Phenomenal Woman Part 3
Early the next day, you wake up and for a moment you forget where you are. You quickly settle in…no children, no hubby, no boo, no work, no school, no family, no obligations-you almost feel guilty for feeling free and happy. You take some time to enjoy the early morning glow outside and then jump into the eco-friendly bathroom. You look around and notice the care for our planet signs and open air shower underneath a canopy of trees. Wow. “I feel like I’m in a rainforest,” you think to yourself. You remind yourself, as you have in the past, to do better about your contribution to an eco-friendly planet.
You walk outside and head toward the open air platform for your first guided group meditation. Some ladies are already there and everyone is greeted with a smile and a hug. “Everyone is so nice,” you think, as you find a place to sit. You are happy to begin your day with a guided meditation since your meditative practice ranges from spotty to non-existent depending on the season in your life. You innately know that you “should” do it daily, but haven’t yet made it stick. One more thing on the “to do list”. Knowing that you will meditate every single day here, you think, “well at least I will get in a routine, which will make it much easier to stick with it when I go home.”
You sit down, not yet flexible enough to sit Indian style, you find a comfortable position with a bolster and lots of cushions. You think Lord, please don’t let me fall asleep and embarrass myself. You have to chuckle at yourself inside for that one.
Time to get serious, your meditation instructor begins with a brief introduction and asks you to set your intention to bring more love and calm into your heart. You settle in and relax while the morning breeze gently washes over you as you deeply connect with your heart space.
You close your eyes and delve deeper, your inner senses awaken and you clearly begin to hear the rustling of the leaves, the flapping wings of flying birds overhead and the ebb and flow of the waves. Nature sounds, the smells of freshly mowed grass and the sweet smell of newly bloomed flowers are heightened by your senses. Still deeper, you so feel so connected as time slows down. Before you know it, the meditation ends, and you think, “I can get used this kind of living.” You feel calmer and more relaxed than you have in years.
The whole concept of a retreat versus a vacation is becoming clearer to you now. “Ok I get it,” you say to yourself. “This is all about me.” You firmly decide to make the most of this experience. Not quite ready for breakfast because it’s so early, you decide to hop over to the smoothie bar and order a fruit smoothie. Mmmm’ should it be bananas and strawberries or blueberries, mangoes and pineapple? Peanut butter? Yuck. “Definitely not,” you say. You order the berry blend refresh and sit outside while the sun rises. Sweet, fresh and delicious. You have a nice chat with some of the ladies about life in general and how grateful you all are to be here.
Next up is your first yoga class. You are looking forward to the class, since it’s been a while since you have taken one. You consider yourself a novice and sometimes feel intimidated by women who can stretch their bodies in all types of ways, do headstands and have amazing core strength. You realize for the first time that your mind sure does talk a lot…”geez.” You walk onto the yoga platform and do what everyone else is doing. Class begins and you are instructed to focus on your breath as you move your body in downward dog position. The stretch in the back of your legs feels so good. As the breath and movements coincide, you breathe clean crisp fresh air into your lungs and feel instantly alive. You stretch and stimulate and move in ways that relax your overused and overworked muscles craving release. The sea winds cool you as your body temperature rises burning much needed calories away. You will feel so proud of yourself for satisfying your mind and body’s longings for calm and relaxation. After the restorative yoga class, your body says “aaah—thank you,” I needed that.
Now famished, you walk back over to the restaurant and order a vegetable omelet, fruit salad and a fresh tropical juice. “Wow,” you think, “is it me or is the food here very tasty and delicious?” The other women share your sentiments, so it’s definitely the food. “And the servers are so nice as well”; you remark. You are really loving this vibe, everyone is so helpful, kind and seems to genuinely care. You have already decided to return—adding up the people who you know need this type of getaway.
Your afternoon is open; so you and a couple of other of your new besties decide to take some boogie boards out into the ocean; while you anticipate your massage scheduled for later in the afternoon. You all decide to be adventurous and walk a few miles away to find a nice calm spot to take a dip. You are so relieved about not having to worry about getting your hair done after this. You can completely let all of that go and enjoy the moment. “Thank God.”
You made an immediate connection with one of the sisters as you and she really hit it off. There’s something remarkable about disclosing personal stuff to a stranger that makes it easy. You don’t feel judged and are completely candid about your stuff. You share with her that you are experiencing feeling stuck in your life. You just feel like something is missing. “Is this all there is?” you ask. You are not miserable and have so much to be thankful for, but still you know deep inside that you aren’t living up to your potential. She is openly candid with you as well and shares that she is going through a crisis in her life and came to the retreat to really getaway. She tells you that she is scared, confused and even though there are people in her life, she finds herself feeling alone and lonely often. She starts to cry, which makes you cry and you now both of you are crying and consoling each other. After she stops, you pray for the right words to comfort her the best way you know how. You both acknowledge that you have to be here for a reason and resolve to remain connected long after it ends.
After your beach excursion, you are too too excited about your massage. “OMG,” you say. “A massage right on the beach, and I don’t have to go anywhere afterwards? I am so in love with life right now.” You typically ask for a woman masseuse but are ok with a man today. You embarrass yourself with some curious thoughts about him and giggle a little. You hop on the table and lie flat anticipating the first touch on your eager muscles. He gently strokes your neck and back massaging the oil into your skin. Your body tingles all over. You are melting by the second. You hear the sounds of the crashing waves, feel the ocean breezes and can’t stop pinching yourself inside. “This feels amazing and he’s good-looking too…help me Jesus.” His hands feel like velvet against your skin. He works your feet and toes and takes his time as he moves up and down your calves and legs. “Oh yes” you think to yourself, “I so needed this.” You wonder if you should get another massage before leaving.
Stay tuned for how your massage ends and what happens later on that day….