There is power in retreat. Some say retreat has to do with running away scared. For me, retreat means to go apart for a while from daily living into a more rejuvenating environment. This type of retreat is necessary for vital organ functioning, quality relationships, proper mental acuity and focus as well as general well-being.
Many people take a Sabbath once weekly on Saturday or Sunday. The over simplified idea is to focus on spiritual matters, become inspired and regroup before moving forward. This time means that all work is released and is picked up again after the Sabbath time has concluded.
I take several retreats per year in addition to my Sabbath days. I thoroughly enjoy sharing with others, writing and teaching. I am living my life’s calling and I am happy and filled full. The power of going apart from your daily tasks and responsibilities is amazing. It seems things flow easier and more effectively when I have taken the time to rest, relax and nurture my being.
We are not machines and all too often we treat our bodies and our lives as if they are machines; somehow, never needing rest or even a tune up. I have friends who invest much more materially than they do on their precious bodies. I was like this as well years ago when I lived in the common trance that working yourself to the bone was somehow the best thing to do and then paying the price with adrenal fatigue, irritability and other cascading challenges. All because of the popular belief that working yourself into the ground is somehow the right thing.
There are employers, friends and family who will test your limits as to how much and how often you will give. It is up to you to identify and uphold your boundaries as not to become one of the walking exhausted, joy drained folks walking around just trying to make it. This is not what you are here for. You and I are here to freely receive and offer gratitude, kindness, compassion and love. We are here to be a beneficial presence on our planet and within our community and family.
Before I go on retreat, I prepare mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It is important to make sure that things at home and work are taken care of by a trusted other. This reduces the urge toward distraction and over checking on things. Mentally and emotionally, assess where your primary thoughts are and how your emotional state shows up. To best benefit from any retreat, it is vital to be open and receptive to inner quiet and changes that you are inspired to address. With openness comes being receptive and responsive to new information, ideas or suggestions. You may even remember an inspiration you have some time ago and then got distracted. It is not time to beat yourself up. It is time to love yourself and give yourself permission to be open and follow your inner, heartfelt guidance. Spiritually, you want to be prepared to evolve beyond your current understanding and even be challenged by your own new awareness. Being spiritually open is difficult for many people. For me, I know I am spiritually aligned when I can discuss and examine my spiritual beliefs and come away from the interaction or meditation with a continued belief and faith. To take the time and opportunity to listen to another, and dialogue about a spiritual matter, then to honor both paths and remain true to yourself is a powerful gift you offer yourself.
While on retreat, I remain focused on the intention I set before I begin the retreat, I am aware that the distracted aspect of me will struggle at times with being focused and on purpose. This is perfectly okay and normal. Perseverance and focus are paramount in getting the best benefit from the retreat time. Sometimes I write small reminder-type signs to help keep me focused. I remind myself that I have told all important people that I am unavailable except one person who can find me if an emergency arises. To date, there has only been one emergency that called me away early from my time away.
As you can tell by now, retreat is not the same as being a lazy couch potato for a few days and calling it retreat. Laziness and retreat at quite different. On retreat, your inner zest for life is being re-charged. There is a focus and a purpose to your time away. You might even have specific activities to help your retreat experience. Retreat time is on purpose with a purpose, no matter how general the purpose might be.
There is power in retreat. Visions Applied’s annual retreat is coming soon with the expressed focus of revitalizing our major life areas. I have the honor of creating the activities that are designed to nurture your heart, body, mind and soul. The beach setting offers the power of the Gulf and the peace of the sunsets. I am excited to go on retreat with many who are also yearning for a quiet time and place to renew and rejuvenate!
This retreat is also a reunion in many ways for myself and many others. We come together to share the experience. Having shared other life experiences previously, we are free to add to the journey each person is playing in our lives.
Remember, you are worth the investment!