I leave in four days with feelings of pure exhaustion, excitement and confusion. Life is Seattle is getting so expensive, I have no choice but to consistently work in order to sustain a simple life in this city. And that is no easy task for myself and many other females who earn "Middle America" peasant salaries amidst a tech-dominant world.
I planned this trip in early September and with only six weeks to train, I have had no aches or pains, no blisters, a little bit of soreness at first, but now I am not even getting sore. I am "addicted" to carrying that bag, or that load on my back. Even with my bag loaded, I walk to the grocery store to add another 6-8 pounds to my bag - there is absolutely zero affect on my back or my legs.
During some walks, I feel God speak to me that this is not a physical journey, but an emotional and spiritual journey into my mind, body and soul.
Walking around Seattle in fall is stunning. Flowers still bloom while the trees change color. The foliage encourages the blossoming of the true color of my soul. As I watch the leaves fall, it is the time and a sign to let go. Let go of the things that no longer serve me.
âBut with every footstep around this city I recognize the natural death and rebirth process. While God chooses every leaf that falls off a tree, I notice figs still bloom on a tree. Part of human existence includes letting go, and rebuilding up. Our human bodies are no different than nature where we have this synergy between anabolism and catabolism.
Ever since living in Germany, I've become more fascinated with the forest. Naturally attracted to water, I've transitioned from the light and airy sun-worshipping beaches and entered the depths of my ancient soul amidst archaic trees.
The thing is, I am actually doing good and fine in my life right. Im exhausted from work, but that is okay. Once I booked this trip, I found much peace in my life. My attitude changed and my outlook on life became brighter. I processed my divorced and in the spring I was ready to move forward with my life. I am very accepting of people and their life choices and lifestyle.
âI understand that people enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When my ex-husband told me on October 18, 2017 that he wanted a divorce, my entire reality shifted. I just got back from a trip in Germany and for some reason during that trip I hit the upmost pivotal gratitude for that man and my marriage. I was ready for the next thing, which I thought would be to have a child. There was miscommunication on that very important topic.
As he told me this, I started saying, "No. No. No. You need to believe in me." While we both started crying, I had a psychic vision of a hand holding a rolled-up diploma in the air with graduation hats flying into the air. My intuition doesn't hear things much, but I had a voice inside my head say, "You got it. You graduated. You learned your lesson." My laptop died and for 17 days I sat in silence, realizing how intellectual and work-orientated we were, and partly my fault, didn't tap much into the emotional world. I looked in the mirror and expressed all of my faults and admitted everything I did wrong or took for granted.
Completely crushed, I knew it was me fighting against God or our soul's contract. I was on a sinking ship and I looked him in the eyes and told him that I am going to fight for him. And I did that. I wrote several novel-like letters. One 17 pages, a 33-page hand written book on our memories together, and another 7 page plea expressing how I changed.
None of it worked. I went home for Thanksgiving and cried at the lake near my parent's home. I sat on a log in the forest wanting to die. I googled every Christian prayer to save a marriage. And each time I did these things, our connection became more disconnected. He started dating someone. He cut me off social media. He cut my family off social media. He completely detached his life from any memories of 10 years together. He told me that everyday I treated him good, with kindness and respect. On some deeper subconscious, intuitive level he told me that he chose me, but I didn't choose him.
âI accepted my fate. Being the one left behind, especially blind sided can really fuck you up unless you have enough grounding and acceptance in life. It is very easy as a woman to deny a man's feelings or needs. Men are strong on the exterior, but inside sometimes I feel they are more sensitive and emotional than women. Inside every man is a little boy.
I needed to get out but I couldn't as I had to scramble to figure out my job situation. In January, I earned just under $2,000 and my rent is just under $1600. I almost impulsively moved to Chicago or Philadelphia, in hopes of starting a new life, and in the future, finding a more traditional man.
I processed, I grieved, I forgave. I realized I am just another example of a tragic love story in this world of human existence.
I needed to do something for myself, which is why the St. James has been chosen, but at the right time.
Actually, I am over my divorce, but what I am still attached to is the fear of not finding a life partner or someone who treats me well. My ex was a romantic man, and I took that for granted at times. Never again will I do that. But on the flip side, that man also took me for granted, for which I shut down emotionally. We were both selfless, selfish, loving, caring and ignorant to each other. We were both suffering in flighty Seattle after living in Germany where loyalty, honesty and integrity were a large part of their culture. The main issue was not communicating feelings in order to protect each other's emotions.
Divorce ignited all these fears in college and wounds of being absolutely shitted on and used by men. Men are logical. Most women are moral. It is very easy to take advantage of spiritually-based women who can be naive.
