Where does retreat feature in your life?
Where does this retreat feature in your life?
Do you need to escape from certain aspects of your life?
Because you feel that you need to rest or even rejuvenate?
Does your life have a frenetic quality to it? Where you find that you are pushing and forcing your way through life, pushing and forcing to succeed. To say that you are successful. Or perhaps you’re pushing and forcing things just to make ends meet.
When we operate from this kind of space, we can end up working ourselves into the ground, deteriorating our health and our well being.
There is a spiritual teacher known as Jiddu Krishnamurti. And he said:
“I think it is essential sometimes to go into retreat to stop everything that you’ve been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines, Whether you believe or you don’t believe you wouldn’t let fresh air into your minds”.
He points to some really relevant points here because when you look at the homogenized world, it can very much seem like a bunch of slaves plugging themselves into the machine, just working for the machine without any regard for themselves and it can become so easy to get onto a treadmill that you feel like you can never get off. Doing the same things over and over again. Creating channels in the mind. Pathways for thoughts to flow through. Thoughts and feelings that are prompted by conditioning around us that ultimately do not support us in our lives.
What is the definition of Retreat?
If we look up the definition of the word retreat, you see them speaking about the military or the army, where it’s: “This withdrawal from enemy forces as a result of their superior power, or even after defeat”.
And when I read this, what it brought to mind for me was that our minds can feel like the enemy. Our minds can create such havoc and pain. So a retreat, a withdrawal from this enemy could be warmly welcomed.
Other definitions I found for the word retreat was: “To move back or to withdraw, especially from something dangerous, difficult or disagreeable”.
This can be circumstances in our life. It could be people around us, it could be a job that we feel trapped in. It could be a perpetrator of some kind in our lives, of some form of abuse or trauma. To get away from any of these things to retreat from them. What would that be like and what benefits would that give us?
When I looked more into the definitions of retreat, I got: “Withdrawal to a quiet or secluded place, a place in which one can rest and relax”. Retreat can also be “to decide not to do something or to stop believing something because it causes too many problems”.
So this whole concept feels to me as if we get caught up, whether consciously or subconsciously, willingly or unwillingly, we get caught up, we can become trapped in a way of being, a way of doing, a way of living that really does not support us. Retreat is an opportunity to break away from that, to give us some spaciousness from that.
Going on a Retreat
Most of us have heard of going on a retreat. And when you go on a retreat, it is an opportunity to give up or withdraw away. To have some time away in a quiet and secluded place where we can relax. A way for us to rescue ourselves from an undesired or unpleasant situation. And that asks the question, what are we giving up and what are we withdrawing from? Why do we need time away from our normal lives?
The world is speeding up
As the world speeds up, and as technology takes over, more and more sectors of our life, I feel that it’s really important for us to reconnect. And how then can retreat benefit us? Whether this is going on a retreat, a retreat that has been organized, a formal retreat or creating retreat within the minutes, the hours, the weeks, the days and the months and the years of our lives. Because when we take some time for retreat, the benefits that we receive is that we get to escape our tiresome routines, those routines that are wearing us down, whittling us away inch by inch.
Going on retreat removes us from our usual patterns, and potentially even our usual surroundings. It takes us away from the familiar.
Where is your focus
Retreats offer us an opportunity to clear our schedule, to create the spaciousness. A space where we get to unplug and refocus.
Focus is such a big thing in this world of go, go, go and do, do, do. So many people are focusing on the wrong things because they are on the treadmill. They are spinning their wheels and they are focusing on completely the wrong thing. So when we can create this break, this is where we can see that we need to shift our focus.
When we take time for retreats we get to bring our intention and focus on things that we usually don’t have time for. The things that we know we need to have in our lives. The things we know we should be focusing on but we don’t because we’re too busy.
Find your truth
When you retreat, and you create the spaciousness, you then have this opportunity to really anchor back into your physical form, into your body, into your form consciousness. And this is where your truth resides. Your truth resides on a deeper layer, not the one of doing and rushing around and being trapped in beliefs.
Retreat offers us a space for deeper physical and emotional withdrawal from the stresses and strains of our daily lives. And for most people, the act of survival is stress and strain and traps us into these very unhealthy cycles.
When we can create the spaciousness and this distance between our busy life or an issue that we facing. What happens is that we start to get a different perspective. Perhaps we even get to view a little bit more of the bigger picture. We get to see the “how’s” and the “whys” that were not obvious to us before.
Retreat offers us a way to process what has been going on in our life. Because when we are in the mess of life, it’s very hard to see why it’s a mess. But if you can step away from it, you get to process and see and gain new perspectives.
