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How it feels to lead retreats when the world is on fire

In one word: complicated

In more words:

Very complicated 😉

This struggle has lived in my heart for a while now.

Part personal and part collective.

Plainly spoken, at times it feels trite to lead and market retreats when people are dying and rights are being taken and courts are deciding fates and and and

And leading and hosting retreats have been my love for many years and I am currently in debt to myself (and others) from past circumstances which make it financially impossible for me to walk away.

You may wonder, how is this even possible?

Simple answer: I live month to month and use my bigger offerings to keep myself afloat (and happy)

Specifically, cancelling my Guatemala retreat 1 day before I flew out was NOT in any sort of budget or projection plan and it seriously burned me.

Complicated, right?

I’ve struggled with motivation for marketing, debilitating anxiety, decision fatigue, and questioning my path.

I’ve flourished with creative groups who are honest about our struggles while recognizing that our work has value and deserves to be marketed, working with my anxiety as my superpower to be detail oriented, pausing with overwhelm and going to sit outside (or nap) until I feel better regulated and can easily make decisions, and trusting my heart’s longings and expertise.

And maybe I’ve done a decent job of curating shares about how magical my life is - and all these personal and collective -ish can be true WHILE embracing and choosing magic.

I do try and share the other -ish of my life, I even wrote a whole blog about the Guatemala retreat being canceled.

AND…ultimately that’s my WHY behind continuing to lead retreats with all of this (gestures broadly)

✨ To share a bit of magic with YOU from some of the most magical places on the planet - in a way that is sustainable, ethical, and thoughtful. When considering locations, I like to work with places that seem to give af about the local communities. Obviously, we are visitors, and I always try to show up with the most respect as possible. I always ask the center for their list of local offerings and try to book 1-2 options - my favorites are sound healing and traditional ceremonies. Rule #1 of travel (and Yoga) is don't be an asshole (but more eloquently we can be inspired by the principle of ahimsa - the first of the Yamas or yogic principles advocating for non harming and nonviolence). Non-harming extends to the ways that we honor and name the indigenous stewards of the lands we visit and follow their traditions. It also extends to how we treat the local flora and fauna, and not assuming pieces of nature can double as free souvenirs. One of the most impactful activities was particpating in the reforestation project in Sacred Valley Peru. Planting intentions with a last impact - and my tree will eventually ATTRACT PARROTS!!!

✨ To create opportunities for connection both within oneself and with others. We commit to daily practices of yoga - beyond the asanas. We have daily medition and breathwork, ceremonies, and plenty of space for solo introspection or community conversation. Folks are encouraged to attend all the scheduled activities but are also aware that nothing is required of them. I find many moments of magic when I have skipped a practice and take some time in seat (or hammock) with a good view. And equally have felt refreshed by a meaningful connection with another traveler.

✨ To have FUN!!! Because even though all of the above is true we still have an innate birthright to experience joy. Travel is always a privledge that I don't take for granted. Being able to plan all the things so my guests can just show up is one of my super powers. I choose activities that connect us to local cultures and also allow us to connect to our inner senses of play. You are worthy of this JOY and wonderment

While I don’t have all the answers, I will continue to sit with the complicated-ish of these times and choose joy in the midst of things ❤️‍🔥


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