Connecting with others is one of the elements we need to have in order to be able to "Live Like You're Traveling" and feel good and balanced. In a way what has been happening over the last years is that less and less we truly connect with one another. Funny enough with the overload of social media interactions, technology that renders us receptacles to an endless flux of communication... we find ourselves alone in the end not knowing who to go to when we really need help with something.
Similarly in a way to getting dehydrated because we no longer feel thirst due to our sedentary lifestyles, the same way we no longer understand that human connection is missing in our lives because of all the supposed always on "interactions".
Well it's time to press stop. It's time to go back to our roots and to respect the way we have been built. I remember the Saturdays spent as a young girl hanging around the kitchen where my grandmother, my aunt and my mother would stand together mixing various delicious things in the many pots, preparing for a family dinner. My grandmother who would give advice. My aunt who would give her advice rather forcefully! And my mom who usually would give a contradictory opinion while giving me a little wink. Then all three would look at me and at seven years old I was expected to contribute to the discussion and in a way mediate them. I treasure these memories where I felt part of a team, helping to peel the potatoes, or form the dumplings... and also be listened to as I offered up thoughts in the circle of women.
Think back to the last time you truly connected with another person. Face to face, in person. What about to ask someone for advice? We love to show a smile, and put happy pictures on our instagram, but where do we go when we really need help? Do we quietly google for the answer? Do we hesitate to call (or knock on the door) of our best friend?
It should not be this way. I had a wonderful chance to attend a very special event in the heart of Amsterdam with a group of women to connect and share. Share the challenges we face as mothers, wives, people... exchange wisdom and advice. In person! Uninterrupted. For a whole afternoon.
Shay and Letitia brought us all together in an amazing setting, The Green Living Lab in the heart of Amsterdam. A surprising location giving you a feeling of getting a way from it all to a lush oasis of nature and calm.
We started out with mingling and getting to know each other a bit.
Heavenly bites from Lady Fruit Cake...
We then headed into the glass dome and Shay and Letitia introduced the retreat program and the meaning of wellness. This is also an interesting topic. Wellness is not a prescriptive one size fits all protocol. It is a continuous journey of keeping balance adding and subtracting what we need more of (or less) depending on the time of day, season or ourselves personally. The big point is that wellness is a fluid state that requires continuous maintaining. It's not something we 'reach' and then forget about.
And then... we danced... wild... led by Juel the Ladylicious herself.
She told us to just get up and dance for ten minutes 3 times a day. Now that's a prescription! What a great way to add some MOVE element to your day. It's not about 'wasting time' moving around helps your blood to circulate, which in turn helps your organs function well, to digest better, and a great mood booster! What music to dance to? Your choice!
Speaking of taking time for yourself. I got a chance to give away some sneak preview samples of my new wellness brand that's coming out soon Of The Islands. It's all about being strong and keeping ourselves balanced with minerals by taking regular baths with pure magnesium salt. You get to relax for twenty minutes, as well as soak in the needed magnesium to keep us at our top form so we can save the world.
We then were led in a mindfulness session. Now, being an aries, sitting still and not thinking about anything is next to impossible, but then again, being an aries, I welcome impossible things because well - I'm stubborn. Marjorie Lumet got me to chill out if only for a few minutes. It's amazing how your brain is able to get stuff done when we're not continuously interrupting it with nonsense. But me personally, I will not be attempting sit still in sessions unless led by professionals like Marjorie.
The next lady that shared was Sara. Strangely enough I have heard about Sara through mutual friends for years. So many times I wanted to pop her a note and say, hey let's meet. And somehow years went by and it never happened. We finally met! (Please go message that person that's been on your list, right away!). Sara talked to us about her own personal journey of overcoming deep seated prejudices we have about ourselves and our own abilities. Again, things we don't even realize. Why do we like to shoot ourselves in the foot so much? And more importantly how to stop doing that.
Eva shared how to say "no" and that saying no actually means saying "yes" to something else. It is about making a choice. Seems like common sense but a simple truth like this is very easily forgotten. It takes conscious acknowledgement of looking at your life or at your day and making choices, what stays? and what goes! Maybe saying no to 20 minutes of mindless scrolling through social media can mean saying yes to a coffee date with a friend, or a run in the park, or....?
What I walked away with after this Wellness Retreat is that next time I have a question, I will not google, I will first look at the circle of wisdom around me and reach out to one of my friends, or my aunt, or another mom I always see while picking up the kids. Yes I say, to going back to our roots and respecting the way we were built, I mean "created".
See Shay's lovely post about the Wellness Retreat.
Photo Credits: The gorgeous Melodie Rae who is also working on a new project called The Vixen Effect that helps us women to reconnect with our feminine sexy side. ;)
In partnership with "Women's Wellness Retreat" and "Of The Islands". All opinions are my own.