10 Things that changed for the better since Restival

As I'm getting ready to head back to Arizona for my second Restival, I’ve taken some time to reflect on what has changed for the better since last year. This is not an easy thing to do, I’m not one of those daily journal writers, for me it’s more of a punctuated equilibrium. I’ll write and then go for months without putting pen to paper. But since last year’s experience, there has definitely been a shift in my life towards a more positive, affirming direction, and I’d like to share some of my thoughts.

Number one has to be getting rid of "FOMO" I didn’t know what this acronym was the first time I heard it. "Fear of Missing Out" but I had it, bad. The urgency to see all, do all, experience all mentality that launches the minute you hear the word "vacation". Restival taught me that I don’t need to do this to enjoy myself. Just be in the moment, choose the experiences that you need right then and there. Let the rest go.

Which brings me to number 2 – Vacation. Vacation defined as the weeks of frantic preparation followed by a massive dose of FOMO, only to arrive home, feeling like you need, well, a vacation. Vacation should make you feel refreshed and renewed not exhausted and browbeaten. I now look for daily vacations. It could be a perfectly choreographed hour of yoga or something as serendipitous as watching the creamer swirl through your coffee. Recognize the vacations available in the daily rhythms of life.

Number 3-Making room for something new. Like a lot of folks, I’ve gathered a lot of stuff over the years. Physical stuff and emotional stuff. I now recognize that regular cleanout, clean-up and recycling is absolutely essential to a clear mind. Don’t be afraid to reassess what is surrounding you and make the hard decisions. It doesn’t matter if it is an old habit that no longer serves you or just clearing the space on the wall for a wonderful new painting. Just like the garden flowers, we need proper pruning to produce glorious blooms. Don’t let your fear of letting go prevent you from blooming into something magnificent.

Number 4-Spend more time in nature. All my life I have been what people describe as an outdoor person. But again, life gets in the way and after Restival I realized how much more time I was spending indoors. The Japanese refer to shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” as time spent in nature. It is now prescribed as wellness therapy, possibly helping to boost the immune system and lower blood pressure among other benefits. Restival provides the busy Arizona desert, the night sky, the outdoor showers, sharing meals in the open air. All made me recognize how insulated modern life is and now more than ever I have been very intentional about spending time outdoors.

Number 5- Be still and listen. Being surrounded by the Dine/Navajo in formal and informal settings was such a powerful experience. To be able to sit and listen and recognize what we have in common, rather than what sets us apart is a luxury we don’t often have. We all have stories, I am trying to take the time to really listen to what is going on with the friends and family around me. Two ears and one mouth, right??

Number 6 There are no limits to what can achieve if you truly believe in yourself. What is the quiet voice speaking into your ear? What is that gut feeling that wakes you up at night? You already know the answers, now be brave and move into your truth. So many at Restival shared their personal and professional journeys. The history of the STAR School was particularly inspiring. I’ve taken the time to think about what is going on in my own life and how I should be discerning the future.

Number 7 Passionately using my talents. There was nothing more energizing at Restival than watching people who were really passionate about what they were doing. The food, the elixirs, the treatments and workshops all had amazing energy that just pulsed through the activities. Learning to step up to the challenges and channel some of that passion into my responsibilities and activities is something that has been happening, although with baby steps.

Number 8 I’m physically stronger. I’ve been dealing with a chronic shoulder problem for years. One session of myofascial therapy during my stay has relieved years of pain and frustration.

Number 9 More traveling – Simple. I have decided to travel more to both new places and old favorites. Some visits are for closure and some are for pure adventure. I’ve been intentionally revisiting some old haunts to savor what I loved and missed. I have been more open to new experiences because there is always something to learn. “To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live.” – Tenzing Norgay

Number 10 and most important; remember to trust the process and enjoy the journey. I signed up for a week of the Restival experience without any expectations. It just felt right and it was. The people you need in your life appear just when the time is right to share their gifts and graces. I have a new network of friends from all over the world, and we are bound by a transformational experience. This is the real change that I hold in my heart daily. Trust the process, even if you are not sure what it is.

Enjoy the journey-it will take you to amazing places!

-2016 Restival guest, Susan