A client was musing-out-loud recently and touched on something that resonated with me and possibly is true for many of us.
"I have too much to do and not enough time.”
“But when I get time, like on holiday, I can’t sit still for long because I want to explore where I am."
“It's just occurred to me the kind of ‘free time’ I really need is contemplative time just to be still and with my own thoughts and to take more notice of what's going on around me."
"I'd need a specific environment and particular conditions to provide me with this kind of free time.”
“So a holiday is not the ‘free’ time I need. It's something else... like your Retreat!”
Yes, there is a big difference between taking a holiday and all the joys and pleasures it brings versus the virtues of taking contemplative time-out just for you.
I've been running the Soul Alive Retreat for five years now for the purpose of giving people time to themselves because:
1. You have too many plates spinning and it feels relentless
While you’re busy spinning the plates, it’s impossible to decide which ones to drop. Yet continuing to spin them - and more - is exhausting, especially if you’re being pulled in different directions at the same time.
Recognising that you have a choice and deciding what changes to make is impossible when you’re in full spin Taking time-out on a Retreat allows your head to clear and the better, alternative options become evident.
2. You're starting to snap at 'nearest and dearest'
In fact, they may be part of the problem! No kidding, I’ve often thought I should rename the Soul Alive Retreat “Escaping Housewives” - not that they’re exclusively for women. It’s just that typically women leave it too long, giving so much of themselves to others; we forget to balance this with receiving - until we’re so replete and desperate to leave 'them' all to it.
When you go on holiday with your partner, children, or friends – delightful as it is – they naturally want a piece of you so you’re still on call 24/7. There’s no time to switch off completely and be idle and daydream with your thoughts and feelings. On a Retreat you can.
3. You need to take stock of where you are in life because it’s been too long
Trundling along in the daily routine, there’s very little time to rise above it all and get a hot-air balloon perspective of what’s going on below. Continuing as is, you could end up at the wrong destination before you know it. Much better to get that higher perspective and make any adjustments now before it's too late.
Not that any course is irreversible. It may just take a little longer to get back on track, beginning again where you are and at whatever age you’re at. I know that one.
4. You've had a recent loss or change in circumstances
Hitting a wall can happen to any of us at any time – whether through health issues, bereavement, relationship problems, a career change – this is life. The difficulty arises when you can't address this properly because you’re so preoccupied with it, sat right in the middle of the situation.
You cannot figure out a way through when you’re knee-deep in. You must step back from the wall in order to come to terms with it and to receive the inner guidance you need to determine the next step… and the next. This is the grace a Retreat offers you.
5. You have a ‘dream’ that won’t go away.
It keeps nibbling at your ankles to get your attention and you keep pushing it to one side because it’s not convenient.
The truth is that there’s never a perfect time to begin so why not start now. The mind will always come up with very good reasons for you not to pursue the dream - or to delay its start. By going off-duty on Retreat you can see a way to begin. You’ll also gain the support, energy and motivation to keep going. Remember providence can move with you only after you’ve taken the first step.
If any of these 5 reasons resonates with you, a Retreat will serve you well.
There are many types of Retreat you can choose from but whatever the focus, its ultimate value is to restore balance, repair your sanity and improve your well-being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. When you stop being swept along by the agendas of others and start favouring your own, it's life-promoting.
This requires longer time-out than an hour’s therapeutic or coaching session, valuable though they all are. To make a deeper, sustainable connection to your self and to receive the powerful guidance this can provide, requires you to slow things down and slip into a more spacious experience of time and rest there for a while.
A Retreat isn’t a selfish activity. Returning home feeling good about yourself, empowered and confident, you have more to offer your loved ones, your work, and the world in general. You are making a solid investment in yourself, your happiness and well-being - and this is priceless.
If the promise of six unadulterated days to yourself lights your fire, consider joining me and other ‘blazing’ women.
Please RSVP below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll send you details about the Soul Alive Retreat in SW France, which rolls twice a year. Set in beautiful sunshine and countryside bursting with life, this is an opportunity to be still, take stock of where you are, and arrive at what needs to happen next.
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#humanspirit #self-reflection #contemplation #timeout #sensuous #possibilities #mindfulness