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Learn To Be Still


What a treat.

I spent last weekend with my best friend, Cindy, at Madden’s on Gull Lake, just as leaves were peaking and so was the weather: sunny and about 75 degrees. Pure perfection. The sort of weather that can positively affect your attitude: I was happy to be alive. Crunchy leaves, crisp air, the sun dazzling the surface of the lake into a mirage of diamonds. Minnesota at its best. Truly.

But there was another layer of goodness to my weekend away: I was attending Still By The Lake, a wellness retreat co-hosted by Green Lotus Healing & Yoga Center. For all the Eat, Pray, Love enthusiasm in the world, there are actually few retreats like these around here, at least in my research. I hope they consider making this a regular event!

So what did we do that left me so Zen and enthused?

Green Lotus lined up keynote speakers from their organization: Bobby Sullivan talked about our auras in a non-squidgy way, Gwen Linden-Bruzek made my hair stand on end when she chanted at the beginning of her talk on the fascinating Ayurvedic lifestyle, and Dr. Ronda Diegel educated us on the Enneagram, a way to map out your personality.

Then we attended breakout sessions with each of the keynote speakers to get a little more personalized info.

A few things I learned: My aura is completely red! My first reaction was a little bit of "Am I not more complex than this?" But Bobby assured me this is because I’m pregnant and all my energy is emanating from my root chakra (located in your solar plexus and associated with the color red).

“If you were blue or green, I’d be a little nervous,” he told me. If you look closely, you can see two rings of the red aura, one around my head and one around my belly! I tend to trust Bobby—he’s no slick psychic type, and he studied with the well-respected Echo Bodine. He also predicted my daughter would be a very sensitive child, but a sparkplug. “You’ll have your hands full,” he told me. And, he predicts her birthdate will be February 3. (I’m technically due January 29.) We’ll see what happens!

After meeting with Gwen—who I immediately liked—she informed me that I was one of the first “tri-doshic” people she’s met in a long time. Meaning, I have aspects to my health and personality that fall into each of the main Ayurvedic doshas, or types. I’m kaphic (Earth), because I’m all Earth Mama right now, but I also have aspects of Pitta (fire) and Vata (water) to me. It doesn’t make me extra special, just complicated! That might explain my crazy food cravings (honeycrisp apples and Chewy Sprees), eh? I can’t wait to meet with her after the baby comes to learn about who I am once I’m not actually physically connected to the baby.

Sunday morning, we woke early to get to our morning yoga. I’m up a few pounds, my belly makes me ungainly, and I haven’t done much yoga since getting pregnant. I’d never done yoga with Green Lotus. It could be easy, it could be triple-plus hard. I was a little nervous. But one glance at that gorgeous Gull Lake as the sun rose, and a few stretches in, I was feeling great. It helped that Merry Beth Hovey was teaching—she has an easy, calming demeanor, and gave me some tips for my “bambino.” I’ve done a lot of yoga at a lot of places, and I can wholeheartedly recommend a class with her.

We also tested out the benefits of aromatherapy and acupuncture. Aaaah. When do you get an afternoon to lie around and soak up the atmosphere and think about getting to know yourself better and treating yourself better as a result? For me, that’s never. It was SO needed. I could see the changes in the other women in the group as the weekend wore on, and I think we were all a little reluctant to leave the lovely buffet breakfast table on Sunday after class.

Here's Cindy and I, just hanging on to the om of the moment for a little while longer.

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