LOST & FOUND MARRAKECH 2018--ARE YOU THE ONE??

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It's that time again. 

Lost & Found Marrakech 2018 technically launched last week but before I could make the initial announcement to my email subscribers last Friday, MY FIRST TRIP WAS ALMOST SOLD--meaning there was just one space left. And by the time my email landed in everyone's inbox at 6am, that last spot had been taken overnight!

So my initial retreat is now FULLY BOOKED & CLOSED. JUST LIKE THAT. But don't cry--there's still good news. 

I got so much interest from that email that I'm actually launching A SECOND RETREAT from April 10-15, 2018.And once again, there's only one space left. 

Could it be for you? Are you the one??

I created Lost & Found Marrakech to not only be a pause & reset for other independent, adventurous, like-minded women with a love for travel but....to also hold space for them to connect back to themselves. For you to connect back to yourself. To experience what I consider to be the best part of solo travel--they joy if immersing yourself in a totally new environment & letting go of who you think you are, to learn more about who you can become.

And what better place to do that then halfway around the world, in Africa??

I first traveled to Marrakech last year & my experience in that ancient city was beyond anything I could articulate--the landscape, the architecture, the history, the culture, the people the food....oh, the food. I came back smitten & so did the 6 women who attended that first retreat. Here's what one of them had to say:

My biggest concern about investing in the Lost & Found Marrakech experience was traveling by myself to a destination when I wasn't close to the other participants. I wasn't sure if my personality would fit in & if I'd feel alone & bored throughout my stay. Instead, the moment I met the other women on the trip we connected as if we'd known each other for years! I honestly made lifelong friends on this trip and we shared & connected like family. Totally unexpected bonus!

You can read more about that trip here.

The April 10-15, 2018 retreat includes:

  • 5 nights/6 days accommodation in a traditional Moroccan riad
  • Daily breakfast featuring tea, fresh breads, eggs, honey, jams, yoghurt & specialty Moroccan dishes
  • Welcome Dinner upon arrival made from fresh, local & seasonal ingredients
  • Private, hands-on cooking class with Moroccan women where we’ll learn the secrets to preparing traditional Moroccan dishes. Lunch included.
  • Half day ATV tour of Lake Takerkoust, Agafay desert + traditional tea in a Berber village
  • Guided, sit-down gourmet food & riad tour showcasing regional specialties, traditional spices, & beautiful riads you’d never see on your own
  • Round trip transfer to & from RAK (Marrakech airport)

Total investment $1699 (not including airfare)

The Details

Your $1699 investment can be paid up front, in one payment, or divided into 5 payments:

November 5, 2017: $550 deposit due

2nd payment due December 5th 2017: $287.50

3rd payment due January 5th 2018: $287.50

4th payment due February 5th 2018: $287.50

5th payment due March 5th 2018: $287.50

Here's how to know if this is right for you!

You're an:adventurous woman who loves to explore new cultures & welcomes the opportunity to learn about new lands, languages & ways of life. Someone who enjoys trying new foods. A woman who enjoys pushing the boundaries of her own comfort zone & values EXPERIENCES above THINGS. A woman who doesn't need to depend on a tour guide & relishes charting her own path...but also enjoys having a community forged by deeper connections. If you're someone who doesn't take herself too seriously, loves to laugh, is easy-going & enjoys meeting new people, then you're the type of woman I'm looking for.And you're gonna love this trip. 

This trip is not right for the:High maintenance women. Picky eaters. Women who can't bare to be unplugged from WIFI. Those who expect to be hand-held, managed, catered to, are afraid to be by themselves, don't like to walk or get annoyed around non-English speakers. If you have a Type A personality, are over dramatic (you KNOW if this is you), or expect a very Western experience akin to staying in a traditional hotel...this isn't the trip for you! 

So if you're reading this & thinking, "I'm the one she's waiting for!", just send me an email to daykarobinson@gmail.com & we'll get you signed up! 

Marrakech is unlike anything you've seen before but don't take my word for it...come see for yourself. 

