It's February 4, 2019, and I only have three days left in my Jesus Year. And what a day to reflect while snowed in Seattle overlooking the sunset across the Puget Sound. There will only be three more sunsets until the sunrises on my 34th birthday this February 7, 2019.
Christians say Christ died at the age of 33 and resurrected after three days. Three is a powerful number, one that signifies the trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three signifies the union between the mind, the body and the spirit.
At the age of 22, I studied yoga in India and wrote, "Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapatis and Gurus."
At 33, I packed the same bag and hiked the Camino de Santiago Portuguese Way.
My Jesus Year was a "baptism" to further trust in God.
I never had a year quit like 2018. It was a year when nearly everything went wrong. Divorce, re-exploring the modern dating world, losing contracts, temporarily losing my day job and people trying to deceive me - describing this as a hard year is an understatement.
I discovered how brutal modern society is. The lies. The deceit. The bullshitting. Millennial men nearly drove me to become a radicalized feminist. Darkness and hardship were significant pieces of my life during this time. I can't remember how many times I cried, but I also laughed a lot too. I had some great moments rock climbing and meeting new friends, but my soul cried inside for the constant anguish and pain. I knew somehow there were lessons in all of this heartache. I wasn't mad. I wasn't bitter. I needed to transmute this energy and do something for me.
At times, I thought about running into a forest. And well....I ended up on that path.
At times I joked, "How much worse can it get?" And well, life continued to pull the rug from underneath me. The moment I lost my day job, I bought a ticket to Porto, Portugal to walk the Camino de Santiago trail.
I am of the utmost thankful for the hardship in 2018 as it made me grow, let go, and walk into a new chapter in my life.
The Camino is a path of suffrage. Not only did my body ache and suffer with each footstep on top of the cobblestone. With every step forward I walked into the new me. A new chapter in life and hopefully, love. But, my love for God deepened.
I had fear. Fear is real. Fear is a legit feeling one has toward something. At points on the camino, I had meltdowns as I was the only soul on the trail. At times I felt alone. This triggered my wound on the fear of being alone. At times I have no fear of being on my own. I have my own peace, but I have found that going through life with another human being is one of the most precious gifts in life.
Love will always be the most powerful force on the planet.
I've traveled a fair amount in this world. Exploring a country on two feet is such a different experience. I fell in love with Portugal and the Portuguese people more than I ever had. I walked the camino during Venus retrograde, which lasts 40 days. Jesus walked in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights and avoided Satan's temptations.
My camino was a cathartic purge, a trail that led me to a new chapter.
The Camino de Santiago was a lifesaver. It initiated a new chapter in my book of life. A rebirth. A coming out as Christian. I found a new love with life, myself, the planet, Christ and God.
I believe in Christ. I also believe in being conscious. There is a disconnect amongst both communities. Many conscious people hate Christians. And many Christians are not conscious and disconnected from their bodies. The camino gave me the strength and the confidence to move forward with my dreams.
Even if it doesn't work out like I'd hope, my soul has been called to further the spread the light from a new lens. Before the camino, I had dreams of writing a book about my experience. I've had inklings about writing another book over the last year. But this time, the title would be, "Finding Home."
I don't know how many times I cried in 2018, definitely over one hundred. But, not all tears are tears of sadness. Some tears were tears of happiness. Other tears were emotional due to being touched by God.
Although most of my Jesus Year was rough, I am thankful for everything I learned because it's led me to a better place. Like a graduation, my "diploma" from divorce has led me to be wise like a serpent, and innocent like a dove. We'll see what God and life has in store for me. Que Sera Sera.
Happy Jesus Year to you! Check out my Camino de Santiago Portuguese Way videos on Youtube!
It felt just like yesterday that it was the day I was leaving for this big adventure to push the reset button and to embrace into a new chapter in life. The Camino came and it went. Now today, it is just a memory, just like my pre-trip emotions blog.
Back to the grind. The stress. And everything associated with modern day society. The fighting. The judgement. The taking advantage of others. Life in a village sounds so lovely right now. The more I connected to spirit, Christ and God, the less I want anything to do with people, things, and dramas of this mundane world.
To say the least, assets are welcome, not liabilities. This Camino was more than a reset button. It’s the start to a new chapter in my spiritual and physical life.
I’ve exited the Camino with brand new eyes, one that looks at my history and others so differently. Darkness plagues so many people’s minds and moral compass. People think they are being healed but yet led like the pied piper away from true, Godly spirit. It’s like a dangling carrot or a crown of jewels blinding many people to the truth.
And for some reason, we are all on our own path to find our way.
And a piece of the Camino is here and within me. The spirit. The vineyards. The cat down the road. Every local, pilgrim, animal and blade of grass is within me. Like a ripple effect, their spirit has affected my spirit. And my spirit will affect others.
