Can a yoga retreat actually change your life?
It was June 2016 and I was on my way to the very first Wild Spirit Yoga Camp hosted by my friend and Buti-shakin soul sister, Randi Lynn Greene.
If you don't know me, I'm Alyssa, a yoga teacher and retreat leader, and the creator + founder of THE JOURNAL DECK, where journal prompts meet oracle cards with 52 ready-made life prompts for self care, clarity, and being your best you, and I am also a Wild Spirit Sister. I want to share with you how Wild Spirit Yoga Camp impacted me and how it influenced my eventual starting of this company because a retreat might be exactly what you need too to disconnect to reconnect.
So originally I hesitated to go to Camp because 1) Shouldn't I spend my money on something a little more productive and grown up? 2) I didn't really know anyone that well who was going 3) Sometimes too many women is too much for me 4) I've never been a huge camp person and 5) Would I feel sad and alone in the middle of the woods, with no cell service?
Well, truth be told, at the root of my indecision to go, was the thought, "Can I let myself do something totally unlike me and totally for me, with no regrets?"
I knew in my heart that this camp was EXACTLY what my soul needed, as I had just called off an engagement with my boyfriend of 10 years and everything in me was screaming, "GO LIVE YOUR LIFE AND HEAL YOURSELF!"
So I did.
I signed up pretty last minute, texting Randi to see if there were even spots left, and I drove in a car with two women I didn't really know, Chantale and Sarah S. I cried every day at camp. The first time I was in savasana after a ground shaking Buti class, and the song, "I Am Light" by Aria came on, and I balled. I just laid there with tears running down my face, and when she told us to sit up and face each other in a circle, I remember thinking, "Shit! Everyone will see that I've been crying!" But the truth? I think everyone cried at least once that weekend.
I cried. I sweat my ass off. I danced in a circle. I laughed. I sat around a fire and listened to women share their whole hearts and deepest hurts. I ate meals with different women every day, and bonded with so many in such a short amount of time. You know how they say that real friends you don't have to see all the time? Well that's exactly how this is. I might not know everything about these women, and I certainly don't talk to them every day, but I feel deeply connected to them...the inaugural group of Wild Spirits.
And how does this trip have anything to do with THE JOURNAL DECK? I began journaling last year as a way to cope and clear all the shit out of my head. My life coach assigned me prompts as homework, and I found journaling to be an epic, safe space to find clarity. Even as I was at Camp I was still utterly confused as to where my partner and I were going...what the hell were we anyway? How did this fucking happen?
So with journal in tow, I sat on a rock in the middle of a stream on the stunning Camp property, purposely separating myself from everyone, and I wrote in my journal. The sun was warm on my back, but the water was chilly. And out of the corner of my eye, the kind photographer asked to snap my picture, so I posed for a moment and then continued on (see pic below). Little did I know that fortuitous moment would provide evidence of the summer of abundance, healing, and journaling...
Fast forward and by November of 2016, that man and I were talking again and feeling really happy. We learned to love ourselves first. And as I was sitting in our living room, THE JOURNAL DECK idea came to me like lightening! The seeds had been planted earlier on, and the rest is history...
Here's to your self care, big magic moments, and never apologizing for doing YOU!
Interested in going to Wild Spirit Camp August 4th-7th? Check out all the details here, and we are also stoked to announce that we are a Sponsor and will be donating some freebies! Pretty full circle, right?! Life is beautiful! (Space is limited.)