It is just over 9 weeks until the Spiritual Retreat I am running in North Yorkshire takes place! I am very blessed to be running a retreat again, and also incredibly fortunate to have some previous retreaters returning for this one. It is a true validation of the time, love and energy that we share together.
What is a spiritual retreat? For me and my retreaters it is the opportunity to connect with and nurture our Spirit. It is something that we don’t often get the opportunity to do as frequently as we would like in our busy lives, certainly not without interruption or distraction. But a retreat can be different things to different people.
A time to nurture ourselves and simply take some time, free from the usual daily demands of life; a time to get pampered physically, to thank our bodies for keep us going! It can be a time to retreat into ourselves through meditation or mindfulness. It can simply be time doing what we love the most, whether it be listening to some favourite music, watching a movie.
In essence a retreat suggests that we take time out of our busy lives and that we give to ourselves some quality, distraction free time, space and energy. It is time that we give ourselves to heal, in whichever way or form we need to.
And life does get busier, doesn’t it? Every year seems to be faster, with more demands on our time and our energy. We can easily, and far too often, get to the point where we are running on empty, about to burn out before we actually take the time we need, indeed any time, for ourselves. How many of us get to the stage of taking annual leave from our jobs only to find ourselves ill and poorly during our holidays? It is the body’s way of releasing the stress, tension and overwork that we have subjected it to; we give it the opportunity to rest and it makes sure it does!
Social media, mobile phones, smart phones mean that we are more available to more people and for more of the time; the opportunity to make time for ourselves can become less and less unless we actively make time. And making time is what we need to do. Whilst, with our daily lives busy, frenetic and often chaotic, most of us wish for more time and tell ourselves that when we get the time we will ‘do this’ or ‘do that’, that magical creation of additional time very rarely ever manifests!
We need to create the time we need. In everything. Whether we need time for a hobby, for meeting up with friends, for an early night; time doesn’t magically double itself. We have to release something else, to create the time that we need.
It is no different for our retreat time, we need to create the time we need to spend quality time and energy with ourselves. And yet, that special time that we do create just for us, just for our Spirit, for our well-being, for our nurturing can lend us the energy, vitality and motivation to make the most of the rest of the time. It enables us to reinvigorate our daily life and tasks rather than just feeling that we are on a merry-go-round which never stops.
Whether it is getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to connect with ourselves quietly before the hustle and bustle of the day begins; whether it is staying up 10 minutes later to find our centre and our place of peace before closing the day, we owe ourselves the time that makes us value ourself and recognise that value. Whether it is turning the mobile off, logging out of social media for an hour so that we can give our undivided attention to whatever enjoyment is at hand or locking the bathroom door so we can soak in a bubble bath free from interruption!
It doesn’t have to be a big event or a full day, even 10 minutes connecting with us, with our being, our energy, our Spirit in whichever way is right for us makes a difference and matters; we are telling our soul, our subconscious that we are loved, valued, respected and honoured by the most important person, by the person that truly matters – our SELF.
Giving ourselves special time for our own spiritual, emotional, mental or physical retreat is a gift beyond measure. Retreat into you and heal, love, be.