Rejuvenation, Relaxation, Reconnection, RETREAT
“The myth is, when you focus on yourself you are being selfish. The reality is, if you don’t know your true self and cultivate an ongoing relationship with her, you can’t truly be with or give to anyone else.”
– Jennifer Louden, The Woman’s Retreat Book
I attended my first retreat about 15 years ago, on the advice of a wise mentor. My daughter was three at the time, and leaving my family behind was not an easy decision. In fact, it involved a lot of letting go: letting go of the belief that I was the only one qualified to care for her, letting go of the notion that I was selfish to take time away from my family, letting go of my belief that there wasn’t enough time, letting go of the feeling that as a stay-at-home mom, I hadn’t “earned” time away, and the list goes on.
I wanted a retreat that would allow me to connect more fully with my body, and ended up at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Since that time I’ve been on many vacations, but not one has remained “in my bones” like this very first retreat. I remember almost all of the nuances of this experience – the way the trees bent as the storm rolled in over the mountains, the way my full, deep, resonant breathing unlocked my nervous system, even the taste of the apple cinnamon tea I drank in the cafeteria alone at night. I even remember vividly the content of a few of my dreams.
This time alone was my first taste of yoga and deep relaxation…my desire to instruct yoga was born then. I wonder now if I ever would have slowed down enough to hear the call to teach had I not chosen this retreat. I definitely needed the jumpstart of a retreat in order to fully realize my desire.
And not only did my family fare incredibly well without me, my husband fully supported additional trips. He could see that the woman who returned was calmer and more grounded…far more enjoyable to have around!
Is it time for you to rejuvenate your spirit with a retreat? Or at the very least, stop saying yes vacations that don’t revitalize?