I spent the last four months planning two Happiness Retreats with one of my closest friends and creative business partner Amanda for our collaboration, The Buena Vida. We're not even a week from the end of the last retreat and I'm still reeling from the fact that we not only pulled it off, but did it with such grace, beauty and FUN! It was what I pictured and then 10 times better in all these unforeseen ways. I'm trying to make a list of my takeaways so here is what I have so far:
1. I'm focusing on What Went Right. Not so long ago after my events I'd go into automatic "What Went Wrong" Mode. This time around it was easier to focus on what went right and it made listing ways we could improve way more fun and inspiring. I took a Mindful Self-Compassion course last year and since then have been practicing showing myself a little more patience and understanding, being a better friend in general to myself. I can see it paying off in times like these where in the past I would have been kicking my ass about little snags that went down and not reveling in the beauty of finishing a big project from idea to finish. That's an incredible thing in itself!
2. The Human Resolve is a Force of Beauty. Since my first Girl Scout camp I've been all up in Retreat Life. I love it!! You get to kick it in nature, laugh around campfires and explore. Lately the exploration has focused on the inside. When I sit before a campfire at a retreat I find that I'm either facing and accepting the sides of myself I don't like (and am constantly trying to hide or heal!) or working to love the sides of myself I do like (but sometimes feel selfish celebrating!). People open up and share deep things in ceremony, that's actually one of the biggest types of healing I know, speaking your truth and having people nod back in compassion and understanding. I'm so blown away when I hear the dark and rough things people have endured yet still are carrying on and living with joy. Humans are strong, we deeply want to live and even more so, live happy lives despite our tough pasts and unwritten futures!
3. Spending time in nature and spending time in silence is powerful.
4. Eating healthy for even 3 days in a row feels amazing!!
5. Being happy and giving yourself love takes PRACTICE. Being aware of how tough we are on ourselves is the first step. Making an intention to do the best we can at feeling good is the second.
6. Do what you love first for the simple fact that you love doing it. It doesn't have to be for profit or to pay the bills. It doesn't have to be displayed or shared, rated or reviewed. It doesn't have to lead "to the next thing". Just do what you love because it makes you happy:)