini daily retreats, ease can be felt while moving through the day and night. You look forward to the early to bed for the early to rise morning routine you have developed and come to recognize these mini retreats as a source for self love, self trust, and resiliency. You have developed daily routines that is harmonious for the internal and external structures of your life. What you are seeking is seeking you- retreat can be a time to connect to that.
All the energy that becomes disorganized can settle back home into the heart. A divine intelligence illuminates from the heart to all aspects of our Being- our vibrant body vehicle, life sustaining breath, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, capacity for Joy... In a way it feels like I am a superhero on reentry. Like I have uncovered this secret deep within me and I now know and can see it is you. As you slowly make your way back home, transitioning from the slow, smooth, loving environment- it can sometimes be hard. This might not be true for everyone, I can only speak from my experience @givingtreeessentials and common shares I've heard from other retreat friends @the_radiant_table upon reentry. The rapid pace of your life that was once tolerated might need to change, new communication styles with partners and family, how you meet the world all might look slightly different. The one thing I know for certain is however hard, and however long it takes for the shine to slightly tarnish, the experience of retreat to remember this truth is ALWAYS worth it. The bright, luminous, full heart that wants to be lived- that navigates my responses, my actions, my thoughts is the most tender living I have known and is the only way I want to live. Whether retreat makes you feel replenished, recharged, stilled, or color dipped- give yourself permission to remember this heart centered living, experience it, invite it in on the breath to saturate the whole of the body. Few spaces left #sacredearthretreats#oceanside@missionslr August 1-5 (2 night and 4 night options)
Ayurvedic wisdom states Misuse of the Senses as a key factor in dis-ease. How does one misuse the senses? There are the obvious- chemicals in products that our skin comes into contact with, environmental pollutants in the air we breath, the way we modify food and medicines with unnatural substances the body just can't break down. With all of that there is also the more subtle misuse- the overuse. The constant stimulation and flood of information that we may be bombarded with on a daily basis. Some of us are more sensitive than others and will soon become overstimulated, confused and fatigued. Immunity and digestive functions might begin to suffer. Simply ask yourself the following questions- At the end of the day is there a sense of satisfaction and completion? Do you feel tired, fatigued or that you need nap by early afternoon? Is there work - life balance currently in your life? When is the last time you had a good laugh?
I love the last question. It reminds me that I have to be balanced and settled to truly be open to life- to laugh and love fully. When we are in a constant state of demand- plugged in and turned on (even to the good stuff) we can fry the system, feeling contracted and depleted. When you come on retreat you will experience... Q U E I T
The quieter you become the more you are able to hear. Rumi.
And how healing that quiet can be. It is a subtle medicine.
We invite you into the P E A C E that comes with the Q U I E T on #retreat#oceanside@missionslr August 1-5 2 night or 4 night option DM for details.
Yes the food… It was inevitable… We @givingtreeessentials@the_radiant_table are two foodies who love to cook and meditate and read poetry and touch the earth. We all know the benefits of eating healthy but many of us find that there is not enough time to provide this basic need. Proper nutrition is key for optimal functioning of the body and mind. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of how we eat as an important component for digestion and absorption. Are you distracted, working, driving or engaging in drama while eating? Are you enjoying 3 core meals about the same time everyday?
Before practicing Ayurveda I was eating quality food, randomly throughout the day while distracted and yes while driving. As I began to carve out time for Ayurveda cooking, my 3 daily meals began to find a routine. With less distractions and time set aside in my day for meals my nervous system began to settle down and my absorption improved.
When you attend a residential training or retreat there is often a dining hall and a full kitchen stocked with kitchen angels. These kitchen angels plan the menu, prepare the food, cook the food with care and attention, AND clean up- 3x a day, everyday. IT IS DIVINE.
If you are the cook or food provider in your household you will appreciate being fed and cared for in this way. You will be offered three meals a day at the same time each day in a peaceful eating environment- free from distraction and drama. The quality of digestion and your connection to the food that is nourishing you can deeply change how you eat once you return home- more on that later 💚
Yoga is a wholistic lifestyle practice that emphasis the health and wellness of the entire being- body, mind and soul. The teachings of yoga philosophy embodies an intention to bring a sense of inner peace and an ease of being to ones relationship with self, humanity and Earth and all her creatures. iRest, Yoga Nidra, Meditation and many of the Yoga practices will reduce muscle tension, high blood pressure, stress levels (cortisol), anxiety, depression, digestive disorders, chronic pain and fatigue, dis-comfort and dis-ease.
How might you feel with 3 daily servings of #irestyoganidra I can only speak personally @givingtreeessentials regular practice promotes resiliency, invites joy and ease of being. It also feels like plugging in to a deep source of energy- I often feel refreshed and balanced after practice. Which means anytime is a good time to practice 😉
Over the next 9 days we will be exploring more of the medicine that is retreat. Our top 10 list was easy to compile, thank goodness for experience. These are in no particular order. If you want to experience the 3 daily #irestyoganidra practices come join our #sacredearthretreats#oceanside retreat August 1-5 or 2-4. We are offering 2 night and 4 night options at the beautiful @missionslr If you are in the health, wellness, medical, caregiving community and want to know about our Saturday drop in please DM.
We live in a culture that privileges the mind, technology, hard work, suffering and striving. •
Each of those things has had their part in me being who and where I am today and I’m grateful. •
AND ... with four decades behind me, I’m slowly, softly returning to letting my body and heart lead. •
A life lives here, in me. A soft, animal life that interfaces daily with other tender bodysouls and the beauty of the larger world. • I don’t want to miss it because I’m rushing or planning or self-absorbed. •
What if feeling good was the answer? What if ease, joy, and playfulness were the cues? What if ... it’s okay to rest? •
Coming home to the sensorial experience of being a body is at the heart of Sacred Earth Retreats. The world needs you here, at ease and fully present. • Join us August 1-5 in beautiful Oceanside, CA. Early bird pricing ends tomorrow. •
What you can expect: • Multiple Yoga Nidra practices daily • Fresh, plant-focused meals • An embodied sense of self-compassion and living from the heart • Beautiful, quiet grounds as a physical sanctuary • Practices for soothing and regulating the nervous system • Community in a held container of Being