Retreat to Mexico - One week in Zihuatanejo
It's been four months since I spent a week on retreat in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and in those four months a lot has changed. Not really in the way you expect to be changed after a retreat—returning to the real world with a new perspective, ready to live in the moment, appreciate the good things in your life and detach from the not-so-good things. Of course, after spending eight days on a seaside compound with my two teachers and a dozen or so friends and fellow yogis, I came back to New York feeling refreshed, grounded, and more clearheaded. But things have changed in a more measurable, concrete way. Specifically, two weeks after returning to New York, I found myself standing in the rain on 86th and Lexington Avenue with an 8 week-old puppy wrapped in my coat. And, dramatic as it sounds, at that moment, everything changed.
My decision to adopt a dog was not a hasty one, but as I’ve said many times since bringing Cricket home, knowing something and feeling something are two very different things. And after a few weeks of sleep deprivation and social isolation, I was definitely feeling the differences in my post-puppy life. I wasn’t going to yoga, I wasn’t cooking or going out with friends, laundry was piling up, my apartment was a mess, and posting here became an item on my to-do list that never got checked off. I felt too busy or too tired to do any of the things that make me happy; the things that make me feel like myself.
But, just when I was about to completely lose it, I remembered a conversation I’d had with my teacher, Kyle, in Mexico and came to the realization that, by bringing a puppy into my life, I had made a major change that had completely derailed my routine. I was in a period of transition, and it was going to take a while for me to get all the kinks worked out. But, like all periods of transition, it wouldn’t last forever.
One of the primary teachings of my yoga practice is centered on the idea that we are controlled by the seasons. In the winter when the days are colder and shorter, we tend to naturally turn inward, slow down, and spend more time reflecting, while in the summer, we’re active, social and constantly on the move, taking advantage of the long, warm days. When there is any major change in our atmosphere—be it seasonal, physical, or emotional—our bodies and minds react, our behaviors shift. While those transitions can feel a little clunky at times, instead of fighting it, we’re better off embracing whatever weirdness we feel and trusting that things will even out down the line.
So that’s what I decided to do. While I reworked my routine and started incorporating the things I love (but had been neglecting) back into my life, I would remind myself that this is a phase—a period of change—and that I would eventually figure things out. Plus, I have Cricket, this adorable, sweet, funny little creature, and she’s definitely worth working through these growing pains.
When I chose the images for this post back in February, I wasn’t exactly sure what to write about my trip to Zihuat. The area where we stayed was beautiful, the weather was perfect, I learned a lot, deepened my yoga practice, and had a truly amazing time, but the nature of yoga retreat—even one that balances meditation with margaritas—is pretty personal and, I imagine, could be really boring to read about. But it’s what I brought back from my time on retreat in Mexico that allowed me to accept the awkwardness of transition, roll with the weirdness, and trust that everything will work out before long.
So I’m back, and just in time for summer—the season of waking up early, staying out late, basking in the sun, swimming in the sea, hopping on a plane, train, or car at a moment’s notice and setting off to explore somewhere new and exciting. These weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day feel so precious, so loaded with possibility. Let’s make the most of them.