So here’s the deal. I left my almost 4-month-old baby to go on a 4-day spa retreat.
But don’t judge me until you hear me out.
I attended the first-ever Revitalize Summit, put on by Jason Wachob and the MindBodyGreen staff. When I saw Jason’s invite and read the name “revitalize” I was intrigued (because after having my first baby at 40, mama definitely needed some revitalization!), and then when Jason told me about the rad humans speaking I was heavily considering it, and then finally when he said it was taking place at Miraval Spa, DONE and DONE – as the cool kids used to say (but I still say for some reason).
First let’s get something out of the way: YES people I am breastfeeding. And no I didn’t let my baby starve or switch him to – gasp – formula. I used an oh-so-sexy pumping contraption for months prior, stockpiling my “leche de pecho” for baby Sky, and then brought the damn thing with me. Of course by the time I made the journey from Los Olivos, California to Tucson, Arizona I could have fed a whole army of baby cows (take that! drink human milk!), so luckily I got to the room before my roommate checked in so I could “pump and dump” in privacy.
Or so I thought. It wasn’t 5 minutes before I heard a joyous, “HELLOOOO!” from the door to the room. And so this is how I met my roommate and new favorite person, Heather White. Heather runs the Environmental Working Group, and better yet she’s a mother of two breastfed children and therefore no stranger to the gadget hanging off the front of my body when we met.
And Heather was just the first of many rad humans I learned from this weekend.
Now I am going to skim the fat (pardon the milk reference) of the summit for you using the sieve of what has stuck with me 48 hours after returning home to a house under construction, chickens in my home office, and a father who took my baby on a motorcycle ride while I was gone . . .
I’ll begin with my friend Graham Hill who founded TreeHugger. Graham and I hatched a friendship when in LA for a Vanity Fair photo shoot for us early greenies – and finished up the day with a mechanical bull ride. Today he’s evangelizing a topic near and dear to my heart: less is more. Among other things, he spoke about how our house sizes have more than doubled in the last 60 years, yet at the same time we’ve given birth to a $22B personal storage industry. Graham gave some killer tips like “play cards instead of go shopping” and “stop being a bad friend and turn your devices off when you are at dinner.”
Oh, and he shared this priceless image:
And how about this one: “Can you meditate if you don’t have time?”
I asked him later what do if you constantly fail at “real” meditation because your stupid effing to-do list keeps interrupting you. He explained that after a lifetime of my brain on overdrive, it needs to be emptied first, and then I could meditate. So I’ve committed to following his Rx that is 20 minutes of meditation, twice a day, for four days. Apparently that’s all it takes to set all the hamsters in my head free! (I’ll let you know if the Rx works.)
Let’s see what else… ah! There was Scott MacKinlay Hahn – co-founder of Loomstate, a sustainable clothing line that produces beautiful things. He confirmed my sneaking suspicion: I should stop walking around in poor fitting clothing. It’s weird, but it’s like I want to give each sub-par item it’s time outside the closet as if they would suffer a broken heart or at minimum a vitamin D deficiency if I didn’t.
And what to do with the stuff that doesn’t look great on you?
Use my new favorite app, Yerdle, which allows you to give stuff away and buy stuff you need with the credits.
Next up: the “plant-powered ultra athlete,” Rich Roll, taught us about how mood follows action – and not the other way around. Translation – get up and do something when you are down. I loved looking at his body. Um, you know, because he’s a vegan and I’ve seen one too many sickly looking vegans. Rich is doing it right with lots of greens, power-packed smoothies, nuts, avos, beans, and ancient grains.
Ready for the surprise show stealer? Sue Johnson, a couples therapist. But not just any… oh no no no. She has been hailed “the best couples therapist in the world” by NYT and Dr John Gottman alike. She had everyone fighting back their tears while thinking of how they might be messing up their relationships with focusing on winning the battles instead of recognizing each other’s “hold me tight” moments, and then offering up just that.
One of the funniest moments was listening to Feist sing her gorgeous, sad songs by the full moon, and then hearing her bandmates proclaim that in fact all of their songs were just pleas for help from Sue Johnson.
Maybe you had to be there.
Maybe you will be one of the rad humans there next year. I hope so.
PS: Actually a large part of the summit centered around “food as medicine” and your microbiome (aka: your gut bacteria). For my next post I’ll reference my notebook to get the facts straight, and bring you highlights from sessions with Dr. Frank Lipman, more from Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Joel Kahn, Dr. Drew Ramsey, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, and Dr. Terry Wahls who reversed her MS with food alone.
(BTW – hope you enjoyed my first blog post, and stay tuned for next week’s JenBTV video where I talk GMOs with Robyn O’Brien!)