Why Retreat

retreatWhy Retreat?

Okay, let’s be real for a minute.
Our lives never seem to slow down. The minute we think we will “have some time” to ourselves, a kid gets sick, the sitter does not show up, our boss calls us back into work, the dishwasher breaks. It never ends! It’s just too much. Our daily, busy modern lives do not really ease up and it’s truly up to us to put a big stop sign up and say, “ENOUGH!  I need a break.”
A few years ago when Milo was a year and a half, I had hit that wall. I was running on fumes and was just not able to find any peace or space in my daily life.  I was craving quiet, rest, solitude, and nourishment… and it’s funny because I did not realize that going in.  My nervous system was on OVERDRIVE all the time, and I don’t think I even had a minute to realize what I wanted.  It was a freezing cold night, both kids were crying, and I was sitting on the floor of my house when I saw the description for the retreat come into my inbox and I thought, “THAT’S IT. It’s time.”
You see, before that I had never spent time or money on my self like this.  Sure I had taken “trainings” (and anything having to do with learning always counts as a good investment), but I really struggled with allowing myself– giving permission to myself to actually schedule some serious down time. A weekend that focused solely on meditation and silence, on being and not doing.
And after a few days away from my family, on my own to write in my journal, read my book, be in silence, walk in nature, eat meals on my own slowly and with care, I started to breath deeper, fuller and I could feel my shoulders soften. I started to see my life in a new way, I started to relax a bit into my true nature.  And my life never really looked the same again.
I was able to recognize and prioritize when I needed some alone time. I was able to make it through some very hard times by just knowing that my next retreat was planned and that I was truly giving myself permission to take time away from daily life. I noticed that when I returned my voice was stronger, my heart fuller, my head clearer. I was prepared to make decisions for our family and for my biz, and I was  able to engage with my daily life from a more loving and grounded place.
Yep, just that weekend away had given my body and my mind the much deserved REST it truly needed, and from then on Retreat has been one of the ways I have been able to do hard things, process emotions, and find my way home to ME. What a gift to give my kids and to my husband, when I come home and love them up so much!  My gratitude is overflowing for the gifts that our life is and that can be SO HARD TO SEE when I’m rushing around, DOING, DOING, DOING and living in fight or flight mode.
So.. that was where my love affair with retreats started. I signed up for one, and then another. I planned and mapped out that I really needed and wanted to go once a year, then once a season. Eventually, I  started leading them at the studio and then in new places. One of the things I love to do most in the world is hold space for women to just be: to create, to rest, to walk or stretch with no expectations for outcomes.  Just everyone having their own experience.
So this Fall and Winter I invite you to join me. Each retreat a bit different: a different purpose, a different time of year.
  • MOMS UP!  October 28-30.  GREAT for mamas who want to spend an intimate weekend with other mamas! DELISH food, conversations, mama workshops and movement practices all weekend. We share a big country house and enjoy the beauty of Fall and each other.
  • Pause.  November 13.  Our most popular half-day retreat is back!  Spend your Friday committing yourself to purposeful rest, movement, and connection right in Tenleytown.  No weekend long commitment or stress around arranging childcare-  just a short, sweet opportunity to recharge before the Holidays.
  • Delight.  December 9-11. Designed for women wanting to spend some time in quiet, in contemplation, surrounded by the beautiful VA countryside with plenty of trails to walk, plus time for yoga and meditation. The PERFECT way to approach the Holidays, to set intentions for the new year, and to explore your inner world.  In this retreat, we will dive into some of the principles covered in my book, Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy & Ease all while settling into the rhythms of winter. Our accommodations allow for you to share a room & visit with a friend OR to have a private room where you can choose to spend most of your time just resting and relaxing.  I have a few optional workshops also planned for this weekend, including JourneyDance and Mala Bracelet making, and book your own massage.

 

Retreat FAQs

What if I don’t know anyone? You’re already one of us—you seek connection, rest, and nourishment and so do we! It won’t take long to break the ice and feel open and comfortable with the group.

What if I have a food/allergy concern? E-mail us and we’ll find a solution.

What if I’ve never done yoga or meditation? You’re in for a treat! We’ll enjoy all levels practices for all ages, stages, and sizes.

