By Susie Howell. Co-Director of Ibiza Retreats.
I am always amazed by the human condition and how people deal with life. It can be so beautiful and yet so cruel. There is so much pain and suffering in the world, but there is also so much joy and happiness and love. Sometimes we have to work a little harder to find the love and sometimes we need a little help to stay on track through the ups and downs, to hold our nerve through the waves and the deserts.
In this work that I am so fortunate call a career – or a vocation – I am more and more fascinated by the true power of intention, of positive vibration and the absolutely unequivocal notion that mental health and harmony is at the root of leading a peaceful and happy life.
Mental health (or mental wealth as we prefer to call it) is not simply about ‘getting through’ life. It’s about the belief that every human being has a right to navigate their own pathway, fully equipped with resources of inner strength, compassion and self awareness, so that we can negotiate the twists and turns of life and all its unique challenges.
We all have tough times – and mental ‘dis-ease’ looks very different for each individual. But the way in which we view periods of ‘dis-ease’ in ourselves goes a long way to explaining how we can heal and be empowered through them.
We can do this by re-balancing, by grounding, by reconnecting – by doing the work (yeah – unfortunately it IS work!) that leads us towards self-realisation and teaches us the value of a daily practice to keep us anchored when the waters of life get rough.
We have just completed the first two Glow retreats of the season and I am starting to understand how profound the initial vision we had for this retreat has been and how this concept is really so right – for right now – for these challenging times and is so needed, by so many!
I have honestly been blown away by the impact that this retreat has had on the lives of the wonderful people who have joined us so far. I have received countless emails and updates from our Glow guests and it feels like such a privilege to be part of it.
It’s been a soul-achingly beautiful experience, and I am so full of gratitude for this journey that I am on right now.
Despite having a yoga retreat company and access to all the ‘tools’ possible, the last few months have been the most difficult of my life.
What my own experience is teaching me is that when your heart feels cracked open (and I really get that now) – you can accept and let in the LIGHT!
You can also access and let out all the love, empathy and compassion, kindness and raw human emotion that you have inside your heart.
You can let it wash out and pour over everything that you encounter and everyone you meet.
You can see the person standing in front of you with 20/20 vision and really look someone in the eye and say “I understand” and really mean it.
I have so much gratitude for what the last few difficult months have taught me. The raw-ness, the pain – it has been hard, but now this huge ‘opening of a doorway’ into myself feels like an incredible opportunity for self-realisation and to let go finally of what is not serving me.
This is how I can best describe our GLOW retreats;
“It’s not something that is easy to define, but ‘to glow’ is a shining & inspiring state of consciousness; an internal understanding between your inner self and your physical body, which exudes and radiates, from the inside out, that shows a positive effect on every part of you, in body, mind & spirit.”
The concept was originally something we we worked on last year when we were defining and developing the retreats we offer. It just felt right and it felt good… The only way I know how to run a retreat is by creating an experience which appeals to me and which I would like to attend myself. I had no idea at the time how this retreat concept would unfold and how grateful I would be for this experience.
So, this is my invitation to you.
Be brave, be courageous and work towards being the best version of yourself that you possibly can. Navigate your inner compass and reconnect to your source. Give yourself this gift. In fact, it is not a gift – it’s a necessity for life. Going on retreat should no longer be considered a luxury, but an incredibly important part of the self-care journey towards understanding and nurturing your mental WEALTH and doing what you need to do to be the best friend, daughter, partner, wife, husband, mother, father, friend.
Don’t focus on what it will cost you – look at the value of this connection back to yourself and how it will serve you on your life path.
I have been sent this beautiful testimonial from a recent Glow retreat guest, who has generously allowed me to share it, so that others can appreciate the transformation that can happen when you take that brave step towards your deserved happiness…..
Dear Susie, Morris, Sarah, Anna, Mar and everyone at Ibiza Retreats
I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to write and thank you. I had a blissful weekend with my family when I got home and then have been straight back into work (which gave me a huge headache on my first day).
I can’t tell you quite how much you have done for me really. I can’t thank you all enough. Alongside Louise, Fay and Shambala, you have all played a very important role in my journey of recovery! I am once again present in myself and everyone I have seen has welcomed me back. My tone has normalised (apparently) and I am able to BE with the people around me again. I have been pouring love into my children and I hope that I have made it back to them just in time….I’ve learned so much about the practice of yoga that I didn’t know before and now understand what it can do for healing. I hope to continue somewhere here when I can find a practice that suits my schedule. I have been grounding and meditating every day, the children have also been doing this with me and it is really helping us all to deal with the stresses and strains of our overstimulated days!
I think about you all regularly and hope that you are experiencing love and luck in your every day lives. Please do keep me updated with what’s going on and if there is every a space on a retreat going begging, me and my husband would jump at the chance!!
Massive love to you all, you are doing the most amazing work.
If you are ready to join us, here is some more information about what you can expect to experience on the Glow retreat;
* Amazing yoga led by one of the most incredible teachers I have ever met. Anna McColl teaches yoga in a way which means you can really go inside yourself. Her cues and choreography are so beautiful and inviting that you find you can close your eyes whilst she teaches and really ‘feel’ into your own body.
Do you ever get that feeling that you are living a few feet away from your physical body? The yoga that Anna teaches brings you back to the present, to the moment – where you are truly alive. She breaks down the myths and scary bits about so many elements of asana and pranayama so that you can make huge progress in your practice whilst you are with us.
* A journey through chanting, mantra and meditation. We explain, we show up and we CREATE, as we explore the ancient mantra systems and chant to open the energy channels of the subtle body. You can expect huge transformations, without a doubt! A yoga practice is exactly that – it’s a work in progress and it’s a colourful journey towards the light within.
* A beautiful, soulful place to rest your head. Our retreat villa, Can Luminosa, is set high on top of a mountain in the pine forest with panoramic views of the mystical, tranquil North of Ibiza.
* Incredible soul-feeding, nourishing, colourful (you’ll be eating a rainbow!) food created with pure love by our chef, Mar Talavera. Mar’s passion and energy is really heartfelt – and you can taste it! It’s true that we are what we eat. We serve seasonal, mostly organic, totally home-made vegetarian food with some local cheese, honey and eggs. We can cater for vegans and most other dietary requirements or preferences. You will quickly see and feel the difference in your body and mind.
* Magical experiences which we like to keep a secret until you arrive! Mind blowing and existential openings to breathe in, absorb and then take away with you. Let go of what you think you need and fill yourself to the brim with all this new knowledge and understanding.
* A team of incredibly supportive, genuinely beautiful souls, who are all in service to you and are there to ensure you get the best from your experience with us. We are on hand to support you and your process throughout your time with us.
I’d love you to come and join us on this beautiful journey.
Dates for the GLOW retreats are:
* 11-14 May – Mini weekend GLOW
* 19-25 May
* 15-21 June
* 10-17 August – Summer GLOW
* 17-24 August – Summer GLOW
* 16-22 September
* 05-10 October