A few weeks ago, I took a retreat. For me, that meant 24 hours away from family, phone, email, responsibilities. Someone else cooked healthy meals for me. I read. I walked. I slept. I was silent. I meditated. Like a warm bath on sore muscles, it soothed and relaxed me deeply.
I’d been wanting this quiet time to myself for months, but eventually I just had to claim the time: I’m going, and I’m going now, I told my family.
While at a community meal, I met a group of 4 women who schedule time together at this retreat center every year. What started as a weekend away seven years ago has grown to 4 or 5 days for them to be together, and alone, in a beautiful setting.
I loved what they are doing; and it can be difficult to take 4 or 5 days, or even 24 hours, to rejuvenate. Sometimes all we have is a few minutes. Sometimes it’s all we can do to just notice the in-breath we take.
A fellow coach is holding a virtual retreat next week: a half-hour of guided meditation every day by phone. It’s a cool idea: a chance, as she says, to get away from it all without having to go anywhere. It’s also a reminder that retreat doesn’t have to be at some remote location; you can find peace and stillness even here and now in the midst of your busy life.
Especially at this very busy time of the year, taking a break – giving ourselves a break! – can be the very best gift we can give to ourselves and others. Rather than waiting for the ‘perfect’ time, the convenient time, off into the future, to take your ideal version of a break, what could you do today?
What part of you needs a break?
What will you do right now to rejuvenate yourself?
p.s. And, if taking a meditation retreat is on your short list, I can heartily recommend Sylvia Boorstein’s Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There as an easily accessible do-it-yourself guide.