Exactly a month ago, I packed my car with shorts, a swimsuit, 8 meals for 12 adults, and a long-lost friend from my early 20s to co-lead a wellness retreat in the tiny town of Mt. Ida, Arkansas.
Nestled in the Ozarks overlooking Lake Ouachita, Nikki (of Mind Body Mana) and I lead ten beautiful souls through a 3-night wellness retreat focused on helping women take a break from the daily grind to reconnect with their feminine energy.
Life gets fucking intense. It can get so overwhelmingly busy that you lose track of tasks, goals, dreams, friends, and which day of the week it is. I get it. Nikki gets it. We live it. We get that other people are living it too. And we understand that many of us have jobs, kids, families, and other obligations that don’t allow us to drop $1k+ and take off for a week to do the self-caring.
But all this stuff? This life stuff?
That’s exactly why we need to take time for ourselves.
To take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first.
So Nikki and I set out with a mission: Design an affordable long weekend to help women refresh their minds, renew their spirits, and heal their bodies. Recharge. We knew it didn’t need to be fancy (and quickly discovered that keeping the price point low actually forbid that), but it did need to be a comfortable and beautiful place that would allow connection with self, each other, and Mother Nature. (Also, room for all of the yoga mats.)
After scouting several extravagantly priced locations that were exceptionally difficult to get to in Colorado, we opted for the exact spot on Lake Ouachita that my family has been visiting since the 1970s.
Lake Ouachita Shores is charmingly rustic, economical, and a short walk to the marina where we rented a beautiful, brand new party barge large enough for 15 adults and equipped with Bluetooth and badass speakers.
The natural beauty here is exquisite. We began each day saluting the sun on their two-level gazebo over looking the lake. (Confession: I occasionally paused practice to point out deer, ravishingly red cardinals, and adorable striped chipmunks. #sorrynotsorry).
We scoured the shoreline for quartz as Lake Ouachita features one of the largest crystal veins in the world. (Fun fact: Mt. Ida has been dubbed “Quartz Capital of the World.”)
We ate meals together, meditated together, worked with essential oils, wrote, laughed, sang, and even cried together. Our group encompassed women spanning more than 3 decades decades. We brought many different ideas and insights to the table, but we each gave, received, and practiced kindness, compassion, acceptance, and love, love, love, love, love. We honored our divine potential and created space for new opportunities and infinite possibilities.
We howled at the moon. We did a lot of cool girl cult stuff. I’d share with you here, but that shit is sacred. If you want to find out for yourself, you’ll have to come next time.
A very special thanks to the following who contributed to gift bags to greet our ladies of the lake. I am so happy I had the opportunity to share products I use and love from companies I support and have a personal connection with.