Posted on 06/11/2017
I’ve just returned from my latest adventure, an incredible retreat in the Sacred Valley of Peru. It was 10 transformative days ‘off the grid’, with no access to technology, phones, or the outside world; with twelve other beautiful souls who had been carefully curated and invited to join this experience.
If you’ve been following my @drcatstone instagram, you’ll know that the prep for the retreat was pretty #hardcore! I had to get the Leah Light Nails team to take my beautiful shellac nails off, eat completely Vegan for 3 weeks prior to the retreat, with no alcohol and minimal-no salt or sugar, and fast (= water only) during the 30+ hr plane ride from Auckland to Cusco. Pretty tough for a social foodie like me!! I got a heap of fabulous new vegan recipes (thanks to Little Bird and Green Leaf Organics), and have actually started enjoying vegan food... and it was interesting how much lighter my body has felt since giving up meat!
Going ‘off the grid’ was a major mental shift for me - I’ve not been without my phone for more than a day since I got my first Sony-Ericsson mobile nearly 20 years ago!! I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about it, especially as I use my phone for just about everything - alarm, clock, weather, calculator, bank accounts, Email, social media, business... and translation in Spanish speaking countries because my Spanish is so terrible!(😆)... my family always comments about how I’m addicted to my phone! Is this something you can relate to?
It was actually surprising that there were a couple of other attendees who had even more of a challenge than I did giving up their phones and laptops... both have highly successful online businesses, and were tapping away on technology right up until the last few seconds before we had to hand in our phones! Once we released them from our hands, it was amazing how free it felt. Time passed so much more slowly when we weren’t constantly checking the clock, our emails, and social media! I felt like I got so much more done, and at the same time, had so much more time and space to just chill and ‘be’. To be honest, I really liked it, and it took a little bit of adjusting to getting back ‘on line’ again once we did get our phones back! OMG - I had sooooo many emails!
While at the retreat we could not use toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo or conditioner, or any of my usual medical-grade skin products - aaaarrrgghhh! Instead, we washed ourselves with a cactus-based herbal soap/shampoo, used coconut oil to clean our teeth and moisturise our bodies, and used natural sunscreens to protect our skin... I was thankful to have the protection of my favourite sunscreens: Cosmedix Reflect (a cooling spray with titanium dioxide and antioxidants) and the ColorScience Sunforgettable 50+ brush, as both use natural mineral based sunscreens that were perfect! I was almost ecstatic to get back to my proper skin care once the retreat finished - it showed me how important it is to use the right products! My team have also told me that shipping is free for the first 25 people that use the code SUN, when purchasing sunscreen - make sure you get in quick.
Ten days passed so quickly and slowly all at the same time. Every day we had some combination of yoga, breathwork, training sessions utilising NLP (neurolinguistic programming), Sacred Plant Medicine and other deeply transformative work to help us release our blocks, step into the highest versions of ourselves, and really connect into our deeper life purpose. I managed to fill almost a whole journal with notes, impressions, dreams, affirmations and insights, and yet I still feel I have more work to do, so I’m planning to return in late February to attend for a second time and go even deeper!
I’ve already noticed some major shifts in my mindset, leadership skills and what’s showing up in my life! Even the process of committing to the retreat started calling in some amazing opportunities and synchronicities. I’m so grateful and thankful to beautiful Regan (check her out on Facebook under Regan Anne Hillyer) and her phenomenal partner JuanPa who organised the retreat, called ‘Releasing Into Abundance’ - it truly feels like I’m now empowered to take myself, our team, and the Face Place, to the ‘next level’! Exciting times ahead!!
What this experience really revealed to me was the importance of taking time away from everyday life to reflect, create time for introspection, and just ‘stop the crazy-busy’. It was challenging for me to take the time away in the early part of our busiest time of year, but I feel like it was a great investment in time and money, as I will be able to show up so more powerfully for you, our team and the business, especially moving forward.
