This might shock you.

I have to tell you something I am sure you don’t know. 

Before I planned my first retreat to Mexico, I had never been on a retreat myself. In fact, I had no interest in going and am pretty sure that if anyone ever mentioned the idea to me, I rolled my eyes.

I am an unapologetic free spirit. I grow horribly impatient in meetings, cannot stand being lectured, despise judgment in all shapes and forms, and revolt against feeling pressured or obligated to do things I am not interested in doing.  

I like making my own choices, and I like doing my own thing. Quite frankly, I imagined a retreat would really annoy me. I would have been someone who said “this is not my thing.” And I would have been sure I was right.

So imagine my surprise three years ago when the idea to host a Zumba retreat floated into my mind and wouldn’t leave. I tried to dismiss the thought- but it kept circling around my consciousness with delicious anticipation. “Go to Mexico and dance on the beach. Go. Go. Go.”

“What do you mean GO?” I yelled back at no one in particular. I had lots of reasons to say no: I don’t do these types of things. If I’m going to Mexico, I’m going with my family. Who is going to fill in for me at home? I don’t do random trips. I don’t have time to plan this. I can’t take the time away. I don’t know the first thing about running a retreat. What if no one comes? Blah blah blah. It didn’t matter. In my heart, I knew none of my excuses were real. I was scared. This was a dare to step out of my comfort zone in a big way.

Mexico.  The Beach.  Dancing.  Inspiring others to move with confidence. Doing what I do best, in paradise. I was nervous, but decided to go for it. After all, I reasoned, I can do things my way.  I can create exactly what I want to experience, and invite people to join me.  And that is exactly what I did.

The trip was magical. In every way. We meditated by the ocean. We danced on the beach.  We talked. We laughed. We shared. We dreamed. The women who came on that trip told me the 3 days we shared changed their lives forever. One later showed me a list of hopes and dreams she systematically achieved in the year that followed.  

I came home changed as well. Braver. Stronger. Inspired. Focused. With the realization that my retreats are so much more than dancing on the beach, and that I am meant to do this for as long as I remain inspired.

And I am SO excited and inspired. As I plan to return to Mexico for the fourth time this October, the irony that I have become so passionate about leading retreats is not lost on me. It is a great reminder that when I am open to possibilities and cast fear and preconceived ideas aside, incredible things, heck the best things ever, often happen.

I have only one “rule” on my retreats, which, coincidentally, reflects my rule for life: make your own choices, free of all pressure and expectation from anyone else.  This is your time.  Do with it what you choose.

If you would love some pure joy, magic, inspiration and a nudge toward more personal freedom, join me in Mexico this fall. EVERYTHING is included. Registration closes July 15th.