This past weekend, I retreated. Joined by a dear friend, I drove a few hours to a hot springs resort near my home (I can’t believe I can say that) and spent several days unplugged (thanks terrible WiFi/Sprint!), doing yoga, hiking, and communing with nature.
I have done two retreats, and both times I have wanted to leave halfway through. My hips and knees aren’t accustomed to long periods of yoga and sitting meditation. Although not something I am conscious of/grateful for on a daily basis, I balk at my sudden lack of choice and freedom when given an itinerary. I crave the comforts of home nearly as soon as I leave it.
I have done two retreats, and both times was rewarded with magic. Bear in mind, I am not a mystical or romantic type of person. I am practical; not given to fits of emotion. But I cannot deny my experiences. At retreats, I have had profound dreams in which important messages were conveyed. I have had a life-changing spiritual experience. I have witnessed synchronicities that cannot be easily explained. I believe this is because of going within, nurturing intuition, and doing away with distractions. We all have this ability every day, I think, but the “real world” and our “real life” drowns it out.
Going on wellness retreats is becoming rather trendy, and I think it’s well worth exploring opportunities in conjunction with travel and vacations. But it’s also possible to do a retreat at home.
Here are some ideas and guidelines if you want to create your own retreat.
- Set your intention. Do you have a question you need answered? Are you at a crossroads in life? Are you wanting to cultivate a quality in yourself or make a habit shift? Focus on what you want to get out of this time.
- Plan and prepare. Schedule a day or two for your at-home retreat. Have everything on hand that you will need. What food are you going to eat? Do you need to prep smoothie bags or have a pot of soup ready? Do you need to buy a journal, book, or a yoga block? Make sure your loved ones know you are going to unplug so everyone’s mind is at ease.
- Create an itinerary for yourself, then stick to it.
- 8:45 Sitting Meditation
- 9:00 Morning walk or yoga practice
- 10:00 Breakfast
- 10:30 Inspirational Reading
- 12:00 Journaling
- 1:00 Lunch
- 2:00 Nap
- 3:00 Afternoon walk or yoga practice
- 4:00 Inspirational Reading
- 5:00 Journaling
- 6:00 Dinner
- 7:00 Self-care practice: bath, face mask, oil massage, etc
- 8:00 Sitting Meditation
- 9:00 Sleep
Of course this is just a generalized framework and easily customizable. Retreating offers peace and quiet and insight. If you’re feeling lost, this is an excellent map for finding yourself again. You have the answers within you. Listen!