I've been the weekend girlfriend. I've been the friend with benefits. I've been used emotionally. I've been lied to. I've been used for the adventurous experience. Women can be horrible people too, but after conversations with my beta male friends. It's the nice people who always get shitted on - man or woman.
But through the turmoil of my confidence and soul being flushed down the toilet, I rediscovered a deeper connection to self love. My life is best operated with balance. I like how I balance the material and the spiritual world. I like how I appreciate a balance between arts, science and athletics. I like that I am straightforward. I like that I am modest, but also creative and free spirited. I like how I am a cheerleader, encouraging my partner to become the man he wants to be, balancing healthy degrees of freedom. I love myself. I love my flaws. I love my strengths.
Maybe my soul is too vintage for this modern day world. During my divorce, I had a swarm of Christians enter my life. They helped me. They encouraged me. They told me this is not happening to you, but for you. I was on the verge of re-identifying with my Christian roots and this push further helped me. My father is dating a devout Christian woman. She told me it'll be okay, that you can't see the future, but God has a plan for you.
My 2018 has been nothing but breadcrumbs and false hopes all while getting beaten over the head by men. The lies. The emotional manipulation. The flakiness. I needed a break. I lost my marriage. I've lost my mind with the corruption of the divorce court where I believe in equality for both partners. I've lost important freelance work. I fractured my toe. I've been ghosted. I can't seem to get a full-time job in one of the most prosperous cities. I haven't even mildly dated, only meeting people naturally, to find out these guys either had girlfriends, open relationships or used me for emotional support while they get sexual pleasures from whatever dark shit they dabble in with multiple pleasures. I've always been suspicious of the tech industry and the programming that happens in these men's brains have completely destroyed their reality of what women want. Women don't want to be texted like a bar slut and they don't want be treated like a real world porn star. Even my gay Italian friend said straight men are "dumb," and don't realize women don't want to be texted this dirty stuff (in the initial stages).
Modern men today are cowards, and part of this is socially engineered. Women respect strong and honest men. They ghost as they are too afraid to hurt someone's feelings. They are too selfish to be upfront about what they are looking for and will lie and manipulate to get you into the sack, or boast about your beauty behind their girlfriend's back. They can't ask a woman out on a date as they fear rejection. That is just part of being a man. If you want to date a feminine woman you have to take the lead.
All of my friends told me to download a dating app and get laid. I felt I had healthy coping mechanisms of rediscovering myself through counseling, rock climbing and various types of yoga. Somehow my mind is stronger than my body and I can resist all forms of temptations.
Work has taken over our souls and relationships are either of convenience or whatever can fit into our work week. Many men in this city have like 4-6 side options figuring out who will be the winner. I've counseled sex addicts and they have dreams of epic sex parties or being choked during sex. I can't understand this mentality, but I do not judge it. Throughout my spiritual experience I believe darkness warps people's minds causing them to become further lost souls. I believe God sends those people to me for me to give them an ounce of light in their life.
My brain operates on purity, innocence and depth. I dream of fairy-tale-like romance like a nice dance around the Christmas tree to classical music. Or having a picnic on a nice summer's day while reading poetry from some 1922 vintage book. I also enjoy the non-refined frolics of life like drinking beer and watching sports.
I feel I have no relevance to life today. And on this walk, I want to let go of that belief. I believe there are people like me in this world. We are the minority, but through God's will, we will find each other. Whatever happens on this journey is meant for me, but it is a reset button. A button coming a year in, and although I wanted to do this 7 months ago, somehow timing always works best in life when it's meant to be.
I just returned home from a great weekend on Bowen Island, Canada for the You Are Enough yoga retreat. The retreat sold out a couple weeks before the event and I feel I discovered my calling and passion for cooking for other people. I hope the opportunity arises again.
I love cooking. I find it therapeutic and ignites a different sense of creativity. I follow alot of intuitive cooking, which means I dont necessarily "follow the rules" on exact measurements but sometimes "go with my gut" on what spices and such are needed or necessary. I've also discovered through my cooking I don't always time things but rather use my sense of smell to indicate when a pie, or baked good is near done. Whenever the kitchen become aromatic it is a sign that whatever is in the oven is ready to be checked.
Alongside cooking, I teach yoga. Today, I focus most of my teaching on moderate and slow flows, for which require ambient or down-tempo music.
At the retreat, I played various playlists using mixcloud.com, and wanted to share my favorite tracks. I not only use these in my yoga classes, but also in the kitchen to inspire yet another culinary creation.
Perfect for slow flows and digestion while eating.
For meditation, healing, Reiki, yin, night-time relaxation, try anything by Kamal.
For a mix of inspirational electronic beats, perfect for yoga-Pilate combos or just a down-tempo, chillout environment. If you want to imagine lying on a beach and watching the sunset, experience these mixes by Dubtrak. Perfect for a yoga dinner party.
