candlesHow many of you have ever treated yourself to the gift of a personal retreat? A personal retreat is the gift that keeps on giving after the actual retreat experience is over. There are ripple effects which will continue to impact you in the days and weeks after the retreat is completed. I attended a retreat in May, 2014 and the gifts were immeasurable. There were aha moments, tears and laughter, bonding with some incredible women and the affirmation that I have the skills and talents to facilitate retreats. I left the retreat feeling refreshed, renewed, re-energized, affirmed, and confident about the direction I was heading with my business.

Retreats come in a variety of packages. I led a one day retreat in February focused on the transformative power of silence. I have led three day retreats at ARC Retreat Center near Cambridge, MN which involved staying overnight in their beautiful lodge. Retreats can be done alone or with others. I have done both and there are benefits with each of them. The solo retreats I’ve done have been in my living room and have lasted anywhere from one hour to four hours. The important thing about the solo retreat is to block out the time, turn off your cell phone and computer and devote the time to reading, writing, doing artwork, reflection and meditation. You can design your personal retreat to best suit your needs. A wonderful guide for designing retreats is The Woman’s Retreat Book by Jennifer Louden. One of the things Jennifer recommends is setting an intention for your retreat. She suggests stating your intention as question rather than a statement. She says “A loving, questioning intention gives your inner knowing something precious to gaze on, the illuminated essence of your retreat. Your intention is a still point of purpose to refer back to when you feel lost, unmoored from your ordinary life, or anxious, or selfish or guilty. It helps you to concentrate your time in a way that has heart and meaning. The word intention comes from the Latin root intendere, meaning to stretch toward something.” I invite you to give yourself the gift of a personal retreat. You’ll be glad you did.

The Gift of a Personal Retreat
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14 thoughts on “The Gift of a Personal Retreat

  • June 9, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    Nancy I gave myself a retreat in the Berkshires once for a week. I stayed in a timeshare in the Fall and just drove around, did some yoga, wrote and worked on my website. It was so wonderful to come and go and not take care of anyone else! Also, I love Jen Louden and have a few of her books. She also teaches a program, TeachNow, that is very rich and supportive for offering workshops. She is online and very responsive. You might enjoy it as much as I have.

  • June 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm
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    I try to block out several afternoons each week for drawing and painting, but I’d never thought of that as personal retreat time before. Now I might start changing my perspective on it — it’s not just time to create and play, but also time to renew myself. Thank you!

  • June 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm
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    Thanks for sharing your retreat experience Linda. Sounds like it was a rich one. I have quite a few of Jen’s books too. I will check out her TeachNow program, sounds intriguing.

  • June 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm
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    Thanks for your comments Harmony, glad you enjoyed my post. Sounds like you do a great job taking care of yourself:)

  • June 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm
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    I’m a big believer in benefits of retreats. I like to think of them as intentional well-fillers. Not only a time to gather inspiration, but also inner focus, all frosted with copious amounts of self-nurturing.

  • June 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm
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    Thanks for your comments Deborah! I love what you said about retreats being a resource for filling our wells. What a great metaphor!

  • June 11, 2015 at 11:12 am
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    Ok now there’s a new concept for me. A personal retreat. I’d never thought of it. Retreats were always ones that involved large groups, and took place quite far away. I love the idea of a personal retreat and shutting off the phone, blocking out everything that is distracting. Hmm…

  • June 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    I have been on a couple of small retreats, and I’d love to go on an art retreat. However, there is a monastery near me on the Chattahoochee River – they do weekend of silence. I think it is time i seriously check it out.

  • June 12, 2015 at 9:22 am
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    Kelly, personal retreats are great! Check out Jennifer Louden’s book, The Womans’ Retreat Book. It will give you lots of ideas. Happy Retreating!

  • June 12, 2015 at 9:23 am
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    Thanks for your comments Vickie! If you go on the weekend silent retreat, please share your experience in a blog post. Would love to hear about it:)

  • June 12, 2015 at 9:48 am
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    Oh how I love the idea of a personal retreat! And to think of block out hours during my week for quiet reflection. I think this is JUST what I have been craving! I’m grabbing my calendar now and giving myself this gift. Thank you!

  • June 12, 2015 at 11:31 am
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    A personal retreat sounds so wonderful. I guess I never thought of a retreat as being as simple as a few hours of time alone. What a great idea!

  • June 12, 2015 at 3:18 pm
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    Thanks for your comments Michelle. Good for you for giving yourself the gift of a personal retreat! Enjoy!!

  • June 12, 2015 at 3:19 pm
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    Debbie, it really can be that easy to take time for a personal retreat. Simply block off the time on your calendar, unplug for a few hours and Enjoy. Thanks for your comments:)

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