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What can going on a “retreat” offer you that a holiday doesn’t?
People are getting ready for their Easter breaks and mini-breaks away maybe a stay-vacation, somewhere abroad or visiting family and friends and already I’m hearing how much needs to get done before they go and how much they’ll need another holiday by the time they get back!
Whenever I mention that I run retreats both in Italy and in the UK, I’m always met with various interpretations and certainly the description of the word in the Oxford Dictionary is far from helpful.
Allow me therefore, to offer my own interpretation of a “retreat” or as I prefer to call it a “real-treat”!
Occasionally, we all need to pause – and step away from the frenzied, highly demanding age we live in, the constant pressures brought about by our never ending “to-do” lists, the wish to succeed, be financially secure, fit and healthy, sociable, a good wife/husband and parent.
One way to do this is to take ourselves away from our daily life and go on retreat.
Far more than a holiday, a retreat offers us time to ourselves to rest, reflect, and renew our energy. It is a time to “retreat” so that we may emerge renewed, refreshed, and ready to return to our everyday lives with a new perspective.
Retreats often take place in secluded peaceful places so that our senses may be reawakened to the beauty of renewed tastes and the sights and sounds of nature.
We also are able to really hear when a bird sings, deeply breathe in the smell of flowers, grass, or earth, and delight in a soft breeze.
Without the pull of deadlines, relationships, the Internet, or other media, we give ourselves time to go into our own space where we can fully enjoy our natural surroundings.
Hopefully, when we return home, we can take a little bit of this time back with us and create some of our own space on a daily basis. We also may come back to our life renewed and ready to take on new challenges.
The beauty of going on retreat is that no matter where you go or how long you stay, you’ll always meet yourself when you get there.
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