I just arrived back home from visiting the Billabong retreat in Sydney. It’s funny how the Universe works; this retreat happened to be booked just a week after my return from a month-long trip in Europe.
When I disappeared into the bush for 4 days, you can imagine the first question everyone was thinking: “are you away AGAIN?!”
Fair question, but my intention was to go to Billabong retreat for much more than just relaxation. I wanted to work, write about my travels in peace and check out the facilities for a potential future Lean Body retreat. Little did I know, there was no Wi-Fi. When the obvious question of “what’s the Wi-Fi password?” left my mouth, a lovely gentleman quietly pointed to the notice board with a note: ‘There is no Wi-Fi at Billabong, but we promise you’ll find a better connection.’
Instantly, panic flooded my veins, as my staff and clients didn’t know that I’m going to be out of action for 4 days. With one bar of reception, I borrowed my friend’s phone and rushed out an emergency message to my staff, advising them to take charge for the next few days.
Instead of allowing the stress to take over, I decided to surrender and go with the flow. To ease me into the Wi-Fi-free experience, I was surprised with a reserved spot in the retreat’s mindfulness program. After the first night at Billabong, I was already feeling quite relaxed, and allowed myself to move with the flow, literally.
With my super hectic schedule and chaotic days, I’ve been eagerly waiting for an opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature. Even when I do have the time to be in nature, my head is usually overflowing with thoughts, ideas and to-do’s, that I don’t get to fully enjoy the moment. After I surrendered to the lack of connection, blocked out the outside world and truly let go, I was able to find a true connection with others, as well as a peace of mind and contentment from just being (not doing).
During the retreat, it was lovely to meet numerous like-minded people, interested in mindfulness and searching for a new outlook on life. The retreat provides the perfect environment to completely switch off and do nothing. It was incredibly refreshing to be able to read a book, tune in to the sound of the chirping birds and live guitar music, and stroll back to my cabin across the Billabong. One of my favourite books, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein, has found its way back to me, which is exactly what I needed at this point in my life.
Although Billabong retreat is only an hour away from Sydney, it feels like you are miles away, nestled away in a lush haven. The main house, containing the common area and yoga studio, was cleverly built on a slope, where the stunning floor-to-ceiling glass walls behind the open hangout area allow you to enjoy a birds-eye view of the luscious tree-tops. The spectacular view from the yoga studio was one of my favorite features of the retreat.
My daily exercises consisted of gentle yoga practice, and wanders between the lodge and the main house, where I frequently stopped to admire the untouched nature, and breathtaking surroundings.
The food was simply delicious. All the vegetarian and vegan meals have been carefully prepared with love. Before we dug into each nutritious meal, the chefs would introduce the food like, and tell us exactly where each ingredient came from. Learning about the local and organic origin of the ingredients helped us connect with our food, and exhilarated every dining experience.
To connect with all our senses, we performed a fun mindful eating exercise, where we got really up-close and intimate with some raisins and walnuts.
Here is a sneak peak of some of the delicious meals we enjoyed:
Nut and vegetable bake with steamed broccoli, topped with a rustic nutty vegan pesto and garden salad. The veggies loaf is to die for…
Breakfast granola and chia pudding with poached pears.
Lentil dahl with quinoa, garden salad and yogurt dip.
The Billabong Retreat Mindfulness Program
The 3-day Mindfulness program was very insightful and timely for me.
I journaled quite a bit throughout the program, and obtained great insights, even from my dreams. I experienced vivid dreams every night, which I dedicate to all the meditation and inner work, that must have stirred through my emotions.
Our days went something like this at Billabong retreat:
- 7am Yoga
- 8am Breakfast
- 9am Mindfulness class
- 12:30pm Delicious Vegetarian lunch
- 3:30pm Yoga
- 6pm Vegetarian dinner
- 7pm Talk/meditation/option to watch a film
In between, we had plenty of time to explore our surroundings and have fun too!
Billabong retreat is a place to rediscover the magic of life and uncover meaning, connection and re-energise your mind. This blissful paradise is a place of love and kindness.
The tranquil wellness resort offers amazing organic whole food cuisine, an incredible untouched nature setting, a stunning resort-style swimming pool and a variety of transformative meditation & yoga retreats.
Billabong retreat has a soul; and is probably due to all the love and passion poured into it by the Von Berger family. It truly is a place to slow down, seek wellness & contentment and discover your inner zen.
Are you inspired to go on a retreat?
If you want to stay local, Billabong Retreat is an excellent place to get away for a few days without any hustle.
For more information on retreats I host overseas check go here www.theleanbodycoach.com/retreats