Do you have those places and spaces in your life where you can just relax, where you feel comforted, where you feel stress and anxiety just melting away?
So, as I said last week, I had been holding a lot of anxiety leading up to the start of my weekend retreat. And, while there was retreat anxiety, it wasn’t just retreat anxiety. At the same time that I was holding onto retreat anxiety, I also had some car drama and some relationship drama in my life. All things that are deeply part of life, but that also sometimes just add up.
I was talking with a friend on the way to the retreat on Friday. I was telling my friend about how I was feeling, and how I felt a bit overwhelmed and tired, and how it was hard going into a weekend retreat in that state. There were a few tears involved on my part, and a general state of exhaustion conveyed in my conversation.
I got to the retreat center, parked my car in front of the house, saw my favorite tree, got out of the car to start unpacking and suddenly, unexpectedly, all that stress, exhaustion, anxiety just melted away. It just melted away. I got my phone out with a massive smile on my face, and told my friend how deeply happy I was to be there, and I meant every single word. Being there, in that specific place helped my anxiety, my stress simply melt away.
My dear friends, may we find the places, spaces, people in our lives that allow our stress and anxiety to melt away. May we know where we can go when life feels a little too overwhelming. May we give ourselves those spaces of comfort and joy. Sometimes we just need them, sometimes we just need a place that feels comforting.
I hope you have an amazing week my friends.
Today (Wednesday) is the Autumnal Equinox, when summer officially ends and fall officially begins.
On Monday afternoon I was walking through the woods, noticing the world around me, noticing the green on the trees, noticing how heavy with leaves those trees were.
Noticing the color. The trees, they are just as full as before. Leaves haven’t started to fall quite yet, at least not that I could see. But that color. That deep, dark green of the end of summer, signifying the end of something....signifying the beginning of changes.
There is something so magical about the bright green of spring, where the leaves are so light and so bright, where newness abounds. There is a lightness and a freshness, the world around is stunning, I can hardly take my eyes off it.
But equal in magic is that dark green of the end of summer, when the leaves are in their final stages of life and will soon be beginning their journey to the ground. It might not be quite as stunning, it might be a little more easily ignored, it might feel a little less light and a little more heavy, but it is still equal in beauty and importance.
My dear friends, whether you are in the beginnings in your life right now and feeling that lightness, excitement and newness, or whether you are headed towards change and feeling a little more heavy and a little less light, I hope you will find and notice the magic in the journey. I hope you will see the beauty in the journey.
I hope you have an amazing week my friends.
This past weekend I had the deep privilege of leading a yoga retreat at one of my favorite places, Blue Mountain Retreat Center near Harpers Ferry.
I love retreats. I love retreats deep in my bones. They are one of my very favorite things to do. They combine all of my favorite things...human connection, adventure, yoga and movement, belly laughs and fun, delicious food, relaxation, nature, self-love and acceptance. They are just my jam. I cannot express to you the love I have for these times and spaces. I love creating a space that feels warm and welcoming. I love watching connections being made. I love the sound of all my people talking during that first dinner, and the feeling of deep relaxation and joy after our first practice together. I love seeing some folks sit and read and others go on adventures on Saturday afternoon without anywhere to be, without anything to do, without any requirements. I love everything about our weekends away.
And this past weekend was all that and more. It was just a joyous time of deep connection, laughter, lightness, nature, adventure and all the delicious food and wine. We had an amazing weekend, one for the books.
In spite of all that, I fully didn’t internalize until I was coming home from the retreat how much anxiety I had carried the weeks leading up to our retreat. This was my first retreat since the start of the global pandemic. We had taken every precaution. All participants were vaccinated, and, because of the delta variant, I also had everyone take a Covid-19 test prior to our retreat so we could all be present and relaxed knowing we were being as safe as possible.
But, it turns out, the first time back to anything is just hard....we’re going to feel it...and I was definitely feeling it in my body and mind without recognizing what I was feeling until after the fact.
My dear friends, can we see the way our lives have changed and recognize that we will be affected by that change? Can we be easy and gentle with ourselves. Can we be a little more understanding when we are inevitably anxious over areas in life we might not have been anxious about before? Can we find a little more love, and a little less irritation with ourselves this week.
I hope you have a lovely week my dear friends. I look forward to connecting with you.
Sometimes we all need a little support.
The Narrows is a small canyon in Zion National park where the Virgin river runs through. Its walls are spectacularly beautiful, and that canyon draws many people in to walk through the river and explore. My family and I were there several months ago, and the older grandkids, a couple of my siblings and siblings-in-laws and my mama and I went on a little adventure up the river.
Our adventure was cut short when we heard thunder and hightailed it back down the river to the mouth of the canyon, as we didn’t want to get stuck in a flash flood.
As we walked through the river, my older son held on to my mama's hand, helping her along the river…He held her hand for safety, so she didn’t fall, and also so they could move a little faster together.
As I trailed behind them, just enjoying my son helping my mama, I was thinking about their changing relationship. My mama had, so many times in the past, held my son's hand, both for safety, and so they could move a little faster together. Now, as I walked behind them, I was recognizing how in a few short years aspects of their relationship had changed and flipped.
My dear friends, can we see the change in the relationships in our lives and recognize that change is necessary and important? Sometimes we try to cling to the way things were, but our relationships change, as they should. Can we see the beauty in the new, can we find the support in the new?
I hope you have an amazing week dear friends, I am so very grateful for you.
Several months ago my kids and I were at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, as the lotuses had just started their peak bloom, and I love to see the lotuses in peak bloom. If you haven’t ever been there end of June, beginning of July, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a lovely little amble through various pools filled with lilies and lotus, butterflies fluttering about, and you’ll inevitably see a frog or a toad There’s also an adorable boardwalk through the wetlands.
It was a Friday afternoon, and a storm was brewing...a big one.
We walked through the winding paths and enjoyed the beautiful flowers, some butterflies drunkenly fluttering around, and one massive frog. As we walked, we started to hear the thunder rolling on a not so irregular basis. We checked in with each other and decided to keep enjoying our walk despite the threat of the storm.
We had just started down the boardwalk when the storm hit...and it was MASSIVE. Thunder, lightning, and wind everywhere, we were soaked through in seconds.
It was so much fun.
Eventually we decided it was probably time to head back to our car, but not before playing in the rain, enjoying ourselves, and just having a great time.
Sometimes there’s no joy, there’s no playing in the rain during the storms in our lives. Sometimes we have no choice but to seek shelter and huddle, to protect ourselves, to wrap our arms around our hearts the best we can. But there are times in life when the storm hits, and even in the storm we can still find that joy, that play, that laughter.
I hope, my friends, when the storms hit...and they will...that you will be able to find a little joy and laughter in the midst of them.
Have a wonderful week my friends.