The Supparetreat by Sarah Lian, which was held at the Tanjong Jara Resort in January, was a lot of things to the women who had attended it. The three-day retreat themed 'Ignite', was part activity, part talk, part meditation, with a focus on what our potentials were, as an individual, and together, as women. Suffice to say that we left the retreat with new friendships, appreciation for what women can achieve when they banded together, and with a sense of renewed enthusiasm for life.
As for me, I discovered self-love. Now, I have done a lot of things in the name of self-love, but I can't say if any of those things truly did contribute to me caring for myself in the holistic sense. Perhaps, I knew what self-love really stood for, and for some reasons, I was evading it. But the three days at the retreat managed to push me to acknowledge it, and put things in motion.
So, here are the 4 major self-love lessons I learnt from the retreat:
Drop the emotional baggage
It’s exactly like that closet or room full of clutter that Tidying Queen, Marie Kondo is on about. Only in this case, it’s a bag of emotions, all pent-up, unsorted, old and musky from within you, that stem from unresolved trauma and experiences from the past. Feelings can weigh you down like a 100-pound bag, and deter progress, whether it be in the way of career and life goals, or relationships with others. When unsorted, you’re going to be carrying this hurt, self-doubt, anger, shame or guilt with you.
One Norwegian study concludes that behavioural change can be hard to perform, as psychological distress from life baggage can influence the ability to change. The participants’ experience of being stuck in old habits, and having substantial emotional baggage raises questions as to whether they’re capable of making a lifestyle change. That means, it’s hard to turn over a new leaf, even if you want to because the tendency of you returning to the old habit is there. So, sort it out. Talk it out. Get professional help if need be (because some baggages are really hard to let go of!).