We’re big believers in manifesting over here at HeyMama. If you want it, you can make it happen with a little creative vision and a lot of hard work. The thing is, we’ve manifested some pretty big events this year from our uber successful crowdfunding campaign, our first-ever all-day conference, All About that Mama and hosting over 80 community events across 7 cities. We’ve accomplished all of this and it’s only June, so needless to say, we all felt like it was time for a break. So, what did we do? We manifested of course! The biggest, bestest beach break with 20 of our closest buds and we named it Mamafest.
We invited a group of mama thought leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers to put away their laptops and disconnect from their everyday lives. We encouraged them to forge new relationships and deepen the connections they already had with one another and we’re pretty darn pleased with how it all turned out.
When thinking about who the perfect partner would be for our adventure, we called upon Alaska Airlines who previously made our travel dreams a reality and we were thrilled when they agreed to fly us to Hawaii. The New York mamas left on the first flight out of Newark and were sitting beach-side at the Four Seasons Maui by noon. Our travel day was broken up into two segments which worked out perfectly to decompress as we made our way West. The first half we plowed through our inbox and were in Seattle before we knew it. We picked up a coffee (when in Seattle…) and had a quick snack in the Lounge before boarding our flight to Maui. We were instantly greeted with a mimosa and settled in for the relaxing portion of our flight, book in hand.
Once settled at the resort, we were overcome with excitement, eager for everyone to arrive. But anticipation quickly grew into anxiety as we started to wonder, would everyone get along? It’s not every day that you are invited to meet a new group of women, let alone travel with them and the thought of spending the next three days with people we only knew through the community and rooming with them to boot, made our insecurities rear their unattractive head. What if our roomie was more successful than we were? What if they had their 5 year plan all figured out? What if they were at the top of their game and we were just trying to find that bottom rung?
We think this is a common thread amongst women we’ve met along our journey and guess what, 99.9% of the time, the worry is for nothing. A funny thing happens when you take people out of their comfort zone. You realize that no matter our background, where we’re headed or where we want to be, we are all wanting the same thing in life; to be great mothers, to feel fulfilled in whatever career we’ve chosen and make meaningful connections along the way.
With the goal of deepening our relationships and bonds, we started the retreat with a welcome dinner hosted by the Four Seasons Maui in the stunning Plumeria Garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Mamas were greeted with open arms and the excitement was palpable as we settled in for the beautiful night ahead. We promised to hold space for one another for all of our vulnerabilities and leave judgement at the door before jumping into a fun game, manifesting (or mamafesting!) what successes the next year would bring. There were tears, laughter and a lot of knowing nods and we knew then and there that we were in for the week of a lifetime and we could let out a big sigh of relief.
You know the saying that sometimes, you need to disconnect in order to reconnect? This trip was the perfect reminder to live in the moment.
Our first full day on the island was by far the busiest but there wasn’t a moment that we’d want to take away. At 5:45am we met on the beach as the sun was just finishing to rise and the mist was thinning out over the ocean for a guided meditation by author, speaker and educator, Eve Hogan. We sat in a semicircle, connecting to one another through our steady breath and intention setting for the day.
After an indulgent breakfast complete with endless cups of coffee and piles of fresh island fruit, we made our way to the lobby of the hotel to be whisked away to the Iao Valley State Park for a waterfall hike in partnership with Epic Maui Hikes. The views in this ancient battleground dating back to the 1700s were indeed epic and us mamas got to rejuvenate and frolic in the falls.
After our adventure we indulged in some relaxation at the adults-only infinity pool at the Four Seasons and made new friends at the swim up bar. Without our littles needing to be entertained, the hour or two we had to ourselves felt like an eternity and we loved every minute of it.
Last, but not least, we set out once again, this time for a sunset sail in Ka’anapali Bay with Trilogy Excursions. At first we didn’t think we’d make it out as rain had been looming on the horizon but the expert captain and boat staff knew exactly where to steer the ship out of the storms way and the bonus was that the weather created the most glorious double rainbow we’d ever seen. To say the evening was magic is an understatement, and we don’t think we’ll ever forget gliding over the crystal blue ocean as the sun set over our incredible mama crew.
Our last morning called for adventure and this time we set out to swim with the sea turtles in Makena Bay. We met up with the expert guides of Kelii’s Kayak Tours, doubled up in our kayaks and set out across the Bay. It’s quite a site to see 20 city mamas navigate the waters, many with little to no experience and watch them problem solve and cheer each other on from one boat to the next. I suppose it was the perfect metaphor for the HeyMama community as we know how to rally and help mamas get back on course when currents are leading you astray. Don’t you think? Snorkeling over the coral reef looked with a scene out of Finding Nemo and we were pleasantly surprised to discover the endangered sea turtles gliding through the water and showing us the way.
Once back at the hotel, we met up at Spago for a private sushi making class complete with sake pairing and plenty of photo opps. Who knew that yielding a sushi knife was so difficult? At least we had a few pros in our group and luckily it all tasted pretty darn delicious, even if it did seem that it was made by our kids other than their mamas. Yikes.
After a relaxing walking labyrinth meditation, once again led by our spiritual guru, Eve Hogan, we were ready for our final night and celebration. We gathered on a bluff overlooking the beach for a floral Haku Lei making class with the incredible mother-daughter team of Haku Maui. The next hour was one of the most relaxing experiences as all of our thoughts left our minds as we focused on the scents, colors and textures of the stunning flowers to make our flower crowns. There’s something so incredible about using your hands to create. We vow to get back to inviting our inner maker to make an appearance now and again – it’s good for the soul.
And finally, our time together culminated with one of the most beautiful farewell dinners we’ve ever had the privilege of attending. Guests were seated along the beach with twinkle lights overhead and a farm-style table for 20 decked out in a stunning array of flowers that matched the colors of our final sunset over the horizon.
At the end of day three, the energy had shifted. No longer did we feel that twinge of anxiety with the unknown dynamics and activities ahead. Instead we were left with a deeper understanding of one another, a genuine love and connection to each and every mama that came along for this beautiful journey and it brings a smile and a feeling of fullness when we sit back to reflect. It’s not easy to press pause on our busy lives of kids, spouses, businesses and responsibilities but when you do, the rewards come back to you tenfold. Thank you to everyone who followed along on this epic adventure and we encourage you to grab some girlfriends and fly away. You’ll be grateful that you did. Bon Voyage!
A heartfelt thank you to our partners; Alaska Airlines, Four Seasons Maui and Visit Maui for truly making this the trip of a lifetime. And of course, to our sponsors for supporting us every step of the way. Show Me Your Mumu, Native, Hudson + Bleecker, Tamara Mellon, Natural Habits, Lucerne and Lee, Sara Happ, Nyakio Beauty, Yourlixir, Naked Brooklyn and Satya Twena.
All photographs by Flytographer.