Why Do We Retreat?
There are a 1,001 reasons, maybe more. As I spend a winter weekend away in nature on Bowen island this month, I remember why it is that I love to host retreats. It is an opportunity to take others into beautiful surroundings, to encourage and help build new healthy habits; eating well, self-care methods, to restore balance, yoga elementals, encounter peace, and absorb nature as medicine.
In this wild and woodsy cabin, I am over-come with a sense of peace. My purpose is restored because I have time to nourish myself, to enjoy the stillness and time for reflection, to eat good food that I’ve prepared lovingly for my family and I. With the help of many hands, we create a feast each night. We get to take walks to ponds, lakes, streams, and to the myriad forest that exists here. It is a beautiful place to welcome in the changes of each given season. I admire how each season has its own special quality, in this case - the winter is more of an indoor experience, where my main activity is to tend to a fire, to keep the house warm. It feels like a luxury to have the time and space to watch the embers burn and as each log gets smaller and smaller, and a new one gets placed over top to keep the fire burning, I can’t help but wonder why am I here? With confidence, I can say that I have chosen to be here; I have invested in myself, I have invested in the beauty, peace, quiet, to nourish and re-ignite my life’s purpose which becomes clear when I can be quiet and away from the noise of the world.
I remember why I greatly enjoy to host retreats. So often we don’t make the time to retreat ourselves, and it’s so special for us as humans to be able to take care of one another - and Island life people know that. When a neighbour is in need, there’s always someone there to lend a hand. These retreats are an opportunity to become closer as a community, whilst taking the time for ourselves to replenish our reserves so we have all the love, all the energy, all the life to give and share with those around us that we love and cherish.
So I pose these questions to you…
1. What is one thing that would bring you peace if you spent the time and space to reflect on it?
2. What are some habits that you wish to add or subtract in your life that deep down you know would nourish you if you built those connections?
3. What is one self-care method you can implement right now into each day to bring you more rest and repose?
4. What do you live for? What stokes your flame, what are you truly passionate about and how can you be made to remember what matters most when the grunt of the daily routine takes over?
Ways in which to nourish on the daily:
Journal, read, write, draw, get crafty, touch the earth with your hands - it’s always been available to you, take a bath, sit with a cup of tea and just sip without distraction as you explore the waft of aroma tickling your senses, go for a walk in your neighbourhood park.
Remember you got this, all the resources are right in front of you.