This is me, excited.

Today I want to talk about the Picking Up the Pieces Retreat. I don’t know if you’ve read the retreat page yet but here’s what I’ve realized: my inherent strengths do not lie in writing great copy like the Kelly Diels, Alexandra Franzens and Pema Teeters of the world.

So I’m going to take a few moments and tell you why I am over-the-moon excited about this retreat.

1. The food. Perhaps not what I should lead with but really, when I’m going somewhere for 4 days and have to eat what’s put in front of me,  I want to know it’s going to be good. It’s going to be good. I’ve been drooling since Patricia gave me her menu ideas. It’s also going to be healthy, because what goes into our bodies has a direct effect on how we feel and what we think. I was one of those “yeah, yeah, I know” people whenever someone said that to me until I had to kiss sugar goodbye and realized how much more emotionally stable I am without it.  We also get to spend one evening making our food together, with Patricia guiding us and sharing some of her vast knowledge on how to eat joyfully and healthfully. Personally I love the camaraderie of cooking together so this will be a highlight for me. (Special note: the retreat center is meat-free and booze-free – you’ve been warned)

2. The workshops. Everything that we will be doing has changed my life in a profound way. I won’t go into all of them here but there are a few I can’t keep quiet about.

2a) I don’t fully understand the science behind sound healing but having been through Sat Nishan Kaur’s Spirit Songs workshop twice, I know it accesses something primal. I sobbed my way through the first one and that was before Ben died. Both times I’ve walked away feeling deeply connected to myself and as though my body and spirit were cleansed. This is not about making pretty sounds – it’s about singing from your soul.

2b) The Body Speaks is a combination of my experience as a professional dancer, my extensive training in physical theater and my knowledge of the body as a storehouse for memory and emotion. We are going to move, explore, dance and release what we no longer want and need. I’m going to teach you how to do it on your own too, because no matter how big your internal shift is at the retreat, the work will continue once you’re home. Absolutely no dance, movement or acting experience required – all you need is a body and the willingness to be present with whatever shows up.

2c) After Ben died, I felt like my outside no longer matched who I was on the inside. I had the added challenge of 50+ pounds to lose but I think most grieving people go through a time where they see a stranger when they look in the mirror. I knew I wanted to bring a personal stylist in for the retreat, but I wanted one who worked from the inside out, who could take a look at a woman and see into her soul. Catherine Cassidy came highly recommended and when I saw she was Christine Kane‘s personal stylist I knew I was on the right track. I recently had a chance to work with her on my wardrobe and was blown away by what I came away with in an hour and a half. Unassuming and kind, Catherine took my personal style and made it better – more polished, more interesting, more me. This one’s going to be FUN.

2d) One of the healing modalities I have found most helpful since Ben’s death is essential oils. Again, I don’t understand the why behind it, but that’s why Elizabeth Reynolds, founder of Crown Chakra Cafe, is coming to work with us. I’ve been using her Chakra healing set for the last 4 months and the effects have been both subtle and magical. I can only describe it as both a knitting together and an opening up of my soul. I feel stronger, better able to handle life’s buffeting winds while also feeling more in tune with my intuition, and more compassionate toward myself and others. Elizabeth will be sharing her knowledge and her oils with us – I am thrilled to be able to share her with you.

3. Daily Kundalini Yoga. This practice has changed my life. It grounds me. It’s the best high I’ve ever had.* It makes the world look brighter. It kicks my butt. Enough said.

4. Reiki. If you’ve never experienced a Reiki healing you are in for a treat. It’s deceptively gentle and profoundly relaxing. It works on many levels – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual, independently of any other faith or belief system you may have. I was convinced of its power in the last weeks of my pregnancy with Ben. My friend and Reiki Master would come to the house and within a day and a half of her treating me, my bleeding would stop. She was a busy mom so I didn’t ask her to come more often than once a week and the bleeding would start again a few days after it stopped. I still believe (though I no longer feel pain around it) that if I’d had Reiki more often, Ben might have lived.

There is more I want to tell you. I’m practically bouncing up and down in my seat. I’ll leave it for now with one request – if you’re feeling drawn to come and the only thing stopping you is finances, please email me and let’s talk. (Head over to the Retreat page for more details and cost)

* When Yogi Bhajan first brought Kundalini Yoga to the US from India in 1969, his first devotees were young hippies who discovered they could experience higher consciousness without drugs.

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3 Responses to This is me, excited.

  1. Roos says:

    Alana,
    How on earth did you pull this off? AMAZING!!!
    I especially like the idea of the stylist: with all the focus on the mental and physical part, it’s so refreshing to ‘simply’ think about how you look.
    Wish wish wish I could come……..

  2. pamela says:

    I am still astounded that you are doing this a year after your son died. Not only that, it sounds sensational!!! I am so proud to know you. I am just so inspired by you. The work you have done here has changed my life as well. Thank you for talking about self-care the way you do and providing clear steps and emphasizing the necessity. I bow to you.

  3. Christa says:

    And this, on the heels of your incredible ebook! Wish I could be there, if only to bow along with Pamela. This will be so good for so many…

    XOXO

    C

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