I was surrounded by palm trees and magnificent ocean views and hammocks. Part jungle, part fantasy, my heart burst open and cracked in half with wild love. I was giddy with it.
Yes, I have been married for two years and no, it was not with my husband.
I love my husband deeply,
Although it may not be him I am speaking of directly, he is, in fact, directly affected by this falling in love of mine, as it were.
How can he not be?
When you embody love, anyone you come in contact with gets a little of it, whether they wanted to or not. You will walk out of a room and they will stand there in awe, replaying your face in their mind, trying to memorize what it was that made them feel so good.
My husband reaps the benefits, you can be sure. I am more inspired, more full of life, happier, funnier (debatable), more patient, and more awake than I have felt in a long time.
One of the girls on my Mexico retreat last week just added a comment to Facebook, under a photograph of us which read Just told my friends all about our magical trip: ” you sound like you are in love” ~almost the same feeling. How strange to be home and not surrounded by you.
Although I jokingly said this in Mexico: I fall in love daily! It didn’t hit me until I read that comment that I had indeed actually fallen in love.
I had fallen hard.
Britta, the girl who wrote said comment was one of the people on my retreat who I didn’t know a lick about. Except that she was coming from Amsterdam.
I too thought WTF?
All the way to Mexico from Amsterdam? Hmm.
I have experienced some interesting moments with people on my retreat who I hadn’t known prior, or very well, and, as much as I hated to admit it, it had tainted me. For the worse.
Naturally, I was a bit scared of Britta, as well as the couple from NJ and the girl from San Francisco.
And yes I am from New Jersey.
It seems out of character for me, I know this. Me who always says Expect to be delighted! and other such quips more often than not.
So, imagine my delight upon returning home at the realization that the people on my retreat were hand picked by the Universe just for me!
The people from New Jersey? Possibly my two favorite people on the planet.
It’s sinking in, as I sit here feeling a bit melancholy about the Mexico retreat, missing it so dearly today, how I am getting closer to the person I always dreamed I’d be. How else can I explain how the people on my retreat showed up? It was like a divine hand was at play. I am truly attracting the people into my life that are on my vision board, and in my dreams. The law of Attraction is fierce and unyielding.
I thought the couple from New Jersey were newlyweds. They had been married 32 years it turns out. That should say just enough about them.
You see, I fell in love with everyone there. I fell in love with what we created together, there on the beach and in the palapas. And with the feeling I had when I was in their presence. I am pretty sure they all felt the same.
I brought her for her birthday. There were many times throughout the week where I would ask Who is that? in reference to her. What an amazing thing: for someone to break so far out of their predictability that they become unrecognizable. Her smile was what got me the most. I truly do not know if i have ever seen someone smile so much, let alone her. I have known her 34 years.
Here is her post about the trip.
I have never felt so safe in my life, so free, so unjudged. So full of belly aching laughter and inspiration and familiarity. How could it be that some of these folks just “showed up” as it were?
Because there are no accidents.
So yes, my husband feels the effects because I came home fully recharged and emanating love. Falling in love does not have to be romantic or sexual, and, furthermore, when you are in love, you are love.
Love is transferrable and like the ocean, it doesn’t lessen if you remove a few drops and share it with someone else. In fact, it doesn’t even notice.
Much like being in love and leaving your beloved, my return home was bittersweet. The day after I got back I was still high but my Monday I was missing everyone and there was an ache and a resistance to going back to my “real life.”
What I realized today is that I can be in love, I can be love, full of all of it’s cracks and holes and laughter and quirks and inside jokes and not necessarily have to own it. I do not have to have each and every body who was with me last week here in my apartment every day (as much as I would like that) to allow myself to feel what I felt last week.
What a wake-up this last retreat was. I have led 10 retreats in 2 years ( and I have been teaching yoga only 3 years) so I have been a busy girl. This retreat reminded me that I do not indeed know everything, that I can still be surprised, that there are no strangers, that mad love is possible even after and especially after 32 years of marriage, that just because you have known someone 34 years does not mean anything. That, in order to truly be happy, we must let go of our personal history, which, I do believe, we all did in Mexico.
I was just Jen. Britta was just Britta. Steve was Steve and so on. We were, in no way, identified by our pasts or our stories and thus we were able to fall in love with each other, deeply in love, based on exactly what we got there in Mexico.
There was also no jealousy or fear amongst the group. It was as love wished it were all the time, pure unadulterated bliss. It was as love wished it were without our old patterns and beliefs getting in the way to eff it up for us.
