A retreat is for everyone. It is the gift you give yourself for that needed rest, relaxation and restoration for your mind, body and your soul. It’s also about taking time away from your hectic life to connect with your deeper self. It’s extraordinarily powerful and essential.
We are in constant interruption and distractions that take away our energies in our heath, our relationships and in our work. Sometimes our life can suffer from the lack of attention and neglect. A retreat is a powerful way to pay attention and take care of yourself, reclaim your sense of balance and flow, nourish your mind and soul, renew your innermost spirit, and quite simply have a break.
There are so many different types of retreats, whether it’s yoga, health, relationship or even a silence retreat. While I believe in taking care of my mind and body, my favourite types of retreats include activities that inspire learning, growth, fun and adventure. Even a touch of pampering. That’s my ideal. That’s the kind I love to host and provide for my participants.
So, why go on a retreat? The reasons to go on retreat varies for different people and is as individual as you are. Here are 7 reasons to consider.
1. It’s all about you.
Going on a retreat enables you to think about you and only you. It’s your time for yourself where you don’t have to cook, clean up or take care of others. A structured retreat usually takes care of everything for you. When was the last time you got taken care of and you could choose what you wanted to do?
Retreats also offer activities that can satisfy that thirst for fun and joy. Particularly if you are on a retreat in another part of the world, it allows you to discover and explore new countries, cultures and experience a wondrous sense of adventure.
2. Time for Relaxation & Rejuvenation
When you go on a retreat it allows you to withdraw from your hectic life, where you are pulled and pushed from many directions. It takes away your energy that could otherwise be given to you. It helps to relax that busy or confused mind, rejuvenates the body and restore and nourish the soul.
Getting away from it all quietens a busy or confused mind. It allows your mind to rest, to regather your thoughts, re-group and re-energise. In this space, you can get a new perspective on life or your work. You can find inspiration, whether it’s writing, meditation, contributing or coming up with a brand new life or business plan.
3. It sparks insights and learnings
Going on a retreat and getting away from it all, gives you head space to focus on other thoughts and thinking. It gives you the opportunity to get inspired. When you change your environment, you could find yourself somewhere or with someone that could trigger a new idea or thought that provides you with a valuable insight and learning. It can reignite your purpose and what you are passionate about.
The path of personal development is one of the most enriching journeys we may undertake in our lives. There is so much value and lots to gain when you work on yourself. I believe it’s important that you look inside yourself often to acknowledge and work on challenges and struggles of the past and the present. Having new insights and learnings allows you to have a difference perspective. It helps you to develop, make changes and ultimately create a better life for yourself.
Clearing out the old and bringing in new space in your head opens the door for new learnings. It encourages continuous growth, improvement and progress. Your life can be different when you return from a retreat. Interestingly, the people around you like the positive change and welcome the new fresh you.
4. Time Out and Tranquility
Do you ever feel that you are in a rut? Or perhaps going round and round in circles? A retreat allows for a rut recovery and to get off that the merry-go-round. How often do you get the opportunity to just sit, ponder and wonder? It allows you to listen and hear the quiet inside your head and your heart.
There’s no rush on a retreat; no train to catch, no meeting to get to or no traffic to get through. You are in a space where you can take some time out, reconnect with your inner genius and create flow. Experience real ‘me time’.
You may have been on many holidays where you have not necessarily been in a quiet and calm environment. Perhaps you were touring going from place to place, taking in all the sights and having to catch trains, buses, taxis to get to the next spot.
A retreat provides you with the environment to unplug, slow down and recharge. It’s time out to be nurtured, nourished and feel restored.
5. Friends, Friendships & Sisterhood
We are all same but different. Retreats attract people with similar interests, who are like-minded and in the same position as you. Perhaps wanting to achieve the same goals as you. A retreat gives you’re the opportunity to meet other people, to listen to their stories and have wonderful conversation. It’s in these conversations that long-term friendships are formed.
It’s not the same as meeting people on a holiday. On a retreat you are with a group of similar people. You have a tribe of people who will continue to support, encourage and cheer you on. You can potentially make friends that will last you a lifetime. It’s a special kind of sisterhood.
6. Encourages Reflection and Learning
Many woman I have spoken with have lived most of their lives accommodating to their loved ones. Whether it’s their partner, their children or parents, they do their damn best to please everyone. Sometimes pleasing everyone but themselves. They are not really living as their authentic self. Either because they haven’t uncovered it or feel that they will they won’t be loved for who they truly are.
Going on a retreat helps to do a self-audit that uncovers your authentic self. Who you truly are and who you truly want to be. It’s reflecting and reconnecting with the ‘real’ you and finding that sense of internal peace and harmony.
Some retreats provide you with workshops that will enhance and enrich your life. It might be to help with your mind and/or your health. There is usually a mix between having activities and some time out for you. This encourages great opportunities for learning, reflection and growth. There is always much to learn and gain in life, don’t you agree?
7. Be yourself for yourself
You are someone’s partner, wife, lover, daughter, sister or colleague. Most of the time you are one of these. Some of the time you swap between all of these roles; sometimes as often as all in one day. When are you ever just you? I read where someone put it this way: “we need to be reminded that we are actually individuals, human beings as opposed to human doings”. So true. On a retreat, you can drop all the roles. You can just be you for the first time in a long time. I know it took me over 20 years to find that place of being ‘just me’. It changed my life and the people around me for the better.
My favourite definition of the word retreat is: ‘a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax’. Your retreat may be that happy place; at the beach under an umbrella on warm day, time in your garden sitting under your favourite tree. Or it could be some time away from everything under a shady palm tree in a warm, tropical country of the world.
These are some of the reasons for going on a retreat. My top reason for going on a retreat is for inspiration. When you translate the word ‘inspiration’, it means ‘to breathe into’. I love that. So, try out a retreat, get inspired and breath it into your life.
To go on a retreat is to truly escape and get inspired. Who doesn’t want some of that?