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I'm human.

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

I’m four days later posting this week than I wanted to be. My Wednesday ‘me time’ didn’t happen as usual and then I ended the week in triage with an eye swollen shut due to a major infection from an allergic reaction… Oi-vey...

Anyway, I wanted to share about the retreat I lead last weekend so I’m just going to go ahead and do that. Better late than never, right?

So yes, last weekend, I was fortunate enough to lead twenty-three incredible women at a retreat in Windsor, Nova Scotia. We stayed at the gorgeous August House Inn - a newly transformed 11 room facility (circa 1850’s?) that is styled in the most elegant yet inviting way.

We were fed delicious vegetarian cuisine, slept in private suites on pillowy soft luxurious beds, (I had a King all to myself!) and spent most of our waking hours practicing yoga asana, pranayama and meditation, talked Ayurveda philosophy and self-care strategies, and chanted and chatted from dawn until dark.

It was the twelfth retreat I’ve hosted to date, and I think my favourite one thus far. Yes, largely in part to the incredible staff at The August House who made the whole experience come together beautifully, and certainly because of the most inspiring, kind, funny and humble group of women in attendance. But mostly because the content we explored challenged me to walk away from on Sunday armed and motivated with simple practices that remind me how to live a healthy, happy and fulfilled life.

What did we discuss? The entire weekend was themed in such a way that prompted us to examine:

  • how we move through life (wake, work, play, rest cycles)

  • how our mind and senses process (mood and emotional responses, thoughts, awareness, etc.)

  • how our bodily functions operate (digestive flow, hormone balance, stress management, etc.)

  • the speed at which these movements take place (ie. sluggish, irregular, acidic, etc.)

  • and what helps, hinders or obstructs any and all of these vital and necessary movements.

(It was a LOT of information and discussion on what Ayurveda describes as the function and responsibility of Vata dosha).

We looked at positive and negative influences, things that are deemed ‘normal’ as compared to natural, and questioned how one might start to initiate positive change, a.k.a baby steps. With many participants upholding full time jobs in high demand or stressful positions, juggling work and parenting responsibilities, or taking care of parents, we talked diet and lifestyle habits, sleep and exercise routines, and of course yoga, meditation and relaxation practices to help offset the innate stress that busy-living brings.

I know I speak for the group, but there was a consensus in the closing circle that the retreat was an invaluable experience and many shared how they were hopeful to bring some of the practices learned into every day living. And if nothing else, a new way to observe the effects that food, environment, people and everything else in between, has on health and wellbeing.

It’s no easy task to uphold ones commitment to their health practices. I know for me, distraction and influence seem to be around every corner. Christ! I ate a toasted English Muffin with Cheez Whiz on it Monday morning for breakfast!

Why? Because it was fast, simple and familiar.

But I know that the more I get ‘off’ or out of my routine(s), the easier I succumb to those less-than-optimal choices. Sadly, by Tuesday afternoon self-sabotage knocked on the door and I unfortunately opened it up and let it in.

What can I say? I’m human, and Tuesday was a rather hateful day. I was overwhelmed with work, and crave the simplicity of the weekend away.

Wednesday was more of the same which lead into an unproductive and yuck feeling Thursday, and then Friday ended with a trip to the triage room at the eye clinic and the pharmacy.

And yesterday, I took some much needed time to walk in the woods, sit in the sunshine and watched an eagle circled and soared over my head. Then I started this post, watched the full moon rise, and ended the day by the fire with a drink in hand.

Today, is a new day and a new opportunity to (re)commit to what I need. My eye(s) are healing, (yes, eyeS because the infection spread to my other eye Friday night) and I have a beautiful simple stew planned for supper this evening.

My intention for the week : go gently and bath myself in as much softness as I can. And to practice forgiving myself for the mistakes I make while learning as I go.



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