The reason you go on Retreat is to make a real transformation in yourself, so when you go back home you will be able to change the way you approach, perceive and respond to life. Yigal OmJi
We are all experiencing disturbance in one way or another. What we once held sacred, safe and dependable no longer have our faith. Our need to connect with our instincts and self-authority is essential to moving through the reality of life with greater ease.
However, If you are anything like me, your mind can easily conjure up lists of reasons why you can’t do what your heart desires, especially when you do not feel worthy or feel guilty for putting yourself first, taking time out or spending money on yourself.
Despite the challenge with my thoughts, I have been to many retreats, and they usually start with feelings of fear and thoughts of “what are you doing? I can’t afford this, I don’t have the time, what about the kids, you don’t know anyone, what if I don’t like it”. And this repertoire continues until I take a moment and listen to my instincts.
I know I always come home with a bounce in my step, renewed sense of self and feeling confident, capable, and joyous. I return to my busy life with greater resilience and a more conscious approach to how I choose to live.
Going on Retreat is quite different to going on vacation. Don’t get me wrong. vacations are fantastic. However, they can be an escape from reality, leaving you feeling exhausted on return.
A retreat, however, is a moving towards peacefulness, awakening a deeper understanding of self and others, and connecting in meaningful ways. All the ingredients, including delicious food, accommodation, activities, workshops, are all a carefully orchestrated blend of nurture, discovery and connection so you can experience long-lasting benefits when you return to your daily responsibilities.
There are many reasons to go on Retreat, and these are some of mine.
When our daily needs of food, accommodation and schedule are taken care of, we have space and time to unplug, be still, rest, relax, nurture, contemplate, connect and rejuvenate the natural rhythm of our whole being.
Instead of pushing and striving, we can go gently.
We generally become comfortable with our daily routines, behaviours and responses, and as we do, we move into automatic mode, blinded to the impact of these habitual patterns.
But, when we journey into Retreat, we move beyond our comfort zone, our awareness expands, and we notice what was unseen before. Maybe it’s procrastination, loneliness, lack of purpose, stress, anxiety, fear, doubt, confusion, overwhelm, poor relationships, unfulfilling career or others.
Regardless of what you discover on Retreat, your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours will shift.
When in Retreat, we can be the observer of self and notice what is really going on.
I often find that I think I have been self-ful when in reality, I have been Selfless.
Selfless is our ability to go without self, diluted potency, be less than whole, sacrifice our hearts desires and prioritise the needs of others above the needs of self.
Self- ful is respecting and honouring self needs and the needs of others and Selfish is about being consumed with self with little or no consideration for others.
Tapping into the self-full self is the most loving and generous thing you can do. Having self-respect, an intimate understanding of your self-worth and sharing
that worth with others, allows us to engage in everyday life with confidence and passion.
When we embrace self fully, our outside world begins to flow in alignment with our inner world, and we find greater peace and happiness in our everyday activities.
In my experience each retreat has its own collective alchemy that is reflected in the people who attend. This alchemy comes to light when we can genuinely listen to our souls when we can meet our reflections which is only visible through the collective unfolding and sharing.
I do not believe this kind of alchemy be done alone; otherwise, we would be doing it at home.
Returning to self is not necessarily about changing who we are as much as it is about loving who we are and reclaiming all the parts of self that we have denied, suppressed, rejected, or given away.
A Retreat is a life-altering experience. It is not for some of us. It is for all of us.
Jiddu Krishnamurti said “I think it is essential sometimes to go into Retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or don’t believe. You would let fresh air into your minds.”
Love, to hear your thoughts.