Women, Wellness, & Wildfire

While I was hoping to share the details of a relaxing, inspiring, and educational retreat with you this weekend, things don’t always go as planned. I had signed up for a (Re)new You women’s retreat hosted at Purgatory Resort outside of Durango, CO and had been anticipating the experience for several months. Discussions of nutrition, wellness talks, and twice daily yoga by experts in their respective fields.. what could be better?

And it did start off pretty wonderfully. Thursday night we arrived to a delicious and clean dinner while introductions were made and a brief overview of the weekend was given. We then got into small groups and had an opportunity to share a bit about what was motivating us to attend the conference and what we were hoping to get out of it. Already by this point, I was amazed at how open and supportive this group of women was. What a powerful start to the weekend!

Friday began with a nice breakfast, morning yoga, a nutrition talk with the founder of Sarvaa Superfoods (the samples throughout the weekend were so yummy too!), and a lecture on some of the common complaints women have and strategies to remedy them.

Here’s when things went a little off track. Just as we were all getting more and more excited about diving deeper into the material in upcoming courses, we got a message that there was a fire. Fire 416 is what it has been named and at the time of this writing, it has already burned 2,255 acres, caused 825 homes to be evacuated, shut down a portion of Highway 550, and is only 10% contained.IMG_5777

As the evening progressed, the resort was put on pre-evacuation notice and many women were planning alternative routes home. By the morning when the highway had still not reopened, the resort remained on pre-evacuation notice, and the rest of the retreat had been officially canceled, I too decided to make the extra long drive home.

But here’s the cool thing. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, but looking back, maybe it is exactly what I needed. I shared in that first small group discussion of the retreat that I was looking to be more present in the moment regardless of what I was doing and also to take things in stride as I am not sure what to expect in this huge transition phase of life. Welp, here was that lesson being shoved at me.

I ended up being able to read my book in the sunshine, take a nap, enjoy the gorgeous views on one of my favorite drives on the Million Dollar Highway, binge listen to a podcast I had my eye on, and get home in time to enjoy a BBQ with friends and sleep in my own bed. While I was still expecting to be up on the mountain right now, I am finding myself feeling refreshed and relaxed at home instead. And that is more than okay.

Here are my main takeaways from the weekend:

1. Women are incredible. The resilience of the women through their life adventures, the support they are able to give to those around them, the ongoing curiosity to make themselves and the world around them better, and so much more. Even though I was only able to spend a short amount of time with this group, I felt so empowered by them, and I know this was only a tiny sample of the wonderful women in this world.

2. Community is powerful. Clearly everyone vacationing, working, or otherwise at the resort were thrown into a bit of a scary and unexpected situation. But the vast majority of those people remained kind and opened their hearts and homes to help those around them. Total strangers were checking in to make sure others were safe and had the resources they needed, and the overall feeling on the mountain was caring and connected.

3. Enjoy the ride (even if it is 3 hours longer than you expected). I tend to get disappointed if things don’t work out like I envision, but let me tell you I am much happier after choosing to make the most out of the opportunity for some extra free time instead of dwelling on what I missed out on. It really is all about perspective, and I am doing my best to keep looking on the bright side.

I am praying for the safety and success of the firefighters managing fire 416. They are doing a great job thus far, as no people or structures have been damaged to my knowledge. I am also thinking of those who have been evacuated and may have to deal more directly with the effects of the fire. And I will definitely be looking out for another year of the (Re)new You retreat, because Purgatory Resort and all of the presenters did an excellent job, even under the circumstances. Until then, I’m going to try to stay present and positive in whatever comes my way, and I challenge you to join me in shifting your view on a less than ideal situation, no matter how big or small.

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