As entrepreneurs, running a business can require us to push ourselves to the point of burnout. There is so much pressure around running a business that we don’t always realize how hard we are pushing ourselves until it’s too late.
In 2017, I attended a women’s empowerment retreat in Costa Rica with Tish Steenkamp in Costa rica that had a profound effect on my life and entrepreneurial journey. After working with Tish I lost 40 pounds and learned to prioritize my health and happiness.
This spring as I went through some transitions in my life and business, I decided to return to Costa Rica and attend a private retreat with Tish where I underwent a digital detox, cleanse and energy work so that I could recover from burnout. It had been an intense few months of overworking. During this time I read “Womancode” by Alisa Vitti and realized that even though I thought I was pretty healthy, my body was starting to show the effects of stress.
The main culprit: adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is caused by long-term stress and makes you feel like you have the energy of a sloth. After months of my adrenals releasing flight or fight hormones and eating and sleeping poorly, I would sleep for 9-10 hours a night and still wake up exhausted. That doesn’t even cover the persistent brain fog that impacted my ability to work and be creative.
When I arrived to Finca Exotica in the Osa Peninsula, the first thing I did was sleep. For the first three days I slept for 10-12 hours each night and took 2-3 hour naps during the day.
This was part of my burn out recovery and it wasn’t until I turned off my phone and truly allowed myself to rest that I realized how tired I was. This was the first step to listening to my body. For the next week I dove into self care through resetting my diet, massage therapy, body work, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy and more.
On this week’s podcast episode I deep dive with Tish Steenkamp, we are discussing signs of burnout, the importance of syncing with our cycles and how to reset.
I’m also including a recap of our retreat schedule here:
7:30 am Morning Tea
8:00 am Yoga/ Movement Practice
9:00 am Breakfast
10:30 am Morning Session
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Nature Bathing / Excursion (optional)
2:30 pm Afternoon Session
4:00 pm Beach time & Sunset
6:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm Star gazing
We worked with the element of water to help cleanse and purify the mind, body and soul. I started the retreat with a coconut water cleanse and coffee enema. Here we held space for the heart frequency and deep dove into looking at where the blocked energies are in the heart. I also took part in a Mayan Abdominal Massage, which improves blood flow to the internal organs in the abdomen and releases blocks and stuck emotions. We also made offerings to the ocean, blessed the water and I worked on creating more fluidity in my life. The strange thing about going on a cleanse in the jungle is that I never felt deprived even on the day I only had coconut water. The beauty of the jungle and the lush flora and fauna filled my senses and gave me a sense of calm and peace. I even broke free of my 4-5 cup a day coffee habit without headaches and cravings. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make lifestyle changes in a new setting. There is even research to show that on vacation you are rewiring your brain and making new associations, which is why it’s so much easier to create habits that stick.
Through the practice of breathwork, dance and meditation, Tish guided me into a space where I reconnected with my body and uncovered stuck emotions I had been storing. I was actually surprised what came up. A friendship that had ended over a year ago was still causing me heartache and grief without realizing it. I also had been blaming myself for a lot of things that had gone wrong and creating this space gave me the opportunity for self forgiveness and to practice more self love.
During the retreat it became apparent that my root chakra was imbalanced. This was impacting my sense of security and safety and as a result creating a lot of unnecessary anxiety in my life. By connecting with the earth through yoga and grounding exercises I began to develop a daily practice that focused on healing my root chakra. During this time I also attended a Cacao ceremony to open my heart and did a Thai massage to stimulate blood flow and circulation. I also took learned about embracing my sensuality and creating more pleasure in my everyday life through embodiment practices.
Fire is a powerful element that when activated can give us strength and power in our bodies. I’ve often shied away from my “inner fire.” But we did several activities to create fire in my body so that I could connect to my power center. The retreat ended with a plant medicine ceremony and integration for creating a daily practice and ritual in my life.
Even though I’ve been diving deep in the world of personal development for the last few years I still am peeling back layers and patterns that keep me from becoming the best version of myself. I seem to have a pattern of throwing myself in stressful situations and then overworking until the point of exhaustion. As an entrepreneur I’ve always been a risk taker but I’m learning to find balance and be mindful about how much I’m willing to take on and the amount of stress these decisions create. And finally I learned to listen to my body and what it’s telling me. Adrenal fatigue is an early sign that things are going wrong, but it can lead to so much more if we don’t stop to correct course. It’s so important to find someone who can hold space for you and help guide you through the healing you need to become the best version of yourself. Tish has done that for me time and time again, and I can’t recommend working with her enough.
Tish is an earth doula and womb priestess. A torch bearer, hand holder, and light leader for women and men reawakening to the power of their own bodies. A certified MoonMother®, Tish guides woman to live, grow and work in harmony with authentic femininity, amplifying women's ability to reclaim the sacred and take action in celebration of feminine energy rather than in denial of it. She blends a wealth of healing modalities into empowering and transformative retreat experiences for women worldwide. An awakener of the bliss body and a leader in emerging feminine consciousness she brings her gifts forward to help women transcend blocks, balance energy and activate a healthy mind, body spirit relationship.To learn more about her retreats and offerings for women, visit her website here.