How A Mind, Body, Spirit Retreat Can Start Your New Year Right…

How A Mind, Body, Spirit Retreat Can Start Your New Year Right

I went to the Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa in Koh Samui, Thailand to spend a low key holiday with my daughter (who lives in Europe – I live in the US). We meet somewhere in the world (closer to her) during the first week of December each year (for the past 3). Our goal is always to experience something new.

It’s a great way to celebrate the holidays, recharge, and set ourselves up for a positive attitude going into the New Year.

When I work with companies, I do workshops that focus on connecting, unplugging, collaborating, getting outside one’s comfort zone, finding happiness and purpose.

So in order to practice what I preach, I create my own experience with my daughter each year.

We totally unplug.

Kamalaya was our choice for 2017.

At Kamalaya we were pampered with several types of massages, workouts and healthy detox meals. Infrared saunas were set up throughout the hillsides for added daily detoxification. Meditation was offered morning and evening.

Phones were not allowed and quiet was requested.

Reading was encouraged we well, so the center provided a library. I decided to read a book of short stories by Tolstoy. I had never read Tolstoy. I usually read business books, books about happiness, articles about finding meaning or I am busy writing my own books and articles.

It was fun to read something entirely different. I admired the writing style and subject matter and became completely absorbed. Reading something new also opened up the creative side of my brain.

This is the Monk Cave at Kamalaya. The entire wellness resort was built around the energy of decades upon decades of prayer and meditation that took place by monks in this cave.

You have to duck to get in and when it rains, it leaks. It is beautiful.

There is a shrine at the top of three rock steps. People leave models of ancient sailing boats, signifying transformation along your passage of life.

There are lotus flowers, money, beads and candles to light everywhere. It is a place for reflection and meditation, contemplation and introspection. It is quiet and natural and peaceful.

My favorite piece on the shrine was this little angel. I held it each morning when I visited the cave. I lit the lotus flower each morning too. This daily ritual gave me a sense of grounding; I felt centered and ready to give myself some much needed care. I felt at peace.

It is important to take care of you. Life is so busy. We pride ourselves on our busyness. When we wait alone at a restaurant for a friend or in a Doctor’s office for an appointment, we pull out our phones. Some of us look at #Facebook, others at pictures. We text a friend. We watch a video. We do this because we are uncomfortable being alone.

When you go to a place like Kamalaya, being alone is a big part of the joy.

The experience can be transformational.

In keeping in line with the idea of breaking out of the norm and embracing the new, I signed my daughter and I up (each) for a 1.5 hour mind, body, spirit session with a visiting healer.

When I walked into the thatched hut room and met Susan, I was immediately at ease. Her shoulder length gray hair, round physique, simple white flowing top and pants and smile that filled her face gave me comfort.

During our session she drew my aura. We talked about my dreams and I shuffled a deck of cards before choosing two. One for the feminine and one for the masculine. Mine are the HORSE (feminine) and the BEAR (masculine). I found it interesting that the BEAR retreats to the cave for introspection and rejuvenation. I loved the monk cave at Kamalaya.

The HORSE has much to do with power and communication. “Horse is connected with the need for compassionate understanding,” as well. It took a lot of compassion and understanding for me to raise three children, one of whom is developmentally delayed. Love comes from compassion, understanding. And you can’t love if you don’t have the power to.

Much more healing happened during my session, including unlocking a blocked Chakra and getting a visit from a deceased relative.

You have to understand, that while I am open to anything new, love the unexpected and am genuinely interested in other people’s journeys and happiness; when it comes to my own allowing of things beyond a grounded nature, I tend to let my head rule my heart.

I came away from this adventure letting my heart rule my head more.

So as you think forward to 2018, remember to:

– Not be so hard on yourself

– Do something nice for yourself

– Be more compassionate

– Incorporate adventure into your life

– Unplug

– Seek happiness, peace and joy each day

– Reach out to others who are like-minded

– Trust your heart.

It is your birthright to love your life and you can start today.

Career and Life Coach Jody B. Miller is author of the new book “From DRIFT to SHIFT: How Change Can Bring True Meaning and Happiness to Your Work and Life.” Jody is known as the “The Work Happiness Expert.” As CEO of C2C Strategic Management, Jody has helped thousands of people find true meaning in their work and in their lives and companies to create engaging corporate cultures. Jody’s previous positions include investment banker, strategic consultant to Fortune 100 Corporations, CEO of a software start-up, assistant producer for a PBS television series, and sales & marketing executive for CBS Television. She is also the author of “HIRED! in 2017” and “Hired! Expert Advice from A Leading Wall Street Recruiter.” These books provide roadmaps for getting hired in today’s competitive job world. Jody contributes to publications such as Ignites Financial Times Magazine, LinkedIn, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, among others. She has written numerous articles about job satisfaction, work/life balance and finding meaning, and is regularly interviewed on television, radio and podcasts about the topic. You can learn more about her at


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