I don’t know if I will ever have an experience like this again. Maybe. Maybe not. It most certainly will not be the same, but I am open to experiencing life in this way as long as I am alive. I will keep on attracting these people into my world and inviting them to stay.
As I have gotten older, I have come to realize how powerful I am (as you are too) and that I did this. I attracted these people to Mexico. It wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t a random act of awesomeness. It was exactly what I needed and exactly what they needed.
Just like falling in love.
I am allowing myself to feel a little sad with want for them. It’s ok. I am a human being and I rather enjoy that fact.
I am alive.
I will leave you with a little note from Greg, one half of the couple from NJ. He is someone I will know for the rest of my life.
(How different and wonderful to write that from the heart, and not as a meaningless salutation!)
I just sat down at my desk at work, about to dive in to all of the busy-ness and problems of the day. Before I do that, though, I wanted to write a note of thanks to all of you. “Gratitude” is fading on my arm, but not in my heart.
I have had many good experiences with groups over the years – scientific workshops, management retreats, vacations with friends, etc. None them even comes close to this past week with all of you. It’s not just that we harmonized so well as a group; it’s that I feel a connection to each one of you, and I suspect that that is true for all of us. What a gift!
Thank you all so much for bringing your unique light and sharing it with such openness. This is and will continue to be a great source of joy for me. May it continue to light the path forward for each of you. Thanks also for so much fun and laughter, which brings a smile to my face as I write this.
And, as has been said several times already, thank you Jen not only for creating the space for the light to shine, but for joining us in it.
So here’s my secret plan: Part 1: When the world gets heavy, I’m going to stand up, close my eyes, and breathe with all of you in the jungle facing the sea. Part 2: I’m setting the intention to do this again next year, and hope to see you there!
Finally, if any of you are ever on the East Coast, come visit us! We have plenty of room and would love to see you again.
Thanks again, with all my heart.
PS, Yes it is true that they all played a practical joke on me and mooned me the last night of the retreat. Now, if that does not say that I have indeed attracted my tribe, what does? Those that recall my father, who died when I was young, will remember that my dad made it a practice to moon at every party. Horrifying for an 8 year old. Well, let’s just say when my retreat pulled the prank on me, I got a little warm and fuzzy. And yes, I have a video.
I manifested love on this retreat.
I fell again in love with life as I always knew was possible.
And with myself, with the help of the people who were by my side.
So I ask you this? Can you allow yourself to be vulnerable and fall in love? Can you fall in love with people you may have never met unless they were sitting next to you, in a boat staring out at whales in the middle of Mexico somewhere? Can you allow yourself to forget what you thought you knew about the nature of love, the nature of men and women and what it means to give yourself to someone 100%?
If so, meet me there.
This is beautiful. I fell in Love with life for the first time in maybe 3 years after I did your retreat in Ojai. I wish life allowed me to be in Mexico… next time.
How sweet to get a comment from you Stef. I too fell in love with you and I look forward to May 4-6 in Ojai again xo
Jen I absolutely love this how beautiful
“My happiness derives from knowing the people I love are happy.” -Holly Ketchel, Author.
Thank you for posting your love and joy, it is contagious. In case you didn’t already know it, Jenn, you are contagious! xo
That made me smile so much! I cannot wiat to be in Italy with you and Kady and mom xo
Love reading about your time and your amazing group. The letters are priceless. You deserve every ounce of love Jen 🙂
thank you Jen aka The Travel Yogi for organizing and planning such an incredible retreat for me xo
That was beautiful. Thank you, all of you, for sharing.
thank you Sara. maybe one day you can join!
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No seriously, this was brilliant. It brought me back. It made me feel as if I was there again, it so poignantly said exactly how I feel. I loved this and love you!
So sweet!! And as always, little tears in my eyes 🙂
🙂 Love you
I am SO going next time! AMAZING!
[…] know with every ounce of my inner being that the people I shared my magical Mexico with have impacted my life FOREVER. They helped to awaken a part of me that has been asleep for way […]
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[…] I look at the people on my last retreat. One girl came all the way from Amsterdam, alone. All the way to Mexico with a group she didn’t know, having never done yoga in her life and leaving her children back home. That’s courage to me, in my little Jen Book Of Courage. And you know, she had the courage to be imperfect and ask for private help from me with the poses. She had the courage to sit out and watch at times. She had the courage to make new friends and be vulnerable. My sister had the courage to leave two kids at home (one who has special needs and a very strict regimen) and take a week just for herself. Something she had never ever done in her life. […]
Just beautiful. That you channel love and that love channels through you. Now, knowing everything and the people on that retreat…there are no coincidences.