Do you hear people speaking about going on retreat and just assume they mean a holiday? It can mean that to some people but to those who go on them it’s deeper than you think.
“What do people mean when they say they are “going on retreat”
In a nutshell it’s about self care.
Taking dedicated time and space to concentrate on your own energy and being . Away from all the day to day goings on.
Spending what can be intense time with like minded people.
And in many cases finding yourself.
It’s a literal retreat from the day-to-day routine.
“Are you sure it’s not just a fancy way of saying going on holiday?”
Coming from my own experience of going on retreat at least once a year for the last 6 years – it’s NOT a holiday.
Some of the hardest self work you can ever do can be in this space. In fact I’ve been known to need a break AFTER a retreat has finished to allow me to integrate back into day-to-day life. As the shift back can be very jarring and can take some time to adjust.
I’ve been to some amazing retreats which I would recommend to others. And on the flip side I’ve been to one I would not recommend. But the latter taught me some very important lessons on what to look for, what to avoid and eventually how not to run them myself.
Why did/do I go on them? With the work I’m asked to do I need space to recharge, go deep into my own energy and be looked after by the facilitator while I work. To switch off from social media, people, work etc. It’s a form of reset if you will.
I get so many ideas or “ah ha!!” moments while I’m away. Far more so than when I’m on holiday.
I surrender to the space. To the quiet. And allow in what I may have been blocking, refusing to look at or locked away. These spaces can force things to a head that we can at times ignore.
You have no idea – unless you’ve been on one yourself.
“So why go on retreat?”
We can all have good intentions to take time out each day. Or set aside a few days or a week where we say we’ll do the energy work, stay off social media, not putters first etc but how easy is it to split back into doing the exact things we said we wouldn’t.
I hold my hand up to that. I’m the worst for taking holidays and keeping working.
By putting myself into the hands of a facilitator I force myself to do the very things I have said I will. Basically making myself accountable.
It’s liberating but also slightly scary when you start out.
The scary being you may not know anyone else there but you are doing it anyway. Knowing things may come up that might be difficult to handle but trusting the facilitator will help you through it. Its a lesson in trust.
I have so many ideas, messages, confirmation and clearings that come up when I gift myself this intensive self care. And I see it as a gift to myself – not a treat as that carries a different vibration.
Without this time out each year my energy would be shredded.
“Ok. This might be something for me in the future. How do I choose the right one? “
Funnily enough I have found over time the right ones find me. Not the other way round.
Either something energetically in the location or with the facilitator is what resonates.
It catches my attention and feels right. There is no one rule fits all here – as whats right for me may not be right for you.
If you haven’t been on one before I have a few hints and tips to look for. If they resonate great, if they don’t thats great too. You’ll know at a gut level whats right for you.
My main hints and tips for going on retreat .
- Firstly is duration. You don’t want one that’s too long as the intensity for that duration may feel overwhelming unless you are used to the experience. 3 nights is a good place to start.
- Can you get there relatively easily? I have been on some where people are willing to travel to very out of the way places simply because it was the right mix of people and energy. It’s still good to consider travel arrangements.
- Have you sense checked the facilitator who will be running it? Is it someone you are aware of , or others may know? Always sense check this one folks. Are they approachable when it comes to any questions you may have? You’ll know at a gut level on this one.
- How many people are they holding the space for?
I have found on a personal level smaller retreats to be more to my liking. As in up to 15 people or so. You may be happier in a large group – its personal taste. But check the accommodation. If you have the ability to have a room to yourself this is a good indication of space. If you have to integrate shifts during sleep having a room to yourself or sharing with 1 person maximum is vital. Take it from someone who has seen the other side of this with no individual space and feeling crammed into a sardine tin – it can be claustrophobic!
- Price can/may be a factor it all depends on what feels right for you – especially if you have to factor in travel as well. Many are fully catered and are essentially full board for the duration so make sure and check that first. Plus you are getting (within reason as they need sleep too!) 1-2-1 access to the facilitator(s) you are drawn to.
- Is there an itinerary or plan for activities? Do they fit with what the retreat is for and does it feel like something you will be comfortable with? Do you have the ability or choice to not do something you don’t feel comfortable with. I was told that something I said at the very start of this years retreat I ran was highly empowering and it was simple. “You are all grown ups if you don’t want to do something then don’t do it.” And I stand by this for those I choose to go on myself.
However you choose is up to you.
“Is this just a sales pitch because you run them yourself?”
This is the time of year when many facilitators start planning and showing what they have to offer for the coming year. It can be a little overwhelming so some practical guidance on what to look for comes in handy. Don’t get me wrong I will add the link here if you want to have a look but that’s not why I wrote this. Type “2020 retreat” into a search engine and you’ll see what I mean.
Yes I run them but it was an natural step for the work that I do.
I still GO on them myself. In fact I have already booked a space for a 7 night one in June just after summer solstice with a facilitator I know and trust. So I’m putting my money where my mouth is – so to speak
If you feel like a retreat is in your plans for 2020 then happy searching – the right one will pop up. Probably a lot quicker than you might have anticipated…intention and all that.
Dragon Ascension Therapies