Do you ever have those moments where you wake up and think, “wait… did that just happen? Is it over?" We feel this way after major life events- weddings, big birthdays, vacations- or little sparks of magic that burst inside of the every day.
I feel like I have that sensation more and more as my heart is cracked open and I become aware of all the beauty life holds. I had that familiar feeling just the other day laying by the pool at the Oasis in Ojai seconds after everyone left the house. I had it this morning when I opened my eyes in my own bed… even now I shake my head and think… “wait… how is it already over? Did it really happen? How is that possible?”
This past ‘weekend’ I had the honor of attending and working on a retreat hosted by Amy Tangerine and facilitated by my dear friend Kara Elise- two of the most incredible women on the planet I am convinced. Going into the retreat I had little to no idea of what to expect. All I knew was Kara was doing the food, we were going to stay at this insane house in Ojai (which is my happy place anyways) and that I was (technically) there to do AromaTouch for a group of women who were coming together for the Craft A Life You Love Retreat. Oh… and did I mention that most of the other women are professional PLANNERS and SCRAPBOOKERS!?!? I 1000% chose the wrong career.
When Kara reached out about coming to do AromaTouch I said yes- without hesitation- YES. It turns out, every woman in attendance had the same reaction when they were invited to the event… which says something pretty powerful don’t you think? The crazy thing is, we are all SO different and yet the same. We all made each other laugh and cry about a thousand times in the two days we shared together- a reminder that it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you ‘are' as long as you bring all that you ARE in and remain open.
The magic began the moment Kara and I arrived at the house. We got there a day early to get things ready, pack swag bags, sit by the pool (because we knew we would be busy during the retreat itself) and relax before everyone else arrived… I mean, can you blame us? Its Ojai and the house IS an Oasis after all. ANYWAYS- that part doesn’t really matter all that much… what blows my mind are the days that followed.
We relaxed together, crafted together, wined and dined with one another, had workshops and reflections…
Amy brought her power, her vision and creativity to the table. She taught us to let go of our desire for perfection, to embrace our mistakes (because there is a sticker for that… OBVIOUSLY) and reminded us that we can do absolutely anything we want, we can truly Craft A Life (we) You Love (gotta keep it on brand guys, come on).
Kara nourished us body and soul with her insanely yummy food and insanely deep table questions. At dinner the first night we all answered the question, “What are you savoring in life right now? Or what do you wish that you were savoring”, the second night at dinner she asked, “What is one quality you love about yourself? Once you answer turn to the woman on your left and tell her one quality you have seen in her this ‘weekend’” … So good right? Don’t worry she will be publishing a deck of Table Question Cards soon! On our final day Kara lead us through a workshop around the word HALT, which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired… the things you need to think about anytime you feel anxious or stressed. We also talked about the Enneagram with our Fears and Drivers and how our greatest weakness is often our greatest strength (this will be talked about more in a later post, I promise).
Kara B. (literally her last names starts with a B, I’m not rating her, don’t be rude) gave us LIFE. Her humor, her presence, her light. I have a feeling she doesn’t even know how radiant of a human she is- Kara, you are RADIANT… you are amazing and fun, funny and a gift to all who know you- Also, she makes donuts for a living so maybe that has something to do with how magical she is.
Stacy… UGH I want you all to know her! I am adopting her and keeping her forever. She is the most incredible, humble, wise and wonder-filled woman. She lead us through a workshop on the stories we love. How we can take a picture and go through the ‘facts’ or choose to remember and capture its story. A memory is so much more than the date, time, and location… it is the feelings, the smells, the sensation, the emotions, the environment, and so much more. She encouraged us to take a moment and look at a random photo in our phone and really remember it. We all went around and told our stories with tears running down our faces, which was wild because the photos on their own weren’t the MOST emotive, but in their stories they came alive. Do yourself a favor and listen to her podcast… it will make your life better, I promise.
Hannah helped us balance our indulging with yummy yoga flows and her posing on the watermelon floaty in the pool gave us all life!
Alisha captured the ‘weekend’ with her camera and curiosity. Also she is just amazing in general… so there was that.
Kaylas steadfast spirit and presence were a beautiful tether for us all. I left the weekend needing to know SO much more about her but feeling connected all the same.
Stephanie taught us about strength, beauty, embracing life, and what it means to create something special out of something ‘ordinary’… She also taught us a lesson on what happiness is, it is simple and found in the unexpected… like in a ‘planner’…I am 1000% going to move into The Happy Planner studios now by the way, if you are looking for me that is where I will be- up to my elbows in stickers and planner pages (it’s definitely a cult and I am joining!).
Oh, AND I had the honor of slathering them all in oil and working with their energy (one at a time, totally rated G, don’t worry). It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it! GUH- All the feels.
The reason this retreat was so special was that we all showed up. We brought our ‘ness’, we took out time from our every day lives to learn from one another, listen and speak over each other. To nourish and be nourished. As Kara likes to say we ‘took our seat at the table’ and as Amy likes to say, we ‘savored’ every moment.
Do yourself a favor, take a second and look up each of these incredible women, they are inspiring and will bring joy to your life. The end.
P.S. I kept using the term ‘weekend’ because the retreat was Monday-Wednesday… but we all referred to it as a weekend the WHOLE time… you just can’t help it when you are at a place like the Oasis, it always feels like a weekend there I am pretty sure.