I recently returned from Italy, where my Liminal Space Retreats co-facilitator, Elaine and I collaborated with Hala Kazim, from Journey Through Change, to guide 17 amazing women from several countries and diverse backgrounds along a path of self- reflection and personal discovery at the gorgeous Villa Tombolina near the Adriatic Sea.
The evening they arrived we gathered for dinner. The table was quiet, our guests tentative. Surely they were tired from their travels, so we expected the quiet. And, from past experiences, we also expected their tentativeness – no one could imagine or predict what the coming 5 days would hold for them, individually or collectively.
With each day’s workshops and activities, knowledge expanded, insights burst, and our discussions became richer and richer. The women learned from us, and each other, and we learned from them.
By the last day, all of our hearts were open, our eyes clear; we could truly see one another – see the beauty, the vulnerability, the courage, the strength. Encouragement and support for each other flowed like honey, sweet and compassionate; smiles and laughter filled our communal space. That first quiet night, only a faint memory now.
This is the retreat experience ~ a “time out” to discover and commune with others in a safe environment that allows us to reset our center and help us find new ways to navigate the issues we don’t give time to while we are racing through our everyday lives.
Many people think that going on a retreat is somehow decadent or self-indulgent. How did we get to this kind of thinking?
We spend our time and money on all manner of things, yet we hesitate to do so when it comes to nurturing the needs of our body/mind/spirit and developing wholeness of our Selves.
The connection between our wholeness – the balance of our inner Self and outer world – and our ability to function more fully in our lives is nothing less than profound. To nurture awareness and seek resolution of our needs and issues help us to become more effective in our work, happier in our relationships and more content with ourselves.
Taking time to retreat is not decadent or indulgent, it is an act of true self-love. When we choose to love ourselves, it’s easier to love everybody and everything else in our lives, too.
I myself have experienced the benefits many times, and the privilege of observing the transformation of others after retreating continues to be one of the greatest gifts in my life.
Consider joining us on one of our Liminal Space retreats. But, if you don’t join us, find some way, somehow, some time, to retreat. Believe me, you will thank yourself for it.
Wonderful article Plynn and you are so right that going on a retreat is a great expression of self love and self care. It should be a top priority then so much of our lives would simply flow. Truly magical!