By Tessa Marie

When was the last time you sat by yourself and just “BE”? Did you listen to your breath? Did you listen internally to your heart? What was it telling you? With our lives becoming so busy, it can seem selfish or hard to put ourselves first.

There is so much noise in the world that we can get lost. Lost within someone else, lost within our work, lost within our family and friends. Let’s re-focus and put ourselves first. I am not just talking about self-love that sounds glamorous. Sure, the bubble baths, face masks, and pedicures sound relaxing, but those are only surface-level ways to show love to yourself.

I am talking about pressing pause right here and right now. Sit with yourself. Ask yourself how you feel. Ask yourself if you are present. Typically, it takes a traumatic event to take a step back and reflect on your life and see how you got yourself here today and now. This could be a divorce, death of a loved one, breakup, a terrible accident, etc. Do you find yourself last checking in with oneself after one of these incidents? Well, I have had a few of these events happen in the last five years and it has all caught up to me.

My sister passed away from her 12-year long battle with cancer and I got divorced from my ex-husband within the same year. What I did at the time was pushed forward with my new single life and moved to California. I never took the time to grieve and reflect. I only knew how to be strong on the outside. With a recent breakup from a long-term boyfriend, I decided it was time to get deep with myself and start understanding who I am today and how these events and many childhood moments have shaped me.

Wow! When you start doing this type of deep work, be prepared for a mixed bag of emotions. You feel reinvigorated, exhausted, excited and scared. All these feelings are ok. It is good to acknowledge each one and “BE” with it. Let it flow through you. After finding a therapist and spending most of the summer grieving, I was ready to take it to the next level and find a self-healing retreat that incorporated many facets of approaches to this new journey. With Maui as my happy place, I knew that was where I would be heading for this self-healing retreat. I came across Maui Healing Retreat in a simple Google search. After reading the reviews and looking over their retreat options, I knew this was the type of retreat I needed.

It included one on one sessions with a handful of different practitioners. This ranged from meditation to yoga to spiritual work and outdoor hiking with astrology chat. To get started, I met with Janet Baldwin who runs the retreat center. She sat me down and we went over what brought me to her and what my goals were for this experience. With my top 3 goals listed out on paper in front of me, I knew the next few days were going to be hard but worth every ounce of energy. What was great with the close-knit team supporting me over the three days is that they all shared notes with one another from each session so they can keep track of what has been discovered, addressed, and healed.

From the whole experience, I had two sessions that were huge breakthroughs. The first was intuitive guidance and energy clearing with Lilia Birem. We used imagery and descriptive words to address my abandonment issues that stem from childhood. After going through the session, I was able to label a persona that has been with me as a survivor throughout the tough times but never left me. We were able to confront this persona and morph into what I need most now as an adult and allow her back in. Another breakthrough session was with Gayle Barklie when I discovered what angel my sister Emily is since her passing. She has always carried a carefree spirit and is here to remind me to live light-hearted, be present, and to play. Life doesn’t always have to be serious and I shouldn’t always put work first. If I continue with that attitude, I am missing out on my own life.

Some tools that I learned during the retreat that I plan to incorporate into my routine is mindful meditation, find activities that allow me to be calm and slow down, bring out my femininity more, play, journal, and use the integration method for any new or old energy clearings. If you decide to take yourself on a retreat, please approach it with an open mind and open heart. Be prepared to ugly cry, feel exhausted, and share happy tears. I would suggest recording all or some of your sessions to be able to go back to help with processing and to be able to use that tool for future needs. Take notes after each session. What was discovered? How did you feel? What came up? 

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