Today is my birthday. I am 36 years young. I feel like the 36th year of my life is going to be great. Why would this year be a great year? Well, because 35 kind of sucked and I am determined to make 36 fabulous. This is going to be a great year because this year I am going to take the time to work on myself, find my own personal happiness, set some goals and create at least one hobby that is fulfilling. It is wonderful to make your life all about your kids, but not so wonderful when you lose yourself in the process.
In honor of my plan of fulfillment for my 36th year, I have started by giving myself a pretty cool birthday present. This present I gave myself is very uncharacteristic of something I would do, but I knew when I saw it that I had to sign myself up. I will be spending four days in the Carmel Valley at a place called Saddleback Mountain campground participating in a Bhakti Yoga Retreat. I will go by myself to this retreat, run by my cousin Ryan and his lovely wife Natasha, where I will set up my own tent and camp, eat only gluten-free “raw” foods, do hours of yoga each day, meditate, hike through Big Sur and have group discussions and of course enjoy some free time. It is uncharacteristic of me to go do something like this by myself; camp by myself, do yoga for four days straight, and eat raw gluten-free foods which will most likely mess with my digestive system that is used to burritos, pizza, pasta and Starbucks mochas, to name a few gluten filled items that fill my belly each day. I will be experiencing things I have never experienced before. I have done some yoga in my day, but never with any intensity and purpose.
I really got a lot of my inspiration to do this when my good friends Lesley and Willie and their kids visited us from Belgium last month. Lesley was telling me how each one of her upcoming months are filled with something that she is doing for herself to better her life and make her happy. I thought, why aren’t I doing anything that is just for me? And then the yoga retreat email came across a few days later.
To prepare, I had 3 weeks to get in shape. I signed up to take yoga classes and I have taken two to three yoga classes each week. The day after I took the first yoga class three weeks ago, every muscle and tendon in my body from my neck down to my shins were screaming at me. My sedentary body was rebelling against my attempt to better myself, yet I did not give up. The next day I took the kids on a walk in the triplet stroller. The day after that my pain and agony was worse. Pushing those three kids in the triplet stroller in my hilly neighborhood is a major workout; we are talking pushing about 70 pounds in kids and 30 pounds in stroller. I was very sore for an entire week. Then I overcame the initial pain of trying to get my body in a little bit of shape, and have felt great the following two weeks.
Refocus, Rebuild, and Reinvigorate my life. The yoga retreat will be a kick-start to a great year. I will not be bringing my laptop, but I will be journaling (by hand – yikes!) while I am there for a future blog on the experience.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.