Yes, that is indeed a big fat sigh of relief after a much needed week in Tulum, Mexico for a yoga retreat. Its a relaxing ahhh followed by a grounding and centering OM. I packed my bags and headed back across the Atlantic for a week-long focus on my well-being with Sadie Nardini, an experience that has most definitely recentered me after almost 3 years of full time baby-ing.
Tearing myself away from Nash was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We celebrated his second birthday on Saturday in Lausanne with a whole herd of our family and friends in tow. Nash didn’t really get that all the hoop-la was, in fact, for him until the birthday song was sung and everyone in the room was fixated in his direction. And this is a photo of the realization that, aha! I am the center of attention… this is all about ME!
The cutest part of the party was the gift ‘ceremony.’ The organizer of the event pulled two little rattan chairs out, and sat Nash down in one of them. (I was shocked that he sat still long enough for this to ensue.) One by one, each child, or pair of siblings, came and sat in the chair as Nash opened the present from them and then promptly said, “Merci.” It was adorable, and surprisingly, only one of the children tried to reclaim her gift! Nash loved the party, especially the gifts, and the joy in his eyes abated my guilt if at least only temporarily.
By the afternoon that day, I was a complete wreck. Crying at the drop of a hat at the thought of leaving Nash and flying to Mexico, my anxiety peaked that night as I tried reading a story through sobs. Nash never even batted an eye. During the week with me gone, he took everything in stride, even when we saw each other on Skype. He stayed with Fred’s mother, which is just around the corner from Fred’s office, so it turned out very well for all involved. This was also a big deal for Fred’s family as it was their first time having Nash all to themselves without me hovering about, so needless to say, last week was monumental for many reasons and for many people!
As hard as it was to leave, I knew that it was necessary. I had both positive and negative feedback before I left and somehow, it didn’t matter. It was simply something that I knew had to happen. So, early Sunday morning I boarded that plane and headed out, stopping along the way to meet newborn baby Stella, the daughter of one of my favorite people (Heather) in Miami during a layover. (Beautiful! Such a poetic beginning to this amazing experience.)
My arrival in Tulum was very late, and I was deliriously tired, so I didn’t have a chance to check anything out at all. The only thing I did notice, slipping into the oblivion of unconsciousness was that the ocean was washing up on the shore right outside my open window. I took my shoes off and only put them back on again for bike rides to Mayan ruins, fish tacos, and an amazing swim in a ‘sweet water’ cenote just down the road from our eco-bungalow (no-paper-in-the-toilet-eco, whoa!)
The week was spent pondering yogic concepts that cannot help but bring one back to that space deep inside the heart where joy, integrity and love reside. It was such a peaceful passage of six days, I hardly even saw them go by. Caribbean Sea fish on the plate caught that day, mango margarita’s, fish tacos with pickled onions and a simple sliver of avocado wrapped in homemade tortillas, pico de gallo on everything … fresh, local, delicious, and I didn’t have to lift a finger.
Right now as I sit trying to paint a picture of this week of intense thinking, practicing and relaxing, I realize that so much of what I lived is impossible to put into words. The quiet talks with strangers who became dear friends within the quick passage of time spent in Tulum, the silent walks for hours on the beach, scribbling words to myself about life, love, patience, respect, generosity, gratefulness and *astonishment* in my little black journal and then laughing with my new friends at the frivolity of all of those exact concepts in a mango margarita hum, Mayan healers and their magic ways…. all of it seems like this surreal memory that I only have to mull over in my mind now. And yet, enshrouded in this haze of post-retreat bliss, I am a better me. And that was the point exactly.