Got Joy and FUN? We ALL need more of it!

Are you having enough FUN?!  F.U.N. is Fundamental Universal Need.  We all need it–literally–for our brains to work right.  I create and facilitate retreats based on the principle that FUN is transformative and essential to living an inspired, balanced and healthy life.  The next one is during the New Moon around July 19-25, 2020 in Bimini, Bahamas and YOU’RE INVITED! Click HERE for more information!

The NEW MOON is the best time for transformation, manifesting and re-birth.  What do you need to transform in your life? Do you need some F.U.N., some bonding time with your friends, your family, your SELF?! What wants to be born or come to fruition within you?  What do you know is dying to get out, to change, to transform, to be heard and seen?  What needs to change in your life? What are you saying “Yes” to that you need to say “No” to and what are you saying “No” to that you need to say “Yes” to??!

We NEED F.U.N. and JOY like air and water. Come with me and you will have a peak wilderness experience you will never forget with the world’s most intelligent and compassionate beings–the dolphins and whales (or Cetaceans as they are known to Cetacean geeks like me). Being with dolphins will likely propel you into a brain state that makes challenges seem like child’s play, and PLAY we will.  These experiences will open up new areas of your brain, problem solving, creativity and EASE with which to make the changes you already know are within and need to come out!

For over 20 years now, I have seen these amazing beings, over and over, help with personal transformation and re-claiming JOY! Indeed, the mantra of the retreat center is “Happy, Healing and Harmonious”. Do you need that in your life?

I have found places around the world that are not overwhelmed with people so you can have a truly meaningful interaction with wild Cetaceans.  I will be facilitating a group experience with the Spotted (and maybe the Bottlenose) dolphins that frequent Bimini’s waters. For 6 nights, 5 days on the water (plan on a week altogether), playing in the turquoise waters full of amazing Caribbean sea life and coral reefs. The waters off Bimini are like a pool-very easy to see and swim, and the dolphins are not crowded by tourist boats. All you have to do is get to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and the rest is taken care of.

There are only 10 slots so let me know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid disappointment. Many of the weeks are full already since the trips fill up a year in advance so the time to book is NOW.

Could this be your gift to yourself or someone else? A new year, a new you? A more bonded family? A transformed relationship with yourself or someone else? What will this new moon experience awaken in you?

Here’s the details :For the base price of $2020 for our retreat in 2020:
What’s Included:
**A coaching and/or counseling session before AND after the retreat to help you clarify and implement a healing or wellness goal. I will also be available to help you process anything that comes up during our magical encounters with the dolphins (and the humans). Magical doesn’t always mean without challenges but those are the richest moments of personal growth, including being afraid of being in deep water with wild animals. It is a moment of transformation just to get in the water!
**A new moon ritual during and after the new moon and we’ll use this inspiration throughout the week. (Participation in any retreat activity always up to you.)
**All accommodations (Sunday night in Fort Lauderdale and 5 nights on the island based on double occupancy).
**Boat trips (5 days out weather permitting) on a very stable catamaran.
**Most meals (but see what’s not included below) mostly organic, healthy meals, and can cater for most dietary needs.
**Group meditation and/or yoga will be offered each day.
**Shuttle transfer from the hotel to the airport on the Monday morning.
**Airport transfers on the island upon arrival on Monday and upon departure on Saturday, when traveling with the group.                                                         **Complimentary use of kayaks and bicycles.
**Wifi connection, where available.
**Filtered water, coffee and teas, lemonade and iced fruit tea, regular and non-dairy milk, and honey.
**Plenty of time to look for shells, stroll the beach, relax, rejuvenate and rekindle yourself!
**Friendships you’ll never forget and a relationship with yourself and/or others that might surprise you.

What’s NOT Included:
**Travel costs to and from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and travel costs to/from Bimini on a small private plane ($390).
**Crew Gratuities 10-15% of the retreat cost–this amounts to between approximately $200-285.
**Single room and ocean view room upgrade.
**Sunday night dinner in Fort Lauderdale and one group dinner out on Bimini.
**All individual body work sessions. The cost is $95 for an hour. **Rental of snorkel equipment is $25 for the set or $10 for fins only. **Retreat photos when available $65.
**Bahamas Departure Tax $29. Subject to change. This must be paid in cash on departure from Bimini.
**Bahamas Airport Tax of $33 (includes Civil Aviation screening fee of $8). Subject to change.
**Travel Insurance

QUESTIONS?? Nothing is too small to ask! Let me know! Make your plans! I will need deposits of 25% as soon as possible to make sure we get our slots.
I plan and organize these retreats sometimes more than a year in advance and only add a small fee to off-set SOME of my own costs. This retreat is being offered at an INTRODUCTORY COST.

