Retreat at home
Having just returned from an amazing retreat in Mama Bali, I am inspired and enthused about the benefits of spending time on ourselves and having retreat time.
I know as a child, I was fed the story that I had to be busy, that I had to be doing something and if I ever just sat, and wasn't reading or doing something, I had to answer the question: "What's wrong?" - so I grew up subconsciously believing that I had to always be doing something. I know from working with many private coaching and therapy clients over the years, that this is common. This kind of attitude has led to the glamorising of busy. We have a purpose and we are worthy only if we are very busy. It gives us kudos in conversation if we can say how we are juggling 100 things at once and we are so busy. How accepted is it to say, oh I just took some time of for myself to just reflect and be?
It sounds rather indulgent doesn't it? I think it takes courage to say that, yet how many of us are yearning for that opportunity?
Well we don't have to play the "busy" game, we don't have to stay on the roller-coaster, we don't have to believe the lies that we only have worth and purpose if we are living life at 100 miles per hour and juggling 5 projects at once.
I regularly run retreats, half day retreats once per month, full day retreats about twice a year and about 4 or 5 long weekend and week long retreats each year......and the feedback I always receive from the lovely ladies who join me is.....ahhhh....I feel that I have taken the time for me, topped myself up again (as I was running on empty).....I now have space in my mind and can see much more clearly what decisions and choices I want to make AND now that I have been replenished, I have so much more to give to others, whether that is to a partner, children, work or business. We cannot continue giving from an empty vessel.
I would love it if you joined me on one of my events but if that is not possible for you right now......then take some time to create a retreat for you at home. Below are my tips for doing so.
1) Choose a whole day ideally - or if you really can't do that, then choose an afternoon / evening to have some time for you. (If you say you don't have the time, check in with yourself, is this really true? How much time do you spend each day on Facebook, on social media, watching mindless TV, beating yourself up with negative thoughts.....if you saved up all that time - could you give yourself the gift of 3 hours or more to retreat?)
2) If you resist the idea of this, you may want to ask yourself "What am I avoiding?" Sometimes we can avoid feeling or addressing an issue that needs to be addressed and keeping busy is a valid and excellent avoidance strategy. Check in and be honest with yourself.
3) I am a stationery junkie, so treat yourself to a lovely journal - one that is really beautiful and you want to use for special writing, not just an A4 lined refill pad. Buy yourself a colourful pen. Those who know me, know I never write in black, I have an array of pens, turquoise, purple, pink, gold.
4) Prepare to switch off your mobile, laptop during your retreat time, so you may want to let some people know you will not be contactable.
5) Choose the purpose of your retreat - what is your intention, what do you want to get out of it.
6) Consider what you would like to do during this time to make it perfect for you. Here a few examples:
- Have a lovely long soak in the bath with essential oils or cleansing salts.
- Do an energising yoga practice
- Do a soft, restorative yoga practice
- Take time in meditation - maybe candle gazing or following the journey of your breath if this is new to you.
- Listen to a recording of a guided visualisation or yoga nidra.
- Take some time to do some automatic writing.....writing with your non dominant hand can take you to a deeper place.
- Do something creative, do some embroidery, make a vision board, do some mandala colouring, paint with your hands.
- Take time outside in nature, alone, in silence.
- Put some music on and dance.
- Go to visit an art gallery.
- Read an inspiring book or a book of poetry. (Avoid doing this on a computer, try to read a physical book if possible)
- Hug a tree.
- Make a delicious nourishing meal or smoothie for yourself and mindfully eat or drink it.
- Write a gratitude journal.
- .....and lots more.....
7) Make your surroundings beautiful, maybe you have crystals you would like to put in your sanctuary space, maybe you choose to burn incense, or essential oil scented candles, maybe you would like to decorate your space with fresh flowers or create an altar of images that are meaningful to you. Make it special.
I would love to know how you get on with this? Was it easy for you to do, or did you resist it? How did you feel afterwards? Whether or not you choose to do this, what did you learn about yourself?