Happy week-after-summer-solstice, JewelFam!
With temps climbing up to 80 degrees in the city, I figured it was time to blow this popsicle stand and get out of town or a few days. The humidity alone had turned me into a walking, stressed-out sweat bomb. So when my mom suggested I join her for a semi-silent (!!!) yoga (!!) retreat, I was much more willing than usual to step outside my comfort zone (if still a little skeptical).
The thing is, I have NEVER been a “zen” person. My boyfriend likes to joke that watching me try to meditate is like watching a puppy try to sit still. My life moves fast, and I thrive on that; the idea of “slowing down” is so counterintuitive to me that it feels almost impossible. TBH, it’s one of the reasons I like my JewelCandles so much. Waiting for them to burn down so I can retrieve that killer new bracelet is an exercise in patience, and I find the process of lighting a new candle to be pretty soothing. With, say, the scent of Mulled Wine wafting over my newly cleaned apartment, I can get somewhere pretty close to #chill.
The retreat started with a silent breakfast which, to my surprise, I found really liberating. As it turns out, it’s really nice not to talk to anyone before you’ve finished your second cup of coffee! Plus, it gave me the chance to set intentions for the day, without the noise of the outside world pushing its way in.
After that it was kayaking - incredible - and afternoon yoga, interspersed with some classes and a slightly more talkative lunch. By mid-afternoon, I was feeling so close to zen I could hardly recognize myself. Something about the combination of physical activity, beautiful weather (finally!) and the friendly, open instructors made me feel truly unclenched for the first time in months.
After our last class of the day, a fascinating seminar on exercises for chronic pain, my mom turned to me and grinned. “How do you feel?” she asked, probably expecting something semi-sincere with a side of snark. “Honestly?” I told her. “Freaking amazing.”
When we got home that night, I crawled into a luxe AF Epsom Salt bath and lit my favorite Cozy & Lazy JewelCandle. For the first time, I didn’t even look to see how close I was to the earrings inside. I simply sat in the warm water and breathed in that incredibly relaxing jasmine and vanilla scent. As my eyes slowly drifted closed, I realized that - against all odds - this crazy NYC puppy had finally learned to meditate.