Santa Cruz Retreat Recap
This past weekend we packed our bags and headed to Santa Cruz, California for girls weekend and retreat at 1140 Multiversity campus. This was an intimate experience that I genuinely feel every woman needs. We started our experience by packing our car with all the most important road trip essentials, and because my daughter, True, was with us that meant Moana, Boss Baby, and Trolls were along for the ride. The drive from Los Angeles to Santa Cruz was beautiful and a great way to start the weekend. As we got closer to campus we started to see beautiful redwood trees and stunning landscape. As soon as we arrived and got out of the car, we all were overwhelmed by the beautiful smell of fresh air and the peace and quiet we just entered into.
We kicked off our retreat with an evening session to introduce ourselves and understand why these women felt called to be a part of this experience. I always love this part of my events and workshops because everyone is nervous. I like to start by having everyone introduce themselves and just say why they are here for this experience. This is interesting because women are rarely asked these kinds of questions. Think about that... when was the last time someone asked you, "Who are you and why are you here?" And no, I am not talking about going to a party that you weren't invited to. LOL. I asking these questions on a human and soul level. The real reason these women joined this retreat was that something within themselves told them they needed to be there. There was a voice that told them something wasn't right and they needed to make a change. Even when we think we are alone, we are still being guided to where we need to be if we are willing to listen and act upon that intuition. These 7 women answered the call and they showed up without knowing anyone or what to expect, but they all knew why they were there and that is the most important part.
Over the course of the weekend, we covered a wide variety of topics that helped each woman understand how she reached the current state of self-loathing. We identified the skinny beauty ideal, where it came from, and who is profiting from it. We then took a deeper look at the history of consumerism in America and how our subconscious mind plays the largest roll in our ability to be manipulated by media. One of the most interesting conversations we had as a group was about love. We needed to define unconditional love vs. conditional love in order to understand our relationship to love.
This exercise was a game changer for women because it brought to light all the ways in which they had to alter themselves in an effort to earn love from friends, family, and themselves. Authentic love has no conditions attached to it. There is no "BUT....." after "I love you." Take a moment to identify what your family's conditions for love are. You might be surprised to realize they might also be your conditions for love that has been stopping you from reaching an authentic place of self-acceptance and self-love.
We mixed up our workshop sessions with time outside to connect with nature, one another, and ourselves. We continued our conversations about health by identifying the difference between authentic health and practices in hopes of matching the image of health in the media. That is the meaning behind healthy is the new skinny, and one you can take a closer look at yourself. What do you to cultivate a lifestyle that is authentically healthy for your mind, body, and spirit? What do you do to attain the image of health created by the media that is not serving your authentic health and wellness?
Many of the women in our group made a much-needed connection to their true selves by opening the lines of communication. A great way to do that is to begin writing, meditating, and taking time to listen. We had a powerful and healing session on the lookout deck on campus where we did exactly that!
With meditation music playing, each person found a comfortable place to relax and begin the writing process. We started by writing a letter to our bodies. There is no right or wrong way to do this excersise and the outcome will be different for each person which is why it is so unique to you and your experiece.
The outcome of this workshop was overwhelmingly positive. I witnessed a noticeable change in each person from the time they first sat down in my class to the time we said our goodbyes. It becomes more clear to me each time that the work we have been doing trying to perfect our bodies in hopes of being loved has been misguided. The work we need to be doing is internal, not external. If we shift our focus there and uncover all the reasons and ways we reinforce the belief that we are not enough, we can correct them and lay a foundation for a new way of thinking to flourish. A healthier, more loving, and positive way of being doesn't come from a perfect body, it comes from a fulfilled soul. When we are able to understand and experience that for of love without conditions our bodies will follow. It is impossible to truly love and care for your soul without also caring for your mind and body. If you aren't sure where to start you can join me and these beautiful women in dedicating 21 days to forming one new healthy habit at a time. Each one of us selected one healthy habit that would improve our lives and we are going to stick with that habit for 21 days straight to see how we feel. The goal is to slowly transition our lifestyle into something that allows us to live optimally as the best version of ourselves. Post your healthy habit on Instagram and tag @healthyisthenewskinny #myhealthyhabit to be shared on our page. Life is all about participation, you either decide be an active player or you will always get what you've always got. I think you deserve better than that. Hope to see you at an HNS event, retreat, or on the 'gram!