By Jackie White
Isn't it funny how life can get in the way of living the life you want? Seems ironic, right? It’s important to step back once in a while and check-in with yourself. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to take a personal retreat. A personal retreat can give you a needed break and help you prioritize life’s demands.
What is a Personal Retreat? It is time you spend with yourself, away from distractions, focusing on your mind, body, and soul. The intention is to create time for you to just be. Be yourself, relax and check in with your goals and intentions. This time will help you to re-energize, refocus and recommit to your important priorities in life.
Why is a Personal Retreat So Important? Taking time for yourself to clear your mind of daily activities and to just catch up with yourself, as you might with an old friend. Enjoy your own company by doing things you like to do. Take time to be with your thoughts and process how things are going. What’s going well, what needs to be changed and how might you have fun in the process?
Three Steps to Create The Perfect Personal Retreat
Step One: Make Time
Make arrangements for you to have time for yourself. Time away, if possible. If need be, get a babysitter and make sure things at home are handled, so that you can be away without distraction.
How long should your retreat be? That’s really up to you. Any time with yourself is certainly better than no time. Here is one way to consider how much time you should spend.
Good: Your retreat can be an afternoon or a day.
Better: Your retreat can be a week-end
Best: Your retreat can be a week.
Remember, no matter the length of time, a retreat of any kind can be enough to shake off the stress and re-energize you.
Step Two: Location
There are so many ways to experience a personal retreat, some more extravagant than others.
Stay Home: this option is fine if you can find a place where you are not going to be bothered or distracted by people or things (like laundry or dishes!).
Going Away: this option can be any number of places. Just choose one where you will be comfortable and have time for yourself.
Step Three: The Retreat
Your personal retreat will require a little pre-work to be the most effective. First of all, make it as indulgent as you can. Pack comfy clothes, a journal or notebook to write in, have relaxing meditative calming music available to help set the mood, maybe a candle, pillow spray, or bath bombs. You get the picture.
What to Expect:
Your retreat should be a balance of restorative relaxing activities and meditations along with re-energizing plans of action for moving forward in life. Address your mind, body and soul with the activities you choose to take part in.
Opening the Retreat
Begin each day of the retreat in a restorative mode. You will set your intentions for the outcome of the retreat and/or that day by reciting and absorbing the following:
This personal retreat is for me to remember who I am and to look to who I want to be. I promise to be true to myself and not feel guilty or rushed in spending this time for myself.
Take the time to put on calm, quiet instrumental music, get comfortably seated, and try this meditation.
Close your eyes and breathe in and out three times. Put your intention on clearing your mind and listening to your soul. Continue breathing, focusing on your breath until you feel your body relax. Begin with a prayer or statement of gratitude for your retreat. Once you are calm and receptive, ask what might be the most important thing you will receive from this retreat. Write the answer in your journal. Continue to stay in this relaxed meditative state until you feel ready to begin. If you feel so inclined, continue to write anything that comes to you in your journal.
Assessing Your Life and Making a Plan
The next phase of the retreat is to re-energize and refocus by taking the time to assess what’s going on in your life across the following life balance areas. Rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being most satisfied and 1 being not at all satisfied.
The outcome of this quick quiz should help you to focus on what is working and what might need a little more attention. Brainstorm ideas for each of the areas and then prioritize what you’d like to focus on first, identify the steps and timelines to work towards.
Wrap It Up
Your goal of a personal retreat is to disrupt daily patterns through the care of yourself. Taking time to relax your mind, body, and soul is crucial. During the retreat, you will center and align yourself to what really is important in your life. By scheduling periodic retreats to recharge and reset you are making a claim that you are worthy of self-care, keeping true to yourself, and following your intentions.
Enjoy your retreat and Shine on!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.