**Please note that due to the logistics involved with planning a trip like this, all deposits & installment payments are non refundable. It is highly encouraged that you get travel insurance which will protect your investment in the unlikely event you need to cancel.**

THE PURPOSE OF WORK.

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Two weeks ago my mother's best friend's husband unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack. This woman was like a sister to her, and I know her as an aunt...their kids are like cousins. My "uncle" was just a few months short of retirement from an esteemed career at Chevron and as expected, it's been a hard reality for the family to face.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how close he was to retirement which in turn, has made me think a lot about work. About the purpose of it and, of course, what we're really doing with the finite, unknown about of time we have on this earth. Thank God he was happy with his.

I've shared this before, but I actually think a lot about death because for me it's a reminder that I don't have the luxury to bet against time that has not been guaranteed to me. I use that as a way to stay motivated, ESPECIALLY as it pertains to all of the work I still want to produce. There is SO much I want to do, and I'm constantly reminding myself:

You're not gonna be here forever, Dayka--do it now. Here's the thing: how you think about what "work" means--and more specifically, the value of YOUR work in the world--is one of the single most important factors to influence how you'll spend the majority of your days. 

We get so caught up with using work as a way to meet our goals, instead of embracing the idea that meaningful work actually IS the goal, that we miss some of the most important questions:

How are you making a contribution to the world with your work? What are you allowing to come through you?

If your work is just a way for you to buy nice things & pay for vacations, then you stay in a perpetual cycle of working to reach the next milestone. And it's never enough, because as soon as you grab the carrot that's right in front of you, you jump right back on the hamster wheel hungry for the next milestone.

So you're basically working to get your next "fix".Just like a drug addict.

No thought is actually given to the work itself, it's just "I need to make $X/month so I can go buy xxx." And your life ends up being subdivided by shit you probably won't remember when you're staring down your last days.

And here's the thing: if this is what you really want--what you're INTENTIONALLY choosing for yourself--then there's nothing wrong with this path. Work your job, buy your stuff, and rinse & repeat as much as possible until your body just can't do it anymore. If that truly makes you happy, then do you, boo.

But if it doesn't, then it's time to do something different.

The only thing about this journey to purposeful work is, there's no one right answer for everybody. What works for me might not work for you. The places I've found success could potentially be failures for you (and vice versa!). But when you recognize that the value is in the journey and not just in the destination, concepts like "failure" and "success" take on a completely different meaning.

They don't really mean anything, actually. 

If you see work as integral to your soul's growth, then the journey of creating a life becomes focused on the process of work itself--of working to uncover your path, acknowledging the dead ends & embracing the forks in the road, the fuck-ups AS WELL AS the achievements. If you see it as your obligation to the world--for occupying space on this planet--then you get that you have to continuously bring everything you are to your work. And that at its highest,

Your work is supposed to be a reflection of who you are. 

This doesn't mean that you're always going to LIKE what you're doing at every step along the way, but it does mean that your essential quest is about much more than just "making money".

Going to Disneyworld. Buying new countertops.The latest 70" flat screen tv.Or a new Tesla. Buying stuff.

These things may add value to your life, but they should never be the source of the value. 

Being mindful about what you put into the world isn't just about watching the words that come out of your mouth--it's also about what you're intentionally creating for the world in a way that only you can do. It's about beign open to the fact that what you THINK you're here to do may not in fact be what you end up doing..and instead fighting against that change, you allow yourself to embrace it. It's about getting really comfortable with the unknown.

The naked-in-bed kinda comfortable.

Because when you commit to growing your soul, there are no guarantees on this path(and there are no guarantees on ANY path, btw). You'll meet a lot of unknowns & seemingly scary places....places where there's not always a quick fix for what's ailing you.But if you're one of the people who can lay their heads down at night believing that what you do matters,

Then you've got something special. Something worth holding onto. Something worth fighting for.

Your beliefs about how you live & move in this world matter, and if you don't know exactly what you believe....this is where you must start. This is your work.

What you do in this world matters.Don't ever believe that it doesn't. 

