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Retreat – why and how

happy woman in grass istock Are you new to the concept of retreats?  Or maybe you have tried one before but didn’t feel any benefit from it.   In this time of overextending oneself, feeling stressed out and exhausted from the imbalanced nature of work with no play, retreats are becoming more popular as a counterbalance to our culturally stress driven lifestyle.  Choosing to retreat begins as a mindful intention to step out of the daily life pattern you are in and spend time apart. 

Vacations, for many, are just another time to overbook, feel stressed about getting everything in and not missing out!  The hectic pace of the day-to-day life has crossed over into vacations, and you end up coming home as tired or more so then you did when you left. 

Retreats are rising in popularity as they truly give you a time out and away! 

When you retreat it is a time to get away, reflect, care for oneself, find quiet, stillness and well being.  It is a time for solitude.  We come to retreat from a place in our mind to find ease and distance to observe a situation, a sense of who we are or what other possibilities are available to us.  This is called Pratipaksa.

Pratipaksa, like a retreat, is when we step out of a situation, allowing our mind to resolve any problem in unconscious awareness, while the mind is relaxing and enjoying another activity.   It is a powerful practice that I often experience when I make the conscious decision in the middle of a situation to practice Pratipaksa.  Many times I choose to go sailing or paddling when a situation comes up that I am stumbling with.  I let go of the situation, and spend time enjoying Mother Earth and allowing my mind to relax into the spacious nature of sky and sea.  When I am done I often find another viewpoint, or a resolution shows up at my doorstep. 

 Take a mini retreat in the course of each day.  When you start to feel overwhelmed, find a way to empower that free flowing nature inside of you again.  Just a few moments of easy breathing, or an hour of time away from the stresses of life can recharge you completely.  If it doesn’t then it may be time for a longer retreat.

 Look for a retreat that will take you away, give you space, take care of your well-being and support your healthy choices.   If you must, call it a vacation with your friends and family, but deep down inside you know you are retreating, getting away and finding space to recharge your adrenals, clear your mind and nurture your soul.

The key to getting the fullness of a retreat is to let go of the things that stress you, from work to food, relationships or habits.  Find time to be in nature, try something new, be still and find quiet. Above all allow yourself space and stillness.

 I’ll see you there!

 

 

posted on Sunday, May 4th, 2014. follow responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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