I have been a single mom with little time for myself and limited resources. Many years ago I felt the craving for a retreat yet did not have the time or money to take myself away for the peace and tranquility that I was longing for. I decided that I needed to figure out ways to bring those qualities into my “free-time” in a way that could truly nourish and serve me. I have found that it is important to declare to yourself that these particular hours of the day are your retreat time, so that you don’t schedule anything for yourself. The retreat can be an hour, several hours, or an entire day; whatever you are able to do. There is ALWAYS something that needs to be done, so choosing to honor yourself by retreating in this way is an exquisite act of self-love. You are claiming this time for YOU and for whatever YOU may need at the time. My retreats fluctuate in level of unplugging, activity, or indoors vs. outdoors. I prepare in advance and have nutritious food on hand so that I do not have to make a trip to a store or restaurant and can simply be in my own flow of need. What may feel like a retreat for me definitely may not for others and I have many suggestions to cater to each individuals needs. For me, it depends on what my week before has been like, how tired I am, and if I need to be physical or if more stillness is in order.
Here are 4 ways that I have found to retreat that don’t cost a dime and restore my body and spirit:
- Turn off your phone or at least have the ringer off for a few hours. This one is tricky for those of us with children, but I would suggest, if possible, even an hour at a time of not checking your phone will give your brain a break from technology.
- Take long walks listening to beautiful chanting. I put on a hat, some sunglasses, and my headphones so that I can feel some privacy, tune out the world, and tune into myself. I have musical suggestions on my website on the “Resource” page.
- Treat yourself to a long and luxurious restorative yoga and movement session. Create a space where you can spread out any props, a mat, meditation cushion, and anything else that helps support you in dropping in. I draw the curtains and lock the doors, just to ensure that I am not interrupted. I always do this in front of my alter with a candle lit to proclaim the time as sacred. I also have a notebook near by to write insights or notes as they arise. I have found that when I take the time to be quiet with myself, I receive many powerful messages from the Universe and my creative juices start flowing.
- Indulge in a self-massage session followed by a candlelit bath. I lay a towel down on the floor of my bedroom and grab my jar of coconut oil and a calming blend of essential oil and give myself a slow, head-to-toe massage. Savor each part of your body and use affirmations to enhance your experience of truly loving your body and giving gratitude for its health. I allow the oil to sink into my skin for a bit afterwards and then will melt into a candlelit bath. This is a beautiful practice to cultivate in our daily lives and is especially potent to do when you are retreating.
Carving out this time and space to hit the pause on your life and tune in, will reap its rewards in your daily life. I have found that if I give this time to myself I am much more resourced for the rest of the week’s ups and downs and am overall a happier and more balanced person.
I have many other ideas, suggestions and individualized support to help you to create your own personal retreat. Please contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.