August 4, 2017

My biggest takeaway from The Universe Has Your Back weekend

Last weekend I went to Kripalu for my dear friend Gabby Bernstein’s The Universe Has Your Back retreat. I haven’t been able to make it to her retreat weekends the past few years, so it was especially awesome to be there. Yes, it was great to go and learn (Gabby is one of my best friends, but also one of my own biggest teachers), but really I was going for the friendships. And even more for the friendships, I was going for myself – my spirit, my soul, my heart.

Tuning into what I needed made me realize it had been awhile since I had done something this big just for me. Like years. My self care practice is ever evolving, and, especially since I had my daughter, Navy, it’s been a challenge. I sometimes feel guilty about the time I spend away from her, even if I know that it’s good for both of us.

During the Saturday session, a woman stood up and shared how, as a single mom to FOUR children (I bow to you!), it feels hard for her to find time for her spiritual practice.

I could totally relate, just getting to the weekend was huge for me – from making the decision to spend this weekend away, to figuring out everything from childcare to travel and food – it felt like there were a million and one things that need to be coordinated, organized, planned and shuffled. There was definitely a moment (or a few moments) where I questioned my decision.

Was taking the weekend away for myself worth it?

In short, YES, 100%. My whole body relaxed in this short amount of time, from my belly to my brain, plus I found so much peace in idle moments and the sweet connection with my friends.

Gabby’s response to the question:

Your #1 job before your child is your spiritual condition.

As big as that feels, I know it’s true. I know that I’m a better mom (and business owner, wife, and friend) when I take the extra minute in the morning to tune into myself before putting on my mom hat.

This nugget of wisdom isn’t just for my momma friends – you can insert anything for “child” into this statement. When you take care of you on a deep level, you’re able to be more present in your life. You’re not only a better partner, daughter or friend, but you’re able to be more YOU. And in the busiest moments, we need this even more.

This weekend confirmed the importance of both small and big acts of self care. Like what I refer to as my “morning minute” – getting up a few minutes before Navy to connect with me first, even if it’s just for one minute. I’m flexible with what that moment looks like (resting my eyes more, journaling, reading, getting up and getting started with work, getting dressed), but it’s a part of my daily routine and it anchors me to me before the rest of my day. It’s small yes, but it’s also really big.

When was the last time you did something really big for you?

I’m not talking about taking class with your favorite yoga instructor, or getting together with girlfriends for a night out (although those are all awesome and I’m definitely supportive!). I’m talking about something that feels like a stretch. A weekend away from your family, a solo trip abroad, a training that’s just for you.

If it’s been a while, that’s okay. We live busy lives and it’s easy to go on autopilot, or stick with the small things that feel do-able and fit into our schedules. But I want to encourage you today to think about what that “something big” would look like for you and take one action to put it into play TODAY.

Now I want to hear what you are doing for you. Leave a comment below, or, better yet, take a photo and post it to social media. Make sure to tag me @RobynYoukilis and #YourHealthiestYou so I can see your pics and be inspired.


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