Today I am a self-help junkie.
I’m addicted to podcasts and self-help books that love me up, inspire me and guide me closer to authentic and fulfilling motherhood and LIFE. I’ve developed routines and rituals that support my well-being and my love lives.
This means eating well, sleeping long, taking time to quieten the mind and move the body. It involves a commitment to getting to know and accept mySELF. To feel the hard stuff, and once it’s digested, to work to lift mySELF up.
A BIG part and parcel of my sane-keeping lifestyle is RETREATing.
Retreating can come in many shapes and forms – a 10 minute breathing retreat from life (a.k.a. yoga/ meditation in my bedroom). An escape from the family chaos into the comfort of nature (i.e., a 30 minute walk in the woods nearby). Or a full blown day or days long retreat.
These longer retreats are THE BEST. Because they grant me the time and space to gain perspective, to respond to issues and questions that I’ve been mulling around (consciously or unconsciously).
And while my mind is mulling, my body is resting, rejuvenating, stretching. I’m a sponge at these get-aways – soaking it all in. Listening to mySELF with no demands, just BEING for ME.
I return to my 3 kids and husband refreshed, more positive, more energized, more intentional. Kinder, more compassionate, more patient, more loving. Simply put: a better Mom and wife.
I wasn’t always open to such events. I mean, even before I had kids, I’d need to think twice about the idea of spending money on what felt like such a luxurious use of time.
And then with kids, well, time and money became far more precious commodities and the questions around whether or not to RETREAT invited loads of questions AND EXCUSES into my monkey mind.
The timing isn’t right.
Childcare! Who’s going to take care of the kids. It’s so expensive to hire a sitter. And it’s a lot to ask of the grandparents and my husband.
- Can he handle the kids for so long?
- Will they survive without me?
And then there were the scarier doubts:
- What if I arrive and everybody’s a super yogini zen Mom?
- What if it’s full of woo woo women that want to pry into my weaknesses, and peel me open.
- And worst of all, what if I discover something about myself that I don’t like?
- This is too scary. I can’t do this!
Monkey minds are powerful things, ESPECIALLY when we consider stepping out of our comfort zone and doing something new.
Doubts. Questions. (Dare I say excuses?)
In case any of this is going through your mind when you weigh the pro’s and cons of say, going on the Mom’s UP! retreat, I want to take the time to address it.
Because here’s the deal, Mom…when you ask yourself these questions you often automatically answer from a place of fear. I want to challenge you to consider where your answer is coming from.
And if it coming from a place of fear, can you invite a voice of love in?
Here are a few love-centered responses to some of the questions that you may have about investing in a retreat for yourself.
Q: I love the idea and I’d love to come, but the timing isn’t right. I have too much going on at that time.
This week I received two emails from wonderful friends of mine who said they’d love to come, but that the timing just wasn’t right. One said it landing right before a family event that she needed to be involved in planning.
Our answer is simple (and I’m sure you’ve heard it before): when you’re a Mom, it is never the “right time” to take a weekend away.
Pleasance and I have tried to find a weekend after the back-to-school rush and before the holidays, where you can slip away to recuperate from what has been, rejuvenate and build strength for what is to come (yes, we know what November and December bring, Mom!).But there is always something…and there will always be something that can step in the way.Click To Tweet
The question is one of values. What do you value most?
Because we intended to set dates aside far enough in advance to allow you to plan in a way that will give yourSELF priority over other demands.
Q: Childcare. Argh.
I know… This is the biggest conundrum, especially if you are a single Mom.
Again, we hope that having 3+ months to plan will give you enough time to arrange for someone to help you out that weekend. And we’ve designed an early bird offer that includes monthly payments to help make the retreat accessible.
If your worry is leaving the kids behind, again, we get it. Return to the idea of answering this question from a place of love versus fear. Are you scared to leave them behind. Or do you know it will cause you heartache?
Ask yourself: What choice is an act of love for yourSELF? Because whatever is an act of love for yourSELF is also an act of love for your family.
Children are resilient, and they will feel the shift in you when you return. I promise.
When I get grumpy and yelly and downright miserable, by kids are the first to point out that I should start meditating again, or should go back to that place I go for weekends, “you know, the one that makes you happier and nicer“. And my husband is the first to push me out the door, knowing that I’ll be a far better partner when I return.
This retreat gift to you is also a gift to them.
Q: This sounds great but I’m in the wrong stage of motherhood right now.
Another Mom friend emailed me this last week. She was worried that she had “missed the boat”. She worried that her kids were too old, that it was “too late” for her to benefit from this type of event.
When they are little, they are too little to leave. You will miss them, they will miss you. Nobody knows how to care for them the way you do, anyway. When they are big, you tell yourself that you’ve been managing like this for so long and everyone is surviving so why bother now?
Again, I get it. I did not leave my little ones for a long time. And it needs to feel right. After all, there is no point RETREATING from life for a bit if the mere act of stepping out is stressing you out! That defeats the purpose.
Or, maybe your kids are in their teens and you figure “I’ve made it this far, why bother doing this for myself now?”
For us, the question is not whether or not your children are wee or grown.The question is whether you are simply surviving life right now.Click To Tweet
Whether you are living on autopilot, without the time and space to BE who you are, deep down under the incessant demands and the go-go-going that motherhood involves.
Whether you are missing a part of yourself and whether YOU NEED A BREAK – TIME TO REFLECT, TO REJUVENATE, TO REST, TO BE, TO GROW BACK INTO YOURSELF.
In today’s world, many mothers (irrespective of how old their children are!) need this break in order to reconnect and LIVE AS the mothers, women, human beings they truly are deep down inside.
Pleasance and I have worked with many, many mothers – some with newborns, others with college aged kids. And while the challenges of motherhood shift over time, maintaining balance, loving and trusting one-self, and nourishing the energy to cultivate creative expression and personal growth seem to face cross over all age spans.
Q: Is this sort of thing for me? I’m not all that woo woo…and I’m not sure I’m ready for all this self-development coach-y yoga stuff.
So, here’s what to expect…a group of 12 women who will do yoga together – following what their body tells them they need and are ready for. They will be prompted by group coaching exercises to self-reflect, and challenged to move closer to authenticity and self-fulfillment as mothers, women and human beings.
Nobody will tell them what their version of authenticity is or what self-fulfillment looks like. Everyone will define this for themselves. All differences, all similarities will be celebrated.
Women will share to the degree they are comfortable sharing. They will listen and take in what works for them. They will discard what does not resonate.
No judgment. Just acceptance, listening and hand holding.
Women will eat delicious, soul nourishing food and experience nature’s glory. Everyone’s journey will be personal. Everyone’s journey will be supported. You take it one step at a time, at your own pace, in your own way.
NO PRESSURE. NO DEMANDS.
Just you, rediscovering, BEing and celebrating YOU.
You deserve this. Your family deserves it.