BONUS: If I get more than 10 participants (before the retreat center gets another 11 to fill up the week), I will offer a small rebate to anyone who brings more than 2 people. I don’t know how much until I know the final number.

See the website for more information! http://www.yourlifewelllived.net/BiminiRetreat2020.html

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A New Year, A New Decade–and We’re All Just Crack Pots

This is a good time to share one of my favorite quotes from the father of modern psychology, Carl Rogers:

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

This is indeed a paradox and hard to believe, but in fact, it is what I spend much of my time working on with clients and sure enough, their life goes in the direction they want.  I see people as whole, resourceful and not ‘broken’, just as they are and help them see that in themselves.  Sure enough it brings out their potential and they can in fact, achieve their goals.  I encourage my clients to throw out the self-help books and even though New Year’s resolutions seem like a good idea, they are sometimes counterproductive.

I do an exercise with people (and myself) sometimes to switch around the when and then stories we tell ourselves.  For example, often people will say something like, “WHEN I lose weight, THEN I’ll be happy.”  I have them change it to “WHEN I’m happy, THEN I will lose weight.”  What would it be like for you to switch around your WHEN and THEN stories?  Would life be more fun then?  What if you committed to being happy, which means no self recriminations or shaming?  Shaming and self recrimination never gets anyone anywhere nearer their goals.  Kindness and compassion move mountains.  This sounds simple but it’s not always easy and sometimes we need help with this shift.

Only through acceptance of all of yourself can you really grow and change because when you are in a state of acceptance, it relieves stress.  Only when the body and mind are relaxed can healing happen, literally.  When the stress response is constantly running, even at a low level—like a low grade fever, very little healing, problem solving or creativity can happen.  The body is in a state of ‘fight or flight’ and all its resources, including mental, physical, emotional and spiritual are being used just to manage the destructive bio-chemical and hormonal bath of this stress state.

I like the story of the Cracked Pot to illustrate this concept.  You may have heard the expression that someone is a ‘crack pot’ (not a drug reference 😊).  The author is unknown but let me know if you know who wrote this!

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.  After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”   Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your ‘flaw,’ and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws.  We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.  What if you just took yourself and others for what they are, and looked for the good in yourself and them?  How would things change for you if you believed there was nothing wrong with you? 

There is a lot of good out there.  There is a lot of good in us!  Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.  Remember to appreciate yourself and all the different people in your life!  First of all, go outside and play, have some fun and be grateful.

I can be reached for life, wellness and family coaching and/or counseling sessions at jteleia@gmail.com, www.YourLifeWellLived.net or 970-462-7098.

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The Gift of Pain

I read a book a while back called “The Gift of Pain” and I wanted to share the inspiration I got from it and from something else I read recently.  I do this because I know a lot of people who are currently mourning something—the election and what it means for the future, the loss of a dream, the loss of a friendship, the loss of a loved one, the loss of health, among other things.

I witness peoples’ pain everyday in my work and it can overwhelm if I let it.  But I don’t.  Because I know it’s a gift.  It’s a gift not only to witness someone’s pain but especially to help them transform it.   Humans are really good at creating meaning and growing and learning from our pain.  This self healing is actually a natural process and it is only stunted when something gets in the way.  If we opened ourselves to the gift in the pain—to find meaning and purpose in what we are going through, it suddenly poofs into something much more manageable.

There is a flip side to pain.  See if you can find it in your own.  For example, the pain many people are experiencing due to the national election results really mean a lot of people are dedicated to tolerance, acceptance, fairness, inclusion, kindness and love.  Hold tight to that!  Hold tight to the flip side!

One writer I like is from a blog called “The Hands Free Revolution” and she says this about the ‘flip side’: “On the flip side of disappointment is desire—desire to create a different outcome next time. On the flip side of letdown is belief—belief that your story is far from over. On the flip side of pain is strength—strength you didn’t know you had until you had to dig deep to find it. On the flip side of hurt is gratitude—gratitude for those who love you and stand by you in your pain. On the other flip of despair is connection—connection that comes from recognizing a familiar look of pain in someone else’s eyes and reaching out your hand. When we give PAIN a PURPOSE by using it to enlighten, comfort, educate, create, or inspire, we can’t help but appreciate who we are now—a stronger, wiser, more compassionate version of who we used to be.  Why would we want to look back?”

