Welcoming our Newest Contributor :: Michelle Lee
Besides daily yoga classes, our new MOVE+MANIFEST retreats offers a series of mindful workshops that will guide you in the exploration of creative self-expression in your life. We will have meaningful discussions and fun activities intended to help you tap into your own inner wisdom and heartfelt desires. And between the vibrancy of Marrakesh and the serenity of the desert and mountains, the atmosphere will surely ignite your being with an energy perfect for the creative process.
Some of what to expect from the workshops:
Energizing & clarifying your dreams
Connecting with others and this world on a deeper level
Discovering powerful creative tools for the subconscious using journals, images, affirmations
Boosting awareness of yourself and how you’re creating your life
Changing the stories and beliefs holding you back from having exactly what you want!
After leading a successful 13-year career in the corporate world, Michelle transitioned her career into a life & financial consultant, retreat organizer & leader, and internationally certified yoga instructor - following her passions and sharing this with others around the globe. She now leads our Move-Manifest retreats which, besides yoga, adds workshops for life development, manifesting your dreams, and vision board creation. She holds an MBA in Finance from USC, an MA in Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica, and became a certified Ashtanga yoga instructor in Florence, Italy. She lives part of the year in Florence, part in Los Angeles, and part wherever her heart takes her.
We thought we'd let you get to know her a bit more by asking her a few questions!
on the Moroccan coast • Y.O.G.A. on the Croatian retreat • enjoying an Italian village
What do the words Eat.Pray.Move mean to you?
The first thing I think of is Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous book, Eat Pray Love, which I loved and resonated with me on so many levels. I think of my own personal spiritual journey and the steps I’ve had to take to heal, claim my right to happiness, and live wholly and authentically my own life. A beautiful and often times arduous process no doubt, but so worthy of all the painful moments. If I think about each word specifically, I see 3 words that signify the very top passions of my life!
EAT. I have a very deep appreciation for other cultures, especially as it pertains to the wide variety of cuisines in the world. I like to consider myself a foodie and have always been fascinated with the history of specific regions or lands as it pertains to agriculture, horticulture and development of cuisine over time. One of the reasons I believe I chose Italy as my European home base is because of the food! And then of course, there’s the connection we make while sharing a meal together with family and friends. There’s the love you can taste in the food prepared by someone with passion and pride. And sometimes, after a fantastic meal, I find myself inspired to create something delicious for people I love as cooking is a big passion of mine as well. And above all, I’ve found an that there’s a huge relationship between food choices and self-love. I now understand how to listen to my body and make food choices that best supports my goals for mind, body, soul integrated lifestyle.
PRAY. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart who wrote Power of Now and A New Earth wrote this quote and I think of it all the time, especially in low moments when I lose track of the extensive amount of gifting in my life. I count on prayer every day to center me, to remind me of who I really am, and for connecting to the whole (the universe or whatever you like to call the source of all). I believe that to live a spiritually awake life, you are either residing in a place of gratitude or striving to get there. It’s the state of being where everything in your life is enough. You’re seeing the abundance in your life and the expansiveness of your being. And from that place, you are attracting to you more of everything you desire. Prayer is a sacred ritual that is available to everyone and can be a private ear that can really listen.
MOVE. By definition it’s to go in a specified direction or change position. We may typically think about moving as a physical act. I, personally, have a deeply personal yoga practice, and enjoy many physical activities and sports including tennis, golf, running, and volleyball. Moving our bodies is essential to experiencing radiant health and well-being. But when I think of the word Move, I think of putting the word Forward after it! No one wants to stand still in one place too long otherwise you become stagnant. Whether you’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic in LA or maybe you’re in a job that doesn’t challenge you at all. If you’re at a stand still with no forward momentum or movement, you feel dead inside! So I am always trying to move forward towards my heartfelt dreams and goals. As long as I’m taking steps in the right direction, I feel truly alive with the momentum of my intentions.
What do I look forward to sharing the most with guests at the retreat?
I strongly believe that we are all here to create and share with the world our individual gifts and talents. And I believe the process of creation should be joyful and fun which is exactly what I want to share with our retreat guests! Sure we all have mental roadblocks and fears that pop up to scare us into thinking we can’t manifest what we truly want. But with commitment and the right internal and external resources, there can also be an ease and grace moving through our fears. There is no better feeling than being connected to your higher purpose, making it manifest, and sharing it with the world as an act of service. Each one of us has so many unique & incredible gifts to offer. If only we could channel our energy towards aligned creation, our world would be a much better place to live in! During the retreat, I look forward to creating the sacred space for inspiration and deep inner wisdom to come through along with the structure to help people create a book of visions, tools, actionable items and resources to draw upon long after they leave the retreat. And for sure, the intense beauty of Marrakesh will provide the perfect atmosphere for this to occur.
What was your experience like in Croatia on this past Croatian retreat?
I had been dreaming of going to Croatia for years but didn’t know much about the country other than I had heard stories of the unparalleled natural beauty. All those stories were true! That country absolutely captivated me. I had never been to a land where you could look out over the sea watching the sun set over a hundreds of islands for as far as the eye can see. It was so dreamy! And visiting Dubrovnik, a walled city on the sea, was like being transported back in time to the medieval ages. Much of the country we saw was untouched and not developed, revealing a gorgeous land rich in natural resources and probably why the Croatians have such a strong appreciation for and pride in their country. Additionally, the retreat consisted of an incredible group of people who were ready to explore and have fun. We had terrific synergy as a group. And what I found interesting was that everyone was very open and willing to share about their personal lives. I remember we sat around the table for dinner the first night sharing which book has had the most impact on our life. And almost everyone spoke about a spiritually-based book! I could sense the desire for deeper connection within the group. Many of us are seeking to understand ourselves and our place in this world in a meaningful way. I knew then that incorporating workshops in personal growth work would be a beautiful addition to an already remarkable retreat experience.
What is your favorite thing to do in your homes of California / Italy?
When I am in Florence, I find myself actively exploring new parts of the city, the countryside, and other regions or countries nearby. It’s a great travel hub! I’m also even more committed to my ashtanga yoga practice while in Italy as the studio I received my yoga teacher certification is in Florence. But honestly, one of my very favorite things to do while in Florence, is to enjoy spending time with friends over aperitivo at some of the many cool wine bars and cafes around the city. I appreciate so much how the Italian lifestyle emphasizes taking time to connect with friends and family at the end of each day, whether it’s at aperitivo or over long sit-down dinners, and there’s no better place to do it than in the magnificent setting of the ancient streets and piazzas of one of the most beautiful cities in the world!
When I’m in my hometown of Los Angeles, my life looks very different except the part about connecting with friends. I have cherished friendships in LA that are always a priority to me. Other than spending quality time with them and my precious kitty, April, I find myself being much more sporty. I love going for long walks on the strand in Manhattan Beach where I live, playing tennis, going to fun yoga and spin classes, and I always make time to play golf with my dad. For work I spend my time in LA focused on life coaching and designing retreats and workshops for the following year. When I’m in Europe, I’m implementing those plans and looking for new opportunities and perfect retreat locations to execute these heart-centered workshops.
Want to join us in Morocco for the MOVE+MANIFEST retreat? RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE!
THANK YOU MICHELLE and we're looking forward to working together!