I am getting geeked dreaming and planning my Greek Island Yoga Retreat this fall. The theme of this retreat cultivating the mind-state of abundance and tasting the richness of life available to us in each moment. Lately, I’ve been super inspired by the following quote:
This pretty much sums up what your experience of life will be like on the Greek Island of Santorini. Santorini, affectionately called Kállisti, “The Loveliest,” in ancient times, is the gem of the Aegean and a place where the abundance of beautiful beaches, ancient history, charming villages and breathtaking views all become within your reach.
Those of you who know me, know that I’m really into yoga nidra and guided imagery as a means to relax into new ways to living and being. So I’m going to break this down guided visualization-style on why you should join me for a retreat on the most extraordinary island in the Aegean. Sit back, relax and let yourself be swept away to the stunning and spine-tingling beauty of Greece:
Take a moment out of your day and let your body become easeful and your breath rhythmic like waves of the sea. Now picture yourself stepping away from your desk, away from your routine, your commitments and all the lingering worries and anxieties attached to these tasks. Feel yourself become lighter and freer as you unchain yourself from the illusion of stale obligations, overstretched schedules and limited resources. With each effortless breath, feel your sense of awareness gently shift over from one of lack and scarcity to one of possibility and abundance.
Come to the edge.
Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Feel yourself emerge now into an entirely new place. Steep cliffs. Sparkling sapphire waters. Crystalline, sun-drenched beaches. Sensational sunsets beaming on dazzling white towns. Fascinating excavations. Red, ancient earth.
You are on the caldera of the most beautiful island in the Cyclades, one of the world’s truly most breathtaking sights. You are perched on the rim of a crescent of cliffs rising a thousand feet up, surrounded by white-washed domes, inky blue sea, colorful earth and picturesque towns. In this unparalleled beauty, you feel an immense feeling of gratitude, a rising of energy, an outpouring of love filling you from the idyllic and endless sky.
You feel a deep sense of affirmation that this is where you need to be. You have been living a fast-paced life with little time or nurturance for yourself and now you are ready to make a shift. You know you are worthy and deserving of this shift. You are ready to learn, grow, expand and experience new territory — both within yourself and out in the world. You are ready to see differently, to gain new perspective into yourself, your relationships, your purpose and your next step.
You invest yourself here for the next 7 days to steep and explore in this new, life-giving energy. You dedicate yourself to a daily practice of yoga and meditation to support you in your endeavor to unearth new possibilities for yourself. You greet each day with stunning views of the caldera, steeped in the awareness and plentitude of the present moment.
Taste life to the fullest.
After your morning practice, you begin to walk through the winding, rustic paths of Oia, the Aegean’s most photographed village, esteemed for having the most famous sunsets in the world. You are enamored by the blue and white Cycladic design, bright flowers, quaint cafes and folkloric shops. You walk by carts of colorful produce. Donkeys adorned with flowers. Warm exchanges between locals. Shop owners greet you with a smile as you pass by. Your senses come alive in this symphony of new sights, sounds, tastes and smells.
You decide it’s time to stop holding back, to stop playing small. Life is beautiful and too short for guilt and self-deprivation. You decide it’s time to feed your senses with the utmost abandon and indulge pleasure for pleasure’s sake.
See yourself nested on the pavilion of charming cafe, overlooking the hustle and bustle of local life, the sea and caldera in your backdrop. You are sharing a platter of mezedes — typical Greek small plates — with a few travelers who’ve joined you at your table. Rich fava dip. Eggplant stuffed with feta. Santorini’s famous tomato fritters. Three-fish carpaccio with olive oil, lemon and arugula. Lamb stewed in wine and herbs. You end your meal with honey-glazed baklava and chocolate mousse garnished with caramelized pistachios and rose-petal preserves. You relax there into the evening with your new friends tasting the new season’s vintages — sweet, crisp whites and rosés — sipped with lots of laughter, watching the sunset while perched atop a majestic cliff. You feel alive in ways you’ve never tasted before.
In this new surge of energy, you feel an enthusiasm for life emerge that pulls you outside your comfort zone. Suddenly, you crave to fully immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring sights and natural wonders around you. You begin to fill your days with exciting adventures that both delight and challenge you.
See yourself sea-kayaking in open waters, cave-snorkling beneath ancient rock, hiking through the ruins of a Venetian castle or to the top of the island’s active volcano, Nea Kameni. Feel the heat seep out of the ground beneath your feet. Cool off in the calming waters of Santorini’s unique red and black beaches. End your afternoon sailing along the Aegean, watching dramatic landscapes unfold before you.
Let yourself be romanced.
You spend your late evenings walking the moon-lit paths of Oia, listening to the sound of ocean waves caressing the rugged shore. Foreign newlyweds and local couples pass by arm-in-arm and you feel fed by the love between strangers. For the first time, in a long time, you have enough love and appreciation for yourself that you feel no need to look elsewhere or to others. You feel fed. Joyful. Without lack.
You come across an open space and lay down on the ground, gazing into the starlit sky. With the warm breeze on your skin and the earth as your spine, you are amazed by the way life has opened to you, meeting you in this place with infinite abundance and boundless love.
From lack to abundance.
Although it is time to return home now, you know on a deep level that you can never go back. You can never go back to a life led by lack, scarcity and deprivation. You can never go back to a life built on fear-based choices, lifeless obligation or settling for less than you deserve. And you know this because you have discovered, in your mindfulness practices and in the endless beauty of this place, that true abundance is a state of mind. And that it cannot be lost, taken or bestowed on you. You have learned that, through a simple shift in perception, you can bring a consciousness of abundance to everything in your life.
Ready for life to take your damn breath away and restore you back to your natural inheritance of abundance?
Join me for a post-summer getaway, September 28th-October 4th, 2015. It is easy to let the obligations, bills and due dates of life cloud the very real and easy choice to break out of the mold and invest wildly in yourself and the life you deserve. I'm going to make it easier for you to take the plunge. The next 2 sign-ups will receive $200 off your total retreat price, making it only $300 to reserve your spot to one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Only 4 spots left! Lean into your longing and take action to support your deepest desires and intentions. To register, click here or email Jessica and begin the conversation. To view more details and pricing, visit the website here. Promo code: TAKEMYBREATHAWAY.
Can't wait to steep in abundance with you!