This past weekend, I went on my first retreat. It was an "Inner Goddess Retreat" run by Celeste Du Toit (yay, my first namesake friend).
I was having probably the worst week of my entire life last week, when this popped up on Facebook. It was exactly what I needed in that moment. A flicker of hope that everything would be okay. I booked, paid, packed my bags, stocked up on roadtrip munchies, loaded the car with good music and off I went. All on my own. This was my experience.
Melody Hill - Magaliesburg
My nerves about going on my own faded along the drive. I was just relieved to be getting out into nature and out of Johannesburg.
Melody Hills Retreat, “A Place to Listen to Your Soul”, was super easy to find. I arrived and was warmly welcomed with hugs by Celeste Du Toit of Yes Paradigm, the beautiful lady who was running the retreat. Then we had some free time for a couple of hours.
I absolutely adored my room! Just look at how serene and lovely it is:
I shared with a very sweet girl and we ended up being the perfect roomies, doing our own thing while still being in each other’s company.
The rest of the venue was also gorgeous.
Outdoors was a little less green due to it being winter, but the beauty of the place still stood out and the relaxing energy was unmistakable.
The inside of the house was absolutely charming:
The décor was beautifully full of character and the moment I walked in I felt more relaxed.
The aim of the weekend was to allow the birth of a new self; a journey to “discover, learn and enjoy”.
There were nine beautiful feminine souls attending, every person was so special in their own way. We really had an amazing group.
We discussed and went through interesting topics such as how the lunar cycles affect women differently to men. We have 11 cycles in a month, whereas men have only one. Hence our changing our minds more often and having more mood swings ;)
We did some meditation. We shared our stories, laughed, learned, cried and came to a lot of realizations. We worked on self-love and empowering ourselves. We discussed a few of the Greek Goddesses and their attributes.
We also went on a personal walk in the Labyrinth, something which I had never done before, but I absolutely adored it. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Along your walk things will come to mind and it's all part of the process. You look at the thought and then walk on to the next one.
It was all very inspiring and motivating.
Over the weekend, Celeste encouraged us to feel our emotions instead of trying to run from them. To let the pain in and just go through the flow. Everything is as it is meant to be at all times.
We had a lot of alone time to relax, unwind and just to go through our own thoughts. It was nice being alone while being surrounded with awesome people at the same time.
In terms of food. Mmm... I really cannot do the food the justice it deserves. It was AMAZING. We were completely spoiled with delicious vegan food and everyone kept saying they couldn’t believe how unbelievably tasty it was without any meat. We had lasagne, shepherd’s pie, yummy salads and fresh vegetables (which were home-grown). We also had home-made chai tea, which is officially the most scrumptious tea I’ve ever had - I bought some to take home and I still can't get enough of it. I only have a very small tub so I am going to have to learn how to make it soon :D
I am not actually sure what this was, but it was full of flavour:
On Saturday night we all met around the bonfire, armed with blankies and a piece of paper with things we wanted to let go of. One by one, we threw the piece of paper into the fire. This ceremony ended in a lot of hugs and was very special.
This write up won’t be complete without mentioning the fantastical Tejbir, the owner of Melody Hill and definitely one of the most spiritual and calm people I have ever met. Her glowing skin is attributed to using coconut or almond oils daily and having only cold showers! Yes, in winter too. She had such a relaxing and happy energy, she is such an inspiration.
Over the weekend, she treated us to an energy-awakening Kundalini Yoga class. This was extremely interesting for me, as I have only ever done my Hatha Yoga. On the last day she did a Gong Meditation for us and it was phenomenal. I haven’t experienced anything like it before. You feel the gong's vibrations run throughout your whole body. It affects people in different ways. Some people cry, some people sleep, some people run out of the room screaming. For me, I was just feeling intrigued and relaxed. I could get used to that as a regular practice... :)
Celeste Du Toit, owner at Yes Paradigm Transformation, is a wonderful person who I am so grateful to have had as my first retreat co-ordinator and teacher. You feel her light spirit and calming energy the moment you meet her. She is an NLP Practitioner, Reiki healer and does core regeneration, amongst other things.
She was just so perfect for this kind of retreat. She loves to go with the flow and she firmly believes that the right people end up at each of her retreats. After being on this one, I believe her. I would highly recommend you go on one with her, you won’t be disappointed. I also had a private session of NLP and a bit of Reiki with her and it really helped. I also learned that my Solar Plexus Chakra is quite blocked and I need to work on getting that clear and balanced. Celeste and I got on very well and I know I'll be seeing her again someday on a workshop or retreat.
The weekend was exactly what I needed. I am so grateful that I came upon it when I did and that I took the plunge into going last minute and by myself. It has helped me stay positive, inspired me to find my joy again and it has given me the assurance that everything will be okay.
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