Have you ever been on a trip that has just left you speechless in the best way? When was the last time that you did something for yourself without feeling guilty? And I mean more than treating yourself to a massage. Why do we have to set aside time for self-care? Shouldn’t we be able to create that in every moment? Where are you putting your energy that doesn’t need it, and where should you be putting your energy that maybe you have neglected? Do you see travel as an escape from your reality? What is your reality? What are your boundaries? Do you need alone time to refill your cup, or can you do it in the company of the right people? These are all the soul questions and perspectives that came up for me in Montana.
As if the experience and the other high vibrational humans on the trip didn’t fill me up, the view and space were to die for. Picture this: A cozy ranch nestled in acres and acres of alfalfa and wheat fields. The colors of the ranch blend with the autumn color of its surroundings. A chef on site delivering a farm-to-table dining experience. The two owners who couldn’t be more excited to share their beloved home. Leaving your shoes at the door, the armor across your chest was also lifted. You may not know anyone, but there is a kinship in knowing you all said yes to this experience for a reason. When Becky, the yoga teacher, was asked how she was, she responded with: I am. A beautiful reminder that we are here. We are now. Nothing more, nothing less, just present. And Kelly, the retreat lead, hugged you as if you have known each other your entire life. There was so much familiarity in an unfamiliar situation. I felt vulnerable, but I also felt safe. I was protected, yet I was open. I felt inspired, but I also questioned if I was truly ready to receive. It takes a lot to put yourself first…but why?
The days were filled with sunrises and tea all bundled up, frolics in nature, reading, journaling, moving meditations, hiking, yoga, eating, connecting, horseback riding, creativity, sunsets just as beautiful as the sunrises. yet also unique in their own way. The view never got old. The longer I looked out over the sweeping landscape the deeper my perspective shifted within me. This is your reality. Wherever you are, right now, close your eyes, breathe. Remember when you wanted what you currently have? It’s ok for that to change. It should. You’re changing and growing and evolving. but can you create a practice of gratitude. Choose to be fully present in each moment. Put your phone down. Look someone in the eye. We don’t have to escape our “reality” for perspective. It’s all in how you show up in each moment. Grant yourself permission to feel. Nothing about any of this is ironic. It’s synchronistic.
Thank you Montana for wrapping your giant, lush, sprawling, lovely landscape around my body giving me all the feels. Thank you Om On for curating such a unique experience. Thank you Grey Cliffs Ranch for your hospitality. Thank you to my fellow retreat goers for your openness, vulnerability, kinship and laughs in such a short period of time. I feel more myself and connected than ever.
Sarah Weston (@freespirited_yogi) is a conscious creator + storyteller living in Venice Beach, CA.