What does ” living outside your comfort zone” mean? As humans we create patterns in our lives, like grooves in the sand. We habitually use these grooves over and over again because it creates ease. Then one day, you go outside the grooves, and it feels uncomfortable because you have to find new ways to manage the experience. However, it is those new ways which help us grow, and enjoy life more fully. They weave a tapestry of colors and layers that enrich our life, even though it can be uncomfortable.
This past weekend I stepped outside my comfort zone. I traveled to a place I had never been, to spend three days/two nights with people I had never met. A few times I was struck with fleeting pangs of anxiety “this could be really good or not”. I had to work at letting those thoughts go, and to trust in the process of life. Fortunately, Dragonfly Yoga Barn & Retreats was a divine place, surrounded by the majestic White Mountains of Sandwich, NH. It is owned and run by Declan and Katie O’Connell. The atmosphere was serene and peacefully. You can feel, the dedication and love, which has gone into creating and maintaining a unique place like this. It is quaint, personnel and warm, just like its owners. It is a real treat.
When I arrived I met my retreat companions for dinner, at the owner’s home, where all of the meals are served. I met a group of ladies who have been meeting there yearly, on the same May Retreat, for the past nine years! The ladies were open and welcoming. The home was a New England-style farmhouse house with lots of country character and charm. Declan had prepared a healthy, delicious vegetarian meal for dinner, which included carrot& ginger soup, zucchini fritters, roasted beets, arugula salad with feta and local homemade bread. For dessert, Katie, who is the baker, made homemade biscotti with tips covered in chocolate.
Afterwards a few of us decided to use the hot tub, located on the outside deck of the yoga barn. It was a great way to get to know a few of the ladies. We all slept in the dormitory-style room. Initially this was the hardest part of the trip, because sleeping with strangers in the same room was…well..uncomfortable. However, it worked out perfectly fine. I slept on the top bed of a bunk-bed, even though there were bottom bunks available, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. The rooms were cozy, comfy and clean. The first night everyone’s sleep was a little off, but that’s to be expected. Everything is different from the grooves you’re used to. The second night, we all slept like a baby.
In the morning there was fresh snacks in the kitchenette, downstairs in the yoga barn lounge room, followed by a wonderful yoga class taught by Katie. She is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher. Brunch time rolled around, and we were ready for fresh brewed coffee, and another nourishing meal prepared by Declan and Katie, who made fresh scones. Afterwards the women went for a walk, but I stayed in. My energy was depleted, I needed to recharge. At one point I was in full savasana mode, for a while. It really helped me understand the true restorative nature of this pose.
The yoga barn was extremely warm with all of the traversing beams, wood ceiling, walls and floors. You are supported by nature, not only from the interior, but always with the visual landscape that surrounds the property. When I was standing in mountain pose, I could see the tip of the mountain, peaking through the clouds, it reminded me to stand tall in life, while remaining grounded. The yoga barn was a great space that combined spirit, beauty and nature. It had an inspiring dragonfly-design, stained glass window at the front top, where natural light beams in. The energy in the space is peaceful and healing. Katie’s unique collection of Hindu deity statues at the front door, created reverence and sanctity. It was a wonderful spot to meditate.
The Dragonfly Yoga Barn is the perfect place to recharge and reconnect with yourself and others. It is an intimate setting. A great place to release (judgement and comfort), to receive (love, peace and healing) and to just be (one with everything and everyone that surrounds you). I was excited about ourretreat this fall, however now I am elated.
I let go, embraced the weekend, and had an amazing experience. My life is richer because of the people I met, and through the discovery of a new place. These are the types of memories that stay with us forever, in a positive, magical way. Live life inspired…it’s the only way.