Going into a retreat is important and don’t let anyone talk you out of doing it if it feels like a good idea (from your heart). As a yoga teacher it always was my dream to have my own retreat centre, and was something I worked towards as I could see the benefit of taking extended time out of your regular life.
I take myself OUT of my normal world so that I can clear the cobwebs and get focused on where I am and where I’m headed. I like to do the same retreat each year as then I have a very definite reference point for how much I’ve changed in the last 12 months. I will give you an example: when I started going to Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland back in 2006 I would cry as I left as I knew that I was going to ‘lose’ the magic that I felt as soon as I had my first drink, which was sometimes on the train home. However, in subsequent years when I had stopped drinking the euphoria effect could last for months. The retreat I have just done is exactly the same each year, which brings about the perfect opportunity to measure the changes in my own mind, which is very very powerful.
At Inner Guidance we have many teachers who hire the house at the same time each year and bring their students, and we have repeat customers on our own retreats too at the same time of year. It becomes your ‘thing’, your way of topping your energy up so that you can live a high vibe life, and give more to everyone around you. For you cannot give anything if you yourself are depleted and exhausted.
Obviously going to a centre is hugely beneficial because you really do get to wipe the slate clean, and don’t have the distractions of home: phone, washing, kids, pets, jobs to do etc…
However, if it simply is not possible to get out of the house then creating one day for yourself needs to be meticulously planned. Here are my top 10 tips for success:
- Book your retreat day in the diary well in advance. It is a priority
- Tell everyone that you live with what is going on, and if you prepare food for them etc see if someone else can take care of that for you. Once you’ve got your day scheduled, make sure your emails are up to date and to do list / housework is done = so that this baggage is out of your way
- Turn your phone off or on silent and let your landline go to voicemail, it can all wait for a day
- Digital detox: don’t go on social media; this is a biggy as it sucks our energy and we can easily lose an hour or two on Facebook
- Have activities planned that make your heart sing. Examples could be: having a massage, manicure/pedicure/facial, reading a book, a long hot soak in the bath, a walk somewhere you don’t normally go, yoga, a visit alone to the seaside, swimming, whatever floats your boat. OR you could go to a spa for the whole day and take your book with you. This bit is so individual and only YOU know what makes you feel happy, relaxed and COHERENT. The trick here is to do this ALONE; you are reconnecting to your soul and this can only be done ALONE. Read inspirational material only, stuff that lifts you
- Schedule in meditating for an extended period; this is your chance to step up your game
- Treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, or anyone else in your care, hopefully this is going to be the beginning of an amazing new relationship; with YOUrself
- Plan in some really lovely ‘soul’ food; healthy and filling. You want to ‘feed’ yourself beautifully and kindly on every level, so whether you are at home or out make sure food is a priority
- Journal your experience during the retreat day AND afterwards as you reintroduce yourself back into society(!). What have you learned from the experience? What have you discovered about yourself? How did you feel before and how do you feel after? What shifted?
- Please do not feel bad about taking a retreat-day (or weekend, or week, or 2 weeks). Everyone in your life is going to benefit from the relaxed and happier you. Your energy will shift which means that theres will too = win/win all round. This is another biggy to get your head around as it seemsselfish on the outside to take yourself off for the day/week, but actually it is just the opposite: think about it; you are showing those around you how they should also be taking care of themselves (and you); deep subliminal messages are being broadcast. So enjoy your day 🙂
- At the end of the retreat-day, schedule in the next one!
Ok so that was 11 tips 😉
I go into retreat myself twice a year, once to the monastery to do the compassion retreat, and the other six months after to do a private retreat (doing my own thing and no schedule at all). They are very different but bring about the same effect for me: balance on every level. Both involve a lot of extended meditation practice, which has a hugely beneficial effect on my inner world; which therefore HAS to bring about a change in my external landscape.
This is WHY we go into retreat
This is WHY we meditate
We know that doing the inner work is going to have a positive effect on every area of our life
So, tell me, when are you going to schedule in your first day-retreat?
*this blog was originally published in March 2017
Member Quote Of The Day.
In this section you will read something that has been said by one of the Quantum Sobriety Online Programme members over on the very lively private forum:
“Out on a run this am an old DnB tune called ‘surrender’ came on my mix. As euphoric as it was it also got me thinking that this was what I did this weekend I finally surrendered to the quantum and my sobriety. **** wrote of how she tried to control her drinking on holiday and failed despite employing numerous different tatics and strategies to moderate. How much EFFORT and head space and time does that take from you. What a flippin’ messy struggle. We find peace when we reach acceptance and relax into sobriety by SURRENDERING!!“
Residential Retreat and Online Member