For a bit of German deep house, perfect for chilling.
For something ethnic and tribal.
For a bit of downtempo Buddha-ness.
Change is inevitable, but necessary.
The nature of nature revolves around change. What happens in nature, also occurs in the mundane, human experience. The waves of the ocean ebb and flow where the stock market summits and plummets.
The human experience is no exception to change, transitions and highs and lows in life. It is utterly delusional to think that our life will follow the same path as a starry-eyed Hollywood movie; however, when analyzing these films, the main character encounters various obstacles and struggles.
For as long as humans have existed, darkness and mental issues have plagued the mind. We are no different today than our ancestors who raped, pillaged and plundered the world. Today we are equipped with self-help books, meditation gurus, therapists and support groups. We don't necessarily have to put forth as much effort to survive as our ancestors, but today, we can choose to walk the path of the light and change or remain stuck in a swamp of darkness.
Humans don't like change, but they crave and desire change. The biggest change to one's life path is through having a child. Some people accept and celebrate this change, but fight to let go or to help their mental state.
It is not easy or comfortable to walk a new path in life while leaving the old behind.
During times of transitions, this is where the learning begins.
For many, a little voice inside of their head screams for change. This is a moment of contemplation where we make a conscious effort to shift towards our potential instead of running away from it.
Like a future flower budding from the ground, this is moment where consciousness shifts to say goodbye to the dark and say hello to the light. The business world talks of an inflection point, a point where the concave changes directions, either toward growth or a decline. This is a pivotal point for one to wake up and listen to their higher mind and trust and believe that taking the "high road" will lead them to change.
Low points, rock bottom and times of transition is where the learning experience begins. This is where we reflect on the past, grieve in and accept the present and make a plan for the future.
Change is spiritual. It is the time of becoming a better version of yourself and push through boundaries of fear that have held you back from seeking your potential.
The journey into your mind, body and soul is spiritual. And I believe everyone should all walk this path.
Spiritual journeys don't have to be epic adventures around the globe. For some, it is
Sadly, many people have not had good mentors or leaders in their life, specifically in the work world. A career shift is a spiritual change. When transitioning careers, one's soul or spirit guides them to something more meaningful in life. It is not uncommon to see tech geeks up and quit their job to open a bakery or a fitness company. Something in that corporate world sucked their soul dry and they wanted to do something more meaningful in life. That is the point of TRUE LIBERATION - the moment where your life, happiness and contribution to the world means more than the people and situations that brought you down. Many people today believe that drug use and sexual experimentation is liberation. In my experience, the more people dabble in those environments, the more their soul cries for help.
So how do you unlock the power of transitions?
By taking action for your life, situation or problem. Whether it's taking a leap of faith or hiring a therapist - you need to choose to transition instead of staying stuck. The world contains endless options to help you transition into the better version of yourself.
If you want to change your career, you may need to go back to school or sign up for a certificate program.
If you want to improve your marriage, you may need marriage counseling.
If you want to improve your health, you may need to hire a trainer or a health coach.
The answer lies inside each and every one of us, but we just have to believe and trust in ourselves, our voice and our higher mind. Change and transition strengthens our spirit. It may not be easy and during this time we may experience more inflection points or potential outcomes.
If you want to change, you have to put in the work and find tools, people or support networks that will aide you on your journey.
Are you on a spiritual journey in life? Let's Connect and check out Mind Body Soul Food's other recent blog posts.
Life is a beautiful mixture of ebbs and flows and highs and lows. If life was easy and perfect we'd never endure obstacles or have rainy days. We all hit a rough patch in life. These periods can last for days, or for some, decades.
During tough times, I've used quotes to inspire, uplift and help me through tough times. This is part of the reason my weekly Sunspiration exists. Below are 15 of my favorite quotes to help you when the going gets tough.
"Tough times never last, but tough people do."
Friday August 31
2 pm check in
4:00-6:00 pm Opening circle & light yoga practice
6:00 pm Dinner
Saturday September 1
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Water Element
10:30 am- 12 pm Walk & meditation, free time
12 pm- Lunch (Water Element)
Free time with options for walking, kayaking, sauna
4:00-6:00 pm Yoga practice focused on the Wood Element
6:00 pm Dinner (Wood Element)
Sunday September 2
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Fire Element
10:30 am- 12 pm Walk & meditation, free time
12 pm- Lunch (Fire Element)
Free time with options for walking, kayaking, sauna
4:00-6:00 pm Yoga practice focused on the Earth Element
6:00 pm Dinner (Earth Element)
Monday September 3
7:30 am Breakfast, journaling
8:30-10:30 am Yoga practice focused on the Metal Element
12 pm Checkout
Lunch to go (Metal Element)
Your body houses your suppressed thoughts & emotions. Clearing emotional energy is so important for a healthier you. The work will center around our Shadow Self, finding awareness and acceptance of our sometimes unconscious patterns. This allows us to develop a good relationship with our inner child and become the best version of ourselves.
