It was six months ago, with a freshly-aquianted-yoga-teaching friend over rosemary and kale beans that I found myself enthusiastically
“We should hold a retreat!!!”
Less than 2 weeks later an itinerary had been created, a menu was in movement and we had ourselves a name – Restore. Revive. Reconnect.
Last weekend this brunch-inspired-idea became a reality, as Harriet (the aforementioned fabulous yogi!) and I joined 8 beautiful human beings in the heart of Mount Tamborine for 3 days of connection, movement and (unexpectedly!) a bunch of big-belly-laughs.
Our intention was to create an environment where every person felt safe, supported and held. We wanted to give each retreat-er space to relax and most importantly connect with themselves. I envisaged silence, stillness, lots of journalling. Therefore, what actually resulted was unexpected (Gloriously so!).
Let me walk you through where we stayed, how we played and most importantly what we ate.
Perched on a rainforest shelf, the property boasts pretty spectacular mountanious views (The Border Ranges to be precise!). And with floor to ceiling glass windows, the spacious kitchen/ living room was not a bad place to congregate. We yoga-ed, ate, played, chatted and read, all with views of Mother Nature’s ever-changing landscape (Pure magic!)
I learnt many things during my first retreat. But this would have to be the biggest….
Yoga helps one connect to Self. But food helps one connect to Others.
Thanks to our resident kitchen wizard, Harriet (head over here for drool-worthy recipes!), meal time was everyone’s favourite. There wasn’t much room for conversation as everyone devoured their food around the table. But energy sure seemed to peak right after as everyone entered into their post-meal high!
The menu included home-made Ayurvedic Cashew Milk, Roasted Tomato Soup, Creamy Millet Porridge w Berry Compote and Cashew Cream, Buckwheat Gingerbread Biscotti, Slow-Brewed Chai, Apple and Pear Breakfast Crumble, ChickPea Farinata, The Very Best Roast Pumpkin amongst many other delicious delights.
But Harriet didn’t just treat our tummies. A little Saturday afternoon cooking demonstration left us all entertained, inspired and very hungry! (Lucky we got to eat what we cooked!).
Of course, there was yoga. Deep restorative bought us together on the Friday night. A light morning flow woke us up on the Saturday. We met the Saturday afternoon with some gentle yin. And again greeted the final morning with an energising flow.
Harriet and I thought that we be enough. We wanted to give our retreat-ers space to relax and restore. But my-gosh, they were an enthusiastic bunch! Our Saturday ended in headstands, arm balances and little bit of acro yoga.
When we weren’t on our mats, there was bush walking, juggling, journalling, reading, sun soaking, fire stoking and a whole lot of conversation. Yes, there was SO MUCH conversation.
On first entertaining the idea of a retreat I envisioned it to be a time for people to reconnect with themselves. A time for stillness and silence. A time where it was okay to just simply BE.
I envisioned sacredness. I saw people flocking to their own corners of the property, indulging in their own company. Connecting deeply with themselves. Having inner transformations. But, to be honest Restore. Revive. Reconnect. looked nothing like this. There were no incredible breakthroughs or intense meditations. There wasn’t that much stillness. Or a whole lot of silence either.
Instead jokes were shared. Hugs were given. Stories, smiles and laughter (of the deep belly kind!) were a plenty.
Sometimes we can get caught up in the “seriousness” of spirituality. We think that to be conscious and connected one must be silent and still. But the pure joy and alignment I felt in those moments of laughter, conversation and play, far outweigh anything I’ve felt in my own personal “spiritual” practice of late.
Joy is our natural state. When we choose to let go, laugh, play and be silly we are connecting deeply with our spiritual essence. So even though the weekend looked nothing like I expected – boy-oh-boy was it sacred!
Big THANKS to:
Harriet (Kitchen wizard, yoga extrodanaire, all-round fabulous Mother Bear) – She took the reigns with a whole lot of the pre-retreat prep AND fed us scrumptious food all weekend long (of which has been making regular appearances in my dreams ever since!). Thank you for making this experience so effortless, easy and exciting.
Ido House – A breeze to deal with. An absolute oasis to stay in.
Layne, Yvette, James, Jordan, Sue, Kelle, Lisa and Angela – THANK YOU. Thank you for your enthusiasm. Thank for your energy. Thank you for making me laugh so much my belly hurt. I was in awe at how magically you all gelled and meshed together. It was truly so special to watch.
If you didn’t get the vibe, let me spell it out for you.
I kinda like this whole “retreat” thing. I think there will be more. Yes, there will definitely be more.
Now over to you…
Have your “retreat-ed” before?
If not, what kind of retreat excites you?