Monday, October 18, 2010


I was recently visiting with a friend and reminded her I’d be gone this coming weekend to attend a women’s retreat.

I could see her pause for a while, before she replied (we had just been discussing how challenging it can be on a family when one of the parents is unemployed and looking for work).

I signed up for this retreat quite a while ago, and thankfully, it’s very affordable. But her reaction got me thinking about ALL the reasons I’m such an advocate for retreats (read more) and why I not only lead them, I regularly take them--no matter what is going on in my life.

1. As Stephen Cope, director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living so eloquently states: “Retreats don’t change our lives as much as they change where we stand in relationship to our lives—and our capacity to see the hidden possibilities there.” Retreats challenge--and change-my perspective, usually radically.
2. Getting out of my normal environment and day-to-day routine and going somewhere new and different while I’m examining my life and career direction, has a HUGE effect on my well-being.
3. I look at a retreat as a “heavy date” with myself. It’s an opportunity to invest in my inner life---to really pull back, pause and get clear on what matters most.
4. Whenever I come back from a retreat—whether it’s a one day solo retreat or a week-long guided experience—I’m always amazed at how calm, wise, grounded and clear I feel. For me, taking a retreat is like hitting the “re-set” button.
5. In this age of digital overwhelm, one of the things I crave is the ability to really “unplug.” Retreats allow me to tap into my creative, free-thinking right-brain hemisphere and give my busy, multi-tasking left brain (and inbox) a break! And, I’m always amazed at how often I leave retreats with solutions to problems.
6. Retreats for me are a way for me to visit the “well” and replenish my energy reserves (physical/emotional/spiritual and mental).
7. The break and time with other women feels supportive, validating and is always a great reminder that I’m not alone. In some way, we’re all grappling with the same challenges and we all desire the same things. For me, retreats affirm our interconnectedness and remind me we really are all one.
8. Stepping away and slowing down allows me to reconnect to my body’s rhythms and get in touch with what it is I most need—physically and emotionally.
9. And most importantly, retreats really allow me to connect with my “wise self”—to tap into my inner wisdom and guidance and to really feel my connection to Spirit. They remind me about the importance of trusting in that which is greater than myself.

I’ve taken retreats for about ten years now and they’ve become central to my emotional and spiritual renewal.

Like many, my October is quite full (actually too full). But over the years, I’ve learned that this is exactly when I most need to take a retreat. And pause.

If you live in Texas (or are able to fly into Austin), consider joining me Friday, Nov. 5th at Lost Pines Hyatt Resort and Spa (on 400 acres on the Colorado River) at my Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance One Day Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat. It might just change your life. Or at the very least, your perspective on life.

FIND YOUR TRIBE, ATTEND A RETREAT/WORKSHOP OR JOIN THE DIALOGUE: Would you like to receive support from like-minded women and be with people who hold the highest and best for you? Join or become trained to facilitate a Personal Renewal Group, visit our calendar to learn more about upcoming events including our November 5th One-Day Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance Women's One-Day Self-Renewal Retreat (early bird ends 10/23).

Also, check out our Live Inside Out community and read how people are living more intentionally.

The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.

Photo: Renee Trudeau--Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Big Sur, CA.

No comments: