Think back. How long has it been since you carved out a significant chunk of time dedicated to YOU? When's the last time you made a priority of your own self-care, personal development, mental/physical/emotional well-being, and sense of adventure?
It's easy to get caught up in the rat race of life, even when we don't think we're in it. It happens to all of us. We get stuck in a rut, we get comfortable with routine, and we turn into creatures of habit. Eventually life gets predictable and boring, and we need to shake things up a bit.
Enter the Retreat. This thing will change your life.
The first time I took myself on retreat I was 24 years old and spent a week in Montezuma, Costa Rica taking yoga classes, barely improving my Spanish, and learning to ward off creepy drug dealers on the beach in broad daylight. My yoga teacher training was my next big retreat experience and I returned to Costa Rica six months later (this time to Nosara) for a month of yoga, surfing, meditating, and spiritual healing. By stark contrast, my most recent retreat experience was last April on a rural retreat center in Maryland when I took a weeklong vow of silence to participate in vipassana meditation and spent the hours each day simply sitting, walking, eating, and repeating.
Despite the different types of experiences within each of the retreats I've been on, I've noticed some things that they all have had in common that helped me feel empowered to live more fully in my Highest Self.
Here are the top ten reasons to take yourself on a retreat:
- Heal. Going on retreat can be an incredibly healing experience. When you're away from the everyday distractions of life, you can focus on the parts of you that have something to process, forgive, and release; and you'll have the space to let it all flow in and out.
- Rest. Sleep in. Get a massage. Lay on the beach and read a salaciously naughty adult novel. Getting your body and your brain periods of rest is important in keeping you operating at optimal capacity in your daily grind. Is the a better place to rest than a hammock on the beach while catching a breeze? I think not.
- Reflect. Use your time away to take a look back at what you've accomplished, learned, and how you've grown in the last year or two. Notice how it feels to pause and acknowledge how amazing you are and how much you do for the people you care for around you.
- Detox. Get that beautiful detox glow by being intentional about cleansing your system from the inside out while you're on retreat. Eat healthy food, drink lots of water, exercise, sweat, and focus in on a happier and healthier you.
- Recharge. Fill up on the sweet smell of salt water in the morning, take in the panoramic views of a tree-lined horizons, and heighten your energetic vibration by being in community with other like-minded spirits. You'll be overflowing with goodness by the time you get back.
- Meditate. Your retreat experience is an ideal time to strengthen your meditation practice. Find time each morning to sit. Be mindful of how you eat, drink, and socialize. Notice that when you slow down to half your speed, you notice twice as much.
- Learn. Take surfing lessons, deepen your yoga practice, get SCUBA certified, take ballroom dance classes. Find an activity during your retreat that will help you strengthen a skill or learn a new one.
- Create. Going on retreat for some is like getting a shot of creativity juice. Inspiration is everywhere when you're in a new, beautiful environment with an intention to appreciate what is around you. Bringing a journal is always recommended not just for dear diary entries, but also for spontaneous song-writing and scenic sketching.
- Connect. Get a chance to hang out with a group of really cool people who just want to relax and have fun, too. You'll probably end up meeting a new friend on your next retreat!
- Love. The ultimate reason! Give yourself this act of self-love to nourish the you that you are, to love all that's around you, and to offer love to each and every person in your life. And after your retreat, you might notice that your heart has grown.
If you found yourself nodding along while reading, please consider joining me for my Love & Liberation retreat in Tulum, Mexico October 27-November 1. Details and information can be found at the registration link: triptribe.com/camille.
The beach is that way,