Softening into my skin at NIMA

13 03, 2019 4 min read

Softening into my skin at NIMA

By: Vida Sylvia Schiff


Instagram: @nimalodge

For many years I have been lucky enough to travel extensively and try all sorts of weird and wonderful healing modalities, bazaar experiences and general life things. After a long time of searching and bouncing from one place to the other, one idea to another, patterns started to emerge.


My travels showed me that I needed 3 simple things in order to feel fulfilled:

1) Living in nature

2) Moving my body

3) Having a connection to other people


Whenever I was in a place that provided those three things, it felt very easy to be happy and productive. This led me to make the decision to leave the city of Cape Town earlier this year, in search of the life that was calling me.


The second thing that my travels gave me – was my husband. I fell in love, and it seemed to break my commitment curse. Once I made that commitment it felt a lot easier to take the next steps in making other commitments. We shared the same dream, and before either of us could have predicted, we were married and on our way to opening Nima Lodge in Wilderness, South Africa


Soften, soften soften, I have whispered to myself a hundred times over the last 4 months. A gentle reminder to stay in my body, release my jaw, unclench my buttocks and relax my shoulders. This simple process has been at attempt to carry out a large scale move, a renovation and the beginning phases of building a brand – in my feminine.


In the process of moving from Cape Town to Nima I watched at how easy and automatic it was to step into the masculine part of myself in order to carry out the tasks that needed to checked off my never ending list. Unfortunately for me, and I believe for many women, when I allow the masculine to fully take over – I actually shut myself down to the play and magic of life. Everything becomes goal orientated and I forget that as a woman, I have the ability to effortlessly send joy rippling through my body. It’s a daily practice, to remember that I am allowed to be soft. Being soft does not mean I am inefficient it means I am trying to be sustainable, for myself and those around me.

To soften, for me, is the act of remembering that all is well and that I do not have to take life personally. I guess for me, softening is the act of surrendering. To let go of control of all the big things and the small things, to gently smile at the anxiety and believe enough in life in order to let it go. I have learnt so many lessons over this time, often I chose not to soften, thinking – this time I’m right, I have every right to be angry, to shout and show how disappointed I am. I mean as a woman I have been put down for generations! This is my chance to show those men just how much I know about renovations! So I spent the day stomping around like the lead dinosaur of Jurassic Park. Does it help? Not really. Does it make me feel better? No. Do I judge myself for it? I try not to.


It has been a process of differentiating between feminine power and masculine force. Two very different things, one feels good, clean and clear in my body and the other feels self-righteous and explosive. When I identify what I need and communicate that clearly, I often receive it and I find that I have less and less reasons to explode. I am conscious that this process would have been a lot more difficult if we weren’t where we are.


Our new home, Nima Lodge is an incredibly beautiful and supportive space. When things feel too big, and too important, I can skip down to our forest trail and almost instantly the seriousness of the situation would disintegrate into a child-like wonder. Nature is where I gain my simplicity, through its complexity. Softening is my new art form. Softening creates space, in my body, in my heart and in my perception. It has also been the intention of Nima Lodge, to create a space that will allow everyone who comes here to relax into themselves. To feel supported by nature, their bodies and the people around them. Not to feel like their better selves, but to feel better IN themselves.


My dream is for NIMA to become a sanctuary for women and men around the world to come and explore the softer side of themselves. To relax into the deep nurturing arms of the feminine forces all around us, perched up here on a hill in an indigenous forest. Already feminine-focused retreats aren’t far off in the distance, and I am ecstatic to welcome whatever the future holds here, in my softening home.

Link to Upcoming Retreat: