After months of difficult times, it becomes even more important to draw on your inner strength. A time to pause, reflect and bring in wisdom, courage and care to yourself and those around you.
Humans have survived for thousands of years helping each other out and bringing inspiration to our hearts and minds. We know how to do this. So, instead of getting caught up in the fear and anxiety, take a break. Take some time to breathe, center yourself and allow your inner calm to rise to the surface. This is the perfect time to create a mini retreat for yourself at home or close by in nature.
The purpose of a retreat is to follow a rhythm of practice that allows you to center yourself, tend to your body, quiet your mind, see the present circumstances with clarity and freedom, and open your heart. It will take some dedication to do this, and I’ll will show some ways to do that.
By choosing to let go of your usual distractions, online time, unnecessary busyness and tasks that can wait, you can make this a time for healing in body, mind and spirit.
A mini retreat can be for a few hours or a full day. I’ll suggest some guidelines, then you can decide what works best for you.
First a few tips in preparation of your retreat:
*Let your family members know what you’re doing and ask for their support by giving you the space and stillness you’ll need.
*Decide on your time frame: a few hours, half the day or full day.
*Find a comfortable place where you can have what you’ll need near by.
*Be sure to silence your phone and eliminate distractions.
*Have a journal or notepad and pencil/pen .
*Have water, healthy snacks/foods handy as well.
*Drawing pad and pencil/colored pencils
*Yoga mat and comfortable pillow/chair for meditation
*Decide ahead of time on some spiritual readings. Maybe you have some books you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t yet. If you don’t have the book, order online or borrow from the library.
A Few Suggested Books:
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Healing Ancestral Karma by Dr. Steven D. Farmer
Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell
The Instruction by Ainslie Macleod
Energy Stands by Denise Linn
Nature Spirituality from the ground up by Lupa
Discover Your Soul’s Path through the Akashic Records by Linda Howe
Soul Shifts by Dr. Barbara DeAngelis
Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Anything by Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay
*Can you tell I’m a big Hay House fan?
First: Set Your Intention
Before you begin your retreat, take a few minutes to consider what the focus will be. It may be to benefit of yourself. Maybe to deepen your presence, steadiness and compassion in difficult times. It may be to release your fears and become more loving, to contribute more to the world.
If you wish, you can light a candle, place a flower and/or inspiring image near you. Quiet yourself and inwardly create a strong and clear intention. Once you set your intention, write it down on a notecard and place it by the candle or image or where ever you can see it.
Regularly during your retreat, remember and reaffirm this intention.
You could also pull cards:
What do I need to know about doing this retreat that will serve my highest good?
How can I make the most of this retreat?
Where should I place my focus?
Is there a hidden reason I'm not aware of as to why this retreat will be good for me?
Or come up with your own what/how/where or why question. Any question you ask should be open ended. Yes/no answers aren’t very helpful and offer little guidance. One to three questions is enough.
Here’s a link to Colette Baron-Reid’s oracle cards for a free reading to address your questions.
There are other free online places to draw cards, but after going through several of them, I feel Colette’s is the best and most gentle. Other than this, unplug.
Movement: I personally like to start with a walk outside to get my body moving and connect with the natural world. Then follow with yoga in my warmed up body. Next is to meditate.
(FYI...yoga was “invented” so that sitting in meditation would be easier)
The order that you proceed through a retreat is of course up to you and what feels best for your body. If you don’t do yoga, that’s okay. Do what ever stretches feel good for your body. Remember to be mindful of how you feel, what your body is saying to you and what’s going through your mind. The movement, what ever you decide to do, is for connecting to your body. You could even dance.
Mindfulness: Meditations can be with a mantra, an affirmation or just sit in the quiet. If you can be in a natural setting, try meditating on the senses. Focus on what you hear, feel, smell and even see. Don’t label it, just be with it. Hold your favorite crystals while meditating.
If you like to draw or just want to try it. Get out those pencils and journal and draw what you see. Draw what you feel, but don’t judge yourself. Nobody else has to see your drawings. Just go with what ever feels right in the moment.
A soak in the bathtub is a wonderful meditation activity. Be sure to include baking soda (soothing to the skin). Include some salts, essential oils and/or bubbles as well.
Journal on passages you’ve read. Pull cards from your tarot or oracle deck.
Stop -> Reflect -> Write
*Make your own retreat schedule. Include a few times for meditation, either sitting and/or walking. A quiet walk in nature can give you a break from sitting.
*Make time for eating even if your mini retreat is only a few hours. Be mindful of what you're eating. Eating can be another form of meditation.
For More Ideas:
Here are a few links to check out for more ideas. Some of the suggestions were written before COVID19 and either won’t work or need to be tweaked.
Enjoy your mini retreat!
I would love to hear back from you about your experience!