**also, yesterday I released a very cool Black Book of Solo Travel for the woman who wants to know how to safely travel the world like the badass she is. And it's only $10. Click the link to head to my shop to check it out.**

HOW TO RECLAIM YOUR TIME.

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I had to shut it all the way down this week.My energy was totally depleted & I found myself physically and emotionally exhausted.

Between an incredibly full schedule last week, an emotionally draining conversation over the weekend, entertaining out of town guests, new work projects, late night conversations and Charlottesville having me really feel enraged, once again, at the plight of being black in this country... my damn cup was empty, y'all. 

Like, not even a drop left in that thing.And it was no ones fault but my own.

To quote Auntie Maxine, I (desperately) needed to reclaim my time.

So I said no to work, to friends, and cancelled dinner dates.

I filled my refrigerator with food Monday afternoon, spent the evening listening to a book on tape while lounging in a massive bubble bath, and then climbed my naked, ashy ass into bed & stayed there for 3 days.

And it was everything.

I didn't return any emails, work related or otherwise. Didn't leave the house. Didn't open the drapes. Didn't really leave my bed except for food.

My only plan? Resting until I felt like I didn't need to rest anymore.

Taking care of myself. Recentering. Recuperating.Reclaiming my time.

Because somehow I got way off track over the last 2 weeks. Didn't do a great job of monitoring my input vs. my output. Started giving people more of myself than what I actually had to give. And it left me feeling like shit. 

And while self care is this idea people seem to love in theory,they don't always love it in practice. We seem to feel VERY entitled to each other's time. That oururgent needs means others should adapt to our schedules. That taking days to rest your body & mind--when you're not actually sick--is an indulgent luxury when in fact...

it should be standard practice.

Because allowing your cup to get all the way empty is unhealthy. And dangerous. 

I love to talk about this because I know that I'm not the only one who sometimes forgets that I have the right to say no...but that's the only way we can truly reclaim our time.

No, I will not allow you to manage my time. No, I will not put my needs on the back burner. No, I won't apologize for needing a break. 

People like other people who like themselves.And you know how you like yourself?By making you a priority.Putting your needs first, even if it's inconvenient for others.

Because "reclaiming my time" is really more than just a catch phrase--it's a call to action. A reminder that you are the guardian of the time that's been given to you while you're on this earth. 

It is YOURS. It belongs to YOU. And it's your responsibility to manage it, direct it, decrease it, or increase it, as you see fit.

But you must be the one to do it. 

NEVER be afraid to wave the white flag in your life. If you don't feel well, tell the truth.  If you're burned out from work, tell the truth.  If your relationships aren't supporting you, tell the truth.  If you don't know exactly WTF is wrong, but you know for sure that something just ain't right, then tell the truth about that too. 

I'm spending this last weekday catching up on work & even though a project went a little haywire while I was away, I don't regret waving my flag & closing shop. There was nothing I could've done to avoid the mishap & more importantly, I know that I'm of no service to my clients if I'm not first serving myself.

I needed every single one of those 3 days off, so I took them.THAT'S how you reclaim your time. 

BE VULNERABLE.

I put all of my business out there on Instagram this week. Emphasis on all. 

And instead of feeling scared, or worried about what people might think, I felt free. And incredibly empowered.

It was a reminder that I am a REAL person with a REAL body and, like many of you, going through REAL things. I think a lot about how I show up on social media & always try to make sure that I'm sharing the truth about who I am from as many angles as possible. Yes my life is good but...it's also "good" because that's the only truth I'm willing to consider about it. Things are always working out in my favor.

This Instagram post is something that, years ago, I thought I'd never do because there was a time when it seemed like being diagnosed with Vitiligo was the worst thing that could happen to me. Funny what a little time, perspective & experience can do for those self sabotaging beliefs that we unknowingly cling to for dear life....   My truth is that I'm not perfect. I don't have all the answers (the ones I do have are often subject to change), I can be impatient, I'm not always kind, and I have my own share of emotional wounds & sore spots that I'll be working to release for as long as I'm alive. But you know what? I am here. And I show up for my life, with every single thing I have, every single day. And I'm really proud of that. Yes, I do it for myself but I'm also clear that my life isn't just about me...it's about you, too. Because we need each other to survive. 

