The real problem
How did we forget to just BE? How did vacationing turn into more ways we abuse and overstimulate ourselves? After a recent read of How Much is Enough, the authors refer to John Keynes famous economic essay from the 1930s that (wrongly) predicted after the Industrial Revolution man would move to a four-hour work week. But he (correctly) predicted that man would be faced with his real dilemma: What to do with his leisure time?
Abuse and addiction are labels many of us distance ourselves from. But without the labels we can recognize them in their many forms: The way our inner voice incessantly criticizes us, the way we eat or don’t eat nourishing foods or control our diets. Addiction can include over-stimulating with caffeine or busying ourselves with endless plans and to do lists. If we constantly busy or numb ourselves in our free time we never have to face up to the fact that we may not be living our best life.
Brene Brown says, “Numbing vulnerability also dulls our experience of love, joy, belonging, creativity, and empathy. We can’t selectively numb emotion. Numb the dark and you numb the light.”
Sober curious founder Ruby Warrington shares, “What I’ve realized is that while I was drinking regularly (meaning 3–4 times per week, like most people I knew), I was living with constant low-level anxiety that the fake alcohol ‘high’ simply numbed out for a few hours. Without alcohol in my system, I am able to feel everything, all the time, and this actually means many more ‘ups and downs’ — the ups being sustainable and genuine, and the downs being so much more short-lived and easier to handle.”
Maybe our life really does suck. But we can’t be present to follow the path to better our life when we’re drunk, high, over-caffeinated or running from one plan to another.
So why do we care?
In all of these retreats our guests left with smiles on their faces and even left us glowing reviews. Many of them did Discover and Feel the Azores and many had positive transformational life experiences. Nothing on our property was broken or damaged (other than the clogged toilet issue…) and so no harm, no foul, right?
Well actually NO. We put a LOT of intention into our property. We routinely hold ceremonies of gratitude and reflection. We set an altar for each group inviting in “good energies.” I put Reiki in the rooms before guests arrive to welcome them with good intentions. We are a sacred space. So making money off of people abusing themselves literally makes us sick to our stomach.
Maybe it’s because we live on-site and our center is also our home, but when people abuse themselves the pain reverberates through the property. We feel it.
And while we’re going on about the Amazon burning and Climate Change, did you ever stop to think that the way we treat ourselves directly affects the planet? Everything is connected. If you can drink a bottle of wine a night whatever self-hatred or lack of self-care reverberates down to how we treat Mama Earth.
So let’s embrace the light. Let’s embrace the truth of our addictions and on retreat let’s nourish our mind, body and spirit so we can safely go deeper and face the challenges, fears and pain that nudge us toward addiction.
As Yoga or Retreat Leaders let’s set the tone of our retreats. Let’s be clear on our intentions. Let us lead with love but not turn a blind eye when we see our participants’ retreat behavior out of line with our ethos for self-care. We can enjoy a glass of wine and savor it with our farm-to-table meal. We can also go to bed rested and fresh for the day of adventure and exploration ahead.
- Yoga Azores is an official underwriter of the Azores Sustainable Tourism Charter and has committed to sustainable development tourism goals (see quinta minuvida in charter for goals)
- We are committed to carbon offsetting our annual business footprint and retreats in the form of tree planting in the Azores. Join a carbon offset event COMING SOON
- Our retreats use local products, many of them purchased directly from local farmers co-ops. We encourage energy and resource conservation. We encourage and highlight educational experiences over luxury and indulgence. We organize group transport to minimize individual vehicle use. We work with local partners who follow environmental best practices.
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minuvida azores experiences (nº 1/2019/RAA))
quinta minuvida orchard lodge (RRAL nº 475)
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