This weekend I got out of my head, I got out of my drama, away from work, away from the studio and was able to take a bird's eye view of the different things taking place in my life. It was the perspective that I needed. Feeling more alive, more relaxed and less like a robot going through the motions of the week. It was a weekend of self-care and introspection.
This weekend's retreat was about filling up my cup emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually and of course "yogically". In the past I've gone to the Asheville Yoga Center to fill up my well-being cup, but because I've been so focused at the AYC on finishing my 500 hour program, it's become more work/task/job oriented than refreshing. I needed something a little different.
Have you read Hip Tranquil Chick or Tranquilista? If not, run don't walk over to my studio and pick up a copy today. Years ago when I was starting to dip my toes into the deep pool of yoga practice, my friend Katie Lester gave me her copy of Hip Tranquil Chick. This book with its pink glossy cover really helped me plan a few things out in my life. More importantly helped me realize that I wanted to go to yoga teacher training. As I became a more "serious yogini" I left my bright pink glossy copy of "Hip Tranquil Chick" on the book shelf collecting dust. I dismissed it as not serious enough. Never take yourself that seriously, it's a complete mistake!
When I picked the book back up many years later and realized the impact it made in my life. I realized that even deep things can come with a glossy pink cover. Just because things are pink and sparkly doesn't mean they aren't serious or important. I googled Kimberly Wilson and have been following her blog off and on ever since.
In January with thoughts of playfulness and self-care in mind I signed up for Kimberly's Spring retreat. It was close enough that I could drive there in one day, yet far enough away that it would feel like a get-away. The added bonus is that it was somewhere in WV I've never been. Hello adventure!
Kimberly is amazing with details. I arrived at her beau's cabin (where the retreat was held) quite early due to my manic obsession with not being late. Even though I was insanely early, the cabin was already decked out with Kimberly's touch, large crafts of fresh cold water with lemon, mason jars with our names on them for said water. Hot water brewing for heaps and heaps of tea (seriously more than anyone could ever consume). The smell of a yummy dinner stewing. There were beautiful strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling. Candles lit and making the space feel magical. And Purple Tulips! Purple Tulips everywhere. Purple Tulips are my favorite flower. Everything was perfect. From the moment I walked into the cabin I felt cared for. I felt like Kimberly had prepared every little detail just for me in mind (in reality she prepared it for all of us, but it was perfect).
In our first yoga practice we set our intentions for the weekend. My intention was to be Open, Grounded and Present. I turned off my cell phone, I intentionally stayed far away from the internet and especially facebook (Something I find terribly difficult).
I've been teaching so much that it's been difficult to get out to any yoga classes for myself, and I was delighted with Kimberly's teaching. I knew she was a brilliant writer, I knew she was a skilled multitasker, and clearly is the queen of wearing many hats because I haven't yet mentioned that not only has she written 2 books, she has two successful yoga studios, created and runs a non-profit and has her own clothing line!!! Oh and yeah she is finishing her second masters program now.... Not entirely sure how she does, she inspires me to the moon and beyond. Back to the yoga, Kimberly is a great teacher. The pace of the classes were spot on, it was great to get out of my normal sequences and do something different, work the mind and the body in different ways. I couldn't have been more pleased.
Her Beau Tim did the cooking, all vegetarian meals that were splendid and nourishing. We ate and ate and ate, and somehow I still came home three pounds lighter... Puzzling.
I got in a little running, lots of meditation and so much art it felt like I was in kindergarten and every day was friday art day! If only I could get paid to teach yoga and do art all day then my life would be perfect!! This leads to my search for a graduate program that is somehow art therapy related that I can do from afar! Yes, I think I'll add graduate school to my plate. It's time. I think 2014-2015. I just need to find the right program, and take the GRE :/
Have you ever done art Journaling? You go through magazines and pick out pictures that appeal to you, slap them in your sketch book and then you journal over them. It's insanely fun. We did it while drinking heaps and heaps of tea, and watching Mona Lisa Smile with lots candles lit, tulips around and like-minded women to chat with. The inspiration was flowing!
I did come home with perspective, rested, grounded, open and present. Check out Kimberly, here inspiration and her retreats here...
Who wants to Art Journal at the studio with me?!
Here are some more pictures from the weekend.