I wrote this & posted it on IG a few days ago but I think it's worth sharing here again:

"Part of the reason we must commit ourselves to telling the truth about who we are is because WE ARE ALL JUST LIGHTHOUSES FOR EACH OTHER. The only way we ever reach the shore is with HELP from another human being--I share mine, which helps you share yours, which helps someone else share theirs. We don't do each other any favors by pretending to be (have/live/do) things that we are not (and most of the time folk know when you're lying anyway!). Whoever & whatever you are is good enough, right now. Walk in Truth. Be a lighthouse."

Never be afraid to be vulnerable and share the truth about who you are because there's never a wrong time to be a lighthouse. Or a gatekeeper. Never forget that there's someone out there right now, who won't know that it can be done (whatever "it" may beuntil YOU do it. And that's pretty powerful. So allow yourself to be vulnerable with people.

There's no one right way to be vulnerable--I get that social media route is not for everyone--but the point is, allow yourself to be exposedGive yourself the privilege of being known, and watch people rise to support you....and in turn they will also support themselves.

I can assure you that there is no greater honor. Even if it means letting your belly hang out on the 'gram!!

THE MOST POWERFUL QUESTION YOU CAN ASK.

Two weeks ago, on March 4th, one of my best friends lost his father very suddenly. He was seemingly healthy, active & by all accounts, led a very full life.

And yet one minute he was here, and the next minute he was gone.

His death came just seven days after my birthday, when I shared this post about my own experience with my father's death exactly 10 years ago. My father--who also transitioned very suddenly--passed away on the day before my 28th birthday, so it's a date I've never forgotten. And it's eerie how I publicly shared these words about that time in my life just days before his father's death, completely unaware that I was actually talking directly to someone in my inner circle.

As you can imagine I've spent much of the last 2 weeks thinking a lot about grief, death, friendship, love & how we care for those closest to us.  This post is about one of those things.

After my father died I quickly came to the conclusion that asking bereaved people that all too familiar, "How are you doing?" was quite possibly the dumbest question in the world. Every time someone asked I'd always think to myself, "I just lost my father--how the fuck do you think I'm doing right now???". The question seemed to be simple, thoughtless & terribly annoying.

But then, 13 days ago, one of MY people lost one of HIS people. And all I really wanted, every day, was to ask him how he was doing.

How is your soul feeling today? Where are you emotionally? How are you processing things? 

Because as much as we're socialized to automatically ask "How are you?" as a mindless form of greeting, there are moments in life when that question truly is the only thing in the world that you want to know.

How is your heart in this moment? How do you feel in the world today? 

And now I understand, in a way that I couldn't have before, why asking people "How are you?" actually isn't the worst question in the world.

You wanna know what the worst question is?

No question at all. 

Because not asking is to presume that you already know the answer.

And that in itself can be like an act of aggression.

You ask so that you can give people a space to own their own feelings. And you ask because inquiring how someone is doing--and truly meaning it--is actually an act of love. 

One of my favorite authors, Rob Bell, taught me that the simplest things are often the most profound. He reminds me of the importance of making old things new again & encourages me to constantly uncover new meaning in the midst of the everydayness of life. Because perspective, time & evolution have shown me that simple question--the one we mindlessly ask all the time & the one I once thought to be the "dumbest question in the world"--is actually one of the most powerful questions I can ever ask.

This experience, even though we're just a few days in, has helped me bring profound meaning to what has always been right in front of me.

My friend is grieving because he loved someone. And I'm here, writing this, because I love my friend.

I can't tell you much about the road he must now walk but I can tell you all about the one I walk beside him.

It starts & ends with four simple words:

How are you doing???

IT'S JUICY IN THE MIDDLE.

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A few years ago there came a point in my life where things got a little stale. Life was good but generally speaking, everything was very middle of the road.The highs weren't too high & the lows weren't too low. Living felt safe and easy. Too easy.

