on chocolate truffles, the beach, and your freedom

Martha Beck Certified Life Coach - Julie Lamonica

Dearest Sugar Shells,

Happy Friday! Today I'm feeling characteristically nosy and I totally want to know your plans for next weekend. So, one week from right now, what exactly will you be doing??

(Please note that this is a shameless example of me asking you a question because I really really really want you to ask me this question. Get it?)

So, what am I doing, you generously ask? (Oh, you're too kind!)

Next Friday, I will joyfully vacate my regular suburban life to embark on a magnificent adventure. I'll be heading for a rich, juicy experience, full of uncertainties and surprises as well as splendid humans and beautiful contradictions (like rest and play; stillness and exploration; alone time and connection; peace and celebration). And, the beach!! And chocolate truffles! You know, the things that really count.

Yes, I'm talking about my Stinson Beach Retreat. It's NEXT WEEKEND!!! And you know what we're going to do??? Check out the agenda:

We will disconnect from our cell phones and social media accounts.

We will play at the beach, scrunching bare toes into the sand and tasting the glorious ocean air.

We will nourish our bodies with delicious organic meals prepared especially for us.

We will interrupt our patterns.

We will wear soft pants and snuggle ourselves up in cozy blankets by the fire.

We will unfold. We will rest. We will sleep like champions.

We will press our own "re-set" buttons.

And, in the pause, we will reflect.

We will investigate the places in our lives where we're unhappy and marvel at the beauty we've created.

We will learn who we are without our calendars, our to-do lists, our schedules, our obligations.

We will connect with our deep selves - because that's where the answers are.

We will take stock, face our stuff, invite new perspective, and make decisions about where to start fresh.

We will be courageous. (It's my specialty.)

And, we will re-choose. Powerfully.

So. That's the plan. And here's WHY:

Because we can only solve persistent problems creatively when we're relaxed.

Because we require space and time and reflection.

Because we are actually responsible for feeling lit up, invigorated, and FREE in our own lives. (Yes, I said responsible.)

I'll tell you right now that I'm feeling so saturated with zippy energy and straight-up verve, from my teeth to my toes, about this grand new endeavor and the women who are coming with me. This is simple honesty, not bragging. I'm delighted, hugely grateful, and FREE. And you know what? You get to feel this way, too. You really, really do. In fact, it's your birthright.

Having been a person who (for years!) dutifully sacrificed joy on the altar of predictability, security, and other people's approval, I certainly understand the impulse to choose safety.

BUT, I've learned that a good life does not come from a tidy inbox, a completed to-do list, pleased relatives, or even a plush retirement account.

A delicious, interesting, joyful life comes from being as awake and as fully alive as possible. From feeling FREE.

Otherwise, excuse me, but what is the point?

So. I'll conclude my unexpectedly dramatic lecture now.

If you are indeed feeling radiant and free, let's celebrate together!!! I'm raising my glass of lemon water to you right now! Cheers!

And if not, please know that it is entirely possible - and, in my opinion, your responsibility - to get there.

There is space left in the retreat. Perhaps it is meant for you?

With much love,