Breakfast with Euphoria Retreat Founder Marina Efraimoglou

Following the two year Covid hiatus, many adults continue to feel out of balance and out of step with themselves. With borders opening up, mass entertainment events taking and life enveloping us in its hectic energy again, its good to be reminded of the importance of engagement with our own bodies. A breakfast recently hosted by the IndigoEight PR team with the founder of the Greek holistic destination spa Euphoria Retreat Marina Efraimoglou started with the calm conversations between the guests and ended up with the riveting dance to the tunes of David Bowie. What the neighbourhood made of women dancing in the garden in the morning is unknown, but I left the event with renewed enthusiasm for personal wellbeing in the social context.

Indigo 80 breakfast before the Five Elements talk

Marina started her talk with a reminder of the contribution of Greece to wellbeing, gently adding that personally she considers “wellness” to be an empty word. Most Greek philosophers viewed the world as a symbiosis of nature and humankind, living in harmony and in accordance with the seasons. Five ElementsEarth, Fire, Water, Air and Metal – coupled with the four seasons and daily trajectory of both sun and moon, have a significant impact on each one of us. It probably won’t surprise you to read that naturalistic approach to life is really best suited to humans, even though city living and technological advances seem to widen the gap between individual’s connection and engagement with nature. Our ancestors went to bed as sun disappeared behind the horizon, we seem to stay up well into the night – and I don’t mean social occasions or celebrations.

Marina Efraimoglou: Your Life, Your Journey

Like philosophising about deep things in life is no good when done on an empty stomach, neither is the soul focus on individual path, if done outside the context of contribution or participation in the life of society. Did you know that the word “idiot” originated in Greece and alludes to an individual living a private life and not engaged with society matters?! It’s vital for us to be true to who we are in essence, but also to remember that we are part of an active society, which needs our input. A balanced life is the life of everything in moderation and having tools and inspiration to assist us on a life’s path. We all have a freedom of choice, as well as the responsibility to ourselves and to others

Our emotions are the energy and while we can’t exactly ‘conquer’ some emotions, like fear, which is the low energy, we can impact the frequency of our emotions and move from fear to calm to wisdom. When it comes to the Five Elements that Marina was talking about and around which the programmes at Euphoria Retreat are designed, we all have one element that is integral to us, which is connected to our intention – what are we here for – were need to cultivate all five elements in order for our individual life to be balanced. Our first seven years of life are spent in the element of Water, the next seven in Mood – once we complete the 35 year cycle, we start again, by revisiting the elements that we have been ‘in’ before.

Seasonality, emotions and food – according to Five Elements and Marina Efraimoglou

It’s a good exercise to analyse what season you like the most… and the least – the one you feel more in tune with is also connected to your ‘stronger’ element. If you think about it, spring for example is about waking up, being optimistic and feeling renewed. Spring is also a good time to refine the strategy or make plans. Summer is strongly connected to fire and intensity, so if you are prone to anger bursts, it can become more panic-like and flare up due to impatience. What you can do is to try to balance this emotion with gratitude, acceptance and forgiveness, which in turn can help magnify such emotions as love, enthusiasm and joy. Marina also reminded us about the importance of diet in the context of seasons. We crave comforting and warming foods in winter, but in the summer the best thing for our bodies are the cooling foods, like watermelons and tomatoes, that cool us down and help redress the balance of the sunny heat.

Autumn is the harvest season, so it’s best to gather our energy in order to become more grounded and accepting. Earth will take care of us, so it’s also a good time to remind yourself that enough is plenty and if we put too much energy into others – as mothers for example tend to do, often forgetting about their own internal needs – we will lose our internal balance. Pay attention to what element or season you wish to ‘avoid’ and try to build acceptance or a way to balance it. In autumn trees let go of the leaves, but their let their inner juices flow quietly and unseemly beneath the surface, so it’s a good time too let go, grieve over things you loved and lost for example and give yourself time to deal with this emotions, rather than skirt them and allow them to put deeper roots into our internal mechanism and interfere with it.

On the subject of energy – that’s how we all felt after our morning in the company of Marina Efraimoglou and other women in the room

Marina Efraimoglou, whose own energy curled abundantly around each attendee, also reminded us that everything in life – good and bad – happens for a reason and even a bad thing than be a gift in itself with the passing of time. We need to express and acknowledge our emotions, rather than run from them or ignore. By processing the emotions we learn the art of flexibility and also contribute to the healing of the Earth. It might sound far fetched, but if you pause to look around and consider the energy that surrounds us in different places, it will make more sense. There will be places that feel light and happy and places where the energy is so dense you struggle to be in that space.

Living life for others is not good for us either, so Marina came back to that point several times during her talk. The only person who knows us best is ourselves, so we need to be in touch with our bodies and respond to its signals in order to make necessary adjustments. We need meaning in our life, to be “here and now” because that’s really how we individually affect the Earth and the people around us as well. Living in colour and in nuance, responding to our own daily needs and then looking out, helping, loving and caring for others magnifies the positive and steady energy flow that helps re-dress energetic dips. Something that has been significantly by there pandemic and political and economic events around the world.

During Marina’s talk she paused and took questions, listening carefully to the voices of the women that gathered to learn and to engage with each other. We laughed, we shared experiences and we danced abundantly to the music that changed tempo and pace. By the end of the morning we all felt more grounded, yet emotionally uplifted and everyone parted ways by acknowledging the positive energy that flowed abundantly. In good times and in bad it’s important to remind ourselves that we are the change and we can affect change by our emotions, intentions and deeds. Life is learning to understand ourselves, living our best daily life – with all of its ups and downs, paying attention to nature, to people we surround ourselves with and not being static. Be your own wisest council and remember that we all are part of a big energetic tribe – where giving and receiving is equally important.

To learn more about Marina and Euphoria retreat, please click here

My gratitude to my dear friend Victoria, IndigoEight team, Melanie and Zoe for a truly memorable morning in great company.

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