One of the best gifts I ever gave myself was to go on a spiritual retreat. For eleven days, I was able to get away from all the emotional and physical stress that I had been dealing with. I took time to process my feelings and gain new perspective. I found new friends to talk to as we created healthy meals together. I enjoyed time alone to meditate, pray, journal, and contemplate. Three times a day, I walked in nature. I came home refreshed and with new tools and information as I returned to my daily routine.
We started Sweethome Retreat in September 2016 with the idea of creating a place where people could come to rest, learn, fellowship, and refresh. This might be a great place for you to take some time for yourself.
We understand the confusion that comes with rapid spiritual transformation. Many walk-ins need time to process the energy that suddenly came into the body and changed many perspectives and relationships.
Things to consider when planning your personal spiritual retreat:
Set Goals— What is your intention for the time away? Do you just want to catch up on some much-needed sleep? Do you want to get some exercise? Do you want to be in nature? Do you prefer to retreat alone or with others? What do you need to take with you in order to have what you need while on retreat?
Journal — Keep a journal of your thoughts, fears, doubts, and feelings. Take time each day to write about your experience and notice whether your negative thinking is increased or decreased as you explore your inner world.
Contemplate — Reflective, quiet space can shield you from an overload of information and stress. Take time to assess your thoughts, feelings, fears, and expectations about life. What do you want to change? What do you need help with? Do you have ideas that you’ve been ignoring or putting off? This might be a time to plan the next steps toward reaching short- or long-term goals. It may take time to accomplish them, but this is a great time to come up with a doable action plan for long-lasting personal transformation.
Nourish Your Soul — Meditation does not have to be done sitting down. It can be combined with walking or some creative endeavor. Connect with your inner guidance. Listen to nature sounds. Draw, paint, or create something. The energy of some sacred places can help you connect with God/Goddess, bring spiritual understanding, and deepen your appreciation for history.
Feed Your Mind — Read books, watch spiritual videos, listen to music or a podcast to help you find a new perspective on life or open your eyes to other beliefs or thoughts. Perhaps there is a counselor or chaplain on staff who can assist with particular issues you want to work on. Your personal retreat could incorporate educational courses. Check out colleges or community centers to see if there is a seminar or workshop being held in the area.
Heal Your Body — Relax. Rest. Exercise. Yoga can help still your mind as you clarify your spiritual goals. Incorporate moderate exercise to elevate your mood, improve well-being, relieve mild depression, and promote positive thinking.
Socialize — You don’t have to spend all your time alone, unless that’s what you feel is best for you. Spiritual retreats can be enriched by the inclusion of others. Going to retreats can be a healthy way to meet new people. There are many local meet-ups or study groups that focus on a topic that may interest you. These meetups are often free to attend. Learning from others can make the retreat more fulfilling.
A spiritual retreat can help you improve your relationship to yourself and others. Sweethome Retreat incorporates aspects of nature, quietness, socialization, learning, and relaxation. See our retreat packages.