Retreat: the act of moving back or withdrawing.
This word is most often used in terms of the army or spirituality. To pull back from that which is dangerous, difficult or threatening. The different conditions for use feel so dissimilar, but are they really?
We live such full lives. We have many people to love, many things to keep us occupied, material possessions, and endless personal and professional aspirations. We are completely immersed in these beautiful lives we’ve created, as we should be.
The routines we create sustain us. I believe this with all my heart. I think children need routine, I think adults need routine, I think we all benefit from having predictable steps in our daily life.
Yet, if we do not step out of our routines and carefully plodded schedules, those very habits and calendars begin to run our lives as opposed to the other way around.
Going on retreat is the way to break this.
Retreating is different from a family vacation, a girl’s weekend or a reunion with friends. Though each are restorative in ways, a personal retreat has a higher spiritual intent.
Retreating allows us to see our lives with different lenses so we understand what shifts need to be made to our day to day. Perhaps we want to start a morning wellness routine, love our partner more outwardly, make more time to play with our children, show appreciation to a coworker, or even break away from a toxic relationship. It is often only in stepping away that we can see these dire needs in our lives and gain the courage to act on them.
And we cannot always hear ourselves in a crowd of others, even if those others be our girlfriends, our family or our closest family friends. We women are so highly influenced by the thoughts and feelings of those around us. It is a gift of ours: empathy and understanding. But if we genuinely aim to find our own truths for the greater good and for ourselves, we must take time alone.
I fear we have forgotten how to be alone. We have one spare moment of downtime, and we are on our phones searching for something, planning for something, scanning through social media, watching something. We so rarely pause and allow a moment to go by without some kind of distraction.
When a woman takes time to retreat for herself, all those around her benefit. She comes home renewed and more self-aware. This consciousness is shared and spills onto others because women are the great spreaders of energy, social and familial creatures that we are.
It is my firm belief that we all need retreat once per year. Whether it be a guided program like She Glows Retreats or not, we must find the time in our lives to reconnect with what really matters. For our greatest gift to give another is ourselves. When we are in the driver’s seat of our emotions, our mental health, our physical well-being and our spirit, all the world benefits.
Nosara, Costa Rica
February 10-17, 2018