A Tribe Called Rest


   Luxury is Time. Time to yourself. I heard these words before: “going off the grid”. It sounds like maybe something someone running away might do.. But for this girlboss, its something I decided to run toward. Kick off those stilettos my loves, and buckle in for this magical thing called Restival.
   It’s a high end, off the grid Wellness Retreat.  As in,it’s not on “Google Maps”. There’s no street signs or paved roads, no Uber, and barely any phone service.  There were however, coyotes that ran past our tee-pees at dusk and dawn,a dormant crater, and counting shooting stars at night. There was casual chatter at dinner about a  “Star Family”, listening to Elders, and a Medicine Woman who heals with her wise hands with techniques not written in books. My schedule was Sunrise Yoga, Breakfast, Paint, get a Massage from the renowned Medicine Woman, Listen to Elder Thomas on Peacemaking, Sunset Yoga, Count Shooting Stars, Fall asleep to Coyotes in Moonlight.
   It was a few days of  a whole lot of dreamy moments that only Mother Earth can provide.
   There is a luxury to not being connected by technology, and instead connecting as human beings in a pure, natural environment.  The luxury of being able to focus on wellness without any distractions, time constraints - no phones ringing, emails to respond to, for me this is exotic.. Take that situation and drop it into a gorgeous setting with mountains, plains, and a billion star sky? It’s a almost like going to another planet.
   This week, I invite you to join me in allowing yourself some rest. I find this at Restival. It may actually be closer to the truth that Ms. Caroline, the founder, found me. And for that I am grateful.  I decided that every year, I will commit to taking a few days to recharge, and just actually Rest. What? Yes. (Even tornado’s need to rest.) When was the last time you did that? It was years for me. Maybe even decades. The sad thing was, that until I was invited to be part of this experience.  I had not realized that I had not “rested” in those many years. Now, I am a Brand Ambassador and Artist in Residence for Restival. It may sound like it’s like a job, but actually, it is the one thing I do that I get to tune out all the noise and let the big sky, quiet land, and mother nature look after me.  This is a summer of wellness for me and it makes me happy to share andI invite you to join me. Care to paint under the big clouds outside? Maybe get a sound bath with Andres Rodriguez or  hike to a crater at sunrise with Rob Wessels.

As the Artist in Residence at Restival, I invite guests to let go and create with me. To create is to be free.  Painting on this sacred land with intention feels different than when I paint at a show, or at the United Nations, (Click here to read United Nations Blog).  This is  not a showcase.  We are not promoting anything.  This was just for us. Me and You - in the moment.   We become part of the landscape.

   I especially love to paint with  people that say things like “Oh, I’m an attorney, I can’t paint” or similar. I usually respond with “Leave your body, and come with me”.  I take their hand, put a paint brush in it and away we go. Then their eyes like to sparkle. I can see what they looked like as a child. The problem becomes getting them to stop… and this is where I discuss deliberate placement of color and how less can be more. :-)

   I am not a “practitioner” at Restival.  I am an artist that understands how art can be inclusionary, and that moment of connectivity can be a seed for positive, good energy that lingers and can be stubborn to leave your body.  I don’t understand it exactly but it connects us in a way that can’t be broken. Your smiles stay with me and feel it makes the world a better place. This moment of painting and the positive vibes shared knows no borders of language, ability, ethnicity, religion, politics, or other words that may be used to separate us.  It only knows how to connect us, and this is why I believe in magic.

“Aviva recognized the importance of Restival from the get go.  The retreat plays a part in everyone’s lives, as we live in a time of "information overload” - it’s necessary for us all to have the tools to cope with modern day demands.  Aviva and I then worked together in Arizona where she brought her creativity, enthusiasm and amazing crystals to our “Hotel in the Desert” and hosted workshops on textiles, crystals and art therapy.” - Caroline Jones,  Restival Founder

My desert  art studio. :-) 

   The Sweat Lodge! My first time was last year, and I can’t wait to go back in.  I’m not sure if it was Ms. Mary Lou’s Navajo stories, her beautiful voice filled with wisdom and experience, or the scent of the wood and rocks mingling with the 180 degrees of skyline with no structures..  It was over 100 degrees in there… it was dark. I wanted to give up. But I didn’t. It was magic. And when I came out, I was different. Like a baby unicorn.

Tribal warrior, reporting for duty.

   I didn’t know I could look like this.   This moment was not planned. It just happened. Johnny Blue Eyes, Laura Austin and I were having coffee just after Sunrise. I was folding fabric I had painted with guests the day before.  It was windy. Johnny told me to toss my poncho. So I did, and he started draping, Laura started shooting. These pictures were spur of the moment, no make-up, no lighting, no underpants… I didn’t have time for modesty.  I knew one thing - we were inspired and I trusted these beautiful spirits. If there was a moment that captured Restival for me, this would be it. I love these pics of me - they are pure, they capture something that I didn’t know I had.  This year, Warrior Portraits will be part of the program, I want that for you too.. My longtime colleague and friend Ms. Katherine Kirchner will be the photographer. She is completely excited to be the Official Warrior Portrait-ist.

I just didn’t realize that I had access to this kind of beauty.  The land, the other people there with me, how bright we can shine when we are together just being.  I continue to shine after that experience. I didnt realize I had to recharge, until I actually experienced it. Whether at Restival or somewhere else, in invite you to take time for yourself.  Take time to connect with others in your wellness Tribe. Love your tribe and love them hard. I believe in magic, Join the movement.

Arizona Restival August 14-19

Aviva’s workshops:

Silk painting on scarves

Sacred Geometry with Crystals

Crystal bar

Tribal Warrior Portraits

Selenite Bundle making with Found Objects


“Aviva’s workshops are a type of art therapy, as she allowed people to unveil their true creativity without judgment - we are all creative beings, and Aviva recognizes that.”- Caroline Jones, Founder Restival


Enter “Aviva” when booking
and receive special pricing and pressies:
25% off booking
Exclusive, Limited Edition  Signature Velvet Pillow Pressed with Crystals
Complimentary Reiki Treatment
Complimentary  One to One Navajo Horsemanship session with  Benally Family
Crystal Warrior Kit

Restival Spa Menu

Program for Restival

“Aviva Stanoff is a visionary - she is ahead of the curve as her work demonstrates.  She also sees the beauty in everything. Her designs are a reflection of her true self.  Sparkle, abstract shape and color - the combination of which are an apt description of the woman herself.  She is pure creativity and a joy to work with. I’ve never met anyone who is more “in the flow” than Aviva!


Click here to learn more about  Restival Arizona 2018


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