What exactly is a retreat? The definition from Webster is an act or process of withdrawing; a place of privacy or safety; a period for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director
I would add, a period of time you completely unplug and disconnect from your normal routine, responsibilities, and distractions, to focus completely on yourself and your needs.
Retreats have been valued for a long time, shown by this quote, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer; since to remain constantly at work will cause you to lose power or judgment…” written by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th Century! Even way back then, the brilliant artist recognized the value of retreats!
I have been participating and facilitating retreats for the last 16 years. Retreats offer a rich and valuable experience to help you lead your most authentic and intentional life. Here are my top 10 reasons why:
1. We change our environment, we change our mind. When you are away from your email, piles on your desk, children, messy closets, and yardwork, it frees your mind to think about your life in a totally different way. It creates space in your mind to explore, contemplate, and ponder things on a larger scale.
2. We have to be quiet in order to listen. We are so busy with so much stimulation around us today, it is rare to have any quiet time. Our still, inside voice of wisdom, (the one we often don’t pay much attention to) comes through loud and clear when we take the time to be quiet.
3. We all need to be part of something bigger. Being with a group of like-minded people is powerful. Strong bonds are made, even in a weekend when you spend time eating, talking, and practicing together inside the community of a retreat.
4. We experience something new. Much of the power of going on retreat comes from a willingness to open to the adventure of the complete experience. I can’t tell you how many of my participants have done something for the first time on their retreat—from surfing to horseback riding.
5. We flow with nature. Most retreats are centered around nature. Whether it is the ocean, a river, or the mountains, when we experience the passionate flow of nature, we are reminded how we can choose to flow in our own lives.
6. We experience breakthroughs when we take the time to stop. A new perspective is powerful. You take a step outside your “normal” life and things become more clear, transparent, and obvious, all setting you up for a breakthrough in your relationships, your work, or your handstand.
7. We give ourselves the permission and space not to be “doing” something all the time. There is not a busyness, but a real business in retreating. You learn how much you really are doing for yourself, by doing nothing.
8. We find our way back to ourselves. We renew, rejuvenate, and recharge with the mental, emotional, and physical rest a retreat provides and remember our true nature.
9. We experience freedom. You get to choose when to eat, sleep, take a walk by yourself, or join the group hike. When you focus on what you need moment to moment, you experience a sense of peace and contentment with your freedom of choice.
10. Your Retreat is a gift you give yourself, but it is also a gift to others. After you experience the power of a retreat, you return home more present, attentive, and intentional with yourself and everyone else in your life.
Past Retreater Comments:
“It’s hard to say what I liked most about the weekend. The hikes, the sharing, the massage, and even the food was great! Connecting with so many supportive and open people was a highlight for me. Thank you for a wonderful experience.“
“This retreat was well worth the price of admission. I realize I can’t afford not to give myself something so important. Thank you for the opportunity to practice extreme self care for an entire weekend. I’ll be back!”
“I was able to be alone by the stream, and with the group at meals. I was able to unwind with the quiet and be energized with the drumming circle. Thank You! All of my needs were met.”
“It was the perfect space to relax and regroup for my transitions ahead. I have learned how to lead a heart-centered life, and forgive. Forgive others, and more importantly forgive myself.”
“I came back from my retreat amazed by the strength we all hold within and a renewed sense of my own ability to create the kind of life I want and deserve. Can’t thank you enough for fostering the conditions that made the retreat so successful for us all!!!”
Now that you know the power a retreat has to offer, what are you waiting for? You could always take yourself on a retreat, but the problem is you have to figure out all of the logistics, and the perfect time, and if you really have the money, and, and, and,…you may not quite get around to doing it.
I encourage you to look online, talk to people, and book your retreat NOW. To get you started, here is the information for my next Costa Rica Retreat January 26-February 2, 2013. I know you do want to get away and I can’t wait to hear all about it when you do!