No clock-watching, no commitments, no TV, no wifi – going off grid, taking a time-out, simply stopping. I need to escape the daily grind of the office life ,daily commute, and distractions, so I spontaneously made a decision to get away immediately and left the first week in September- It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.
After a spiral of stressing events that happened to me around July- August , I wanted to do some “soul searching”. I wanted to take back my life stop the endless highs and lows, which created a cycle of stress and emotional imbalances during that time, so I figured the best way to do this was to be alone and far away from everyone. I randomly decided to go to Costa Rica after a week of research and ended up at Waterfall Villas – a place that claims to transform health and balance in many aspects of your life.
I wanted to rejuvenate my mind and take time to connect with myself without any distraction. I am sure most people have thought about escaping reality and going off-grid for a while. That is what I wanted, I wanted to be free from the internet, work, and the chaos that had become my life. I booked a stay at the Waterfall Villas for 5 days and 4 nights to work on myself for myself.
A Cleansing Retreat For One
A personal retreat is just what I needed. I decided to travel to Costa Rica, alone. I arrived at the airport with the goal of shedding my burdens and learning to live without baggage.
Waterfall Villas is an intimate wellness Retreat and Spa with Private Waterfalls in the Baru Rainforest with accommodations in Balinese style Villas/ Suites.
I booked myself the Goddess Suite, where I had this beautiful room all to myself overlooking stream of water that feeds the waterfalls in front of my balcony.
My suite was a place of distinction, a space for reflection, an escape to relax in a unique sustainable eco-hotel.
The property is a blend of indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly for total tropical comfort and harmony and eliminated any use electronic equipment.
I arrived during the rainy season. I was the only one at the resort, which did make me feel “weirded” out and uncomfortable at first, however, I found quickly that I liked the isolation and it really forced me to be alone in my thoughts and get in touch with the thoughts that i suppressed.
It was perfect place for healing and self-reflection. Imagine a lush green garden bejeweled with an array of flowers, the sweet serenade of birdsongs as you walk along it’s peaceful paths. Always greeted with warm smiles and heartfelt compassion from the staff, but to call them staff is a disservice and the food they provided me was wholesome and delicious with no animal or gmo products. All dishes were raw,vegan organic plates, unless otherwise requested by me.
By the fourth day my body was already leaning out and I felt fully energized from clean eating.
The authentic Ayurvedic treatments nurture the body and calm the mind and the daily yoga, pranayama and meditation classes rejuvanted my body.
Soul Searching in Paradise
I learned to appreciate the little things , like waking up with the sun, listening to tunes that touched my soul, writing out any thoughts your frustrations, anxieties, and anticipation and learning how to savor every meal.
Even something as simple as taking a shower seemed like a new experience. The water there is pure and unfiltered. No chemicals or overpowering bleach smell. It was so tranquil that showering became new and exciting. While some foreign countries may not be safe to travel alone, I felt very comfortable wandering around Costa Rica by myself. I would talk to complete strangers, something i would I would never have done in the past. They would invite me to various places and I would graciously accept. I wanted to experience their culture and learn from them. They live quite a different existence than what I did. They work at a slower pace and enjoy life, something I loved. I had to listen to my intuitive side while there, if the situation seemed a bit uncomfortable, I would quickly exit.
Healing The Past – Looking To The Future
Of all the adventures that I had in Costa Rica, my visit to a shaman was the most memorable.I decided to give it a shot with a Shamanic Energy healing session which is a powerful and deep level of healing work. It can help you to release long-standing issues and move forward on your path in life. He helped me to align my desires and to seek inspiration from above. I learned about vibration reality and how to align my physical perspective. He taught me not to worry about the past or my future. Learning to live in a moment was the biggest part of my transformation. I had to release the guilt of past errors, most of which stemmed from relation with my father, I found that the generational dysfunction could be part of why I kept repeating the same pattern of mistakes. I had to be the changing force that would release my family from its negativity.
I was nervous getting in, I didn’t know what to expect. I started off the healing with my eyes closed and him blowing some kind of sage around me. ( FYI I was not given any kind of pyschedlics or altering medicine for this.)
I laid down and relaxed as he began chanting over certain parts of my body. I didn’t really feel a difference until the 10th minute into the session, where i fell into a super dark sleep and I kept picturing myself as a younger person. I thought about my mom. The tears would flow down my cheeks remembering good times and many bad times of my childhood. I also had times of laughter. I got my suppressed memories of all my siblings. Memories of my past self as a shy person and envisioned myself as the woman I wanted to be 5 years from now. These visions gave me a high during the tri[.
At least twice I felt my shaman tug something, perhaps an energy blockage, out of my aura and actually felt the pull on a physical level. This action immediately let in more light to my energy field. The healing session took about an hour but it felt like I received the best sleep of my life.
At the end he asked me to wait until he left the room to open my eyes. He brought me a glass of water and we spoke softly for a few minutes and I have never felt so alive. So pure and so happy.
