How a 10-minute-from-home trip changed my life

shaylaIt was 7 years ago. I was Depleted. Exhausted. Scared.

I had nothing left.

My husband kept saying, just go out… “maybe shopping or for a massage…just go do something.”

I felt like screaming. Or kicking him …or laughing.

But who was I kidding…I barely had enough energy to make it to the shower. And probably didn’t on most days – I’m not sure…it was all a bit of a blur.

As I was recording this week’s mindfulness meditation for my beautiful Spa Time Living community, I was thinking back to the beginning of my parenting journey…when I really struggled to center and stay present under pressure. A time when my active 2-year old wouldn’t let me out of his sight.

I’d been gone (at the hospital confined to bedrest) for 2.5 months with pregnancy complications. And now that he had me safely within reach again, he only wanted mama.

Plus, he wasn’t quite sure what to do with the fragile newborn who needed his mama too.

I wrote more about our baby girl’s premature arrival + rare lung disease here, but it took quite some time before I felt like she was stable enough for to leave her side. Full-time oxygen. Pulse oximeters with alarms going off every time our feisty little angel tugged the oxygen tube out of her nose.

I was sleep deprived and incapacitated by worry.

I yearned for a vacation. Recovery. Time just for me.

Not easy to come by back then.

My initial “sanity saver” solution seems quite funny now.

I desperately needed sleep/quiet time/alone time and had zero interest in going anywhere or doing anything, as my husband tried to suggest.

My creative plan?

I kissed my little boy and baby girl goodbye, said I’d be back soon as, then waved as I “exited” through the mudroom/laundry room, closing the pocket door behind me.

But instead of going into the garage, I literally crawled through the laundry cupboard that connected back up to our master closet.

Yes, really. 🙂

Then, I locked the bedroom door. Filled the bathtub. Soaked for a bit. Slept. Read. And then “arrived back home” a few hours later.

They did just fine without me and the kids were distracted and young enough not to hear that I was still there. (Have you ever done anything like this? I’d love to hear…so leave a comment below.)

As baby Shayla grew stronger and more stable, we decided that I needed/deserved/desperately wanted (all of the above!) a real getaway. Where nobody needed me. Where I could re-center, re-ground, rejuvenate. But still be close… just in case!

I was so grateful that my husband not only supported this little getaway, but that he suggested it. Because he saw what I could not yet articulate. My need for healing and space. Quiet. Rest.

We decided on Inverness Hotel & Spa

Just 10 minutes away. Also where we’d stayed years before on our wedding night!

I packed up my comfiest PJs, yoga mat, journal and some books on the importance of self-care, then kissed my hubbie and 2 little angels goodbye… and off I went, tears streaming down my face.

Why doesn’t anyone tell you about the inner chatter and worry that seems to double, triple or quadruple when you become a mom?!

Breathing through the thoughts of “Why am I so emotional? Why do I need to get away? What will people think? Is it bad that I want to be alone for awhile? Will the kids be okay? What if Shayla’s oxygen levels don’t stay stable?” and so on….during my 10 minute drive to the hotel.

After checking in, the first thing I did was crawl into bed to sleep. But after an initial nap, I began to write. To journal. To reflect. To find my yoga mat and begin connecting with much needed doses of mindfulness and self-compassion.

As I did so, my energy shifted so profoundly that I knew this active rejuvenation was going to be an essential and integral part of my motherhood journey. To keep me whole. Resilient. Strong. So that I could show up fully for my family, my work and myself.

My big aha

This wasn’t about me. I realized that we all need this support as moms, caregivers, role models and teachers. Another layer of my healing journey began here as I thought about the biological mother I Iost as a child to mental illness. A powerful healing journey

I’d always known that part of my purpose was to support/inspire/help others to show up as their best selves. Growing up in a family of doctors, I felt drawn to being a “healer” in my own way by preventing illness. As an exercise physiologist & trainer, I taught the importance of movement. Health. Balance…in the body. Motherhood was the pivotal moment where I understood mind-body integration.

So how could I help others with this big aha…that we can learn to be present, resilient and emotionally intelligent?

I knew it would take time and that I still had more work to do myself. Around what I discovered as my 4 key energy “containers” of: mind, body, spirit and emotions.

That first 2-day getaway gave me essential takeaways for which I’m forever grateful:

  1. Replenished energy stores to juggle all my roles & responsibilities
  2. Powerful perspective shifts, renewed presence & patience as a mama
  3. Rest/Recovery rituals + why this is integral part of our inherent stress management cycle
  4. Reflections/insights on lessons/blessings gifts of the big challenges I’d recently faced
  5. Massive doses of creativity, inspiration & motivation to share love & light

I started carving out these little getaways a couple times a year after I discovered the power of such mindfulness and movement…always knowing I’d someday be sharing this lovely, transformative process with other conscious, creative women.

hotel2My invitation to you is to think about how you can create your own mini-retreats or come join us next month.

It’s during these periodic rejuvenation retreats that I:

  • Visioned, planned and implemented
  • Intended and then subsequently completed yoga teacher training
  • Discovered and studied core practices around Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Created practices around centering and grounding…to stay resilient and so much more…

So now I invite you to reflect on how you create space in your life?

What would be possible for you if you could disconnect in order to reconnect more fully?

If this is too hard to imagine on your own, join us here. I’m bringing you all the practices and space clearing rituals I’ve gathered over the last 7 years. Mindfulness, yoga, breathing, letting go practices… and so much more.

I’m beyond excited, grateful and honored to guide this journey – especially at the same beautiful location that’s supported my parenting journey so fully. 😉

So come join us here – and/or also, leave a comment below to let us know about any quick centering strategies or 10-min-from-home getaways that you’ve tried….we’d love to hear!

If you heard this week’s mindfulness meditation audio and want to share your reflections, please do in the comments section as well.

Much light and love,




3 Responses to How a 10-minute-from-home trip changed my life

  1. Shari –
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful, inspiring path to “aha”….may you continue to take these “moments” and “spa breaks” so the journey persists. So sorry I can’t join your retreat. Hoping that another one works in the future.
    Best to you always!

  2. I loved hearing your story about getting away 10 min away. I need to do something like that for myself since I have 3 kids and one on the way. Getting that time alone is so important. I love what you do and and I want to attend one of your retreats in the future! Thank you for all you do.

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