What does the word 'retreat' mean to you? I've learnt it can mean many things to many people. This Blog post explores what a retreat really is and how taking yourself on a retreat can be beneficial for your busy mind, your soul and the people around you.
"If you want your retreat to be successful, you should have the right attitude towards it. You should not feel that it is some kind of prison sentence during which you are locked up...Instead you should feel joyful and fortunate that you have the chance to do something highly beneficial for yourself and others."
I saw this quote recently by Lama Thubten Yeshe 'The tantric path of purification.'. It struck a deep chord with me as the term 'retreat' is starting to mean different things to different people. Part of my mission in this life is to encourage and support people to bring more sacred self care into their busy lives. And taking time to 'retreat' is a huge part of it. As a culture, we are obsessed with being busy. We wear it as a badge of honour, yet behind closed doors, we feel exhausted, restless and struggle to find happiness and peace in the basic beauty of our lives. I am watching the problems this is causing - particularly around mental health and the huge load of unnecessary pressure we are putting ourselves under. Just taking time out to be with yourself - and I mean really present with yourself - is so much more powerful than people think.
Contrary to the context of the quote above, a retreat isn't locking people up either! 🤣. I know first hand you are never kept prisoner in a retreat centre, BUT some people arrive and realise that sitting with yourself with little distractions is a lot harder than perceived and feel like a prisoner inside themselves. But to me, this is a good sign. A sign that simply bringing themselves onto a retreat in the first place is VERY powerful and they usually have the deepest breakthroughs by the time it's time to go home.
"The purpose of a retreat is to temporarily leave behind the usual distractions and pressures we all face, for a time long enough to allow relaxation and for an inner change t