To Retreat Alone?
Three years ago I attended a disaster retreat with waking in a fire and a very sick friend and 9 hours in emergency hospital. I was deterred from running a retreat of my own to say the least! Plus, my health was a huge issue. I barely had the stamina to teach 5 hours in a week let alone hold a group of people for a whole day or more.
Leave the City Life
In August 2016, my Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner told me "Some things do not heal until you completely remove yourself from them." That day I had decided to leave England with a strong and unswayable knowing that I had to leave and follow the sunshine. Initially it was for 2 weeks, then it became 5 weeks, and 4 months.
There are times when we feel the draw to the change, but we wait...we wait to save money, to sell that house, to fix this problem or finish that project. I could have done this, but instead in one week I put my house on for sale, had a Sunday lunch to gift many things to friends and packed a 70 litre backpack for sunshine hot weather only!
Few people seemed to realise what I was up to, but then I didn't really know either. Every time I tried to decide a plan I got upset - I was desperate for the change. I decided to trust that I would know what to do when I had left England. If you want to make a change in your life it is about taking ACTION! Act on what you know is best for you. Inaction is action against what is best for you.
"Some things do not heal until you completely remove yourself from them." ~ Sam, TCM
My First Retreat
My first full-time retreat work was at Gracious Living Oasis in Nicaragua in January 2017. Grace kindly took me on to teach one yoga class per day and help out around the centre. My fatigue was an issue alongside the headaches and insomnia. She took such amazing care of me along with her team - a nutritious mostly raw vegan diet for 6 weeks cleared my system. Grace taught me about magnesium to help my sleep, electrolytes to ease the dizziness, enzymes to support my digestion and much more.
I reconnected to fun and posted about the adventures of driving her car. It was very healing, informative and connecting period. At this time I met three other people who returned with me this year for my Release & Align Retreat at Grace's - Julian, Caroline & Gail.
I had loved GLO so much that I wanted to bring others to join me and begin to heal at Grace's, so I agreed with Grace to bring a retreat to GLO. I was so honoured that those I had met in 2017 wished to return and bring their friend's to my retreat - what a treat for me!
The best gift is when you share it with others.
To return to Gracious Oasis Living a year later was so soothing. One can only be inspired by how much Grace had achieved in the past year. The healing space that she shares with so many is a real blessing to the world and her knowledge always astounds me.
How my confidence had changed from when I had first arrived at GLO in 2017. Grace immediately commented on how much I had grown into 'the healer'. We had a few days to settle together and it was with such ease: she recalled how much food I need to eat and our simple communication ensured that we each had our personal space.
Caroline and Gail both noted how much more energy I clearly had. I could sleep all night every night (save full moon periods) and was without headaches. The dizziness is still abundant, but I have learnt to embrace it rather than dread it. Then Julian commented on how 'at home' I was in myself and that there was a peacefulness in me now.
We do not always realise how much progress we have made until someone else points it out. It is easy to compare ourselves to 'what we once were', but the reality is that we were not as great then as we are now! We are always growing, improving, deepening into ourselves and it is our genuine connections with others that reflect the progress back.
Remember to stop and acknowledge how much progress you have made.
Fatigue and Stamina
They say that you have abundant energy when you are aligned with your purpose, because you draw the energy direct from Divine Source. Since my head injury fatigue and a lack of stamina have been a constant battle. The discovery of rice in my diet was a huge transformation for my energy levels, but lifestyle adjustment was vital. Life in a city was overwhelming for my senses. The cold and grey of London made me grumpy and my body felt tight.
Retreat life suits my fatigue, e.g. if I feel unwell I interact less with clients. Until Release & Align Retreat in Nicaragua I had always co-taught on retreats. To host, provide all teaching, massage and organise alone was a huge energy task for me. I knew Grace would be an amazing co-host and support me throughout the week, but her role was 'behind the kitchen counter'. Could I do it? Would I make myself unwell? I had booked a workshop in Los Angeles 2 days after - was I back to old overachieving Nid? Overachievement is misalignment in allowing the ego to drive us forward rather than allowing our natural momentum to carry us.
Fatigue is a sign of misalignment. Adjust your course to find abundant energy.
The only way we can uncover who we truly are is to try and keep trying. Many of my set backs in the last 5 years have been trying to work this out. To build skills and techniques, gain knowledge and connections to support me.
I used all that I have learnt throughout my retreat in Nicaragua and not only survived, but flourished! I was tired, but like someone who has worked solid 14 hour days for 7 days in a row. I travelled 17 hours to Los Angeles and had the energy for a 12 hour day event. How did I do it?
Support with GLO's amazing nutritious raw detox diet for 2 weeks!
Daily magnesium and electrolyte drinks for my sleep & dizziness.
Sleeping under the Super Blood Blue Moon in Julian's tent hammock. When I can see the stars I have peaceful sleep.
Laughter - relax, smile and set yourself free! Give yourself permission to enJOY your life!
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS:
You do not need to speak to connect. Sometimes it's just a simple sharing of a space (or salsa dance!).
As much digital detox as I could from non-retreat matters. Less screen staring the better for the brain!
Morning card readings to guide me as to what energy I needed to work with that day.
Getting in the sea water to cleanse my energy field, although my bikini was pounded by the waves!
GRAB THE SUNSET:
Closing each day reminds me to be grateful for it's beauty and gifts, have faith in tomorrow and myself.
My morning practice on my ball (see video below) to check-in with how my body communicates with me.
Personal meditation practice at every 2 minutes I could muster!
Spikey roller ball on my glutes & feet to release fascial tension and 'tightness' in my body.
Transforming your life is slow. We often do not realise when we have made it to that change. This year I have been asked several times "Do you completely live off teaching retreats and online coaching?" It has taken me a while to recognise the truth in these questions. I transformed my life, I have energy when I respect my needs and alignment, and surrender to the momentum for where I am right now.
Want to transform your life? Learn about my Transformation Program and how I can help you find your alignment to live your dream!