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A Peek at Costa Rica

Self-care is how you take your power back.—Lalah Delia

In a few minutes I’ll head up to the dining hall to indulge in my final Costa Rican breakfast—a big bowl of papaya, homemade granola, and soy milk.

I’m still wrapping my head around this experience and possibly my 15th time (I’ve lost count) here at Pura Vida. This group was an absolute joy and was half full with repeat retreaters which is an honor. I love watching their ongoing evolution and getting to know them on a deeper level.

All week we indulged in yoga, creative play, mindfulness, vegan chocolate cake, vino, sunshine, papaya, twinkle lights, spa treatments, and self-compassion. I’ll return to DC tonight with a full heart and so much gratitude.

Below is an assortment of moments captured this week. Our next jaunt to Costa Rica is February 16-23, 2019 and I’m already looking forward to the papaya! Bisous. x

Packing for one week in Costa Rica = TranquiliT 2in1 flare, (4) 2in1 fitted, boyfriend tank, (5) capri leggings, perfect pant, palazzo pant, slip dress, off-the-shoulder top, compassion tee. Brought a pink sun hat and pink pig pouch with a few accessories. Wore the 2in1 fitted, capri leggings, sleeveless swing dress and long sleeve wrap tunic on the plane to easily transition from 30 to 80 degrees upon arrival!

Captured on Saturday after arrival. The tranquil view from our room.

Posing in front of pretty pink flowers.

Mama, me, and Julia the Pura Vida ambassador.

Aromatherapy workshop play time. Made a lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, and cedar spray and roll on.

Happy hour with mama and the group on our patio. Note the lights of San Jose in the background.

For the first time in a few years I got into the pool and floated around on these noodles. Someone joked that it was like seeing rare wildlife and photos were snapped to prove it happened.

Art journaling playtime on Friday night complete with vino, snacks, writing a letter congratulating themselves on doing what they’re taking away from this retreat {I’ll mail it to them at the end of the year}, and honoring each participant’s contributions to the experience.

Our gorgeous group filled with beautiful spirits.

A Pile of Pugs

Greetings from the less-than-tranquil Pink Palace!

We returned from Paris on Friday and two days later set out on a 26-hour round-trip drive  to pick up our latest Homeward Bound rescue, Gizmo Pierre (shown above on the left).

After teaching the New Year’s Eve mini-retreat at Tranquil Space, Tim, Belle, and I headed toward Pennsylvania to get a head start on the drive. I made my end of year donations and, per usual, couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to see the ball drop.

Mom and Pops had graciously agreed to watch Mookie and Gizmo while we were in Paris with Belle and to meet in St. Louis (somewhat midway between DC and OK) for a reunion.

Up early on New Year’s Day, we made the additional eight-hour trek to St. Louis and spent a wonderful evening and following morning with Mom, Pops, and the pugs at the beautiful Union Station hotel (where it was -2 degree outside).

Yesterday was our first full day together at home. Following a 1am return and early morning vet appointment for Gizmo, I was with clients until 9:30pm. Midday I checked in with Tim expecting a fairy tale update and, instead, it was chaos.

Two pugs had a brief altercation. One pug peed on the bed, so Tim began washing the two lines affected. Then another pug peed on the bed, so he washed all the linens. Once he sat down to check email, Gizmo claimed his lap as Belle looked up at them from the floor with her “doe eyes,” as Tim described. Since she’s never more than a few feet from Tim and definitely isn’t one for sharing him, he set up a chair on either side of his to accommodate all of them.

I called as he was heading out the door with all three (no easy feat) and Mookie was freaking out in the background (the norm, he has lots of anxiety). Poor Tim, I could barely hear him over Mookie’s barking, but could tell it wasn’t going well. He’d just driven 26 hours in two days, was still struggling with jet lag, and had three special needs pugs to handle. No biggie.

He shared how he’d taken that great photo (top one) and everything looked perfect, but he was already exhausted. We ended the call when he got home from the walk to find the washer making beeping sounds indicating an issue. The not-so-needed cherry on top.

Since I had a break between clients, I grabbed us both lunch and headed home to help handle the pups and give him a breather.

Today has been slightly smoother and I know we’ll continue to adjust to the “new normal.” Gizmo is the sweetest pup, sleeps most of the time, and always wants to be next to you.

Also, this photo below makes me laugh. Someone commented on Instagram how well-behaved they all looked. Truthfully, this image was snapped right before Belle jumped off my lap and cut in front of a server carrying a tray filled with dishes. He saw her just in time, but we were horrified. That would have been a mess!

So, as you can see, those photos don’t always tell the full story! Here’s to a continued adjustment to 600 square feet of three pugs, one kitty, and two adults. We’ve got this (she keeps reminding herself)! Bisous. x

Lessons in Paris

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.—Thomas Jefferson

Greetings from Pah-ree! We arrived at 6:45am after a smooth flight across the Atlantic. Belle snored throughout the journey and I read Long Story Short—a fun read from a dear friend.

After dropping our bags at the sweetest pet-friendly AirBnB (top photo is our bedroom view of Sacre Coeur) complete with a bathtub and fireplace, the three of us wandered through Montmartre for a few hours with buzzing fuzzy heads, courtesy of jet lag.

At one point I asked Tim if the cafe was moving. You know, like how in NYC you can feel the subway rumbling below many street level establishments. He assured me it wasn’t. I think remnants of the plane’s movement remained in my body and, well, I was slightly delirious from no sleep.

After one more cuppa tea (shown below) at a sidewalk cafe, we headed back to the apartment to regroup before returning to the streets to flâner tonight. And here we are. He and Belle are snoring away in the room next to me and I have visions of crawling into that tub.

Since 2012 I’ve come to Paris annually to study, teach, and explore. It’s my annual dose of creative inspiration. With the transition this year and so much unknown most of it, I wasn’t able to make any big plans. Instead I was circling in tough decisions and muddy middles, unclear of what lay ahead.

So once the studio sold late summer, the first things we did was book this trip to celebrate new beginnings and visit the City of Light before 2017 was over.

Considering how much this trip means to me, similar to a yoga practice, I like to set intentions at the start. An intention is a short-term goal to stay mindful of throughout a yoga practice, adventure, or even family meal (hello upcoming family time).

What do I want to gain, experience, and let go of? How do I want to show up? What wants attention? 

That’s why I chose the Thomas Jefferson quote at the top. I have no “goal” here. I’m not leading a retreat or going through a checklist of sights (although I do have my eye on the Dior exhibit and Monet museum), I’m simply here to savor. To take in the lessons in the point of life. And that is my intention. Bisous. x

P.S. Many of these lessons will be part of our Year of Tranquility. I hope you’ll be able to join us on this yearlong adventure. Thanks to all who have signed up. We have a truly magical group so far!