I’ve been a fan of the Flow Girls for some years now. Monica Manzano, Noelle Hilario and Denise Bernardo are powerhouse entrepreneurs, mothers, good friends and “kindred spirits,” too, especially in the way we view this idea of “designing lives we love.” It was sometime late last year that the girls asked me to facilitate a component of their year-opener Flow Retreat last January 29 to 31, dubbed “Nourish & Renew: A Detox Retreat”, which was held in Tali Beach, Batangas, at the restful Windward House resthouse. It was an intimate, relaxing stretch of days that combined yoga, healthy meals, detox workshop, and a journaling workshop, all aimed at helping the ladies to attendance to start 2016 on a positive note.
I only got to stay from the 29th to the 30th, as we celebrated Krista’s 1st birthday on the 31st, so I’ll be sharing some photos of those first two days.
What I love about the whole concept of the Flow Retreats is that they are always filled with meaning, and are intentionally helpful and empowering.
Here’s how Day 1 went, which was basically just an opening circle followed by the first of many healthy meals.
The small but fun group that weekend: Carla, Jess, Sam, Rax, Noelle, Monica, and yours truly (Vito and Monica’s Maya, making an appearance, haha.) At the opening circle, we shared why we decided to be at the weekend retreat, what our expectations were, and what we hoped for, looking forward to 2016. It was nice to hear everyone’s intentions!
Day 2 was really when the formal activities began. Of course, we began the day with breakfast by Edgy Veggie: a wonderful, meat-free and fresh breakfast of vegetarian longanizas, eggs, tofu scramble, brown rice, yogurt and fresh fruits.
Before the journaling workshop, we took some time to stroll on the beach (I forgot to take photos of that!) and hit the swimming pool, too. I brought my family along so they could vacay it up while I did my workshop. Flow Retreats are family friendly, you know, and so is Windward House.
The journaling workshop was similar to those I gave in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and the L’Indochine travel journal event. This time, I chose to focus on helping the participants start their year right, through journaling. The initial prompt was to begin the first spread of their journals with a manifestion or declaration of how they wanted to feel this year. No goals, no resolutions; just feelings. I learned this from Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, which I’ve been applying for the past two years. It really helps to declare how you want to feel for the year, because then these feelings become the guideposts for your decisions, your progress.
I always love using beautiful tools for journaling, so I chose a lovely notebook for each girl to use, along with a selection of embellishments for their pages: washi tapes (I have loads!), patterned papers, postcards, Passion Cards, stamps and ink pads, scrapbook decals, etc. Everyone got right into laying out their opening spread and writing their intentions for the year.
Journaling has been one of those “detoxing” habits for me, especially with all the digital noise and distractions that abound! I work in digital and social media, so I’m connected all.the.time. Having a journal helps in purposely tuning out all the distractions of the digital world so that we can focus inwardly, and process our thoughts and feelings without any machinery. (I’m thinking of doing a journaling gathering soon — want to join me?)
The rest of Day 2 went on with more yummy meals! I particularly loved lunch on this day: Asian salad, cold soba noodles, tofu teriyaki, vegetable stir fry, and sweet energy balls for dessert. Sooooo good!
Noelle’s detox session in the late afternoon was enlightening. I admire her and Monica for living this authentically healthy lifestyle SO much! There was just so much information on how to make small changes in our daily habits, so that we look and feel better overall. Noelle took us through a daily ritual of detoxing: morning oil-pulling, dry brushing after showering, toothbrushing with natural toothpaste, exfoliating and oiling our skin for wellness. She does all of these, so no wonder she always looks fresh!
We also got a crash course on how to create our at-home detox arsenal, thanks to these products: all-natural dry brush, Body Oil (from Brown Belly), Laurin CoCoMCT, shea butter, Gargoyle, moringga tea (for energy).
Monica also gave us tips on how to detoxify our homes, such as finding replacements for everything and anything chemical-based. She talked about essential oils, all-natural cleaners, the proper way to wash fruits and vegetables, organic food choices…. the lady is seriously walking her talk, and THAT’S why I call her an “earth mama”!
Day 2 ended with sunset yoga on the roofdeck of Windward House. It was a session of Yin yoga, which is restorative and relaxing, very appropriate for us as the weekend slowed down even more. I love yin, because it helped me greatly in preparing my body for Krista’s birth, which was a gentle birth. (Monica was my pre-natal yoga coach, did you know?)
Everyone received a lovely goodie bag from the weekend with gifts from our sponsors: Organic vanilla body care items from A Vanilla Story; a yoga tank top from Flow Retreats; aloe vera products from Aloe Cure; discount vouchers from The Juice Barista and Brown Belly Swim; and of course, a journal and starter prompts from Make it Blissful.
Flow Retreats always have workshops, mystery tours and retreats going on, so I invite you to check out their NEW and improved website for details! (Yes, new and improved, thanks to our Digital Diva Website Service (that’s our complete website development experience, a collaboration between me and Fancy Girl Design Studio)! Flow Retreats is now powered by WordPress and WooCommerce, so you can shop for healthy goodies, book your retreats, and read their latest blog posts for updates!)