Why are retreats important?
They allow you to pull back, get inspired, become spacious, detox, and spend time with God. Retreat comes from the Latin verb “to pull back.” So, retreat, or a retreat, is a place where you pull back from the world.
1. Pull Back | It’s strategic. You withdraw from your regular life, pulling in all the energy that’s otherwise fanned out and thinned out in multiple directions. You gather your time and energy to focus them on something you love. You get a new perspective, regroup re-energize and find inspiration. Then you put inspiration into action.
2. Become Spacious | You step out of your structured scheduled day-to-day and hit the pause button. At the office, at the family dinner table with the kids vying for attention, on the cellphone, talking to your friend/lover/spouse about the game/boyfriend/bills, time is taken. All of it. There is no free time. Time on retreat is different, fluid. There’s no more rush! You find a space where you can give yourself time to connect with God’s love and your own creativity.
3. Get Inspired | Inspiration, translates as “to breathe into.” So, you breathe life into your life. How it comes is different for everyone, but one thing’s for sure: Inspiration won’t strike out of nowhere, while you blindly do the same rote stuff every day. It’s a frame of mind that can come from a change of landscape and outlook.
4. Listen | On a retreat you get to listen. Why? Because, depending on where you are, there’s no phone, kids, TV, co-workers, limited or no WiFi, and maybe a few others like yourself, who are longing for space and quiet. What do you hear? Maybe the screech of the swallows swooping, maybe the wind, but more importantly, that quiet voice of God inside your own heart.
5. Detox | Everyone needs to unload, clean out and empty their mental desktop. You will leave a retreat lightened, clearer, recharged, refreshed, and more present. This new perspective can guide you to make changes in your life that you know you need to make.
6. Lose the Fear | Retreat is a safe space, literally and figuratively. You don’t have to worry about what you say or if people will judge you. You can be yourself, confident that others are experiencing the same needs and hopes. You are among friends.
7. Remember Who You Are | Society wants you to be the mother, father, sister, wife, husband, friend, lover. One mother here on retreat put it this way: People need to be reminded that we are actually individuals, human beings, as opposed to “human doings.” On retreat you can drop all the roles. You can just be you for the first time in decades.
8. Spend Time with God | God is with us and within us at all times. But sometimes we get so busy and burdened that we just don’t recognize God’s presence. Retreat is a chance to re-connect with our source of love and peace. It’s an opportunity to spend time with God, who is absolutely crazy about YOU! What’s not to like?
9. Help Others | When you take time for yourself your spouse gets time too, so do your kids, and your co-workers. This brings appreciation. Why? They realize what it’s like when you’re not around, to work, clean, love them. Without you taking up your usual spot, people shift positions to fill that space. Life takes on a new shape. Life is actually different when you return. This is growth.
10. Establish a Routine/Practice | Sure, you can optimize conditions in your own life to create a non-negotiable writing routine or yoga practice. But if you’re trying to squeeze time into an already full schedule, creating those conditions at home can take years. Establishing them on a retreat is easier. Retreats are important because people leave retreats rested, happier and clearer.
Who doesn’t want some of that?