Self Love 5 months ago by Liz Adams

My Takeaway from Tulum

This past week I was on a yoga retreat in Tulum with the studio I practice with in Charleston. I booked this trip months and months ago then all of a sudden it was here and to be honest I sort of panicked feeling like it is a busy time of year, was worried about leaving my family for 5 days, etc etc. It’s really easy to find reasons to not do something instead of committing to yourself and going for it. Whatever that may be. We went to Amansala and again I went with my personal yoga studio but they do retreats there if you’re interested in looking into it!

Our week was filled with multiple workouts a day, ice baths, a sweat lodge, conversations, rest, fresh and delicious food, beautiful weather, laughs, days in the sunshine, naps and walks on the beach. It was literally perfect and I am so so glad that I went. Throughout the week, one of the retreat leaders had told us a line that he “lives by” – it went something like make easy choices and life gets hard, make hard choices and life gets easy. He had had many struggles in life and he elaborated with it’s easy to stay in bed, it’s easy to not go to work, it’s easy to fall behind, it’s easy to eat unhealthy but these “easy” choices lead to harder circumstances. On the other end, it’s hard to have tough conversations, it’s hard to put yourself out there, it’s hard to get into a healthy lifestyle routine, it’s hard to deal with trauma and shit in our lives. But making those hard choices and dealing with hard situations lead to an easier life. The more we share stories of how we feel, the struggles we face – the easier it is to live the life we want.

Last night, we had our “closing circle.” We all went around and talked about what this week meant to us and the word that kept coming up in my head is contentment. My body and mind and energy felt so calm and happy this week. I thinks something that comes with age and having bigger responsibilities is this anxiety that if we aren’t ahead, we are behind. There is always a long to-do list, we don’t have time for anything else, we are constantly weighing the back and forth of what’s worth it and what’s not. We feel safe in our bubbles, we don’t put ourselves out there in fear of being rejected, we isolate because it is “easier.” And one thing this week reminded me of, as I stood in a circle with 25 new friends and a few I already knew, was that the time is now. We are constantly waiting for someone to make the first move and we end up missing out on so much. Making the choice to go felt like a hard choice because it meant I felt guilty for taking myself a way from my family and investing in myself, but I am coming home knowing that was the best thing I did for myself this entire year.

So anyways, I just want to say that it’s really easy not to do things for yourself. To not take the risk because it means you get to stay in your comfort zone. But that only makes life harder for you. So book the trip, take the class, make a new friend – do the things that feel hard because it will be worth it. You can do hard things and you deserve those hard things, too.

I’m heading home ready for the rest of fall, the holidays and beyond. xoxo

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  1. Since it is hard to convey tone here I want to say that I’m hoping to convey kindness and thoughtfulness here. (And there are things I “get” from your site/posts so that’s why I’m here; I’m not here for hate). I believe you are writing with such good intentions and from your own lived experience and perspective. But I find this a little tone deaf, especially given the timing in relation to world events. To have the support and resources to leave your kids (no judgement there, just that it is hard to do financially and logistically) and spend several days at a beach yoga retreat and then to share these life lessons about doing hard things. It really lands weird for me. A yoga retreat like this is a super luxury in my world. I think the underlying message (“we can do hard things”) is true, this whole post just lands very weird for me, especially at this moment in the world.

    1. I appreciate your comment! I guess I’m just speaking on a very personal, mom to mom, friend to friend level. I am not implying that this experience is what everyone should do or needs, I would never encourage anyone to do anything outside of their means. Just wanted to share from my own experience.

      And I completely understand that timing is terrible. I have had this trip booked for 6 months and couldn’t adjust given the poor timing. And since I share very much in the moment, I wanted to share my takeaways. We discussed in great lengths how fortunate we are given the state of our world and how lucky I am to go back to my family. I guess all in all I didn’t mean for this post to come off the way you perceived it and I apologize for that.

      1. From a different perspective (and also trying to convey kindness and thoughtfulness) – There’s never going to be good timing to be privileged in this world. I think your experience resonates with a lot of people and of course it might be “tone deaf” when you look at the big picture of the world, but that will always always always be true for rich white women in the western world. While I don’t think going to a luxury beach yoga retreat in Tulum should be considered “a hard thing” I know how hard it is to constantly question if you’re doing the right thing for these tiny little humans you’ve created and always feeling like you should sacrifice your own needs/wants. It’s personally one of the hardest things I’ve had to face (yes! I’m lucky!).

        I agree the wording is a little weird and “we can do hard things” might not be the most fitting but I get how you’re trying to tie it into the message you received from the leader at the yoga retreat. I personally would love for you to elaborate on your feelings before leaving, how you made the decision, how you got things in place to go, why you feel like this is the best thing you’ll do for yourself all year and how you move through/overcome the guilt if you felt it.

  2. I say this with kindness. This post was really hard to read given everything going on in the world right now. I thought you were going one place with the post and it was really disjointing to hear that the “hard thing” was booking a trip for yourself.

    1. Totally understand. My situation is not hard. I was speaking from an internal conversation perspective, I guess? Poor wording on my part and I apologize for that.

  3. A luxury vacation in Mexico is never a hard thing. You had enough money to pay for it, and you packed very expensive clothes to take with you. Was the yoga itself hard? I struggle to find anything hard in this experience. A retreat with people from your home yoga studio isn’t a “hard choice” or escaping your bubble or whatever, either.

    1. You’re right. I wasn’t referring to my situation as hard, but more the general takeaway from the trip. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  4. We all need to take care of ourselves, in anyway we can, in order to spread more love, kindness, and compassion into this world.

    This post was everything. Thank you for being your authentic self, always.

  5. Liz, I feel this deeply. I did a hard thing too recently and went to Hawaii without my kids or husband. It was really hard to leave them, but I found the courage to do it. It was a week where I worked out a few times a day, napped in the sun, and had a few margaritas with friends. I learned a lot about myself and I’m so glad I did it, even though it was really hard.

  6. As I’m reading these comments, I felt the need to express the way I interpreted this post. Liz booked this trip six months ago, not knowing the horrific events that would take place. It’s hard to leave your kids (especially now) given the most recent events in the world. It’s hard as a mom to put yourself first at times. It’s hard when anxiety or mom guilt kicks in. Hence the word hard. The title wasn’t “the hardest thing I’ve ever done”. So my perspective is it doesn’t matter how much the trip costs, sometimes even an overnight stay or just a night out without your kids can make us feel all the things. So when you feel like this it is hard to do something for yourself and I think that’s all she was simply saying. Do something (small or big) for yourself despite our internal struggles-give yourself a reset because we are all thankfully privileged at this point to do so.