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Letters from the ❤️: May 2024 | Invest in Rest

Letters from the ❤️: May 2024 | Invest in Rest

| May 09, 2024

Earlier this month, I went on my annual yoga retreat up in the mountains of Costa Rica. I realized how much has changed since the first retreat in 2013. Back then I was desperate: I had recurring stomach pains, and even after multiple visits to emergency rooms and a multitude of tests, I could not figure out what was causing them. On the surface, I was healthy-looking, lean, and mean, doing my sprint triathlons. Deep inside, I was stressed out and running like a chicken with no head, trying to do it all at the same time: raising kids, being a good wife, building a practice volunteering in my community, and running triathlons. These recurring and excruciating stomach pain episodes added a new layer to my stress level.

          

When I saw a flyer in the neighborhood yoga studio for an Ayurvedic spring cleanse, something spoke in my heart, and I knew I had to try it. It was rather outrageous to go on vacation by myself, with no kids, and no husband. I felt guilty leaving them behind. It was my birthday month and I reasoned that I already wasted so much time being sick and spent so much money on visits to emergency rooms, that I might as well try this and see what happens. Little did I know how life-changing it would be for me.

For the first couple of days, I slept a lot and walked around in my Patagonia jacket, feeling cold and tired. Our yoga teacher, Karen Quinn at Feel Better Yoga was very liberal in the way she conducted her retreat. She didn’t demand us to show up at 6 a.m. meditation or participate in every event. She said: “You do you”. It was such a foreign concept for me back then. It was my first taste of freedom. On the downside, her yoga was unusual: slow, therapeutic, and deliberate. I hated it. I was so used to fast yoga with a flavor of “if it doesn’t hurt you are not doing it right.”


         

By the end of the week, after eating lovingly prepared ayurvedic foods, catching up on sleep, experiencing amazing bodywork from local healers, and spending some time in meditation, finally, a realization came that one common denominator in all my stomach episodes was this “healthy” grain quinoa, which I ate a lot. I was allergic to quinoa! It took me a week of quiet time, unplugging from my regular busy life and connecting to deeper wisdom and to put two and two together.

Over the past 11 years, I have reaped many benefits and learned some lessons:

  • Sometimes the best ideas and solutions come when I slow down and least expect them. So, it pays off to slow down and unplug.


  • I learned how to listen to my body and to not push it just because someone said that is the way, unless it was a Mandalorian 😊


  • I met an amazing community of people. One particular year, in 2017, after my brother just died, one of the attendees of the retreat was a grief counselor and our conversations at the dinner table and her book recommendations were most healing.

 

  • Most of all, I learned that investing in rest has a huge payoff. I became a better mother, wife, and advisor. Even though, I don’t do triathlons anymore, I feel much healthier in my body and at peace in my mind.

 

               



I would love to hear about your life-changing practices or pivotal events in your life that helped your health or wealth.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read!

 

Love,

 

Julia