Someone recently asked what a retreat was. For us, it’s ever-evolving. Currently, a general explanation could be that it’s the choice to spend time somewhere that is not within your normal bubble in order to find time + space + silence in order to reemerge with a new or refreshed perspective. What did the Winter Retreat to mean to some of you?
“Honestly, it was one of the most transformative experiences. I walked away feeling a renewed sense of me and all of my relationships in life.”
“The positive vibe, doing yoga with such a great group of people, time spent with a friend and the massage.”
The focus of the Winter Retreat was to A) relax + unwind B) learn the tools for mindful living + art of intention C) devote a weekend to contemplate exactly what is present in your life and what you envision for your life. With the numerous distractions in life there’s a good chance those last two things don’t quite align unless you’re a SUPERhuman, TYPE A god(dess), in which case please give us a call so we can hang out! We are spiritual-beings having a human experience which means everything is always in flux and it’s easy to set sail for one direction and then the conditions change and the wind picks up, and you end up somewhere completely different than you expected.
We designed a workbook for the weekend that had three sections:
- The Inquiry; gathering data of how you’re caring for yourself and currently aligning [or not aligning] with your values. No judgement, just an opportunity to get honest with yourself and where you’re choosing to invest your time + energy.
- The Tools; a sampling of breath-work, asana practice [the physical poses], and meditation to discover what works for you knowing each day may require a different combination of the three.
- The Roadmap; integrating sections 1 + 2 to create a clear vision for you life and what you value most, set road-markers to guide you aka intentions, and identify the subtle shifts in habits you need to make on a daily basis to make it happen.
It takes some time to realize how wound up we can get with our coffee and cell phone addictions, endless to-do lists, full schedules, and societal pressure to always be producing and consuming. After a few hours into the retreat [a few hours of practicing yoga, meditation, breath-work, eating a healthful meal, having time for contemplation] the low vibration buzz wore off and a stronger, steadier energy came in – the energy of calm. With calm comes clarity. Only from a place of clarity grounded in calm and inner connectedness can we truly get at what we value and what shifts need to happen to create a way of living that is in greater alignment with what our body, mind, heart, and spirit are longing for. From this beautiful place, we created vision boards – vision boards that were freaking awesome custom pieces of art we might add – and NOT your average magazine clipping project! When placed somewhere you see on a daily basis, vision boards support us in returning to a beautiful mindset, which then inspires our action, and thus keeps us on course or reminds us to redirect if we’ve gone off course!
Sunday morning, we ventured outside for a walking meditation. Time in nature is therapy. Time spent in silence with the river, the birds, and only the sound of fellow retreaters was magical. While it was sunny, it was still pretty cold and this is where the power of being with like-minded humans comes in because we would guess that most of us would not get up early(ish) on a Sunday morning in February in WI and leave a warm, plush bed at The Charmant to walk outside and contemplate the wonder of life, on our own. While some of the individuals did know one another prior to the weekend, the willingness to be open and vulnerable with one another right away was impressive. When asked why they chose to attend some mentioned the stressors of mamahood, the lack of knowing what’s next now that all the kids are grown up, or simply the opportunity to dive deeper into knowing themselves. Perhaps it was the initial sharing of these real feelings that drove a collective decision to keep things real and foster an environment of no judgement – just the desire to be in the experience. And that’s just what a retreat can offer – the opportunity to press ‘pause’ so we can remember we are humans, responsible for our wellbeing + the direction of our lives, as well as spiritual-beings, with an incredible internal resource of freedom + love + infinite possibilities!
With love + gratitude,
PALM + PINE