Because deep down I knew that I was selling myself short. 

So I put a tiny wrench in my predictable flow by deciding to book a solo trip to Istanbul--a place that wasn't even on my radar until I decided to go. I'd never been, didn't know the language & didn't know a soul. Everyone thought I was crazy to venture to Turkey alone & my mom strongly encouraged me to rethink my decision. I was scared to death because I didn't have all of the money to go and I'd even turned down a high profile design opportunity on the bet that I would be out of the country. But none of this mattered, because something was telling me that I needed to make that trip...and the minute I told the world that I was going to Istanbul, every single thing fell in line--I even scored an airline ticket at 50% off of the published price! 

I always say that the Universe will honor us when we honor ourselves, and this is just one of MANY times I've seen this principle work in my own life. Following my intuition to Istanbul ended up being one of THE best gifts I've ever given to myself.

It was there that I learned my strength, adaptability & capability aren't just limited to the United States. Or to English-speaking countries. And it was there, while eating baklava along the Bosphorus Strait, that I understood the cost of playing it safe & easy meant I would be settling for an undiscovered life. And being in Istanbul showed me that was a price I couldn't afford to pay.

It's a lessonI haven't since forgotten.

Here's the thing about settling for the lesser life:it will never get you to the juice. 

It's like hanging on the side of the pool because you know you can get wet without exerting any effort. You've got your bathing suit on & you're out there having fun, feeling like you're really getting the best of both worlds until one day you look out and realize you've been had because the real merriment is actually happening in the middle of the pool!! Everyone is doing all kinds of exciting things with both hands because the people in the middle decided to let go of the edge so they can have more experiences. The Middles are lit AF!! They can swim underwater, do cannonballs, play Marco Polo & even get in a friendly round of water polo, all while you're looking on from the outskirts, missing the action 'cause you're still hanging onto the side of the pool. Over there trying to "take it easy".

But the edge isn't as appealing once you realize the secret--the middle is where the juice is.

It's the metaphorical place where you become the storyteller of your journey.Moving across the country for new love? Leaving a secure 9-5 job to follow your passion??None of it can happen unless you let go of the edge & swim out to the middle. Because making a better story is all about opening up to the unknown.It's about letting go of who we are to make space for the potential of who we must become. 

So how exactly do you get to the juicy middle??  You do it by constantly asking yourself, "What will give me an opportunity to grow into a deeper version of myself??" and "What will make for a better life story??".And then you act accordingly. It could be as small as joining a new social group or it could be as big as finally leaving a stale relationship. No matter the move, you know when it's your time to move and you go--even in the face of uncertainty. For me, it was going to Istanbul alone, led only by the guidance of a deep knowing in my soul--my intuition.

This is the epiphany led me to launch "Lost & Found Marrakech", which is my unique way of creating a space for community & adventure to co-exist along the backdrop of the North African desert. It's my attempt to gift to other women a little bit of the same freedom, confidence, & thrill that I experienced in Istanbul. The kinda things that can change your life.

So if you've been thinking about joining me in Marrakech, knowing that you need to go but paralyzed by your what-ifs, think about what I said earlier and honor yourself so that the Universe can honor you.Deposits are due today & there are still a few spaces left--could one of them be for you?? Take inventory & ask yourself, "What will give me an opportunity to grow into a deeper version of myself??" and if coming to Marrakech feels right for you, I'd love to have you.

Hop over here to learn more. And feel free to email me if you have questions!

Masalama.

REAL ONES.

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They say that making friends is harder as you get older but I don't buy into that theory.

I say that the more you grow into YOURSELF--and commit to pursuing activities/groups/places you really love--the more you attract similar people who genuinely love the same things you do. 

I think it only gets hard when, somewhere along the way,you stop going after the things that set your soul on fire. 

Now I will say this: I definitely see a difference in the QUANTITY of friends I have now, versus when I was younger. Back then there were more people to club with, gossip with, shop with, hang out with. I was young(er) & on my own for the first time--clear across the country--so all I really wanted to be was "grown". I wasn't looking for anything except to finally fit in somewhere and to know that I belonged...and I'm sure you can guess how that story goes....

