By Tania Ho
March 13, 2017
As we get more and more diverse guests coming from different countries at Museflower Retreat & Spa, I seem to notice that certain guests bring their expectations of what a retreat experience here is supposed to be like.
So I want to take this opportunity to debunk a few myths (expectations) around our unique retreat experience here.
Myth 1. I'm supposed to feel great and happy after a retreat.
Recently I realize this was also my own expectation for our guests with many years of working and training in the hospitality industry. Of course I would want my guests to be happy.
But through many things that have happened and what Inner Dance Sound Healing has taught me, each journey and process is different for each person.
Inner Dance Sound Healing is a meditative journey with music, allowing each person to enter a trance-like state of awareness. In Inner Dance Sound Healing, the facilitator should be aware that he/she does not project his/her own expectations of how the experience should be on the group. The main role of the facilitator is to hold the space for the group, to keep it safe and sacred.
When we project our expectations onto a certain experience on how it should be, we create a blockage around the experience itself because we become attached to our expectations, which in this case, the outcome of the experience.
So having said that, some people may leave the retreat feeling rejuvenated and recharged. Some people may feel worse or more tired than they first arrive.
It all depends on each person's willingness to let go, and their openness to receive guidance, support and healing on all levels.
My job here (and my team) is to hold this space for all our guests. How each of you make out of your own retreat experience is part of your healing journey.
The more we are willing to let go of our expectations and how we should feel, the more we allow healing and transformation to take place.
Myth 2. Retreats are supposed to fix my problems.
Similar to the first myth we discussed, no retreats nor doctors nor healers can truly fix our problems. We are the only ones who can change and heal ourselves completely.
Retreats, like anything else in life, provide a space and tools to guide and assist us in our healing journey. In the end, we have to decide if we want to be helped or not.
Again, if we are willing to look at the root cause of our problems, allow and open ourselves to receive guidance, then we will see that transformation can happen.
However, do take it one step at a time. Instant miracles can happen and do exist, but sometimes it is meant to take time to process and reflect on certain challenges we face.
If we are fixated on certain beliefs such as no one can help me, or this healer is supposed to make all my problems go away, these limiting beliefs will only give away our true power to heal ourselves and we can easily fall into victim mode.
Particularly when we have a certain disease, it is important to address the emotional, mental, and energetic cause of the disease. Every dis-ease is related to a certain emotion that we experience and suppress into our energy field.
If we only focus healing on the physical level, we may or may not be able to heal ourselves completely.
Myth 3. This retreat is supposed to serve the type of Thai food that I see in my home country / is supposed to serve the kind of food that I'm used to having every day.
Our food experience is very much related to the entire retreat experience. And I'm not saying that our guests have to like all our meals, because everyone has different taste. We do value our guest's feedback as it helps us to constantly improve the quality of our food and services.
What I mean here is that sometimes people come here expecting to see the Thai food that they are familiar with from their home country, for example, Pad Thai, Mango sticky rice, Green Curry, or Pad Se-ew. Certainly we do serve these food items as well, but Thai and Asian cooking is so much more than we think we are familiar with.
Here I do admit that our food goes with a softer (not really spicy) and gentler taste, where the cooking methods are mostly based on Thai or Chinese cooking, occasionally western style of cooking.
Being open to try different types of food, speaks to how open we are to accept new things in life, and how open we are in general to allow for healing and transformation to take place.
Coming to a retreat is about breaking away from the daily routine and habit. If the habit is a daily cup of coffee, are you able to give that up during the retreat? If not, that is okay too. But just be aware of that.
The kind of judgment we project on food, such as this is good for me, this is bad for me, relates to how much we judge everything around us as well. Are we always labeling food items, like we label everything else in our lives?
Some guests here expect to have the same kind of food they get at home. But the entire retreat experience is about breaking your daily habits. Of course, there may be certain food items or supplements that you would need for your health. If so, we do encourage you to bring it yourself, or check if it's available here at the center or to purchase in Chiang Rai.
So yes, please do not expect that we serve bread and pastry, beans and potatoes, coffee and alcohol, protein shakes or green smoothies, or a wide range of super food that has to be imported from far away like quinoa and chia seeds.
What we do serve is local, authentic Thai home cooking style of vegetarian food, prepared with our hearts and souls.
Myth 4. I'm supposed to lose weight from vegetarian food.
Weight loss comes with so many factors. Besides the amount and type of food we eat, and how much we exercise, we may also carry weight based on our emotional, mental and energetic blockages.
A lot of people think that by eating vegetarian food that they would lose weight automatically. This is definitely not the case (I also thought so at the beginning and wished the same for myself).
Frankly speaking, weight loss is really not the main focus of Museflower's retreat experience. We can offer general advices on weight loss, but we do not advocate rapid weight loss methods. We promote healthy lifestyle in the long term.
Nikki, our health coach and Pilates teacher, would be able to give advices on weight loss, so it is recommended that our guests book a health coaching session with her to discuss about this.
Our main focus here in Museflower is to help look at the emotional, mental and energetic baggages that we carry, and help with releasing that when these baggages no longer serve your higher purpose.
If you are looking for a place to lose weight and only want to do it in the physical level, or if any of the above myths are what you do expect from a retreat experience, I would be happy to suggest a few other detox and wellness centers and spa resorts in Thailand that may serve you better.
Are you willing to let go of your expectations going into a retreat and allow magic to unfold?
Are there any other myths you feel people have about attending retreats that you'd like to share?
Feel free to share your comments in our blog page below.
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About Tania Ho
Founder and owner of Museflower Retreat & Spa, Tania is a Hong Kong native who now makes her home at the retreat in Chiang Rai. Trained in a number of holistic therapies including Flower Essence consultation and Hado Counseling, Tania believes that healing can take place when we start making changes from within, and it starts from listening to the voice of our soul within.
Museflower Retreat & Spa provides a quiet space for city people who feel stressed out, disconnected and tired an opportunity to get away, slow down and learn to reconnect to themselves again. To receive a free 500THB credit voucher to use towards your next retreat or spa booking at Museflower, subscribe to our newsletter and claim your free gift here.