As I prepared to round out my last year in my twenties, I really wanted to experience something magical. I mean, that’s what we all hope for on our birthdays, right? That good time that’s so great, we explain it to all of our friends as…”girrrllll, you just had to be there!”
When I was contacted by Chef Ahki’s team to join their Detox | Nourish | Replenish Retreat, I was curious but excited to do something completely out of the norm for birthday celebrations. Most years, I’ve done the dinner and club scene but as I have grown older, I have started to gain a better understanding of self and health. This retreat seemed like the best combination of two. Not to mention, Chef Ahki is the absolute business. Seriously.
So, I made arrangements for Kam and headed to Stone Mountain to the retreat house for the weekend. I didn’t really have any expectations, except for the fact that I was excited to take a break from work and parenting for the weekend. I can’t remember the last time I did not have to be focused on anything but my well being for three days in a row. In classic mom form, I arrived 45 minutes late and walked in the door with this rushed feeling.
A sister opened the door and her smile instantly calmed me. I walked in to a beautiful home and to my right in the dining room, sat about 15 sisters who all welcomed me with the same smile as the one who invited me into the home. Ok, this isn’t so bad, I thought.
I am a decent eater for the most part so the thought of detoxing food didn’t really bother me. That was the easy part. This entire weekend would consist of a juice cleanse. The part I was worried about was that there were only 3 bathrooms and about 22 women to split.
We sipped on tamarind tea as Chef introduced the meaning behind her retreat. She stood stoic with her mother and gave us the story of how her mission to heal through food had trickled down to her entire family with her own mother and grandmother becoming vegan because of her passion. Oh yea, we were drinking the juice and I’m not talking about the tea.
For the first night of the retreat, we headed to Lake Claire Land Trust to the sweat lodge. The sweat lodge is in a communal living community and led by Baba Robert Pue. It sits in the middle of the woods as a dome hut warmed by a coal oven. It’s meant as a space to release and accept negative and positive energy. We all stripped down and sat inside what felt like a literal oven and sweated, chanted, cried, and laughed. We were only a few hours in and I had cried twice. I wasn’t ready this part.
What was I crying for? At this point, I didn’t really know. Maybe I was hungry. Maybe it was the love. Whatever it was, it needed to come out and for that I was thankful. We headed back to the retreat home around 11 PM and I darted to the showers. I wasn’t playing about those 3 bathrooms and 22 women.
I woke up from the best sleep I have had in years. It is unfair to say I slept like a baby because they wake up every few hours. I slept like an old person. Unmoving and completely relaxed. We started the morning with smoothies and Sole’, as beautiful as ever, came and we had the most wonderful yoga session in the back of the yard. There was a waterfall, soothing music, and a lot of women attempting to stretch in a way we don’t normally do. Even with all this movement, food never crossed my mind. I was being spiritually fed. I felt as relaxed and calm as I ever could be.
We moved throughout day two seamlessly. We sat cross legged in the living room and shared stories of sisterhood, generational pain, and worked together to learn how the things we put in our bodies worked to cure us from these issues. We had a tomato soup for dinner and watched a video on Chef’s fibroid elimination course. As you know, fibroids affect Black and Latino women more than another other race. When I asked Chef why, she told me:
- Lack of support from our Black men
- Our diet
- Hair products
Later that evening, we had a manifestation drum circle where we came up with our own affirmations for our life. By time we were finished, I was living in a bungalow with children running all around me. My manifestation game is on point. Watch me work!
We ended our night in ceremony. This portion of our trip is special to each of us and the only part that I will leave out of this entire article because some things are sacred. We learned how to speak to our inner goddesses and touch the parts deep inside of ourselves to heal. I experienced feelings peace and happiness that truly put meaning to that statement, “girrrllll you just had to be there!” It was nothing short of amazing.
I’ll admit, I woke up the next morning exhausted. I woke up feeling as if I had lived a dream that I did not want to wake up from. By day three of the retreat, I had accomplished all those warm fuzzy feelings I was hoping for and at this point, everything else was just a bonus. Some ladies slept the entire day and some of us participated in the Qigong session led by Dr. Valena which showed us how to move energy throughout our body through touch and massage. We drank delicious smoothies and rested. Ma’at Petrova led an amazing womb dancing workshop that showed us how to move out bodies and get in touch with our inner femininity and sexuality. Me and my two left feet moved as best as we could. My hips tried to do something…I probably should go see Ma’at again for a one on one session.
Day three was short for me since I left to handle mama duties. Chef took the ladies to the local farmer’s market to show them foods to buy to follow her electric diet meal plan.
Overall, the retreat was a healing moment of beautiful sisterhood. Stepping out into the real world afterwards felt like stepping into the matrix. I enjoyed the moments I spent learning my inner self but most of all, my heart was full from the divine sisterhood that filled the space. To see so many beautiful women come together to aid each other in love was something that inspired me to continue on my mission to heal mothers.
So yes mamas, I am telling you, if you have ever considered joining a Chef Ahki retreat, do it. And I’m not selling you this. I didn’t get a dime for it. What I did get was some real self care and awareness. As I always say, you give life, you deserve it.
Have you ever considered joining a Chef Ahki detox retreat before or have already gone? Tell me your experience below.
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