It takes courage to cultivate/nurture the Self & I'm honored to partner with you on your healing journey!
Ladies- you are Unique! You are Amazing! You are Loved! You are a Superwoman! You give so much of yourself to others- isn’t it your time now? What is holding you back? Step into your Power! Join us!
Water Element- transform Fear & Shame into Courage & Trust
Wood Element- transform Anger & Frustration into Forgiveness & Patience
Fire Element- transform Panic, Anxiety, & Hurt into Joy & Openness
Earth Element- transform Worry & Over-thinking into Contentment & Presence.
Metal Element- transform Grief, Sadness, & Depression into Acceptance & Freedom
Imagine the abundance of new friendships with like minded women who are on the same path. See what the results of doing your inner work could bring to your life in the coming months and years!
Where are your beliefs and patterns preventing you from living the life you deserve? This retreat is life changing. Find new awareness and compassion for yourself as you learn to live from a space of love.
On this journey, you will:
If you’ve been running nonstop these days and your body, mind or soul are run down, then this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Unplug & unwind. Find balance as you recharge your Soul's battery.
After all, there’s no way you can dream bigger and support others if you don’t amplify your soul-care first!
Time to yourself within the support of the group is guaranteed to shake your soul free and rejuvenate you.
This journey is for you if...
Nectar Yoga B&B , named one of the top 5 retreats in British Columbia, is a delightful sanctuary. It is nestled away in the woods, a space of healing and solitude, a place for transformation.
Nectar Yoga, an eco- friendly B&B, is just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver.
Daily yoga practices will be in their beautiful geodesic, heated yoga dome, with a view of nature. This small space allows for greater intimacy and group connection.
Their accommodations provide a space for relaxation, without letting go of the comforts of home.
Nectar Loft- Modern beach style cottage furnished with local decor, kitchenette, fridge, sleeping loft & pull out sofa bed, outside deck
Forest Cottage- West Coast beach style cottage, outdoor shower, forest view seating area, mini fridge, private deck *SOLD OUT
Garden Suite- Nautical themed room located in the lower level of the main house, open planned room with separate entry, private bathroom, mini fridge, garden view
Main House- Master bedroom has a sleeping loft and a detached bathroom on the upper floor. Guest room has 2 single beds and a detached bathroom on the main floor
*All accommodations are double occupancy
*Photos courtesy of Nectar Yoga B & B
-3 nights accommodation at the lovely Nectar Yoga B & B- double occupancy
-9 delicious vegan meals (freshly prepared on site)
-Full Yoga Immersion programming (a total of six- 2 hour yoga classes, energy activations and pranayama, guided journaling, deep conversations, teachings on the 5 Elements and corresponding emotions)
-Individual 30-minute Reiki session
-Use of yoga props, cleaning fees & taxes, water & tea
-Private Facebook group
-Gift bag with self care items
Not included: Transportation to & from the retreat site, ferry costs, insurance (personal, medical, trip cancellation)
optional: in room massage (book in advance), Finnish sauna experience ($25 for up to 3 people), tarot reading, scooter rental, bike or kayak rental
What to bring: Your openness to explore, learn, and let go of anything holding you back.
Your passport (if you don't live in Canada), comfortable clothes to practice yoga in, yoga mat, journal & something to write with, water bottle, walking shoes, layers for cooler evenings, bathing suit
Our delicious meals will be plant based and themed around the 5 Tastes to balance out the Elements. All meals will be freshly prepared on site by Elizabeth Kovar.
Elizabeth Kovar M.A. is an award-winning vegan fitness trainer, author of Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus and international freelance writer and fitness presenter for BOSU and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Elizabeth studied yoga in six different countries and lived abroad in Australia (twice), India and Germany. Elizabeth is the creator of her vegan food and travel blog at: www.mindbodysoul-food.com and www.lemontreetravel.com. www.elizabethkovar.com
If you have food allergies or restrictions, please let us know.
Camron Momyer will be providing guests with a 30- minute individual Reiki healing session on retreat.
"In 2011 I completed my level 3 Reiki certification with Marie Manuchehri and began to entertain the idea that I may be capable of offering energy work to other people. Then, under the mentorship of Nicole Walsh in 2014 things began to click. I began to trust my abilities as a healer and it was no longer a matter of if but when. I felt like a fish that had finally found water and had no desire to go back to dry land." Find out more about Camron & Soul Sourced Energy Healing.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com
Follow her travels at: lemontreetravel.com