I’ve been leading women’s retreats for almost a decade, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve just put the final details in place for my next Revitalization Retreat weekend from April 7-9, 2017 on Galveston Island, Texas.
People ask me questions about retreats a lot – What is a retreat? Why should I go? I was reviewing some notes from when I was interviewed for a magazine article about the importance of nature retreats and I thought I’d share some of the answers with you. If you are thinking about going on retreat – with me, or someone else – this should help to answer some of your questions.
1) How do you define a retreat?
I think of retreat as “stepping out of ordinary time” – it can be for an hour, a day, a weekend, or longer. It’s about getting out of your usual routine, responsibilities, and expectations and taking time to slow down, rest and renew. With our busy, chaotic world, it’s more important than ever to carve out these chunks of time for ourselves.
2) What do you think are the benefits of a retreat in which women spend much of the time outdoors?
Nature is in balance. Nature has rhythms and cycles. When women spend time in nature, they are restored to their natural sense of flow. They relax, unwind, let go of responsibilities and start to breathe easier. They listen to their bodies and the mental chatter tends to die down. Retreats are also great for connecting with your creativity (Even I wrote a poem after leading my last retreat – that’s very unusual! Ha!) and for gaining a new perspective on your life. Mother Earth has much wisdom to impart if we will only slow down and take the time to listen.
3) Is it possible to take a personal retreat outdoors, or are retreats usually group functions?
I highly recommend that my clients retreat outdoors whether by themselves or in a group. A personal retreat can be as easy as going to the park by yourself and taking a journal, some inspirational reading, and some yummy snacks and just sitting and BE-ing. Listen to the birds, look at the trees, sit against the trunk of a tree and get grounded. A group retreat can be gathering a group of friends who head to a favorite place in nature to reconnect with the land through camping, hiking, and singing around a campfire. Or my favorite kind of group retreat (not that I’m biased) is going on retreat with a trained retreat facilitator, someone like me! Retreating with a skilled professional allows for deeper intentionality in all of the activities and invites you to sit back and relax and be guided and cared for during the retreat weekend.
4) In general, what do you think are the different benefits of a personal retreat versus a group retreat for women?
A personal retreat can be excellent for clearing the mind, reconnecting with the body and experiencing silence, something most of us don’t do these days. A women’s group retreat can help you do those things, too, but in addition, you get the wisdom, direction, and resources of a skilled facilitator, you experience great connection and companionship with other women, and you feel deep in your bones the support and understanding of knowing you’re not alone. Retreats can be an intimate experience and there is real power in the synergy of a women’s circle. You can even make life-long friends… I’m still friends with women that I’ve met on retreat in Colorado, New Mexico, and Georgia over the past decade!
5) Why do you think outdoor retreats are so good for most women?
Mother Nature is nurturing, loving and healing. Spending time outside takes us back to the basics, back to our essential selves, back to being more connected to the land, back to being plugged in spiritually. It allows us to press the reset button of our inner clocks and regain balance and wholeness. The mountains can be very grounding and nurturing. The beach can be very uplifting and support possibility thinking.
6) What can you expect on a group retreat?
My retreats are all about revitalizing your life including mind, body, and spirit! I incorporate guided journaling, playful movement, time in nature, uplifting music, healthy and delicious food, and lots and lots of time to R-E-S-T. As a result of our storytelling, circle time and lively conversations while sharing a meal, retreat participants come away with insights and a-ha’s about their business and life that often propel them forward in an area where they were previously stuck. They leave feeling refreshed, renewed and well, revitalized!
Of course, every retreat is different so you want to make sure to find one that suits your needs. There are some retreats that are just about yoga and meditation. Other retreats that are business planning retreats. Others still have a specific topic in mind – embracing your spirituality, connecting with your creativity, learning how to play a drum, etc. Find one that appeals to you and go for it. Going on retreat can literally change your life!
Interested in learning more about my April Revitalization Retreat? Email me today and let’s connect!
Here’s to retreating!