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“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” ~ Albert Camus
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to teach retreats in some of the most beautiful places in the world, including my current favorite, Ubud, Bali.
My experience has convinced me that everybody should attend a retreat at least once in their lifetime.
On retreats, I have witnessed many stunning breakthroughs and life transformations, quite often from the people who were least expecting them!
Here are seven difficult times in our lives that retreats can work wonders:
Reason #1: We are tired of putting everyone else first.
Sick of spending time trying to make other people happy? And at the expense of yourself?
If you’re a chronic people pleaser (like I used to be), I know how easy it can be to feel stuck saying “yes” to others—even when we don’t really feel like it. It’s exhausting, right?
A retreat can provide us with time-out from the demands of life so we can focus on ourselves, as well as what we need for a change.
Retreats offer dedicated “me time,” which can help us restore balance in our lives and happiness in our hearts.
Reason #2: We are experiencing a health challenge.
Have you forgotten what it’s like to feel truly happy and healthy?
Health challenges can really suck. I should know. Just a few days before my 20th birthday, my body broke down. I found myself bedridden and having to be spoon-fed by my mother. This was the wake-up call I needed to prioritize my health.
The good thing was that being sick spurred me into action. It motivated me in a big way. And it ended up being a blessing. It helped me to make the necessary changes to get healthy and start living fully.
I know that this possibility exists for you too!
Retreats are taught by experts on health-related topics like yoga, meditation, tai chi, and fitness, and other practitioners and therapists will be there as well. They will share tools and techniques to help cope with life challenges and difficulties, including stress.
Armed with this knowledge, we can change how we deal with not only our physical health challenges, but with difficult people and stressful situations in our lives when we return back home.
Reason #3: We want to break old habits or addictions.
When our cravings take hold, they always seem bigger than us, right?
Having fought my own sugar demons, I know how hard this battle can be. Particularly when we are surrounded by all of our usual triggers and temptations.
To break old habits and addictions, the key is to become the boss of them.
And this is where retreats shine—they take us out of our familiar environments and interrupt old patterns and routines.
Retreats give us a chance to make invaluable distinctions and experience new ways of being. And most importantly, we feel reconnected with our inner power and strength.
This can allow us to develop and grow into the best version of ourselves.
Reason #4: We are healing from a painful event.
Has a difficult emotional experience taken the wind out of your sails?
Perhaps you’ve been through a painful breakup? Or maybe lost someone close to you? Maybe life has squeezed you so hard that you weren’t even sure if you’d make it through to the other side?
Life can be messy. No doubt about it.
The beauty of retreats is that they hold us in a kind, loving, and supportive atmosphere. This can make it much easier to create the sacred space necessary to release our pain, tend to our wounds, and heal our heavy hearts.
Reason #5: We want to meet new people.
Feeling a little jaded with the people in your life?
This can happen when we are surrounded by people who don’t share our interests or values.
Loneliness is at epidemic proportions throughout our modern world. Our traditional human connections are being eroded by constant societal change and advancements in technology.
Retreats can be a great place to meet new and interesting people. I have personally seen many beautiful connections and friendships form on retreats.
Reason #6: We want to celebrate a special milestone.
Life is short. Often, it can be tough to find the time to slow down and be fully present to it as it unfolds.
Retreats can be a great way to take life at a more leisurely pace and really savor important moments, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or even to signpost a big life event such as retirement.
Retreats are a great way to make these special events even more meaningful, and they’ll help to create memories that last a lifetime.
Reason #7: We are at an important transition point.
Stuck in a rut? Have a big decision to make? Or, just want to get a fresh perspective on life?
It can be pretty impossible to do anything new, whilst doing the same old, same old things that we’ve been doing, like, forever.
A retreat in a warm, exotic location might be just the tonic you need.
Retreats activate the imagination. They can kick-start our creative juices, inspire us to see new possibilities, and bring into focus what’s truly important. Then we can make the right choices for ourselves, and welcome into our lives the things that bring us happiness, health, energy, and enjoyment.