The locals tell me that Ojai wasn’t always the posh and sought after travel location that it is today. Nonetheless, visiting the Ojai foundation quickly transports you from all the hustle and bustle of the outside world. With it’s eco-friendly camping igloos and environmentally conscience surroundings, you will feel you’re in a different time, a different world. It’s more than that, it’s the food offerings to the elders and the incredible events held here that gives you this complete feeling of connection to the mother earth and it’s energy.
While I fancy myself a semi-hippie I have never gone all in. So, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel being surrounded by other women who made their own shampoo. At best, I try to mediate on a regular basis and that was the extent of my outward hippie. A friend, who I would describe as a smilier amount of hippie as myself, had invited me to a dance retreat here. Admittedly, when I heard “dance retreat” I thought Madonna and Prince all night long under the stars and pillow fights at night.
I was only somewhat disappointed to discover drum circles and erratic dance moves one would never find on the dance floor at my favortie local bar on 80’s night. There was a lot of talk about emotions and chakras, there was a lot of crying and a lot of hugging. The first day, I found myself very reserved, swaying from side to side while the other girls gyrated from their toes to their heads. By the second day, I was prancing around the beautiful circular hall, the cold wooden floor beneath my feet. I had found my hippie dancing goddess and I had no thought or care of how she looked outwardly.
The girls all worked together each night, preparing meals or washing dishes. Maintaining the integrity of the foundation by using as little water and wasting as little food as possible. Each woman was there for her own reasons, on her own journey. I was facinated and moved by their raw displays of emotion. To the point that I had to excuse myself at one point to experience my own crying release.
The Ojai Foundation has a way of breaking down your barriers and brining out the inner hippie in us all. This is just one example of the many different events the foundation offers. No matter what kind of hippie you are or are not, this experience is worth having. Being truly in nature in the way that you can be at this facility, is awe inspiring. It reminds us of how big the world is and how important our souls are. Far too often, we are focused on the things that simply to do not matter. As much as you may believe that your career defines your success, you must remember that we are all on borrowed time. We will all meet our impending deaths and there is no telling when that day may come.
You could well be making your way up the ladder giving up your precious vacation days and weekends to get ahead of the game. Ask yourself something for me, “if today is the last day I have on this earth, will I be happy if I go right now?“. If the answer is no, something needs to change. Maybe what you need is a retreat where you can connect with the earth, your soul and your inner hippie.Take a long weekend vacation, seek out answers and find human connections. Why not give it a shot here?
I’m not here to tell you to quit your job and travel the world with a backpack and a dream. Maybe that’s not your journey, but if it is, what are you waiting for? What I am telling you, is that sometimes pressure from society can blur the lines between our dreams and our expectations from others. Are you living your true life purpose or are you living in the way that you’re feeling pressured to? There is no right way to live, there is only what feels right to you. Our bodies, minds, emotions guide us to what is right.
Listen to the aches and emotions that are screaming at you each and every day.
Then take one step towards what they are pushing you to do.
If you do that, everything becomes magical.
If today was your last day on earth, what would you do? Comment below: