It’s so cold right now, and to get warmer I decided it’s about time I told you what was I doing in Costa Rica. It took time to find the right words to describe what happened to my heart there, but let’s start from the very beginning. One morning, I received a message from Tali Kogan, a childhood friend and a colleague – a very successful stylist and fashion blogger from Chicago. Tali invited me to a retreat, a workshop for personal development and business branding, in a town called Nosara in Costa Rica. These kinds of emails rarely land in my inbox, and I took my time replying – but Tali insisted, and man, I’m so thankful she did.
After a long back and forth of convincing on her behalf, I flew to New York, and from there to Liberia, the second biggest Costa Rica city. It was a long journey of 24 hours (!) and by the end of it I got to the amazing villa in the (pretty remote) town of Nosara.
At the villa, we were welcomed by Jessica Zweig and Kristin Balter ,the organizers of the retreat by the symbolic name “Simply Be Magic”, plus 16 women of different ages, mostly from Chicago and Canada. And when I look back at what we experienced in the six days spent together, I have a hard time finding the words.
Every morning started with yoga and meditation, followed by conversation and different development exercises – for example, we had to write down what we’re good at, and what we’re not so good at. Sounds simple, right? Try it for yourself. To be honest, I was sad to find only a couple of good things to say about myself, but Tali helped me, and I found other good qualities – I rediscovered myself, and it was very empowering.
The peak of the retreat, though, was the last night, on which a ‘unicorn party’ was thrown in our honor, with amazing custom costumes. Unicorns have become trendy for a reason – they symbolize strong and able women. During the evening, we took turns speaking about the experience we had, about reconnecting with ourselves, and about the wonderful connections we created with the other women on the journey. Magic happened, just like we were promised by the guides, and the power in the room skyrocketed. I still have goosebumps thinking about it – as if the energy of each and one of us united in a synergy of potent, almost tangible love. Camie, one of the participants and a musician, described it well: “As if each of us sang a tune and the tunes combined into a powerful symphony, the final accord causing pleasant vibrations all over your body.”
And if until now I couldn’t really relay the power of the experience, maybe this will explain a little – I came back home totally elevated, and refused to take off the unicorn sticker of my forehead, until it fell on its own three days later. The youthful energy stuck with me even longer, and I felt like everything is still ahead of me.
It was important for me to share this experience with you, to remind you that sometimes you must veer off the ‘regular’ course and step out of your comfort zone, to meet new people and infuse the soul with warmth and new energy.
I want to thank Tali, my beloved friend, from the bottom of my heart, for this unforgettable experience. There’s no doubt that the trip was a beginning of a new era for me, an era of making the way back to myself, to the 16 years-old girl/young woman that knew for a fact that the world is her oyster and that anything is possible!
The retreat, in fact, was so successful, that I decided to organize something similar in the desert in Israel, next October. Know of a place that can fit 20 people? Interested in joining us?
I’d love to hear ideas and comments, and meanwhile – please enjoy some magical snaps.
A special thank you, for this unforgettable and life-changing experience, to Tali Kogan, my dear friend – thank you for convincing me and not giving up until I agreed. To Jessica Zweig and Kristin Balter for the amazing organization and the interesting content. To Irina Zadk the photographer and Kundalini yoga teacher, for documenting everything lovingly and professionally.
Thank you all for the atmosphere of endless love.