It was my second time to join Inner Journeys at Anya Resort Tagaytay, through Experience your Wholeness Retreat, facilitated by Dr. Lia Bernardo.
Personal connections drew me to the retreat. A dear friend of many years, Lia first introduced me to the retreat in March of this year. With Mikel Arriet, Anya’s general manager, being a friend for over a decade, as well, it was only natural for me to become curious.
Lia says, “I believe that going on retreats is the best way to fill yourself up. We need to detach, rejuvenate and bring ourselves to our center. It is an essential tool to be able to take that journey inwards in a safe place, surrounded by nature and beauty, with people who understand and know how to help you direct your state of being.
But what does that mean exactly—“wholeness?” According to dictionary.com, “whole” means full, total, entire, complete, or to be undivided and in one piece. This definition reminds me of just the opposite—
how we sometimes describe ourselves as “falling apart” when we experience life’s difficulties.
Stopping for a while
Mikel says, “Inner Journeys is the spiritual side to Anya Resort’s 3 Rs: Rejuvenate, Relax and Reward. It is about stopping for a while, taking a deep breath, looking within and finding the real you—that state of being that’s peaceful and calm within a physical environment that is secluded and serene. The vision and mission is to teach our guests that there is another way to live our lives, that it is in everybody’s hands to take ownership of their destiny.”
In March, when I attended the first retreat, my intention was simply to take time out to focus on myself. It was literally one day after I had resigned from a fast-paced, high-pressure corporate position. This was a time for me to pause, breathe and take stock.
There was much inner work that took place, and with gratitude, this introspection allowed me to address the fear and self-doubt holding me back from my life’s purpose. It slowly unfolded into a weekend of revelation, experienced just by sitting in my own splendor and radiance. It became clear to me that happiness is not the absence of sorrow or pain—it is the ability to create inner joy amidst the turmoil.
I learned that one way of pursuing happiness is by practicing gratitude—being thankful for our blessings rather than focusing on our lack. The retreat taught me that the way to abundance is by being grateful for what I already have.
Shortly after the retreat, I was inspired to
apply what I learned. I kicked off 111 Days of Gratitude through my Instagram account @mawitess. The idea is to post anything that I am thankful for, for 111 days. I skipped some days as needed, and resumed when I felt ready to.
The rationale behind these posts is, when you celebrate what you are thankful for, the universe will acknowledge that you appreciate these blessings, which will then multiply.
Only four months after kicking off 111 Days of Gratitude, I realized how much my disposition had changed. I could hardly recognize who I was before. I had started my brand and communications consultancy, launched a passion project called Go Love Yourself Retreats and Workshops as my self-care advocacy, and relaunched my Yu Hezu Bamboo Wand teaching practice.
I thought about that first retreat in March and how far I’ve come since then—so when another retreat was scheduled for August, I was lured to learn more.
At the beginning of this retreat, we were asked once again to write down our intentions for attending. This time my intentions were clear. From the intent to simply focus on myself during the first retreat, my intention evolved to honoring my true purpose and identity. I devoted the entire three days toward this purpose.
As each day passed, it became easier to look within. I slowly came to understand what wholeness truly means. It is understanding that everything is already within me. It is knowing that the universe resides within every one of us. It is believing that we create our own joy. It is striving toward creating a life that thrives in body, mind and spirit.
Arriet adds, “For me, the greatest excitement is when we have a group of participants attending for the first time. We meet them on the first day, and again after the retreat, when you see beautiful, relaxed, rejuvenated smiles on their faces.”
“Experience your Wholeness was created to provide the participants with the resources toward self-love and nurturing,” says Lia. “I have had people take it three times in a row and still discover different aspects of themselves. I really see it as a gift you can give yourself. It has been described by the participants as life-changing.” —CONTRIBUTED
For inquiries about Inner Journeys at Anya Resort through Experience your Wholeness Retreat, contact Dr. Lia Bernardo at [email protected]
The next Experience your Wholeness Retreat happens on Nov. 9-11. Call 5538888, (46) 4194080 or 09985779999, e-mail [email protected] or visit anyaresorts.com.