The stress and worries of today have snapped me back into reality, realizing the fantasy world of life on the Camino is gone, but not forgotten. Coming back to the same life as I had before feels refreshing though I’ve let go of any fear-based mindsets. It’s as if nothing changed, but everything changed simultaneously.
Interestingly enough, this has been the start to a new chapter in my life in a myriad of ways.
I’ve slowly let go of things, people and places that no longer serve me, but now that desire is even stronger. Just like I did at 22 after India, I chose to walk away from people and activities that had different morals and values as myself. And today, I have to choose the same.
Reconnecting with my Christian roots, the belief in this faith system has grounded me the most out of all forms of spirituality. The ancient roots are as old as some of the grains of sand on the beach.
I have less of a desire to connect with people whose moral compass doesn’t match with mine, regardless of if they believe in God or not. Parasites, energy suckers, emotionally draining individuals – I must say goodbye and move forward into another realm of life. “Cleaning house” literally and metaphorically is an instinct that came on strong during my walk.
That can be tough for me because of my empathy and work as a health coach / trainer. I believe everyone in life is on their own path of evolvement and those who enter our life, even for a moment, somehow have an effect on other people. The hope is that we all learn and grow from each other. But, many people walk through life blinded, only seeing the reality in front of their two feet, thinking that the world revolves around them. It’s as if they are their own Sun God.
I’ve realized I can accept people, but I am the sole provider for my emotional wellbeing. I have the choice to let people in, and let people go. This was something my ex was excellent at. He had no problems cutting people out of his life. For me, it’s not that easy because of empathy.
But, it’s time.
Just like nature, things must die in order for the new to enter your life. Walking the Camino during fall season was so symbolic for my struggles, life and former marriage.
But the most important “thing” I let go of is doubt and fear. Before the Camino I feared never meeting a life partner. I feared my blossoming grey hair. I feared being too old to date for a guy who is 31 or 32. I feared being broke and not being able to pay my rent because of my temporary lay off. I let go of fear and clung onto hope – hoping that God has a plan for me.
And throughout the journey the light continuously shined down on me.
Because I consider myself an accepting person, I accept my life, my fate and my destiny. I accept that my experience in marriage, may have been for those 6.5 years, and I may never see another in my life of being married or being a wife.
Life has no guarantees. And no one knows when their end day will be here. The Camino strengthened this form of acceptance. I don’t know my future, none of us do. That is what makes life bitter sweet. Not knowing the future is as exciting as it is worrisome.
Sometimes I wish a crystal ball would show me the future, that way the stress and worry would stop to enjoy the moment. If everything is predetermined than knowing I’d have this at X age, or get married on this date, then it’d be easier not to stress, put up with or worry about the breadcrumbs in life.
But until that (hopefully) magical moment of the future arrives, I can only attach to hope that all things will work out in divine timing. On the 11th hour on 11/11/18, I attended a mass in Seattle. Attending mass on the Camino seemed normal. It once felt odd and estranged, but now it felt “normal.” It did not weird me out, but rather I looked at mass through a new set of eyes. One that appreciates and respects this ancient spiritual faith.
The Camino brought me back into the present the moment, knowing that my actions coupled with fate can tweak my destiny. The strength, courage, wisdom, light and love accumulated on the Camino is now a part of me and will forever be with me.
Que sera sera – whatever will be will be. The future is not ours to see, que sera sera.
Although I invoke emotions into my writing and videos, this doesn't mean I am sad. In a world of superficiality, it is important to express and expose the processing of emotions. This encourages others to do the same in their journey throughout life.
Discover more about my Camino journey on
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.
The morning was beautiful, filled with light, chirping birds and puffy clouds. The weather was fare and I felt it was hard to leave home. But at least I'll be able to work on my suntan at the Vegas pool.
I boarded my Delta flight and once all the passengers boarded, the captain said, "There are thunderstorms in Las Vegas and we'll be here for at least 40 minutes." We sat on the run for 90 minutes. Impatient, I noticed on Facebook that others had the same issues.
Delays, re-routes, I wasn't too impatient, but the irony of landing in the dessert cloudy, humid and wet was hilarious.
Since middle school, I desired to become a writer. If you follow me, you know my quirks about Charles Dickens and I sharing the same birthdate. The stardust pushed me to become a writer. Not a novella nor a poet, but a dedicated activist to healthy living.
I yearn for freedom and thanks to technology, blogging allows personal, unedited expression. As a love of communication, expressing my voice is important to my wellbeing.
But will I ever be able to live full-time off blogging? That mystery to life is unknown, but I will say that the timing in life can be ironic.
Yesterday, I rummaged through my closet to find my small Sierra Club book bag. The bag was empty except for a small piece of paper. This piece of paper noted that I will be transitioning into a new line of work. .
Though I won't ever truly leave fitness, I still hold hope for my American Dream to become a full-time writer.
AND I've been wanting to attend a blog fest since 2012. Either the timing wasn't right, I couldn't afford the conference or had prior commitments. Just like I wanted to attend Burning Man or visit Ibiza or Seville since I was 18, it took 12-14 years for those dreams to come true.
The divine has no timeline and for whatever reason my flight was delayed, or that I am attending blogfest in 2017, I know I must always trust the timing of my life. Sometimes things happen for a reason when it's meant to happen.
Trust in the divine,
I am excited to announce that I will be attending the 2017 IDEA Fitness World Convention Blog Fest.
Will I see you there?
I am entering my tenth year of working in the fitness industry and though there have been many changes, I am excited to continue my writing adventures at this conference. Whether you're a fellow fitness professional, marketing professional, product developer or health educator, I'd like to meet you, even if its a brief introduction.
I have written and represented, and written for, various brands in the past - the American Council on Exercise, BOSU, Precor - and more! Click here to discover more about me and my portfolio. I look forward to meeting you.
In Good Health,
On many levels, I knew my soul spent lifetimes in Europe. Sometimes I joke it’s why I ‘ve felt so out of place in America. Europe changed me in ways that I cannot describe. I became more logical and spiritual at the same time.
How does that work? To see the persecution and destruction of people and places makes one realistic about human nature and mankind. We’ve evolved as a specie, but have a long way to go.
Intuition guided me to the popular Arcade. Ironically, I never explored the basement and the nagging voice in my head said, “Go downstairs!”
I stumbled upon The Hidden Alchemist, a quaint window-front style shop “hiding” in a narrow strip of space between a brick wall and a faux storefront. Dried herbs and roses dangled from the windowsill as the homemade incense basked in bath of aromatic oils. Copper pots hung out on the exposed brick wall as change jingled inside a prayer giving shell.
Shop owner, Sunny, is like a reflection of myself. Spiritual yet logical, I knew there was a reason why I was so attracted to this place. After much conversation, she admits that she has a very balanced approach to life that integrates logic.
Sunny is a Master Clinical Herbalist, which means she has trained to create compounds from scratch. As a compound herbalist, she creates mixtures that use specific herbal combinations to aide certain functions.
Curious, I wondered if her interest in herbs was random or came from what I term a soul’s calling. Sunny expressed that always had interest with herbs. She started her first garden at the age of six and grew chamomile along with other herbs. As she aged, she gifted herbal presents for holidays and special occasions.
Her passion and knowledge comes alive in the shop where visitors can watch live tinctures drip into a basin or consult Sunny in the ever-so-therapeutic meeting room.
Sunny hand makes every product in her shop. Teas, muscle rubs, tinctures, lotions, beverages, energy shots – you name she’s got it! She makes her products in small batches, ensuring every product is fresh with an appropriate shelf life. She uses organic, chemical-free and handcrafted herbal tinctures and natural skin care products.
Sunny is also author of a lavender cookbook, “The Culinary Lavender Cookbook of Delicious Desserts and Luscious Drinks," which autographed copies are sold in store.
Besides the shelf setup and the antique-looking birdcage perched outside of the door, the most attractive part of the shop are her affordable prices. Fifty cents for a tea bag? Three dollars for a wellness shot? A couple bucks for a package of homemade incense? Where am I? I felt as if I transported to Romania, a place where unadulterated mainstream consumerism exists.
As a homeopathy consumer, I find more value and authenticity in her products compared to similar items sold on the mainstream market.
Sadly, Pioneer Square, like the rest of Seattle, is changing. The Hidden Alchemist lost their lease and Sunny will relocate to Fremont in August. Right now, she has an indiegogo campaign to save her small business.
All guests are welcomed into the shop and handed a small sample of freshly made tea. My favorite tea is the Just Breathe and Peach tea.
I pretty much recommend everything but I love love love the incense (green tea, wisteria, honeysuckle, lilac and lavender are my favorite).
Rummaging through her shelves is similar to a scratch and sniff booklet. Every smells so fresh that your mouth waters, disguised as your brain thinks its edible food. I recommend sniffing (and trying) the lilac bath salt and goat milk soap.
The lotion works wonders on dry skin. Each lotion is made with coconut oil as a natural moisturizer and my favorite is the Honeysuckle.
Discover more about Sunny & The Hidden Alchemist at http://www.thehiddenalchemist.com
Do you enjoy goods from an apothecary? If so, what is your favorite item?
Love it? Let's Connect!
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