At the front of the space where we gathered—a beautiful room with walls of windows, nestled in the woods—there were two comfy armchairs with a small side table where a mug of tea and a vase of flowers sat.
I began the morning by inviting the women to visualize themselves sitting comfortably in one of the chairs and across from them in the opposite armchair sat the most important person they would ever meet: their wise self.
I was meeting with a new entrepreneur client recently who was referred to me by a very well-connected businesswoman in our community. This client joked with me before we began, saying “Mary warned me that you were wild about retreats and you’d probably recommend I take one!” This made me smile, but it’s true. (Read more on The Power of Retreating.)
I see a retreat –whether it’s for a day, a weekend or a week– as an opportunity to pause, hit the re-set button and have a date with your wise self. To tap into that part of you which holds the highest and best for you, that already has all the answers.
The guided retreats I’ve taken over the years have been highly instrumental in my decision to write a book, open a business, take my relationship with my partner to a new place, launch into a new career direction, take a sabbatical from work and often the experience just created the opportunity for me to receive just whatever it was I most needed at the time: validation, support, empowerment, inspiration, camaraderie or a shift in perspective.
For me there is always a strange delight in landing in a new, beautiful natural setting with a group of people I’ve never met, where no one knows me, there are no expectations and my only job is to be “wide open” and see what wisdom surfaces for me.
Retreats are a lot of work to facilitate. It terms of “energy expenditure” it would be far easier for me to fly somewhere and deliver a 2 hour life balance workshop, pick up my check and come home.
But the deeply moving feedback we get from retreat participants has convinced me that we all need regular opportunities for “dates with ourselves.” Because, often times, these experiences are the only ones that truly allow us to get quiet enough to hear what our wise selves have been whispering in our ears for months …or sometimes, for years.
JOIN US FOR A RETREAT: Take a mini-career retreat on Saturday, April 10th to learn how to integrate who you are with what you do. And, we have a few spots left for our April 23-25 Refresh, Reclaim, Re-Balance: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings Spa & Resort in Austin, TX, but sign up today to ensure your spot. Or, escape to the cool mountains in August and join us at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the MA Berkshires Aug. 13-15. One of my favorite spots on the planet!
Also, visit Live Inside Out to register for our April 15 FREE teleclass from 7:30-8:30 p.m. CST on Unleashing Your Creativity. And sign up to receive weekly tips on how to live more intentionally through our Live Inside Out Facebook Community.
The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.
Photo: A past retreat participant immersed in a morning creativity exercise.