“Best You” Was The Best!

dance 3
I had the honor of being a presenter at the Best You Retreat this past weekend in Newport, Rhode Island. Leaving cloudy, cool and rainy New York, to arrive in warm and sunny Newport was truly a metaphor for what was to come. As I opened the door and walked into my room at the Newport Blues Inn it hit me – no kids, no dog, nothing pulling me to clean or fix. Nothing or nobody to take care of – except for myself! I immediately began to think of what I could do first; watch TV, relax outside on the porch, take a walk or simply read the book I’ve yet to begin. I plopped on the bed staring out the window and I couldn’t move. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything. I simply lay there for 3 hours! The retreat had begun. The “Best You” was created by Ellen Palmer Wellness, for women, especially us moms who so often put our families needs first. As moms we’re doing, doing, and doing some more, we’re too pooped to care about ourselves! As a mom I can relate. How can we possibly expect, and be expected, to feel great, look good, be happy and make everyone else feel happy, healthy and safe when we are depleted? Being a mom herself, Ellen Palmer took the initiative and put together a weekend full of tips and treats for all the participants to indulge in themselves. Friday night’s reception was warm and welcoming with local wines and fresh fruits, cheese and veggies. There was a real sense of bonding as we eased into the retreat. The next day we enjoyed everything mind, body and soul as we were joined by more women craving “me” time. Ellen’s presentation and insight on how food affects how we look, how we feel, and even how the food we eat affects our emotional state. I especially liked when Ellen said, “You are what you eat and you are what your food eats.” Take a moment to digest that! Then Lisa Zaccheo, of Mind Matters, walked us through how our beliefs affect our thinking, which affects our feelings, which affects our behavior. We then let our fingers do the walking as Lisa led us through body tapping, or EFT. I had done this before but found Lisa’s guided tour thorough and enlightening. Then it was time to get out of our heads and connect to our bodies with nurturing, feminine movement. This is where I came in. Perhaps the mini massage, detoxing bio mat session and body tapping combination put me in a zen state. My series of relaxation exercises had been cut due to circumstances beyond my control. I was truly engaged and present all day, but suddenly I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience! I was thrown off a bit and I knew I had to get us moving. As we swayed, ungulated and shimmied, I began to reconnect and ground myself in my own body. As I led the group I watched them begin to connect, like me, embracing the movement and their feminine power. I witnessed their beauty in the joy of dance, their smiles, and their willingness to open up and let go. And that, for me, was the best! What moves you?
Photos by Paul E. Talbot