Transformation Of Mind-Body-Soul
Almost two months since my shamanic healing and I have to be honest, I do feel my life is moving at a really fast pace. I don’t feel the stability and peace i was hoping to remain with. My mind is a little more cluttered and i am getting distracted more easily now more than ever. But if there’s one thing that is keeping me grounded it’s the words from the Shaman which told me to stay grounded and stop feeding the ego. He told me the more i feed my ego, the more I will loose myself. It’s hard to tell a 24 year old woman that, but it’s what keeps me humble. No money, compliments, lifestyle can distract me from the goals I have set for myself. I try to remind myself that mantra everyday, whenever i find myself straying away from the things I need and want to do.
I know 4 days is not enough time to make a complete transformation, and I’m not saying I have completely transformed at all, but that time alone, along with the experiences and the people I met, where enough to engrave my heart and give me a taste of really getting to know myself without the influence of others. I know many people who can’t be alone or let alone travel alone, but i think for my first time, it’s deff one of the most courageous things I’ve done in life. 4 days straight of practicing self-love, taking care of myself and stepping out of my comfort zone made me realize how powerful being happy alone can be and how grateful I am every time I see my friends and family because I ‘ve learned to detach my happiness based on any one’s company.
I know trying to transform yourself is never easy. Some may be afraid of being alone. However, it was the best experience of my life. After losing myself in grief and despair, Im in the process of creating a brand new me.. It was if a mask had been taken off and I saw things so clearly. I strongly recommend this journey to anyone who is in a place like this. To shake off the negativity, forgive yourself and others, and make a shift toward the positive is what so many needs. I learned to love myself. I looked into the mirror everyday and told myself how much so. For the first time in a long time, I feel whole again and I’ve awaken the person who was dormant in my soul .I no longer blend my identity with people, and everyday i strive to confidently rock to the rhythm of my own beat.
Here are some of my personal suggestions I’ve learned from my trip if you want to start a change in your life:
Figure Out What Makes You Truly Happy
If you have recently gotten out of a relationship, or are simply not currently interested in anyone, then try not to look at this stage in your life as a negative thing. Being single gives you a wonderful opportunity to figure out what truly makes you happy and gives you the perfect chance to get to know yourself better.
Being single grants you the time and freedom to do whatever you want on your own schedule and allows you to put your needs, desires, and ambitions above all others.
Not being in a relationship will help you realize and understand that your happiness does not have to depend on someone else’s presence. You need to be able to be happy alone first, and love yourself in order to give your love to someone else and have a successful relationship.
If you don’t know what is going to make you happy, how can you expect someone else to? You need to know and experience what real love and happiness is like by yourself before you commit to loving someone else.
It might be scary at first but here are some ideas that can help you to feel more positive about being alone.
Get to know yourself by spending some time alone in solitude. Do something that will help you relax and focus on your mind, body and soul. Go shopping, take a bath, listen to some new music, have a glass of wine, watch a marathon of your favorite show and don’t feel guilty about treating yourself or making yourself a top priority.
Give Yourself a Fresh Start
Sometimes we get stuck in monotonous schedules and our days feel like they merge together into a week that’s exactly the same as the last. Maybe you have forgotten what it’s like to feel happy because you simply aren’t stimulated with what’s happening in your life. Perhaps it’s time to write a list of all the fun things and activities that make you smile.
Write down new places you would like to explore, games you would like to learn how to play, or books you would like to read. Once you start making this list, you will look forward to trying these new things and you will start to get excited about the possibilities available to you.
Sometimes all it takes to feel refreshed and happy is to change something simple out of your daily routine. Maybe it’s time to redecorate your room or go for the early morning workouts.
By changing something in your surroundings & schedule, it will help you start fresh and prevent you from feeling like your life is stagnant. You can also look at moving, rearranging or redecorating your house to create an instant fresh start or renewal of your current stage in life.
Plan a cleaning or de-cluttering session. Get rid of things that are collecting dust or that you have been hanging on to because you’ll feel guilty if you throw them out. Remember that it’s time to start living for you and no one else. Only keep things that make you happy, are important, useful and meaningful to you.
Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. When you stop thinking about how other people can make you happy and practice self-love, you will soon realize what it feels like to be happy alone and be able to learn to love and accept yourself from the inside out.
Here are some ways you can practice self-love:
Stop putting so much value on what others think and stop striving for perfection. Everyone has their flaws whether they tell you or not. Once you have accepted that being alone is normal and natural, you will begin to realize that it’s okay and be perfectly happy while alone.
Alone time will allow you to be mindful of your thoughts and surroundings. You will be able to feel happiness and peace and know that you have absolutely everything inside of yourself that you need to be completely fulfilled. You do not need to expect anything from anyone else.
A great way to practice self-love includes writing down things that you love about yourself. Focus on the positives; you are healthy, unique and have great hair, wonderful personality,nice legs, beautiful eyes, or whatever you decide.
You can also practice self-love by being aware of your negative thoughts. If you are constantly thinking with a dark cloud overhead then you will never leave room to let the sunshine through. There is a positive side and a negative side to almost any situation. Train your mind to think of the positive outcome and, over time, this will start to happen naturally.
Those are some tips I can share and I try to practice every single day. I truly want to thank the staff at the retreat and all the wonderful people I met in Costa Rica who made my journey incredibly special ? And as the Costa Rican’s believe in PURA VIDA, I want you to know no matter how much of a mess your life may seem, there is always someone else who’s life would make yours look like a vacation in paradise.