But there was also a difference in the QUALITY of people I had back then, too. These days, everyone I'm close to is someone I met effortlessly while being 100% myself--the Dayka with the witty, sarcastic sense of humor, who asks a bunch of questions, loves curse words & has a naughty habit of interrupting people when she gets excited about a good conversation.We are held together by a strong core belief that God is always conspiring in our favor, even--and especially--when it doesn't look like it, and we constantly affirm this for one another.

We speak of crystals...and energy fields...and oracle cards...and possibility...and Grace (and we hit on the ratchet stuff, too!). The width of the crew may be smaller these days but the depth is the deepest I've had yet. I know I've got some amazing friends but the truth is....they are all just reflections of me.Because you can only attract who you are. 

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create a kindred tribe of friends because your success, however you define that word, is absolutely tied to it. I'm not talking about the "good time" people who are always down to turn up at a moment's notice--instead I'm talking about the kinda friends who will gladly "hold space" for you when you can't do it for yourself. The kind of friends who really, really like you just as you are right now. The ones you can send a text saying "Do you have a minute to encourage me?" and your message will barely hit their inbox before they're dialing your number seconds later (I know 'cause I just sent this text last week!).

And you know how you meet these kinda people? By telling the truth about who you are.Because when you lead with the truth about who you are it becomes a lot easier for your life follow suit. You start going to events that truly interest you, whether that's a quilting conference (hey Ari!), a private gemstone sale or a night at the symphony.You're more likely to get on a site like Meetup.com to find interesting new social groups or to buy a ticket to hear your favorite author speak out of state...even if that means you have to go alone.You start intentionally doing the shit that interests you for no reason other than the fact that you like it. And because that kind of behavior is energetically attractive (you know,the whole taking responsibility for you own happiness thing), other people will see you and say, "You know, I have this friend I think you should meet..." and you start getting connected to other amazing people with little to no effort on your part.

All because you're honest about who are. 

Don't fall into the hype that creating genuine relationships is hard. Don't hang around people who want you to join them in complaining about how awful life is, how fucked up men/women are or who folks who love to lament how things are "never gonna change". Don't hang around people who always talk about how "broke" they are, who never take personal responsibility for their behavior or people who can't be grateful for the good stuff even when it's right in front of their face. I could give you a laundry list of reasons why you shouldn't hang around these people but here's the most important one: what they're saying simply isn't true. 

You're only as good as the people you allow to share & speak into your life. Get you some friends (yes, "get you") who will lift you up, encourage you, support you...fill your squad with people whom you ADMIRE. If you don't have friends who will speak LIFE into you...make that a priority in 2017. The people you attract in life are just a reflection of YOU. If you don't like the company you keep, well then...the first place to start is in the mirror.

I'M GOING TO BALI.

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I've been keeping a little secret.

I'm going to Bali. In just a few weeks. 

B.A.L.I. 

For 2.5 weeks. (!!!)

A crazy deal popped up right after I returned from my Amtrak Adventure (like, that very day) and before I could talk myself out of it...I booked that mama. Part of me still can't believe I'm going but another part isn't surprised--I told many a person that I wanted to do Bali or Johannesburg in January of 2016 and....well you know how I feel about speaking things into existence. I planned my trip so that I'd be there during "Caka"--the 6 day Balinese New Year celebration. Nyepi Day, which falls on the 3rd day, is a day of total silence on the island from 6am to 6am the following day. No one is allowed on the streets, all shops are closed, the airports are completely shut down (arrivals & departures), no travel, no entertainment, no electricity & very minimal sound. It's a day of silence, fasting, self-reflection & dedication to God with the belief that the evil spirits will avoid the island if it's silent. I love experiencing places (and events) that are far from our US traditions and this sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime experience so I'm off to take part!

I haven't yet made any plans (housing or otherwise) so if you've ever been to Bali/anywhere in Indonesia I'd love to hear your suggestions--the countdown is on!!