Retreats & Growth

I hope all the moms had a nice day on Sunday and your day was exactly how you chose it.  Nothing says Mother’s Day like the Mother choosing what she does that day.   Even if it was just a couple little “me time” things or something simple, I hope the moms got to do something of your choosing for awhile on Sunday.  Take what you can get, right?

I chose to use my time wisely and did some pre-packing.  Not glamorous, but a productive use of time.

This isn’t actually what I packed.  It’s an old picture from before on went to Food Buzz Festival in San Fran last fall but you get the idea.

Skylar figured out we’re going on a trip even before the suitcases came out this weekend.  Scott and I have been mums-the-word about it because we didn’t want to listen to, “How many more days until we get on the airplane?” ad nauseum. But she’s sponge and somehow must have heard us mention it because she’s all over it.

I’ve already been asked 9798 times what cities we’re connecting in and do we have a direct flight.  And will there be turbulence.  She’s four. But questions like those are part of the joy of being a mom and watching my little sponge grow and soak it all in.


Now she understands why I bought these shoes and didn’t want her to wear them yet.

They’re for the beach!

And a great Dream Day for me includes sitting on a chaise lounge on the beach.  

From my last post, thanks for filling me in on what items and activities would be included in your Dream Day.   Jenn’s comment here wins.

Another dreamy moment will be sitting on the beach with my new issue of Yoga Journal in hand.  It arrived just in time for our trip.

Ironically they have a feature with “31 Spectacular Vacations”

I would love to go on another yoga vacation or retreat someday.

Since I have Caribbean vacations and retreats on the brain, my food choices wanted to follow a similar wavelength.

Caribbean Coconut Rice with Garbanzos & Veggies

Secret ingredient: Peanut Butter is in this recipe

A one-pot complete vegan meal, ready in less than a half hour with planned leftovers.

And GF Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars with Vegan Chocolate Frosting for dessert.

I made these when I was in Aruba last and they remind me of being on vacation.


1. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

Being surprised with Skylar’s artwork she made for me, and then the cards that Scott and Skylar gave me were great.

As were the Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

2. Have you ever been on a retreat or vacation/trip with a special purpose?  Tell me about your experience.  How did you grow?

I got certified to be a yoga teacher in 2001 and did my first 200 hour teacher training in Costa Rica.

I spent a month there with howler monkeys, mosquitoes, fresh papaya, no real access to a washing machine, the ocean breeze blowing through my hair, and in the company of about 30 other aspiring yoga teachers.  It was the trip of a lifetime.

I grew so much as a person.  I learned some of the foundations and building blocks for becoming a yoga teacher such as how to teach, how to sequence, teaching fundamentals.  But the real learning came with all the growth I experienced, off the mat.

Self discovery, challenging myself, pushing myself out of my comfort zone with everything from getting up at the crack of dawn to practice yoga to not being able to call my new-to-me husband of only 3 months back then, except for a few minutes per week.  I think we spoke on the phone for maybe 20 minutes total, in 30 days.

Email was extremely limited and this was 10 years ago.  In the jungle.  It was a very different time and place.   Many people didn’t even have running water let alone DSL lines!

Out of comfort zone much?  Hell yes!

Grow much?  Profoundly.

I missed Scott so much but it forced me to connect with myself, and the yoga, and with my peers.

I hated not being able to wash my clothes after each practice but it made me realize, a little sweat and dirt never hurt anyone.

Some of the food was not my cup of tea but the fresh fruit and coffee made up for it.

Some of the people were not my cup of tea but others were amazing and I learned so much from them.

I didn’t “love” every second of the experience while I was in the midst of it, but in retrospect, the entire retreat and trip was such a precious gift even though at the times it was so hard.

Since then I have been on other yoga retreats for a week at a time to Mexico.  I met my friend Diana at a Mexico retreat and we see each other regularly!

I’ve and also some yoga  day retreats.

I have a Yoga Tab with my pertinent yoga posts for anyone interested in reading more about my yoga path, experiences, and FAQs.

And I don’t know if I’d call my recent Food Styling & Photography Workshop a retreat, per se, but it sure was life changing!

I’ve also posted about how travel helps us to grow as people, and there’s some of my travel tips, too.

3. What kind of vacation/trip/travel would you like to take in the future?

I would love to go to India one day.  Such a spiritual pilgrimage.

And I’d love to go to Champagne Region of France.  A spiritual pilgrimage of a different nature.  Ahem.

I’d also like to go on photography or blogging related trips and retreats.

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:


28 comments on “Retreats & Growth”

  1. You must be getting excited for your trip! Hopefully the rain will stay away this time! I’ve never been on a retreat and it’s been way too long since I’ve been on a trip. We are planning to go somewhere warm this Christmas, though!

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