Lessons from Costa Rica: Let.Go.

"Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak, sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go" ~ Anon

Last week I returned from Costa Rica where, together with my brilliant and talented sister and business parter Ashley, we led our signature yoga and health retreat, Purify and Restore. It was an incredible week of luxury, healthy living, delicious food, sunshine, yoga, adventure, reflection, friendship and transformation. A true and beautiful pampering for the mind, body and soul.

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It was an immense honour to lead this group of strong, inquisitive, sensitive and kind-hearted women through the Purify and Restore experience. In addition to their openness to learn, to grow and to devote a week to indulging in self-care, each one brought with them unique talents, personalities and offerings, which culminated in a beautiful mosaic of souls. The connections we made with ourselves and with one another were the heart of this retreat. A group of strangers met on that first evening in Costa Rica, and a group of deeply connected friends lovingly bid each other farewell on the final day.

It was apparent from our very first meditation exercise together that one theme would be a thread throughout the week: Letting Go. This is no surprise since an experience like Purify and Restore, when we take time to retreat, reflect, and to reconnect to ourselves, is invariably and deeply linked to personal transformation. And in order for transformation to occur—which as human beings, is inevitable, since we are constantly evolving and changing—we must willingly and actively engage in the process of letting go. Big or small, we must continuously let go of things, ideas, people, relationships, expectations, assumptions, fears, etc in order to move forward with an open heart so that we can freely accept and embrace the brilliance of whatever is coming next.

Every day we engage in this dance of deciphering when and how we should hold on, and when it's time to let go. We'll keep dancing these steps for the rest of our lives. It's not easy. It often requires some powerful, personal work and reflection. In order to fully let go, the process requires that we dig deeper so that we can understand where these fears/ideas/expectations/assumptions, etc. came from so that we can face them head on, understand why they were there, what they taught us, forgive whoever it is that we need to forgive in order to move forward, and then lovingly let go.

Powerful stuff, indeed, but letting go can come in smaller packages too. So start with something simple. Maybe you need to let go of that surge of frustration you feel when you miss the morning subway by just a hair. Maybe you need to let go of that pang of disappointment when you make it to yoga only to find that there is a sub in for your favorite teacher. Maybe you need to let go of that last item on your to-do list, and give yourself permission to tackle it tomorrow.

Easier said than done, I know. But letting go can also be fun. Take one of our retreat participants, for example, who made leaps and bounds—literally—towards letting go of her fear of heights by zip lining through the rainforest in Costa Rica. In a matter of seconds, a quiet little yelp of fear transformed into a beautiful and serene sigh of freedom and exhilaration. And those are the moments that make all the tough ones worth it. The moments where you realize that there is so much life, so much beauty, so much joy that's waiting for you on the other side.

So go on and loosen your grip, just a little. 

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