All my adult life I’ve been someone who retreats.

A retreater, if you will.

a (1) : an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable (2) : the process of receding from a position or state attained <the retreat of a glacier> b (1) : the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position (2) : a signal for retreating c (1) : a signal given by bugle at the beginning of a military flag-lowering ceremony (2) : a military flag-lowering ceremony

2: a place of privacy or safety : refuge

3: a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction

This cottage in Haiku is a great place to retreat. It's available year round!!

(Erm. I’m talking about #2 and #3, though #1 could apply sometimes.)

Retreating is a way to:

  • Recharge my batteries by not having other people around (much as I love my work as a therapist, it can be intense or draining at times)
  • Get space to work through personal issues (yes, therapists get them too)
  • Fill the creative well
  • Enjoy nature
  • Tap into the spiritual
  • Have time to wander,  ponder, and truly experience NOW
  • Work on enjoyable projects

Madonna contemplates.

How to get the most out of your retreat:

  • Have an idea of what you hope to get out of it. Set an intention. The clearer you can be about this the more likely it will be fulfilled.

  • Pack special clothes that signal your subconscious mind that this is a special time apart from normal life. (I have a beautiful, butter-yellow flannel shirt I have been wearing on my retreats for years. I don’t wear it otherwise, and just seeing it in my closet makes me feel good)
  • Go somewhere special. I am always on the lookout for an inexpensive, beautiful setting to retreat in. Exploring and experiencing different locations is part of the joy of retreating- or use one special place and create memories there.

I spent two weeks at this awesome Mendocino, Ca. retreat spot, WRITING

  • Bring comforts. I bring music in the theme I’m hoping to elicit, a scent candle, projects and art supplies, nice lotion for bedtime, good quality food to eat.
  • Turn off technology (if you can).

Stayed in La Jolla here last year for writing retreat. It was wonderful!

A word about group retreats for yoga, writing, therapy,art, cooking  etc. I've been to some great ones, and they can really help break through a stuck spot. I don't really consider them a retreat, though, because usually you are on a schedule and hard at work with whatever the agenda is.

I like making my own agenda, and like fine wine, one's own company improves with age.

Have you ever taken a personal retreat? Would you consider doing it?


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