In the last quarter, aspects of life were starting to get a bit much for me. I was fairly happy, I still utilised my ‘natural parenting’ toolkit … but something was not quite right. My zest for life was not as high as it was normally.I felt like I was starting to dream my way through the day rather than really live it.And after much consideration, I determined what was wrong: My cup was empty. William is almost 5 years old. It was not until October last year that I had my first night away from him (it was not even 24 hours!).
I have been with him every single day of his life. I have catered to his needs(not necessarily all his wants!), been the dutiful housewife by cooking, cleaning etc, but I had not had time to fill my own cup.
So I did something that would change the path of my happiness: I booked into the Whitsunday Health & Wellness Retreat!Some may think that was a little drastic, but I beg to differ! It was exactly what I needed!
The retreat went from 7am Saturday and finished at 5pm Sunday. Now, that meant I had to fly up on Friday afternoon and fly home Monday (!!!) it was the longest time I had been away from William ~ I was a little apprehensive about being away for that long, but I did it anyway! Hubby was able to take William from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, and my sister took William until my plane landed in the early afternoon. So all was set.
The owner, Jacky, was helpful and caring. She picked me up from the airport and on the way to the retreat she asked me how I was feeling. I told her 80% excited and 20% guilty for leaving my family for so long! Why is it that mumma guilt can rear its ugly head at any point in time? But soon after arriving at the retreat, my feeling turned into 100% relaxed, peaceful state. I knew that I had made the right decision … I knew my cup was empty.
The weekend consisted of:
1. Morning Classes:
Morning yoga – and not just a stretch class – it was a mind, body, spirit yoga. The Yogi had a contagious peaceful aura about her that made you just melt into relaxation and it was amazing that, even as a beginner, through concentration on breath and relaxation, could get into some quick interesting poses!
Mindfulness Exercises – this was really beneficial and something I have taken home with me and shared with my friends. The practicalities of forging the mindfulness with everyday tasks have ensured the continued practice! For example, the eating of a sultana! It may not seem like it would be on the timetable for a ‘luxury retreat’, but this one task has changed the way I view eating – and how we so often eat without realising– mindlessly!
Meditation Practice – the class started with a gentle guided meditation, which was perfect for my busy mind to ease into!
2. Afternoon Class:
Day 1: ‘Personal Transformation’. I was really unsure what that meant when I signed up, but as it turned out, it was what I needed! It was a microscope on my life to figure out what aspects needed improving. But more than that, it helped put manageable steps in place to get those improvements happening.
Day 2: Self Love. I knew I needed this! It essentially built on the foundations we did on the first day, but looked at how we sometimes have fears or negative self-talk, and this can sabotage our progress. Amongst other things, we focussed on what we can do when we slip into doubt, fear and negative self-talk. So I went home quite rejuvenated and refreshed ~ ready to give back to my family. And what really sticks in my head is this:
It is impossible to give your family your best when your cup is empty. If you do not look after yourself, it is impossible to continue to look after everyone else.
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Enjoy the gift of Nurture!