How 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.