Why do we need to retreat?
It is tax time, and with so much accountability we need to do on a financial and time front, it seems logical to question the benefits of escaping the day to day routine with a personal retreat.
Let’s begin with a few dictionary definitions on what a retreat is; (ref Webber)
“movement by soldiers away from an enemy because the enemy is winning or has won a battle”
Seem familiar to you?
The enemy we view as other people. You know the ones that continue to push your buttons, and even take pleasure in it. Mystically however, it is our interpretation or reaction to other people, and those we perceive of as driving us nuts, that is the real enemy.
Yes, you got it….our mind!
The Bhagavad Gita begins on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in India. Arjuna is the warrior who is counseled by Lord Krishna to pick up his sword and fight, even though all Krishna can see are faces of friends and relatives. Ancient wisdom teaches us that our minds need some adjustment in order for us to see things, and life clearly. It is one of the reasons why changing our daily routine and getting away from the people we normally associate with, can be a very refreshing thing. This is because we tend to get stuck, and take on the energy of the environment we find our-self in.
A new environment therefore can be like a re-birthing of new ideas, letting go of out dated concepts that no longer serve us, as well as interacting with nature and new people in an unfamiliar setting.
A retreat is also defined as “A refuge. A place to go to feel safe and secure.”
It allows us to perhaps act in ways that are not often how we act at home. Our rigid persona can be dis-guarded along with the labels that tend to define us, such as mother, wife, daughter etc..
I think it is a place where we can connect to that which may well be inconceivable, but absolutely can be knowable as a primary experience. I am talking about connection to God or Nature or whatever you see as creator of the universe and all things.
A third definition states that a retreat is :
“a period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study, or instruction under a director”
Usually there is some agenda along with free time that is offered, where the retreat participants can gather and share on some level. These gatherings can help people to connect and listen to other peoples life stories.
This can be very empowering as we try to figure out;
*what is important in our life
*know that whatever problems we may have, others may have many more
*relax, have fun as well as perhaps learn new things that may improve our life.
Remember how you look and feel when you come back from a vacation? Everyone says how great you look. It is because we have let go of so much that the mind, and therefore the body is holding on to. Gentle exercise on retreat can also help to let go of cellular stress that gives us aches and pains, along with further emotional distress.The anxiety of leaving others behind to cope without us is often positively translated into other family members stepping up to contribute to family chores and responsibilities that we were holding tightly onto. Like a breath of fresh air, we can then sustain the carefree woman that we discovered in that faraway place, and reintroduce her to the family. They may well look forward to, and help you plan regular retreats from then on because they are getting something from you taking time for you. It gives them the wife, mother, daughter that we all expected as an infant, and this can literally improve the lives of everyone in the household.
So why not invest in you and the family this year and search for something that feeds your soul on many levels.It may be just what the doctor ordered.
Check out our retreat in Mexico May 4-11th (a little earlier if you want to train in Aqua Yoga and get some deductions lined up for next year)