Last year I hosted my first oceanfront retreat in Panama City Beach FL. Hosting an oceanfront retreat was truly a bucket list item for me. The ocean has always had such a special place in my heart, growing up I spent all of my school vacations at the beach and when I registered for my Yoga Teacher Training program the oceanfront setting was a strong factor in the school that I chose. When I hosted the Panama City Retreat last year, it didn't exactly go the way I had envisioned my first oceanfront experience would go but it was here that I truly began to discover that things are often working out better than how I envision them. Today almost two years later, I want to share some of the profound insights that flowed to me during that retreat.
Lesson 1: Life Rarely Goes as Planned but Always Goes as It's Meant to
In the lead-up to this retreat, I had meticulously crafted a vision of how every detail would fall into place. In full transparency, this had been the first retreat that I offered that did not sell out. When presented with an opportunity to have a more intimate experience, it wasn't at all what I planned but it was EXACTLY what was meant to happen. In this experience I learned that life often delights in surprising us with twists and turns. What I've come to realize is that these deviations from our plans are often the universe's way of guiding us towards more meaningful experiences that serve a higher purpose.
Lesson 2: Every shell on the beach is unique but exciting and valuable just like every person and situation in your life
As I walked the shoreline each morning during this retreat, I couldn't help but be captivated by the myriad of seashells scattered along the beach. Each one was a distinct work of art, bearing its own story and identity. In much the same way, every person and situation in our lives is wonderfully unique. Not every shell that I found fit the bill of what a sea shell is "supposed to" be like but each one added value to my life in that moment. There's beauty in embracing the diversity that surrounds us.
Lesson 3: With space and trust you always find what you're looking for
Often, we find ourselves searching frantically for specific outcomes in life, not realizing that surrendering to "what is" can lead to extraordinary discoveries. Just as the ocean's tides brought treasures to the shore, I had to learn to trust that what I was seeking would arrive in divine timing, not necessarily when I expect it to.
Lesson 4: Always be open to what is of your highest good
Our desires sometimes obscure our perception of what truly serves our highest good. In life we must learn to let go of what we "think" we need and be open to what we "actually" need instead. By staying open to unexpected opportunities and experiences, we create space for life's serendipities to unfold before our own eyes.
Lesson 5: Your Power is in Your Presence
Our power lies in the present moment. It's where our past choices have led us and where our future creations begin. Embracing the now allows us to access our inner strength and intuition. By ruminating on the past and worrying about the future we miss all of the beauty that the present moment has to offer,
Lesson 6: Always trust that you will end up in the right place at the right time
We sometimes have this idea that by the age of, 18, you should graduate from high school. And by the time you're 22, you should have a bachelor's degree or a career or a family. There's a list of rules that society has taught us about the timing of our lives. Because our timing often differs from others, it can feel like we're not on the right path which can feel very discouraging. There were times in my life where I felt like I should have been farther along but in learning to trust in my own timing my fears started to disappear. This lesson came to me as I watched the waves crash on the shore depositing shells at my feet, I was delighted to find a variety of treasures with each walk I took. What I realized was if I had taken my walk even a moment sooner or a moment later I would have missed entirely what was gifted to me in each moment. And so we have to trust that we're always going to be in the right place at the right time and try not to force anything.
Lesson 7: If you take a look around you, there is magic
When we offer ourselves the opportunity to truly be present in life and to witness all of the greatness that we are blessed with, the magic of our lives becomes real. Nature, with its boundless beauty, serves as a reminder that enchantment exists all around us.
Lesson 8: Perfection doesn't exist. There's beauty in the imperfect. Imperfection is truly perfect in it's own unique way
Perfection is an elusive concept. Each shell I discovered on this retreat had its own unique imperfections, making them even more enchanting. Similarly, in life, imperfection holds its own charm and beauty. It's what makes us who we are, at our core. It's what makes us so unique and valuable as human beings.
Lesson 9: There's gonna be highs and there's gonna be lows. You can't control it so just let it flow.
Life is a river of highs and lows, similarly to the ebb and flow of ocean tides. We must learn to embrace both the peaks and valleys, they are essential elements of our journey.
As I prepare to host another oceanfront retreat in February, these lessons remind me of the magic inherent in life's unpredictability. Trust the process, stay present, and remember that even when life doesn't follow your plans, it unfolds exactly as it's meant to.
I invite you to join me on this upcoming journey of self-discovery and connection. As we explore life's magic, we'll uncover the extraordinary in the ordinary and embrace the natural flow of our existence.
May you find inspiration and insight in these lessons from the ocean, and may your path be filled with magic and wonder. Until next time, keep flowing with the currents of life.