This past weekend I had the pleasure of “retreating.” To “retreat” is to temporarily shift from your usual environment to one that promotes rest, relaxation, introspection and/or immersion. I experienced each of these in the retreat led by two very beautiful and spiritual women, Jenn Wooten and Angie Knight. We immersed into Shakti, the inner knowing of our sacred empowerment through the feminine Divine.
Yoga, meditation, Thai massage, sharing, silence, Vegetarian food, giving, receiving, napping, chanting and the full moon bathed me in Shakti. I returned home feeling a deep, deep sense of rest and restoration that is not explainable by just sleep or the activities above.
It is the nourishment, the filling up of the soul that comes from multi-layered communion with myself. It is also from communion with other women who are practicing self-love in the form of giving themselves time off from their hectic and full lives to retreat, go inward to-gather with others. The practice of loving yourself is the practice of loving the Divine that you are also. And, it was this energy field, this palpable field of love extended both inward and to others that restored me, and that continues to evolve and ripple forth.
Renee Trudeau, my friend who is wise beyond her years, invited me to join her in this retreat. It was wonderful to be with her. And, you have an opportunity to also soak up Renee’s wisdom, as well as experience the essence of Shakti in a one day self-renewal retreat she is leading for women next weekend. You can find out more about it at http://www.reneetrudeau.com/who/OneDaySelfRenewalatHyattLostPines.html.
When was the last time you retreated from your life? If you’ve never had this experience, I encourage you to plan a retreat right now. See some ideas below for making retreats a regular part of your life. Namaste`
Integrative action steps around retreating:
- If you can afford a structured retreat, I highly encourage you take the opportunity for someone else to facilitate your movement deeper into yourself.
- Look for retreats that include structured introspection, personal and interactive communion time, physical movement, healthy foods and opportunities that support quality sleep.
- If you don’t attend a retreat, you can still create the benefits of one by carving out 4 – 8 hours (or a day, or a weekend!) dedicated to removing yourself from your normal activities and escaping into a space devoted solely to an exploration of what is going on inside of you. Include some form of relaxation like a massage, or a walk in nature. Follow up with introspective writing using a journaling guide that speaks to you.
- Make this a regular part of your life, at least twice a year, quarterly is even better. You deserve to do this for yourself, to nourish your inner spirit and fill your cup.