MY MINI HEALING RETREAT
Taking the time out to rest and renew is incredibly important to me. I’ve been attending yoga retreats for years, but this year I felt like something a little different. I had a strong urge to take off on a self-imposed mini break but one without structure or plans.
A little while back I’d booked in for a White Light Healing Intensive with Belinda Davidson. The intensive includes 3 x white light healing sessions and is designed for you to enjoy at home over three days where you can unwind and switch off from the world.
I decided that I wanted to do this intensive away from home. As my office is in my apartment I find it really difficult to completely switch off. So I booked myself a mini-break in Byron Bay on NSW north coast. With The Freedom Project starting really soon I decided that in order to give of myself FULLY and be completely present that I needed to retreat from my normal world, just for 4 days!
Let me take you through my intentions and some of the insights I garnered from my mini-retreat.
For this retreat my intentions were simple.
- Be alone.
- Talk less.
- Ponder more.
- Be still.
- Be in nature.
- Be intuitive.
- Switch off.
I didn’t want plans. I didn’t want to book things in or go site-seeing. Having been to Byron a few times, for me it was more about being a space that was completely chilled, comfortable and away from home!
All I wanted was to eat clean food, swim and be cleansed in the ocean, walk in nature, soak up the sun + it’s healing light, read and listen to my favourite books/lectures, be silent, practice yoga, meditate alot, journal and press pause! Bliss.
At first I found my mind wanting to create structure and to plan; ‘should I book in a massage now?’ ‘where should I go for breakfast tomorrow’. I didn’t judge it though – realistically, my life is quite planned and structured (it has to be) so being intuitive and in-the-moment takes a little time to feel and fit right.
It wasn’t long though that I found myself responding to what I needed in the moment – have a snooze, read more, walk aimlessly, swim, eat. It felt so good to not have any commitments or appointments. The only thing locked in was my nightly healing light session at 7pm.
The importance of turning inwards
When you have no one to converse with it really forces you – no matter ho uncomfortable it is – to turn your attention inwards. I found it really interesting that I was so incredibly quiet over those three days. As I work from home and on my own I do spend chunks of my day in silences – but the process of blog writing, coaching, talking on the phone and seeing my husband really break up those long stretches of silence. On my retreat I easily went two whole days without saying anything other than: ‘I’ll get the green smoothie please” or “I’ll have the eggs’.
By being in silent I entered a state of pondering. Contemplation. Little things around me would set off a gentle inquiry such as watching the sand move underneath my fingertips, witnessing the change in colour as the sun rose, breathing in rhythm with the roll of the ocean. Nature, in particular really took me in a deep-dive into myself. I felt such a strong connection to the world around me, yet felt it was a inner reflection of myself and my own truth.
Turning inwards allowed me to completely drop the drama that my everyday life can bring up – emotionally and mentally. I was continually surprised that I felt so calm and at peace. I kept waiting for that familiar feeling of anxiety that occasionally creeps in, or a moment of discontent. I didn’t feel any of that – I’m sure the healing light treatments played a BIG role in that.
Life is meant to be shared
One of the biggest realisations I had on this trip is how much I value the love and friendship of those closest in my life. In the space of a year I have received the message that part of living my life is to experience with others. Being alone is incredibly vital to my well-being – it juices me up and re-energises me. However, the message I got loud and clear is that I am a ‘connection’ sort of girl. Sharing my life and story, connecting to others and their stories – this is what lights me up! Being with people, witnessing and supporting their journey, sharing the beauty of life.
When I first arrived in Byron I was blessed to meet Rachel from In Spaces Between for the first time out of the cyber-world! I felt completely filled with love and joy – the connection we shared, the gorgeous chats and the open-hearted sharing was simply divine and proved to me again that my life is richer and fuller because of the people in it. It’s not just about me and the work I do on myself, but about the interactions and connections that make life so special.
Love every moment
More than once I would catch my mind wondering away to somewhere else – not fantasizing or day-dreaming but more my ego pulling my attention away from the present moment. It would tend to happen when I was completely present and calm – I would then notice distracting, completely irrelevant thoughts pop up to take me out of that space. These thoughts were usually about how I could ‘fix, improve, or change’ that moment to make it better! It was positively ridiculous to witness it. I would be sitting by the ocean, watching the sunrise, completely present and then my mind would say – ‘wouldn’t it be awesome if you had worn your swimmers so you could dive in’. Well, yes, I’m sure it would’ve, but what the hell is wrong with just being here, now? Nothing! It is perfect.
It led me to remember that nothing I ever do can ever add to what I already have, so instead all I am to do is love every moment of the here and now and just be
Drop the expectations
When I took myself on this retreat I did my best to not have any expectations or agendas – especially around the healing light treatments or how I was going to ‘feel’.
In the past I have definitely and quite sub-consciously layered situations and experiences with dark and heavy expectations. Why dark and heavy? Well, they never quite get met and in the end they leave me feeling dark and heavy – the weight of those un-met expectations can be quite unbearable.
I decided to instead appreciate every moment for what it was and for what I was learning. I allowed myself to be with the experience without judgment and to be completely grateful for what was offered up.
I felt like this message has been drummed into my throughout the year – ditch the expectations, don’t judge and just appreciate. It means that I don’t move into a space of discomfort or disappointment, but instead a space of peace and acceptance. Much nicer, I think!
My tips for your own mini-retreat
Whether you choose to head away like I did or you want to retreat within your own home here are a few of my tips.
- Minimise your connection to the online world – I posted a few pics via Instagram and checked my email once or twice but other than that I was offline!
- Be clear about what you want and why and then make sure you create the space for it
- Expect less, experience more. Drop the agendas!
- Have your creature comforts (I chose to stay in a place that was really comfortable and close to the beach – that made me feel comfortable and satisfied)
- Tell your friends/family what you are doing so you don’t get disturbed
- Treat yourself to a massage, facial or a DIY experience at home. Pampering makes it even better
- Arm yourself with books, podcasts, music and lots of yummy food
Now, I’d love to hear some tips from you.
Have you ever done a mini retreat (at-home or elsewhere?)
What are your tips and suggestions for enjoying the experience more?
love + light,
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