Is it possible to arrive early or stay late? Maybe! Please contact the venue directly.

What if I have to cancel? Your registration is non-refundable, however you are able to transfer registration to someone else (ie. sell you spot).  Keep in mind, this is a gift and investment in yourself.

Mid Summer Update

Hi lil ommies,

Well, it’s been quite a summer.

We left DC the day the kiddos got out of school and made our way up to CT to spend a bit of time with my family before we headed over to Nantucket to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary with some of our wedding party. When we come back in August we will have been gone 7.5 weeks!

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We felt so lucky to have folks come back to the Island and celebrate with us. Nantucket is a very special to me because my grandparents had a house there when I was little and I spent many childhood days alone walking the trails, going to the beach, and riding bikes mostly by myself.  I love sharing the beauty of the island with people I love, and this year was extra awesome because Saylor organized and led our renewal ceremony on the beach.  It was definitely a night we won’t forget!

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In early July we relocated to Hartford, CT where my grandmother lives.  This is the same house that has been in our family for 96 years!  Talk about memories!  The kids have been in various camps, having so many interesting New England adventures. We went to Maine last weekend and now we are preparing for a quick weekend visit to Vermont to see our dear friend (and former LO teacher, Kate)!   It’s truly been a wonderful, interesting summer.

One thing I LOVE about social media is seeing all my friends and family on their travels, with the growing kids and the big smiles and the ice creamy faces. BUT I also know that some of that can cause us to feel a bit “less than” or F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) or negative sad feelings around social media. Listen, get real with yourself and if you DON’T feel good when you are scrolling – GET OFF THE PHONE or COMPUTER- and do something that DOES  make you feel good!  Put the technology down and take 5 deep breaths. Go for a walk, pet your dog or cat, HUG a real HUMAN! Reach out on the phone to someone you love.  I have been calling people this summer to catch up on the phone, just like old times!  It’s been a wonderful way to connect to the people in my life.

I also have had some really nice work time when my kids are at camp. While I am not working TOO much right now (mostly taking long  walks and reading),  I have enjoyed studying and learning more about doTerra essential oils and using them this summer as much as possible, selling them to students, and introducing the benefits of aromatherapy to people. I’ve even had time to map our my fall schedule and offerings!

I REALLY miss seeing everyone in person, but I’m excited about the Fall!  I’ll be teaching a monthly Family Yoga class at Washington Yoga Center (registration will be available through washingtonyogacenter.com), two Yoga for Women sessions at IMCW, various Retreats, workshops, my 8- week THRIVE online course, private coaching, and NEW holistic healing offerings such as reiki and AromaTouch massage! Our website is regularly updated, so you can learn more there and sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already!

I have also been reading books that people have suggested to me, mostly subjects around healthy finances, parenting, and writing as well as FINALLY getting into some fiction, which to me is EXACTLY what summer is all about. What are YOU reading this summer? Anything awesome?

Listen, as much as I have found love and joy in these gorgeous summer days, the weight of the world is also creating unrest, there is a deep unsettled, low level anxiety that lies right under the surface. As a yogi, as a compassionate human being, as a woman, as a mama, as me, I deeply care about our future as a country and as a people. And where it gets a bit sticky and challenging is that in spiritual practice when things get complicated we try to simplify. We don’t put out the anger and darkness and fear with anger or violence. We have to keep loving, we have to keep peaceful, we have to listen and hold one another. We have to communicate, donate our time or money to the causes that are near and dear to our heart. I know I have been reaching out to others as a way to help support connection, offering my time and resources to an idea one of our students has that will greatly support families, as well as thinking about the way I personally can impact change in our area!  More on that coming soon!

Below are a few things (links to articles, videos, etc) I have read and listened to over the past few weeks to help me– I hope they help you. I know it’s not changing the world or ending racism or bigotry or going to put an end to gun violence.  Ya know what? It’s not going to guarantee anything because in this world NOTHING is promised to us. NOTHING is permanent. Waking up to the truth of the pain of the world, while serving our families and our communities and  living in love as a choice, every day is powerful. Pay attention to your own suffering and anger  and do what you can to heal yourself. It starts with us!  Then we model for our children, our neighbors, and we stand together in our awareness, even when it’s painful.

