Retreat in daily life
Why do we even need the idea of retreat? What do we gain from withdrawing from the world? Well, the language of our soul, aka our intuition, is subtle and we need to tune into a particular frequency to maximize our access to this highest or deepest part of ourselves. That frequency? Stillness. And it doesn’t have to be outward stillness necessarily. Climbing a volcano for example, or doing yoga can be some of the most inward stilling experiences you can have. Stillness is the state of being you want to acquire in order to manage the stress of the world. And the benefits? Innumerable! But let’s name a few:
- Emotional regulation. In other words our capacity to moderate our emotions with inner stillness before unleashing them (or not) on the world
- Reduction in stress producing hormones including adrenalin and cortisol
- Increase in divergent thinking i.e. an improved capacity to solve problems with ease and creativity
- An increase in the spontaneous experience of grace.
In addition to all of those amazing benefits you can add better sleep, peace of mind, reduction in anxiety and renewed energy can be added to the list. SO, how can we access the benefits of retreating in our busy, child-filled, job-demanding everyday reality:
- Spend time in contemplation. This isn’t mediation but a more active form of inner reflection, which is complimented by making a list of ‘next steps’ or qualities you’d like to be including in your own life. When you make this space open but structured you find your inner light gets very bright as you start to map the future of your life from a place of intuition.
- Read the sacred texts. It doesn’t matter where you start or what religion or philosophy you follow but find the books that inspire your soul and spend at least 10 minutes reading from one or more. I have a stack of books beside my bed and I allow myself to gravitate towards whatever I need. Right now I have A Course in Miracles, The Power of Now, Thinking like the Universe, Seven Mansions of Colour and Disrupt Yourself. It sounds like a long list but I am actively reading all of them as I guided to do so. Inspire yourself!
- This is the other side of reading inspirational texts and a great activity to do along side contemplation. Have a journal with you all the time or beside your bed. You may find ideas or inspiring thoughts appear from nowhere about your next steps, a problem you may be having or divine guidance. Believe me if you don’t write it down you will forget it.
- Meditate. Yes, this has to appear on this list doesn’t it? I guarantee you when you give it enough time meditation will become the sweetest part of your day. It isn’t a chore. It is you in communion with your highest, deepest self and that is a magnificent place to be. Need some inspiration? Check out our free meditations here.
- And finally, walk. Yes, walk. There is a reason so many of the great pilgrimages on the planet are long, long walks. Walking is such a profound peace giving activity. It gives you mental, emotional and spiritual clarity, and in no small way this is because you are silently communing with mother earth. So don’t listen to music. And don’t worry if it is just around the streets of your neighbourhood. Give yourself as much time as you can, ideally at dawn or dusk and you will find profound inner peace.
So that’s my list of how I access the space of ‘retreat’ even in my daily life. I’d love to know if you’ve got anything to add, and let me know how you go with these!
Love and all the light,
P.S if you want to deepen your experience of retreating and actually head out of your daily life then join me on the 4 Day intuition immersion this November in Australia’s green cauldron.