After a challenging twenty-seventh year, I wanted to kick off twenty-eight doing something completely for myself. The three things in my life that make me feel most grounded are yoga, raw food, and alone time, so my goal was to plan a trip that would incorporate all three.
For several weeks I Googled around, researched my options, and created a budget. There were times when I felt overwhelmed and thought maybe I would call the whole thing off, but I had a couple of good friends checking in on my plans and encouraging me to book something without over thinking it.
I finally came across Hacienda Del Sol in San Juanillo, Costa Rica. The moment I saw “Raw Food and Yoga Retreat” and caught a glimpse of the menu, I was sold.
I stayed at Hacienda Del Sol from August 3rd to August 10th. While I was there, I tried to remain mindful of how I was spending my time, being sure I was doing exactly what I wanted. My days were filled with reading, journaling, yoga practice, lounging, napping, hiking, eating/drinking juice, chatting with new friends, listening to podcasts, and I even treated myself to a Thai oil massage.
I did a lot of growing over the past year, and being able to step back for a few days gave me a chance to reflect on some of the important lessons I have learned. I could write a blog about what I did for the 7 days I spent in San Juanillo, but I would prefer to keep the details of the experience as my own, and instead share some of the things I meditated on while I was there.
- Remove negativity from your life. When something is no longer serving you, let it go. It doesn’t mean the thing you’re leaving behind is necessarily “bad”, it just means it’s not meant for you.
- Be genuine. I learned the hard way that if I am not being my authentic self, my entire life becomes unbalanced. Being genuine may sometimes mean you have to say or do things that upset other people, but that doesn’t make you rude or selfish. It’s okay to put your needs first.
- Mental health should always be a top priority. Find a good therapist that you connect with (it may take time), and work through your shit.
- Own your pain. Admitting you are hurt does not make you any less strong. When you are going through a hard time, people will often say,“But you’re so strong- you will get through this”. While that is true, it’s also okay to say, “Yes, but I’m hurting right now.” Your darkness is as much a part of you as your light, and it is not something to fear, shame, or dismiss.
- Balance. Your relationships, your work, your hobbies, your life. It is never fair to rely heavily on one person or one area of your life, but more importantly, it’s not fair to yourself.
Would I recommend Hacienda Del Sol? Absolutely. But more than that, I would recommend finding a retreat, vacation, or activity that is fitting for YOU. My retreat was the best birthday gift, because it was made up of all the things I love the most, and because I got it for myself.
I have been obsessed with filming and editing videos since I was a kid recording pretend “talk shows” in my living room. I went to Costa Rica without a camera on purpose so I wouldn’t feel obligated to capture anything and so I could try to fully embrace each moment. While I was there, I was reminded that being creative is a part of me, and documenting things from my perspective is my favorite way of expressing myself. I was only able to capture a few clips on my iPhone, so I created a short montage to remember my time at Hacienda Del Sol.