Oh, France! How I love thee.
I made the decision to go to France on a yoga retreat at the beginning of this year. I began following fellow Canadian/yoga extraordinare Marlee on Instagram and I was so inspired by her story (you can read more here and purchase her book too). She was posting about a yoga retreat and I briefly skimmed through it and kept on moving. A few weeks later, I kept seeing the post and reading the comments of positivity so I reached out to her and asked questions:
How much does this cost?
Which airport should I fly into?
Can you confirm the arrival/departure dates?
What time are people arriving, etc.?
So many questions and she had so much patience. 🙂
I booked my flight and anxiously awaited for May. As the day of departure came closer and closer, I kept questioning if I really needed to go. Would I be okay throwing $700 USD for my flight if I did not go? What happens if I do not get along with anyone? What happens if I cannot navigate through the airport since I do not speak French? Sigh.
Somewhere along the line, I remembered who I was: Beyoncé’s younger sister (Sorry, Solange) and she was fearless. I started to pack and remembered the importance of this trip which was to take better care of myself and do things for me.
When May came around I could not believe I was boarding my flight in Dallas to head to France.
Most of us flew into Bordeaux and a few others took a train in from Paris. We explored Old Bordeaux for the day seeing all the culture, history, architectures, and tasting yummy foods.
Later that evening, we headed to Chateau de Bardouly for our stay which is a historical, enormously large yet gorgeous bundle of magic.
This is what my part of the room looked like (left) and the view from our bathroom window (right).
I conquered a fear of riding horses. The key is to not show your fear to the horse and to take charge and control. We rode through the most beautiful vineyards (no phones allowed) and it was breathtaking.
Reminder: I am a Queen and no one can take that away from me or my castle 🙂
So I love to swim but canoeing was a bit iffy for me. This particular activity helped me work on my control issues. I am happy to say we did not flip the boat.
Can you really go to wine without France? I mean, can you really go to France without wine?
I love yoga. So relaxing. So empowering. So good for me.
I have enjoyed yoga over the last couple of years and I enjoy how I feel after I do yoga as well as being able to stretch a bit more.
This trip changed my life for the better.
“Reclaim your inner radiance.” I was not sure what this fully meant when I signed up, but I felt like I reclaimed everything great and powerful about myself. I celebrated my flaws and I celebrated my accomplishments. I celebrated my failures and my wins. I celebrated my good and not so good. I celebrated loving myself and sharing parts of my truth that I never shared. What that did was release built up anger and hurt that I did not realize I had. It was something so incredibly powerful that I cannot explain. *exhales*
From left to right (Sara, Sam, Kristen, Marlee, Barbie, Karyn, Brenda, Robyn, Carol, Brittney, Me, Sarah)
Sara, you are a badass free spirit with so much love and light to share with the world.
Sam, you are a strong woman with a beautiful heart and so much power the world deserves more of.
Kristen, you are a beautiful firecracker whose spirit is one everyone needs to know.
Marlee, you are a kindred spirit who radiates so much warmth and passion to everyone.
Barbie, you are a magnificent spirit whose positivity is so necessary for people to be around.
Karyn, you have the kindest soul with an infectious heart of gold with a gift to make others feel comfortable.
Brenda, you have so much love spilling from the inside that makes me so proud and happy.
Robyn, you are someone who makes others’ lives seem so much brighter with all the love you give.
Carol, you are a bucket of wisdom and knowledge and are a wonderful example to others.
Brittney, your ability to resonate so much peace and self love from yourself to others is incredible.
Sarah (my perfect roommate), you are a fearless warrior who is nothing less than one of a kind.
Ecstatic dance party, swimming, exploring the market, exploring the chateau grounds, Goddess photoshoots, amazing food from French chefs, healing circles, hiking, enjoyable yoga, and so much more.
France, you were perfect. Thank you to Marlee and Barbie for being our spectacular hosts for a magical week of love, light, and being Goddesses.
And special shoutout to Jazzy, the cutest pup I have ever seen. *swoons*