May 8, 2011

Joy For Life Retreat - Part 1

Well it’s definatley been one busy week (evident in my lack of blogging) since returning from Tyalgum Ridge where I went to be a part of the Joy For Life retreat with the Boutenko’s - Victoria, Valya and Sergei. Three of the most beautiful individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet and spend time with.

I took a week off "life" -
wow that already sounds strange. And that feels like the total opposite of what I did.
Whilst I was away on retreat I could say that I was IN LIFE more so then I am when I am in Sydney. Not away from it. I was my true self there (and yep emotional and physical detox is all a part of the real me)... It makes me think about why people go away on retreat - to "get away from it all" I hear often. Get away from what exactly? The way we live our life everyday? Why would you want to get away from that? Why aren't we making our 'everyday' exactly the way we want too? Like we're away on retreat everyday? Why wait for one week of every year to eat well, rest lots, read, write, breathe, move... why not begin now and continue it each and everyday? Wow I've got emotion behind that I was unaware of...

I suppose things like retreats give us time to reconnect to what we want to be doing and incorporating and feeling in our everyday lives. I know it does for me. Even a day during my week to reconnect with what I want is enough. To connect with who I am. My values. Loves. Passions. An hour to do that is beneficial. But a whole week! WOW! So that was total luxury for me. Utter BLIS!

I tried to remember the last time I actually had “time off” from my beautiful daily grind and I think it was the week between Christmas and New Years. Since then I’ve been up early most mornings, off to the gym, then to work or to college, regular appointments with my kinesiologist, facialist, colonic hydrotherapists, the odd evening gym session, outdoor running, errands, study for college and online courses, multiple blogs and research, and ontop of all that there’s the usual female emotions running rampant we all love, spending time making smoothies and salads everyday, and wanting more time to experiment in the kitchen… attempting to keep the house clean, pay bills, do the shopping, quietening this beautiful mind that goes crazy every-now-and-then… oh the list could go on I’m sure you all know…

I'm totally aware that everything in my life is there due to a conscious decision I have made to have it there. So only I can complain that I have too much on. Funny thing is - I love it all. Every little bit of it! My only problem that I need to continually address (and thanks to the retreat I have been working on it ever since) is my need for, yet lack of, relaxation. A work in progress for a girl that thrives and loves being busy - or do I?

Ok enough rambling... the retreat... right... Joy For Life! Enough said. Victoia Boutenko (god love that woman) brought her nutrition and spiritual knowledge, along with many many stories, experiences, memories and love, providing about 70 of us with a detoxing regime of green smoothies 4 times a day all week. She teamed up with the fantabulous Tom Comptom who was facilitating The Work of Byron Katie for us and Wow! What a duo.
Having someone else prepare my (liquid) meals everyday for an entire week alone - omg TOTAL INDULGENCE! I can't tell you what that meant to me. Then team that up with intensive Byron Katie work that was life changing for me - I was destined to come out a changed woman! Add in morning yoga, barefoot running, nutrition talks, and more all in the quietest of green pastures up in Northern NSW… I was embarking on a trip to Heaven in my books.

I shared a room with these 3 amazing women I met on my way there and the 4 of us got on like a house on fire. Rosemary and Jain were like adopted mothers to Alex and I who immediatley clicked - it was love at first sight :) We shared our coconut oils, saponified olive oil toothpaste, pink pens, blankets, hugs, kisses, even hilarious failed attempt-enema stories (more about that later)!

The first few days away seemed to go very slowly (they always do on a detox don't they). At 8am, midday, 4pm and 8pm we were slurping down our calories in the form of GREEN SMOOTHIES! As much as we wanted! Victoria was busily and beautifully making our smoothies with her wonderful helpers each and everyday, transforming mounds of greens into delicious green smoothies that filled buckets and buckets and buckets...

We were sipping on multiple spinach varieties, sweet potato greens, parsley, kale, mint, dandelion, wheatgrass, bok choy, abeca, amaranth greens, sorrel, celery, basil, kang kong, curry leaf, silverbeet, cos, coriander, dill weed and more!

We gulped down sweet smoothies with fruit first thing in the morning and mid afternoon...

Savoury smoothies made with things like limes, avocadoes, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and of course LOADS of leafy greens for lunch time...

And oh-my-god-yum green puddings in the evenings. This was usually the highlight of the day! Made thick like pudding from psyllium husks or chia seeds - to ensure working order out the other end!

That's the incredible dragonfruit sliced and perched on each glass above, and below was the WOW triple-layered-coconut-kiwi mint-melon pudding with crimson red grapes and fresh mint!

I was LOVING the smoothies, feeling great, and had no detox symptoms to begin with - unlike most others suffering from headaches and skin eruptions. However my bowels didn't seem to be doing their job so well. They were on break too I suppose. And with the amount of water I was consuming in comparison to the amount of solids - it made sense that nothing happened for a short while. However the discomfort then set in and I wasn't such a happy chappy. Perfect timing of course as Victoria then let us know she had brought ENEMA BAGS from the USA for us (if we so felt inclined). OH yes please! As an advocate of regular colonics, but having never done my own enema, I was super duper excited!! Rosemary and Jain were also keen to give it a go, but Alex wasn't so sure.

I'll spare you all the minor details as much as I'd love too give you the nitty gritty... I did do my own enema once everyday (twice on one occasion when I felt horrible), and they were my little lifesaver. Aside from physically clearing me out it was my 15minutes of meditation all alone, me time, blissing out, whilst cleaning out and I loved it!

But within 48hrs I felt like I hit a brick wall. My body had gotten used too a couple of days of resting and yoga, sitting down doing a lot emotional work, and cleansing on green smoothies. So it had appeared to have taken it upon itself to use the opportunity; assuming the rest was likely to continue (unlike the usual daily life of Christie Fischer). And boy my body obviously needed it. She rested alright. REALLY RESTED. On waking at 6am to go running the first couple of days, my body was like “pfft yeh right, dream on”. I felt I had no choice but to stay in bed, and just chill out with some yoga a little later on. My body was E X H A U S T E D. The days went on, I was very calm, slow moving, and a little emotional. I was hungry for calories but didn't have the energy to eat. I tell you getting to bed before 9pm each night was BLISS!

That was my detox. I wasn't expecting anything like it. Having eaten raw for over 18 months now, I thought I'd get away scott-free. Nup. I needed this physically more than anything. And I learnt that there is ALWAYS room to detox. There is ALWAYS something to detox. 

I'm grateful that those physical feelings only lasted a few days for me - before the aches and pains set in. And it seemed that everyone felt those at once. All 65-odd of us. Muscles. Joints. Every bendy bit of our bodies was aching. It was kinda cool that we were all winging and bitching at the same time tho – group bonding. We learnt to GET EXCITED with symptoms like that. YAY FOR DETOX! Shit I’m getting a rash come up all over my back – YAY FOR DETOX! My God these headaches are killing me – YAY FOR DETOX! I feel like I’m going to die – YAY FOR DETOX!

But it wasn't too long before I began to feel WONDERFUL again! And it was almost right after our little excursion to Tropical Fruit World!

Wait til you see the pics from that place!

1 comment:

  1. wow, what an amazing thing to be able to do! I so wish I could do that one day!!! :)