I was going to wait to post until I got my before and after pictures from the retreat people, but they haven't emailed them yet. There it is, I went to Seattle for a health retreat and I stayed a couple of extra days to visit my dear friend, Zhanna.
The health retreat: What? Who? When? Where? How? etc!?!
Karen, my massage therapist friend that I work with, invited me to go to a health retreat. I said no. Then I couldn't get it out of my head. So I changed my mind and said yes. It was an overnight decision- I just knew I wanted to go. We got a 2 for 1 retreat special and found plane tickets for super cheap. It seems like things work out PERFECTLY when they are meant to be. So many things worked out perfectly.
We got off the plane around midnight and hired to a cab to take us to Amy's house. Amy went to the retreat too. We didn't know her, she simply offered us her home and a ride to the retreat without knowing us. We slept in her children's beds. It was so generous of her. Also, the cab driver was from Georgia (not the state, the republic which is where Lika (high school exchange student/sister-friend) is from.
Then Amy's family and Karen and I went Pike's Place Market Sunday morning. Karen and I were in heaven. We were eating fresh fruit in large quantities, looking at beautiful flowers, trip to the gum wall, and people watching. It was a beautiful day. After the market, Amy dropped her family off and we left for Sedro Woolley, WA for Banana Island.
Before I begin, let me just state that I did no prior research about the retreat before going. Also, I ate meat, wheat, and probably soda pop the week prior. I did in no way cleanse or prepare for Banana Island. I just went. When we arrived I immediately felt out of place. Little did I know, I was hanging out with hard core health-granola-hippie-athletic folks. Also, if you have ever seen Wanderlust with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd imagine that :) We were greeted at the door by some guy with a pony tail who was hugging me close by my love handles. Seriously, he was talking to me like an inch from my face. Later, I learned that this guy was the one running the retreat. He was everyone's role model and I didn't even know who he was... Everyone was wearing hippy clothes and had six packs so basically I wanted to leave shortly after arriving because I felt out of place. By the time we left I hated saying good-bye. It was hugs and laughter.
We stayed in a cabin that was off the grid. The property was huge and had horses, plums, blackberry bushes, trails, a stream, and a beautiful husky dog. Days were pretty much the same. We ate breakfast at 8 a.m., went for a hike from 9-11, ate lunch from 12-1, had a discussion training out in the sunshine from 2-4, ate dinner 5-6, and then philosophy discussion from 7-9. And of course free time in all of the gaps. They encouraged plenty of sleep. Everything was voluntary and at your own level. Thank goodness because let's face it, I can't do pull ups from gymnast rings like some of the others let alone pull myself up...A lot of honesty there, you can't fake that :)
I had many laughs and made many friends. We were all age levels youngest was 20, oldest was in his 70s. People came from all over the world Hungry, Australia, France, India (although the French and Indian men live in the states now). Everyone was really free with their bodies and thinking. (like on on our first hike to the water hole some people decided to go skinny dipping. And it was common to talk about and show emotions. Many tears, much laughter). It seemed like everything was possible. Nothing was too outrageous. It was an incredible environment. We all supported each other and love each other. The healing that happened that week is astronomical. Thank you Banana Island!