One of the hardest, but most rewarding things for me was not using my phone and leaving it in a basket for the duration of the day. As I've mentioned before I am constantly on my phone, updating social media, texting friends, but all of those things are just SO draining. By putting my phone down I was able to actually enjoy the fabulous people I had in front of me and bond with them, rather than hiding behind a phone screen 24/7. At first it was hard, I really wanted to read my texts and check my Facebook, but then I would walk by my phone, see some texts, and not even care what they said. I was enjoying living in the present moment so much that I didn't want to be in the social media world. We discussed putting time into your day where you ditch the phone, and just be where you are. Whether you want to read, write, hangout with some friends, paint, whatever it may be, leave your phone elsewhere. Just by cutting back a little bit I felt like I had control over my phone and not the other way around. Phones are obviously an amazing way to keep in touch, but sometimes you can experience the most wonderful things by looking up from that little screen.
I know you've probably heard the cheesy saying "laugh until you cry", but honestly I forgot just how important it was. I laugh a lot on a daily basis, but this weekend reminded me that laughter truly is the best medicine. I was surrounded by a group of hysterical ladies who made me laugh until tears formed in my eyes and I couldn't breathe. It made me realize that there are good people out there, you just have to find them. It was the most refreshing thing to be able to be open and be yourself without fear of judgement, it's so rare that you can find that these days. Most people are just curious, but if you are lucky you will find people who truly care. I was overwhelmed by the love and support I experienced this weekend. I noticed such a shift in my mood because I was simply surrounded by a group of genuine people. It made me reflect upon the relationships in my life and notice which ones were serving me no good. Don't waste your time in relationships that drain you, focus on the ones that energize you.
I could write a book about the lessons I learned from the retreat, and the amazing time I had, but there's one last thing I thought was really important to share. I've written a post about it before, but I feel like it needs a second mention. This weekend I learned how to really let go. To let go of the negative relationships, and let go of the thoughts that tell you you aren't good enough, let go of everything that hinders your life. And I also realized there were things I needed to let go of, but I'm not ready to do that yet, and that's okay too. It's not easy, but it's worth it. Just by simply writing down what I wanted to let go and burning it, I felt a huge release and I no longer carry that around with me. We can't change the past or worry about the future, so just let it all go.
My heart is truly full after this weekend and honestly words cannot do it justice. Signing up for this retreat was WAY out of my comfort zone, but I could not be happier I decided to take that leap. All the magic happens outside your comfort zone. The friendships I made and the lessons I learned are sure to last a lifetime.
Have you ever had a life changing experience?