I’ve always loved the ‘girls weekend’ away. Since my youngest was around 12, I’ve committed a weekend a year to a group of girlfriends, and we’ve had a lot of fun times. Back then, it was a big juggle because we had to make sure everyone was taken care of when we were gone, we needed to be set up for the week ahead and so the wind down and wind up was driven by that responsibility we take on when we care for others.
Over the years I’ve been lucky, and my friendship groups have grown and expanded and there’s a few different groups I now venture away with once or twice a year. Last weekend I went away with a group that are dear, longtime friends and some of their friends, and we’ve agreed that an annual pilgrimage is something we want to do. This weekend was different to the others, it was one where we became immersed in our spiritual side at the beautiful, Ultimate Barossa Valley Retreats. Ultimate is what it was, we were welcomed to a sanctuary of love, heartfelt connection, and a nurturing environment to tap into the depths of our inner selves and enjoy the company and experiences of others.
This was a retreat for the thinking woman; we had a range of activities to choose from, pamper packages, women’s health, psychic readings, chakra realignments, creative activities, and lots of opportunities to chat and get to know each other over good wine and food. Everyone got so much out of this weekend, and I think the reason for this is that it wasn’t about just being with likeminded people, it was about becoming more self-connected and tapping into our soul by tuning into the calling of our higher self, our eternal real self.
At the close of the retreat, some of the women started turning their thoughts to the afternoon ahead, feeling the pressure of all the things they had to do. The connection to their soul-self started to fade, the magic started to lose its lustre and the reality of life started to settle back in. Just about every woman I know is, or has been at some point, imprinted to believe she’s being selfish when putting herself before her family. Many people feel the weight of responsibility and think it’s too hard and self-centred to make time, for time away. We’ve been conditioned to believe we’re selfish if we create space to connect with ourselves and the things that light up our spirit.
I never really bought into that guilt; I’ve felt the pressure and overwhelm of all the things I had to do to make my weekend away happen, but guilt hasn’t been a burden I’ve carried. As the cabin crew demonstrate on every flight, you must place the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help others. For us to fill the cups of others, our cup must be overflowing first; overflowing with love, contentment, gratitude, trusting and knowing that there’s always time for us to do the things we want and need to do. When we feel like this, we’re better able to be responsive to challenges in our lives and take them on with a greater level of acceptance and calmness. We don’t over-react, we’re better able to be present, listen to others and respond in a positive and assured way to the challenges of everyday life.
If you don’t have people around to help you, it’s a lot more difficult and for some, taking even a whole day out is literally not possible for the phase of life they’re in. But everyone can take some time and create the space to sit with yourself, dig deeply into your beliefs and value systems, connect with your inner self, and tap into your peace, power and joy. When you do this, you reduce anxiety and stress which in turn improves your immune system. The more you connect with self and others the healthier you become. Beyond blue says connection is so important for our mental and physical wellbeing that it can be a protective factor against depression. When one is isolated with and by their thoughts the challenges become greater, the isolation feels heavier, and the load is a greater burden. This is the point when you cram your head full of the thoughts that tell us; I’m letting people down, I don’t have the time, I’m disappointing our family, I can’t do this, I’m not worthy, I’m too tired, the list is endless. It’s a disheartening way to live a life that in the scheme of things because life is short; we don’t get to spend a lot of time on this Earth.
Walking in nature, moving your body in a way you enjoy, music, beauty, art, meditation, gratitude, prayer, can all help you connect with others as well as your all-important inner self; the one that whispers to you and encourages you to keep going, no matter how tough the going is. It’s the loving voice from within that just knows you can do whatever you set your mind to do just by creating some space to tap into your inner self and visualise the path ahead. Every time you connect to your inner spirit, the conversation changes because it tells you I am enough, I’ve got this, I am the one, and I have the magic and the strength I need to design my life, my way.
This week, make a commitment to you and set aside 15 minutes a day minimum as time for you. Whether you sit with a cuppa or head out into nature, leave your phone behind and tap into your heart and every time you do this, allow yourself to reflect on the times you felt happy, confident and thankful for the love and joy in your life. When you do this, the stresses, pressure and fear daily life can create start to fade because when we focus on the bigger picture, things get a little easier. And as you bring those feelings of happiness, confidence and gratitude into your heart and feel the vibration of love coursing through your body, know that every time you do this, your day, your week, your life, will become more soulful, more fulfilled and because of that, you can design it any way you wish. Have fun with this, you only get one shot at living your life, your way, you may as well enjoy it!
Life is filled with RICHES, discover yours. For your free first module of our RICHES program, click here.