I realise that not everyone can go to the extreme of flying to Peru to attend a 10 day retreat (although if you’re interested, let me know and I can connect you with the right people)... however if you feel like it’s important to take a bit of time to stop and ‘do you’, there are some quick, easy and simple things you might want to try:
✨ Put your phone away for half a day, or if you’re really needing the clock or photos functions (ask yourself, do you REALLY need them?), try to turn it on Airplane mode so no-one can get hold of you via email, social media or phone.
✨ Do an alcohol-free week, or month, or even a YEAR if you’re really keen - and see how your body responds.
✨ Be kind to yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself all the things you really LOVE about yourself! I found this one really challenging, but also really rewarding when I finally ‘broke through’
✨ Get a journal, and start writing down your thoughts, dreams, impressions and fears. Create the written intention at the beginning of your journal that any hopes and dreams will manifest quickly and easily, while expressing your fears will help them dissipate.
✨ BREATHE! Even 3-5 long, slow, deep diaphragmatic breaths can completely change your state from anxiety-stress-fight-or-flight to a calmer, more mentally active and aware position. We did so many wonderful breath and movement activations every morning with JuanPa, every one of us could feel the energy moving through our bodies more actively! If you’re interested in JuanPa’s work, check out Juan Pablo Barahona on Facebook, where you can get a taste for what he does, and then decide to go deeper if you want to!
I’m so incredibly grateful for the whole experience, and super-grateful to our amazing team who do such a wonderful job looking after you guys while I’m away! Without having an amazing team that I can trust to keep the Clinic amping while I’m away, I would not have the confidence, or the ability to go and have these up-leveling experiences, in the quest to be the best version of me - the best leader, innovator, clinician, friend, and human - that I can be.
Our whole team is delighted with our lovely new Admin girls, Rachel and Charlotte, who we are excited to introduce to you this month! Both of these lovely ladies have settled in beautifully to the team, so please come in and meet them, they are delightful!! Charlotte is so incredibly organised, and Rachel is a trained makeup artist, as well as having a wicked sense of humour! We love having them on board!
If you are wanting your pre-Christmas treatment, it is important to call and book NOW to secure your space. Our Skin team are already booked up until the new year, so we have a waiting list for skin appointments this side of Christmas. If you are booked, but cannot make the appointment, please let us know with plenty of warning so we can offer the appointment to someone else... it’s often difficult to get people squeezed in if we have less than 48 hours notice!
If you have been considering IPL for your brown spots, rosacea or photorejuvenation, then you will have to now wait until next winter, as you need to be out of the sun for a month before and after each treatment. Summer is the perfect time to start prepping your skin so that you can achieve the best possible results with IPL once winter hits, so make sure you secure an appointment for the New Year once the Skin Team has more availability!
Now is also a great time to have a top up of your PRP, Vampire Facial, or Vampire Facelift, so it is working beautifully for the holiday season - it usually is at its best about 6-8 weeks after your treatment, landing you right into Christmas/New Years!
We stop doing dermal fillers in the last 2 weeks before Christmas, as the risk of bruising is slightly higher, so make sure you get your filler appointments booked in now as well - they get snapped up really quickly at this time of year!
I have no more big trips now until next year, but will be taking some of our team over to Sydney on the 25th November for the 3rd Australian My Face My Body Awards. We are incredibly honoured to have been named finalists in all 4 categories that we entered, and are hoping that we can win ‘Best Aesthetic Practice - NZ’ for the third year running, making us one of the first to be inaugurated into the MFMB Hall of Fame! Please send us best wishes and keep your finger crossed for us on the night! Thank you for all of your incredible support, we definitely couldn’t do this without you!!
I was hugely honoured to be included in the ‘Top 100 Global Aesthetic Practitioners’ book released last month... but the honour really goes to you, our clients, and our team. Every day we are pushed and inspired to do bigger and better things to help the men and women we serve grow more confident, become more attractive, and step into the best possible version of themselves. It’s a true privilege to see how you grow, develop and transform, so ‘Thank You’ for giving us that opportunity.
Have an amazing month, with so much love, abundance, bliss and joy!!
Dr Cat 😻
Back to News