 

 

Why I’m a Racist article

Thoughts from dear Katrina. 

“My hope, for all of us, is that we will not shy away from the hard conversations. May we continue to have them with our loved ones and our friends, on our Facebook pages and in public spaces and, especially, with people who see the world through different eyes. May we choose in each of these encounters and communications to heal rather than humiliate, to honor rather than to hurt. May we listen well and respect each other. May we resist the urge to dehumanize others. May we practice the art of empathy, which is to say, may we put ourselves in the shoes of another and willingly walk their mile. May we be living examples of kindness. May we act in accordance with our deepest human values: love, compassion, integrity, fairness, and hope for a better future. May we read more deeply and think more expansively. May we continue to educate and stretch ourselves. May we not retreat from complexity, but embrace it. May we be practical rather than partisan, thoughtful rather than reactive, generous of heart toward all rather than protective of a few. May we seek and find common ground here, in our America.”– Katrina Kennison

I often listen to music and just sit. I journal. I breathe when life feels too big, too heavy, too dark.

I went back to this recently and watched this. 

I don’t have any answers. I don’t know the way or the path of healing the world. As my personal mission- I just share with others perspectives, stories, insights that may be helpful to some. Meanwhile, doing everything I can in my tiny tiny world to be strong and brave and show up every day for myself and my family and our community. I take my life very seriously. I take each day with love and gratitude because I know this time is precious. I know living in love is the right choice for me and that means gathering people, creating, sharing and being a student.

I love you and thank you for being part of my life.

Here is sweet Milo, who turned 5 this summer, sleeping on me. Every night I put him back in his bed, and every night he creeps back in with me.  And a picture of the flowers at our local park which I just love. I document all of this daily here.

PS

I LOVE connecting with people, so email me pleasance@lilomm.com or join our lil omm life facebook group to keep the conversation going and to share with me things that help you during tough times, to connect over ways our community might be able to help, or just introduce yourself.

 

PPS

Join me here!

PAUSE. -Winter is dead.”

Thanks liz gilbert

Thank you liz gilbert. this is so spot on.

“THE SECRET TO HAVING MORE ENERGY!

Dear Ones –

My whole life, I’ve defined myself as a low-energy person. For years, I would have told you that I get run-down easily, and I’ve always needed about 10 hours of sleep a day to get by. (8 hours is minimum, but 10 is ideal.) I would have told you that I am susceptible to every cold and virus out there, and that, on a group trip, I will for sure be the first person to get sick. On a hike, I would be the first one to quit. I have always been somebody who falls asleep in movies, in class, on park benches. I’ve been known to go visit people at their offices, and ask if they have a supply closet somewhere that I can take a nap.

But that’s all changed in the last few years. I’m 46 now and I have more energy than I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve finally discovered what is (for me, at least) the secret to having more energy. It’s not a supplement, not a beverage, not a diet, not a ground-breaking new exercise regime.

It’s much simpler than that.

Here’s what I’ve realized: If I want more energy, I don’t need to go out and find more energy from some outside source. I only need stop wasting the energy that I already possess on stupid shit.

For most of my life, the reason I was so lethargic was because I was pouring my energy into various external emotional black holes. These black holes included: strings of bad romantic relationships, nasty breakups and desperate sexual encounters; co-dependent or toxic or otherwise exhausting friendships; the thankless work of trying to please people who cannot be pleased; the equally thankless work of trying to save people who don’t really want to be saved; the TOTALLY thankless work of trying to get somebody to love me who doesn’t want to love me; getting involved in other people’s business that is none of my business; trying to pretend I was somebody I am not; spending money on things I didn’t really want or need in order to soothe myself from my latest emotional horror show; taking on tasks (out guilt or duty) that I was never equipped for or good at; denying myself self-care out of a sense of low self-worth; wearing myself out by digging deep pits in which to bury my pathologies rather than healing them…

There were more black holes, but that’s a good starter list.

Any of it sound familiar?

All of those things take energy. Metric shit-tons of energy. So much energy that, of course, by the end of each day I had nothing left for myself. (In fact, I usually STARTED each day with nothing left for myself.)