Retreat offers us time for soul searching, a place to look deep inside ourselves. A time to reflect on what we have been going through and perhaps to glean some wisdom from it. To learn the lessons of our experiences. It can be a way to heal the pain of our past stories.
When we take time for retreat it’s an opportunity for us to learn to love ourselves more fully. For all the things that we think are faults, all the things that we think are problems and going deeper into what our gifts are. To lean into those gifts more deeply. To waken to our purpose.
The more opportunities we bring for retreat in our lives. The more long term and impactful are the benefits. A retreat is very different from just going on a holiday or a vacation because usually when we’re on holiday or vacation, we kind of keep our patterns running just in a different place and we can keep that busyness of life going. And we don’t take the pause. We don’t take the retreat. We don’t take the deeper soul searching, that deeper looking within which feels really uncomfortable and most people don’t like to do it because they don’t want to see all the stuff that they’ve accumulated along the way. To see that very often they are the core of their problems. They are the reason why things are the way they are, and it purely when you really whittle it down comes to the chaos and the confusion that’s created by the mind, that we buy into. That we believe that we see as being the truth, that we see as being who we are when an actual fact that is not. Retreat gives us an opportunity to create that distance between the drama created by the mind versus the stillness and the clarity and the perfection, of the truth of who we are.
How can we bring retreats into our lives?
Yes, we could go away to an organized retreat, or for a weekend retreat. Sometimes these things can be costly. And so if you don’t have the money for that, find ways to create retreat like spaces in your everyday life.
You could take one weekend a month where you disconnect from technology. Where you alter your usual way of moving through the world. And perhaps you go to a different place to allow that to happen. You could pre prepare meals so that there is no cooking involved. You could download some audios or videos of different spiritual teachers that you resonate with. Yoga classes and things like that and you can create a schedule for yourself a program of of connection and relaxation and spaciousness and journaling and letting go, surrendering, really creating a space for connection for yourself.
Nature can support your retreat
Being in nature while you take these opportunities for retreat is just another way for you to further deepen the experience of the retreat. Because nature has a calming and healing effect on us as humans. For those of us that are living in a more urbanized environments, we become so disconnected from what it feels like to be in nature that we forget how peaceful and recentring it can be.
You could lie on your back in your garden and watch the clouds go by and turn off your phone. Maybe even put some headphones on and play some music so you’ve you feel disconnected and in your kind of little cocoon of some kind where you can just be.
Walking barefoot on the earth and focusing on your connection to this beautiful planet that we call home and your part that you’re here to play in this life on this earth.
Take a hour to be technology free
You can decide to have certain hours in the day that are completely technology free so you could set “Do Not Disturb” timeframes in your day so that you don’t get alerted and pulled out and you have some spaciousness and that way.
Have no agenda
You could also block time out in your weeks and your days where you have no agenda where there is nothing scheduled and this in itself can create these opportunities for retreat.
Allow the wisdom to surface
And as you take more opportunities in your days and your weeks and your months and your years for retreat, whether it’s less formal, more informal, shorter spaces or longer spaces. This retreat is going to give you an opportunity to reflect to allow the lessons and the wisdom of your experiences of life to surface. Because without these pauses, without these opportunities for retreat, there can be this tendency for us to just step from one experience to the next to the next to the next. And very often we keep repeating very similar patterns of experiences and we don’t actually learn we don’t actually understand what that experience is for us.
What is its meaning, what is its purpose? Why has it been part of our lives. And when you get trapped in this repeating of similar experiences, you can get so lost in the experience. And this is can be very dysfunctional or very unhealthy for us as humans.
And so I’d highly encourage you to find ways to bring retreat into your life. And rather than just blocking out five days once a year for retreat, perhaps you can find different ways to connect to retreat, which will give you access to your own beautiful inner rhythm to your natural flow. It will help you to see your purpose in this life and give you access to the freedom that you are so desperately seeking.
If you would prefer to listen to the audio of this blog post:
Human Design and BG5 (Human Design for Business) both bring awareness into your life. They help you sift through what you are holding onto - your shadow - and enable you to let go.
With the letting go comes the ability to embrace the truth of who you are with wide open arms.
As a guide I can help you on this journey. I can guide you to know and trust yourself.
If you are would like to explore whether Human Design or BG5 are for you, then please book in a strategy session and we can invesitage how to move you from where you are to living aligned with success.
Aliging you to success.
BG5 Business & Career, Cycles and OC16 Consultant & Human Design Guide