The Beauty of Living Well

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I’m writing this post from The Retreat, a glam wellness spa in Costa Rica that I’m visiting with my daughter Melania. My best friend Diana Stobo opened this beautiful place in the mountains where people can go relax and rejuvenate. Upon arrival, we were greeted with turmeric tea which cleans the liver and gets rid of swelling and inflammation.  We then walked to our bright, cheery room with an ocean view that goes on for miles.

On our first day, we took an 8am yoga class taught by the most amazing teacher from London which helped calm my very active mind while I stretched my body to where I felt like I had had a full body massage. We took a 5-mile hike later in the day and came back to find green juice, fresh chopped fruit, and heavenly grain pancakes.

I arrived here with my usual overdone Russian-self wearing gold bangles, rings, diamonds and makeup. Day by day I have myself removing more and more jewelry, wearing less makeup, and leaving my hair natural. The freedom I feel of not having to dress up for dinner or worry about what I look like is tearing down the walls that I have unconsciously built up in my everyday life that I thought were making me happy.

The two other friends that I have brought along with me to share in this once in a lifetime vacation (which we have decided needs to be once a year) I am usually too busy to see when I’m home. Taking this vacation and taking time to just be still has emphasized to me how vital it is to not lose touch with who you are. I am incredibly blessed to be able to share this experience with my daughter and can’t wait to bring my other daughter on a trip like this.

I realize that when I go home, I can now take this new feeling back to my hectic life and hopefully never get to that place where I am too stressed, busy, and exhausted to take some “Me” time. This time away has given me strength and energy to be a better mom, wife, friend, and overall human being. I thought when I agreed to come to this retreat that I was being a very spoiled and entitled person. Yes, as you read this you probably think the same. But why should I feel guilty for working hard and being able to share this wonderful country with my daughter. As parents, we always work hard to make sure that life is a tad bit easier for our children. I’m happy to know that my daughter will always have this positive, loving memory in her heart when she goes back to school to finish her degree.

I hope and wish that when my daughter is exhausted and missing home that she can look back and remember this special feeling of being still, grateful, healthy, happy and looking gorgeous. The point of this post is that peace, exercise, daily meditation, laughter, and meaningful conversation are what makes you truly beautiful. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the fun of makeup and fashion, but I’ve come to know in my year that beauty is more than just looks.


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