I just returned from the final of 3 LiveWell Women’s Retreats for 2015-2016.
First, I can’t believe we’ve held 3 of these weekends in less than a year. Sometimes I impress myself, which reminds me of how much potential we ALL have. How often the next step is simply to say yes + see what happens.
A few painless changes last week created a lot of EASE for me during the retreat. I will speak for my co-pilot, Tami, when I say this was a game changer for both of us.
In April we both got in our cars to drive to Sonoma around noon + realized, independently, we had not eaten lunch. So we each ended up eating while driving (not the most relaxing thing, not to mention rough on your digestion). When we arrived we rushed, rushed, rushed to unpack the food I had just gone shopping for, unload the yoga props, gifts + materials for the weekend.
Then our women began to arrive.
And when you arrive somewhere new, there is a lot of anticipation. You may not know everyone, you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, not sure what you’ll be eating, if you’ll be able to relax, how you’ll feel at the end. Lots of unknowns, which make most of us anxious upon arrival.
The entire weekend I found myself both leading parts of the retreat while I was prepping + cooking 3 meals a day, with an audience + a tendency to not ask for help.
The weekend went great, but by the end I was toast. I promptly came home, caught a cold, then an ear infection, that pretty much kept me down the entire month of May. I used up all my juice. Here I was again learning the lesson I teach women everyday, which is to keep your tank full. Take a few preventative measures to keep your head above water.
In an effort to not burn myself out, I stepped back to see what I could do differently this time:
The weekend went much differently, which is why I’m able to relax on my first day home and also write this without feeling like I’m doing work.
One of the things I want to feel in my life is EASE + it turns out it’s entirely possible. All I have to do is make some adjustments, which turn out to be pretty simple.
The day before leaving we went shopping together + prepped all the meals in my home kitchen (and had a ton of fun doing it). The day of Tami + I met + sat down to have lunch together. We arrived at the house 3 hours before the retreat women. Then we unpacked, got down on the floor, propped our feet up on yoga bolsters + did a 15 minute Yoga Nidra (it’s also called Yogic Sleep). We felt like we just took a 2 hour nap + were super calm, excited + totally ready to begin the weekend.
A few carefully planned adjustments changed the entire course of how we felt during the weekend. For me allowing the time + space to take care of myself first gave me the energy to guide women through the weekend + teach them how to do the same for themselves.
This approach can apply to whatever seems like it’s not quite working.
- What’s not working (late afternoon meltdowns, nothing to eat for dinner, waking up tired, rushing out of the house every morning, not eating food that makes you feel good because you don’t have time)
- How can you make it 1% easier? Seriously, start with 1%. (I make 1-2 veggie/grain salads or a frittata that feeds me lunch all week + I usually get in bed by 9:30pm + avoid chocolate after dinner)
- Only try it for 1 day or for 1 week. No need to commit your life to it, just see what happens.
Sometimes I have to look at the thing I’m stressed about from a distance in order to break it down + decide what I can do to bring some EASE before I get caught up in telling myself it's all SO HARD. Daily we can do it with meditation, prepping breakfast the night before or cooking a few big meals to eat throughout the week, scheduling a yoga class or meeting a friend for a walk. Sometimes I find I need to give myself a little extra TLC, other times my morning meditation sustains me.
The point is: tiny tweaks can make life much EASIER if you're open to it.
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