Pain gives us opportunity—to connect with others and grow ourselves into better selves.  Growing pains are real.  They hurt.  That hurt can and should be shared as a path to making peace with it.  But making peace with it is essential.  This is not the same as ‘giving up’ or ‘giving in’.  Making peace means seeing the opportunity for growth and purpose.  What is the gift in your pain?

I’m in transition now as I travel for 1 1/2 years.  I don’t know what my next transition will bring but I know one thing for sure:  I will be playing.

I will be playing with the pain of endings, the uncertainty of new beginnings, and certainly just plain playing—in the sea for sure, on the land in new places and hopefully with new friends.

I will be seeking out dolphins and whales to inspire me along the way as I create retreats for reclaiming joy, as well as new sources of cacao!

I hope you will join me on my journey and transform your own pain.  Play with it as much as you can.  If you need help in how to transform it, I am still available to help.

In addition, I will be creating the blog about my travels that I have been meaning to start for years.  Now’s the time.  Contact me to be kept informed and you can also follow me on my Facebook pages.  https://www.facebook.com/CetaceanInspirationWellnessCoachingandRetreats  and https://www.facebook.com/Chocolate4Breakfast

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The Importance of Play for Children and Adults

The Importance of Play for Children and Adults.

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The Importance of Play for Children and Adults

yay-63181Did you know that play is considered so important to the social, emotional, physical and mental development of children that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognizes play as a human right for every child.  Wow!

Have you ever seen news or other television footage of children in war torn or very destitute areas playing?  Usually it some form of soccer or kick the can or something with sticks or broken pieces from bombed out buildings.  It’s always amazing—the NEED to play despite everything going horribly wrong around them.  What is that about?

It turns out that play is vital to development of the brain and I would also say to the mind, body and spirit.  It helps everyone manage stress and especially for children, it helps them understand the world around them, conquer fears, develop new skills such as self advocacy, conflict resolution, sharing and even compassion.  Research is also finding that play helps children develop the part of their brain which is responsible for helping children manage their emotions, control their behavior, resist impulses, and exert self-control and discipline.  Yes, even adults can benefit in the same ways from their own forms of play.

This ability in children and adults to ‘self-regulate’ or control emotions, thoughts and behaviors are critical life skills.  Key to developing these abilities in children in adults is found in the type of play children and adults do.   The research is clear that activities that our kids engage in most of the time–watching television, playing video games and doing lessons–do not promote self-regulation.  Even some activities that parents believe will provide enrichment for their children like sports and dance, etc. are regulated by adults and/or very structured and leave less time for children to practice their own self regulation through unstructured play.  It is vital to our children’s enrichment that they have time with nothing to ‘do’ except undirected, imaginative play.

The type of play that fosters the skills most needed in today’s world is the imaginative, undirected play that does not even involve providing toys.  There has been a precipitous drop in imaginative play SINCE the introduction of all the toys that typically have one or a few specific scenarios for which they are intended.  For example, can anyone find legos that aren’t specifically set up to be built into one machine or creature?

You can save yourself a lot of grief as a parent and also a lot of money, as well as helping your child’s development by doing what kids all used to do.  Send them outside to make up a game, investigate the natural world and make up another game with what they find.  Tell them to talk about what they are going to do, negotiate with others, take turns, run, fall down and laugh.

These kinds of activities are important not only for children.  Adults that play, even silly games that cause them to laugh, release a feel good chemical called dopamine which is integral to our health and well being.  Consider what makes you really laugh until it hurts.  When was the last time you did so?  Do you remember how you felt for quite a while afterwards?  Can you remember something right now that makes you laugh just thinking about it?  How does that affect your mood and body?  What did you most like to play as a kid?  What do you think it did for you then and even now?

Play is just important to adult happiness and adjustment as it is to children’s lives.  What beliefs might you have about adult ‘play’ that keeps you from having more fun in your life?  What do you think is appropriate ‘play’ for adults, if anything, in the way I have described?  I will discuss this more in subsequent columns but for now, go play with your kids or somebody’s kids (with permission of course).

Simon Says is a great game for working on self control.  Playing with your kids will help you as well as them.  Joint story reading helps foster sharing and stories often model characters practicing self regulation and learning.  Even having your children help you cook and follow a recipe helps children learn to plan and problem solve—and it’s a great way to have fun in your limited time with them.

I will write more on this topic and other social and emotional health topics in subsequent blogs.  Until them, remember, families that play together, stay together!

Jeanne Teleia is a licensed psychotherapist, play therapist, certified substance abuse counselor and Life and Wellness Coach in private practice here in Honoka’a.  I can be reached at jteleia@gmail.com or 808-224-5008 or http://www.HamakuaCounseling.com.

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