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The Beauty of Retreat

Retreat is an opportunity to come home to ourselves. To slow down, relax and listen to our inner wisdom. To embrace the spirit of connection. To ourself, others and the world around us. To show up as we truly are, without judgment and with compassion.

A retreat can be anything that takes you out of your day-to-day routine. An opportunity to get back in touch with who you are and what is important to you. It could be for a day, a long weekend, a week or more of being away. A time to disconnect from every day life and reconnect with yourself.

Why do we go on retreat? You may have one reason or many. The retreat may be held in a destination you’ve always wanted to travel to. Or it could be close to home, making a convenient getaway. You may love the retreat host or a dear friend invited you to go with them. Maybe you are a solo traveler, and a retreat offers you the chance to go alone without being alone. You may have something going on in your personal life and need a break or time to heal. You may even go to process a big decision or gain clarity on next steps in life. Whatever your reason, you are welcomed.

With anything, bringing intention to the experience creates awareness and fulfillment while doing it. Especially when the intention aligns with your core values and what you need. Before attending a retreat, ask yourself: What is my intention for going? What do I hope to experience? What do I want to focus on? What will make me feel good?

For me, each retreat has a unique intention. Yet retreats hold three primary purposes - whether I host or attend. Does the retreat create a safe space? Is the retreat different and offer a break from daily life? What is my take away when I go back to the real world?

The first thing I crave is a space where it is okay (more than okay) to show up as we are and be vulnerable. There are many places in life where we are encouraged to compete, achieve more, act perfect and people please. It is exhausting! While many toxic traits are hard to change, retreat can be an opportunity to let go. Release the should's and expectations of others. Even if for a day, retreat gives us the time to be vulnerable and authentic while being held and supported. A place without judgement, where it is okay to be me.

I love when you feel safe and are willing to get out of your comfort zone. A retreat is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and try something new. This could be a new activity - zip lining in Costa Rica anyone?! It could mean introducing yourself to new people. Or getting out of your regular routine to notice typical patterns. Most retreats have a set agenda that could help you form a new habit. Such as morning meditation or end of day journaling. Growth can be uncomfortable. Keep yourself open to new ideas, activities and possibilities!

This leads to my last purpose (or even gift) a retreat can provide. Receiving an artifact from the retreat. Something to take home with you and remind you of the time away. This could be a physical thing the retreat leader provides or you purchase as a souvenir. It could be a picture to remind you how you felt in the moment. It could be a new friendship or perspective. Retreat is a time to feel really great. Take something home with you to remind you of how brave and amazing you are. If the artifact supports your personal growth, even better.

And the one thing I’ve learned after attending and hosting retreats? Don’t take everything too seriously. Stuff happens. Flights get delayed, traffic jams happen. It could rain, the coffee tastes gross or the person next to you breathes loudly. You may be waiting for an ah-ha moment that never comes. Or you went to have a good time and end up experiencing all the emotions. Whatever is in your mind about a retreat, please, let go of expectations. What will happen is already in motion. All the planning has taken place. It is time to enjoy the moment and have fun! Take in the experience. And if you are anything like me, you will plan the next one as soon as it ends.

Interested in upcoming retreats? Get on my email list to be the first to hear what’s next.

Zip lining in Costa Rica

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