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Learn to Listen with Relax It’s Flowers

Catskill local Megan Montenaro started her business, Relax It’s Flowers, to combine her love of flower arrangement with her focus on mindfulness. According to Megan, arranging flowers creates the perfect environment to focus all your energy on the present. Relax It’s Flowers offers 90-minute classes to learn just that. Megan unplugged and relaxed at our New York Outpost earlier this month. Now, she’s sharing one of her favorite mindful practices.

Flowers and Mindfulness

Learn to Listen: Your Mind (Heart, Blood Pressure, and Joints) Will Thank You

In the morning, do you reach for your phone and check email before you’re even fully awake? In the evening, do you fall asleep as you scroll through Instagram?

When you have to wait in a doctor’s office, for a friend who’s running late to your brunch, or for a meeting to start, do you fill these moments with mindless scrolling as opposed to mindful thinking?

If you answered yes to any – or all – of these, I have a hunch you would benefit from this wonderful listening exercise.  I used to do this every morning, before I got out of bed. It would remind me that being mindful, in any situation, can shift aversion to indifference and you can control your reaction. I sadly stopped the practice a few months ago, but spending the night tucked away in the woods of Catskill, in the Eleanor cabin at Getaway, was the perfect time to begin again.

It doesn’t take long, no one will notice if you want to do this in public, and I promise it will help on many levels (just google “physical benefits of mindfulness” if you need more convincing).

Are you ready?

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and as you finish your exhale, begin to listen for 5 different sounds. At first you might hear nothing at all, or everything might blend together to form “noise.” Breathe again, relax, and keep listening. Don’t describe what you’re hearing. As soon as you identify a sound, move on to the next. Let the sounds come in and out of your ears, rising and falling, like waves in the ocean.  If you get distracted and start thinking about what’s in your inbox – take another deep breath, feeling how it’s cold on the way in and warm on the way out.

Just listen.  That’s all you have to do. When you reach 5 sounds, take a deep breath and begin again. This time, count only four different sounds.  Do it again, but count three sounds. Then two. Now one.


What did you hear? Did you always hear the same sounds, and in the same order? Was one of them annoying at first, but then it didn’t even bother you? Did you even hear it anymore?

Being mindful is the exact opposite of multi-tasking. It is doing one thing at a time, on purpose and with purpose. If you’re doing that – in this case if you’re just listening – it should be impossible to do anything else, and your mind will be quiet. Only when your mind is quiet will you have the space to avoid automatic reactions and decisions made from a place of fear or panic. Soon you will find, the problem isn’t your problem, it’s your reaction to the problem that’s your problem.

The next time you have a few minutes and you find yourself reaching for your phone, don’t.  Just listen.

For more info about Megan’s work, you can follow Relax It’s Flowers on Instagram or check out their website.

For Your Free Time

Getaway Presents: Breathwork 101

We met Kathleen Booker ahead of our National Day of Unplugging meditation event at The Assemblage in New York. We were immediately struck with her calming presence, and her incredibly intentional approach to breathing. She put the whole room to ease.

As she led a group of around 40 of us in a blissful meditation, she invigorated the whole room with her approachability, energy, vitality, and warmth. It is just this spirit that have drawn many towards her. Most recently, she was invited by Oprah to host a breath work healing workshop at a screening event for a documentary around childhood sexual abuse.

As a survivor of abuse herself, Kathleen recognized that the audience was triggered. Dealing with their overwhelmed energy, their anxiety, and their stress, is where Kathleen shines. She’s found the healing power of breath, and she’s living proof of that herself.

We asked Kathleen to give us the rundown on breath work strategies we can use at home.

A Note From Kathleen:

The Breath has supported me to release a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety from the trauma…Thanks to the Breath, much healing has taken place within my mind, body and emotions.

I dance with joy in celebration FOR myself…I am CONFIRMATION of the powerful healing of Breathwork.  I have had a personal Breathwork practice for over 15+ years.

Your Breath Heals: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Now let me be clear, there is still more healing for me to do.  However, I am NOWHERE near where I was 10, 5, or 1 year ago — Thanks to the Breath.

World renowned integrative medicine doctor Andrew Weil, M.D. says “Practicing a regular, mindful breathing exercise can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.”

Breathwork 101

Medically speaking, Conscious Connected Breathwork releases cortisol/stress from the body and increases the good feeling endorphins in the body.

This is called homeostasis/balance in the body.  With Breathwork, peace will prevail and permeate your mind and body.

Results from Conscious Connected Breathwork:

  • Releases anxiety/stress
  • Enhances sleep
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Sharpens focus and concentration
  • and MORE!

How is the healing with Breathwork showing up in my life?

Gosh…Can ya say happy?  There is a flow pervading happiness within me that has become my default energy.

And…Synchronicity of incredible opportunities are showing up: being invited to be a healer at Oprah’s event!!!

My relationships are deeply authentic and loving.  I speak my authentic truth with heartfelt ease, and I am boundless energy!!

Breath Heals.

I always share with my clients: life is gonna life…Stuff is gonna happen. 

However, the Breath gives us the ability to respond, not react, to what happens in life.  This is the distinction.  The response comes from a place of inner peace, balance, and focus – that is the power of the Breath.

Your Breath is your key to a Life Lived Vivaciously!