I will let go of anger,
I will let go of worry,
I will count my blessings,
I will do my work honestly
I will be kind to every living creature.
Dr Mikao Usui
This is my takeaway from a weekend spent in the Kangaroo valley with my husband at a yoga retreat run by Simplicity Retreats. We arrived on Friday night in the dark after the mad belt from work to home to pack the car and drive for two hours, I admit I was feeling anxious about meeting a group of strangers and having to socialise over dinner. All my fears and doubts disappeared when we were met by PJ – the retreat organiser and we were introduced to the most delightful group of people whom we’d be sharing the weekend with.
The retreat was held at Avrajita nestled in the hills of Kangaroo Valley with only the sound of the kookaburras and cows to interrupt our thoughts. The main house contains the chef’s kitchen, large glass dining room overlooking the garden, huge lounge area with fireplace, corner couches, warm blankets and a room for massage. The bedrooms are separate cabins with ensuites, there is a large yoga room for practice and a yurt for meditation.
The food served was all vegetarian and gluten and dairy free. Sounds bland and boring doesn’t it? My husband and I joked about eating hippy mung beans all weekend, and how we’d cope without our evening glass of wine and morning coffee. Well we were pleasantly surprised to be served the most delicious chai tea and organic, whole, real food for breakfast, lunch and dinner that I have ever tasted. Angie our in-house chef prepared everything with such passion and art that it was a joy to be treated to her culinary skills.
So enough about the food, even though that was the highlight for me, I did have a slight headache from the lack of caffeine, it was worth knowing that I was de-toxing in the nicest possible way. The yoga was wonderful and I must tell you that my husband for the first time in his life participated in two yoga classes! He was amazed to learn about the benefits of yoga, how challenging it can be and how it connects to our deepest essence. It was great to share my love of yoga with him too.
This leads me to my questioning my complex life of late and my urge to simplify everything. After advising a dear friend of mine that she needed to de-clutter her home and let go of all the excess she was storing that wasn’t serving her, I realised that I actually need to heed my own advice and do the same. Not so much my cupboards but my commitments and the excess non-core business ideas I tend to fill every spare moment with. After my yoga retreat I have restored my belief that I can choose what I say yes to, what I decline and what things I surround myself with and how I spend my time. At the moment I want the very simple things in life, like growing some vegetables, cooking healthy food, being at home, and allowing myself space that is not filled with anything in particular.
Arriving home on Sunday afternoon to the washing not done and the empty fridge would normally stress me out, but I felt so relaxed that my attitude was ‘who cares’? I’ve just given myself a lovely gift, the rest can wait.