How to Create a Solo Retreat for Clarity and Well-Being
Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are. ~Ancient Chinese Proverb
One of the best ways to create sacred space is to remove yourself from your everyday routine and go on a solo retreat for the purpose of seeking guidance (a “soul-o” retreat!)
And I walk my own talk…at the end of August, I took myself on a 4-day soul-o retreat to gain some much needed guidance on a both personal and professional levels.
The following are my own personal tips and guidelines for setting up a successful retreat for yourself that will help you:
Hit the “reset” button.
Release what’s no longer serving you.
Gain clarity on your best next steps.
I’ve learned the following guidelines through my own trial and error (as I’ve had both successful and not so successful retreats.)
1. Decide how long your retreat will be and then set the dates in your calendar
The length of your retreat will be based on a combination of how much time you can give yourself and how much time your soul is calling out for. Sometimes one day is enough and sometimes you need 10 days. Trust your intuition and if your schedule will only afford you a weekend, then make that perfect.
2. Choose if you want to include a dietary cleanse while on your solo retreat
During my 4-day retreat in August, I also included a dietary “cleanse.” This is optional but I love it for two big reasons: (#1) I did not need to plan meals or do a big grocery shop, and (#2) I find that it assists the releasing process (as your body releases toxins, your mind and emotional body also release what is no longer serving you.)
3. Set a list of intentions for your retreat
Ask yourself what you need clarity on, what is causing you pain or frustration, where you feel stuck , what you need support with, and what you want to manifest in your life. Your retreat is a “journey.” These intentions are where you want to be at the end of this journey. You don’t need to know “how” to get there. That will show up during your retreat.
You may need to do some journaling beforehand, but I recommend creating a list of 5 to 10 intentions for your retreat. (I had 10 for my retreat, all of which were checked off by the end, including “drop 5 pounds,” “relax and enjoy nature,” “clarity on next steps for Soul-filed Life,” “feel healthy, radiant and glowy” . . . )
4. Remove yourself from everyday distractions (media, other people, and to do lists).
I highly recommend finding a way to limit your interaction with other people, television, internet, and any of the normal distractions that you face on a daily basis. I prefer to take myself away from home. My 4-day retreat was in the Catskill Mountains, at a house that has no internet, cable or even cell phone coverage.
You also need to find ways to access nature. This is a time for you to reconnect with yourself and nature has a way of supporting the re-calibration process. On my retreat I swam in a near by pond, took long walks in the woods, and listened to coyotes at night. Where would the perfect nature-filled spot for your retreat be? If it’s at home, how can you limit the distractions and nourish your soul with nature?
5. Keep a journal
You will want to bring a dedicated journal with you on your retreat. I prefer a simple journal that I won’t hesitate filling up with lots of quick writing (my retreat journal cost me 99 cents, from the local grocery store.)
This journal is for: writing down your intentions, recording your daily activities, processing the “stuff” that comes up, and highlighting the insights and clarity that come to you. Be sure to save the journal and revisit it after your retreat.
6. Take some before and after photos
It’s fun to see the physical transformation that happens when you allow yourself to take time for yourself in this way. A picture is worth a 1,000 words.
7. Bring inspirational reading and tools with you
Bring your favorite books for pure inspiration. These will support you during your journey. Write down any supportive quotes that stand out to you in your journal. I also like to bring my tarot cards with me. I have been working with the Gaian Tarot deck, and use them to journal with and go deeper on any issues I am working with.
After your retreat, be sure to review your intentions, and celebrate the new insights and clarity you have gained.
It’s helpful to review your journal and highlight the insights and ideas that were brought forth. You will find new insights about yourself and how you receive soul-filled guidance just by reviewing your retreat journal in the weeks and months ahead. I like to take a bright colored highlighter and “highlight” the clarity and guidance that I received in my journal pages.
Be sure to implement the changes that you were guided to create for yourself. And finally, celebrate having taken the time to nourish your self on a very deep level.
The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life. ~Peace Pilgrim
Any questions or insights about taking a “soul-o retreat”? Share your insights by commenting bellow or by posting your lovely comment on the PurposeFairy Facebook Page. And if you’ve enjoyed reading this post, feel free to share it with your loved ones.
This article was written by Heather Gray. Heather Gray is a life catalyst for women and inspiration creator at Soul-filled Life. To connect with Heather, visit www.soulfilledlife.com.