Why Retreat?

Retreating is a very powerful wellness practice for reenergizing your life. Retreating is good for what ails you. When we feel lost, when we are tired, emotionally as well as physically, when we can't remember who we are or what's important to us any longer, when we don't know where to go next, it's time to go on a retreat.

For many women, going on a retreat is a radical act of self-care. It takes a lot of commitment and self-love to give yourself this huge gift-the gift of your precious time. We all agree that taking time to be relaxed, contemplative and mindful about our lives is a worthwhile thing, yet we still don't do it. We say we're too busy.

 But being busy is a given for most of us. And the truth is, we're probably not going to get any less busy.

We also say we can't afford a retreat, economically and for other commitments, but, the payoff is well worth the cost. You can be very creative about designing just the right retreat for you. It can actually not cost anything. But even if it does, it's just plain worth it. Nothing is worth more than caring for the soul.

For women, the question isn't whether or not you need a retreat. You know you need to retreat. The questions are why do you need to retreat and what kind of retreat do you need? The important thing to remember about going on retreat is that it's not a vacation-though rest and relaxation are important parts of a successful retreat. However, in its most basic description, to retreat means to step away from our lives for a specific reason. Imagine getting away from all the stress and distractions of everyday life.

To retreat sounds like we're running away, but we're not. To retreat is to actually come back to yourself. It is about giving yourself a quieter space in which you can begin to hear the whisper of your intuition, to journey back to yourself, your needs, your desires, and to tell the truth about your strengths, your weaknesses, what you want and what you don't want. A retreat is a purposeful time to stop and check in to see how you are doing. Maya Angelou said, "If we step away for a time, we are not, as many would accuse, being irresponsible, but, rather, we are preparing ourselves to more ably perform our duties and obligations."

There are many different retreat experiences, from spiritual sabbaticals to weight loss camps to a long lunch by the marsh. A silent home at night, alone with no TV or electronics, can be a beautiful retreat. Sometimes just stopping to take three deep breaths can be a mini-retreat. There are health, spiritual, relationship, silent, writing, girlfriends, golf, Buddhist, Christian, youth, elder, hostel, moms, parents & life design retreats. There are singing retreats. And they are all purposeful if they meet your own unique need.
What calls out for attention in your life? Maybe something has significantly changed, like a divorce, or a recovery, or a death. Maybe your children have left home. Maybe you're just plain bored, lost or confused. Is your body calling for attention, for rest and relaxation? Is your heart in need of mending? Or is your soul calling out your name? Does your relationship need repairing or does your team need bonding? Knowing why you need a retreat is critical in deciding what to do.

Find a time and a way to step outside of your life so that you can hear your own wisdom.  Give yourself the gift of some of your own precious time.

Dr. Kathy Murphy leads successful women's retreats for personal growth at beautiful resort/spa destinations throughout the nation. www.kathymurphyphd.com.

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