So I walked around for years saying, “Man, I have such low energy! Maybe I should eat more flax seeds, or something?”

No.

It ain’t about the flax seeds. (Although flax seeds are very nice, don’t get me wrong. But it ain’t about the flax seeds.)

The truth is, as I have learned in recent years, I actually have TONS of energy. I’m a person who was born to be on fire with life. But the reason I was so exhausted until very recently, was because I spent most of my life leaking my energy out (pouring it out really) into all the wrong places.If you blew through energy like I blew through energy, you will be out of energy very quickly, too. For me to say, “Jeez, I just don’t have enough energy!” is like Mike Tyson saying, as he faces bankruptcy after blowing through his 400 million dollar fortune: “Jeez, I just didn’t earn enough money!”

No, Mike Tyson. You did not go bankrupt because you weren’t given enough money. You went bankrupt because you bought 10 mansions, 100 luxury cars, a golden bathtub, and THREE ALBINO TIGERS!

And no, Liz Gilbert, you were not tired because you didn’t have enough energy, or because you weren’t drinking enough water. You were tired because you YOU TRADED EVERY MOLECULE OF ENERGY YOU HAD FOR DRAMA AND TRAUMA.

Fucked up interpersonal relationships were my albino tigers, you guys. Toxic friendships were my golden bathtubs. Trying to please, change, seduce, or fix every single person I met were my 100 luxury cars. It all bled me dry.

The transformation for me came when I started asking myself “Where is my energy going?” instead of asking, “How can I get more energy?”

When I saw where my energy was going, and decided that I didn’t want it going there anymore — that’s when everything started to change. I realized that I had made my life too big, too crazy, too out-of-control. I couldn’t begin to feel the magnitude of my own energy until I learned to create boundaries. Or how to excuse myself from other’s people’s dramas. Or how to stop inventing dramas of my own, the way kids carelessly play with matches until eventually they burn something down. Or how to stop pretending to be happy when I’m not. Or how to accept the fact that the only person I can change is myself (and even then — BARELY!) Or how to get out of the “I will rescue you if you rescue me!” business. Or how to learn to stop saying “Yeah, sure!” when what I really meant to say was “Hell, no!” Or how to measure friendship not by how many “friends” I have, but how deep and true the love is with the tiny number of people whom I can actually trust with my life. Or how to learn to forgive myself and others, and shake it off, and move on.

I write this message to you this fine morning, having just come back from a five-mile run. My thirty-year-old self couldn’t have run five FEET, because she was so weary, so spent, so tired, so jacked-up and wiped out and bone dry and aching and depleted. But my day is just getting started, and I’m fire with all that is to be done. Gonna work on a new book today. Gonna check in with my peeps. Gonna get on my knees at some point and pray. Gonna cook a nice dinner tonight. Gonna laugh with my husband.

Suddenly there aren’t enough hours in the day for all that I want to be, all that I want to do, and for the tiny handful of people who I actually love with all my heart.

Life is smaller than it used to be for me, but so, so, SO much bigger.

So, of course…now I have to ask you: Where is your energy going? What is your albino tiger? What can you let go of, to gain access to the power that is already inside you?

ONWARD
LG”

after I sit.

The seeker asks why?IMG_6814_2

and the heart says to trust

and the tears fall for no reason or every reason

I lean into the suffering of us all

while the beauty of today seems

like a magical dream

living with my soul- letting the heart guide me feels so scary

not a habit or a hurry

just a deeper understanding of all

that was buried and still

unfolds

each year

each day

each moment

each practice

let her go. be free I ask

stop trying so hard

you dont have to be amazing, she says

relief. gratitude. tears again.

relax, the gripping begins to loosen. realizing new layers of self and identity that are old news, really.

be free sweet soul- go

wander.

do not be careless with now.

reading this..

there have been so many wonderful, inspiring things to read lately!

I have been tagging, printing and saving them in my vision/ life/ WHOLE binder for 2015..

ENJOY!

Love this about rituals for JOY and how to start the day.

I’m still re- reading and thinking about this as well. This relates more to folks who have an interest in yoga, small biz, and spirituality.

And this, about character.  Going to see the author speak in DC soon.

I listened to this.. it was relevant and awesome…. worth listening to.