Oh That Mayan Sun

January 16, 2018 , , Carina Thornton
couple with boxer puppy
p4 luxe headshot

Our weekend started with an opening ceremony on the beach along the Mayan Riviera. On Thursday afternoon, over a dozen of us made our way to the shoreline and formed a circle around an incense-scented alter carefully constructed in the white sand. None of us were prepared for the overwhelming beauty that followed. The heavy symbolism in the ancient ritual was like a rebirth. It brought tears and relief and inspiration… and an utter undoing of everything holding us back. The “gracious space” had been defined.

I’d start (and end) every day like this.

mayan riviera at sunset

It’s not every – actually, it’s not *any* – pet photography retreat that starts off with such a powerful moment. Then again, this is no ordinary workshop.

Yes, I came home with my 2018 goals and plans clearly mapped out both for my business and my life. Yes, I have a jumpstart on my huge to-do list. Yes, I know what Fuzzypants is here to do and who I serve. But more than that – I know what “freedom and fulfillment” looks like and that there is no reason why our dreams can’t become reality.

There were so many moments of profound clarity and connection. I had met many of the group before – most of them at the P4 Luxe retreat to Palm Springs, California last year. The reunion felt as if we’d never parted. We talked about the ups and downs of 2017, drank tequila the right way, conquered a piñata, and WORKED OUR ASSES OFF.

And just when it couldn’t get more amazing… 

On Sunday evening, 2018 planning behind us, we sat around our dining table for the presentation of the 2017 P4 Superstar award. This prize was awarded to the retreat participant that not only hit the 2017 goals they’d committed to for themselves, but “crushed them.” I held my wine glass in a trembling hand as Nic started to review the amazing year that so many of us had. (Seriously, these folks *rock*!)

Then she read quotes from the winner.

By the time she read off the second quote (which I can’t even remember now) I recognized my words. I sat a moment in stunned silence until Nic came over with my prize bag of goodies… and then I burst into tears – a year’s worth of tears but it felt so amazing. That little gold trophy represented one hell of a year – a year that battled anxiety and panic attacks and more doctors than I care to recall but also had so much forward momentum (I forget that sometimes…) that I can see my goals clearer and closer than ever.


holding trophy

(A huge thank you Amy Soper Photography for snagging this keeper!)

PS – What did I win? In addition to all kinds of treats and sweets (and my big gold star!) I had my choice of a long VIP weekend in London or a spot in the 2019 P4 Luxe retreat. Any guesses which I chose?

PPS – Pet businesses, learn more about Working with Dog and P4 Luxe right HERE.


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  1. Way to crush your goals Carina! You are amazing photographer, business women and overall an inspiration! Congratulations!

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