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Winter Solstice Retreat Update: Plan To Benefit

To the extent we busy people think about going on a ‘retreat’ at all, it’s usually more like taking a ‘vacation’: going somewhere to get away to clear the head and ‘chill out.’ But what about when you can’t ‘get away’ but still need to step back from the hustle and bustle to center and clear the mind?

Is it possible to ‘get away’ while staying home? Can a ‘stay-cation’ be transformed into a personal retreat? How likely is it that I can access a clear space inside myself when I’m surrounded by the things I need some time away from; the very things that I put there myself?

Cold Moon / Feeling the Pebbles / Under My Shoes - buson

Getting Things In Order
Think about what it’s like when you have guests you enjoy spending time with coming over to visit with you. You spend some time in preparation cleaning and straightening things up; not necessarily everything that can use some cleaning or repairing, but primarily the spaces where you and your guest will be spending time together.

After preparing for your guests, even before they arrive, you’re able to enjoy the orderliness around you, and then again, when your friends come over and express their appreciation for the inviting space you created.

It’s the same when preparing your house for your personal retreat: the only difference being that you’re the guest with whom you’ll be ‘visiting.’

Be Aware of Distractions
So if you’re saying something like this to yourself: “But my house is too noisy.” “The kids will be around.” “My neighbor will probably be mowing his lawn.” — or any of the other myriad distractions we face all the time that keep us from slowing down for the short while we need to reorient and center ourselves — consider this: Perhaps the more inner resistance of this sort you get when considering a short retreat is the measure of how much you really need to retreat.

Winter Tree around Solstice

The moment you start to plan for your retreat, the moment you begin to visualize what that experience could look like, that’s the moment your retreat has begun.

While imagining your retreat you may notice that you’re already slowing down. (Like the enjoyment you get just thinking about the coming arrival of the family or friends you yearn to be with.)

As you plan and envision your retreat, you can be in a pleasant ‘almost there’ mindset until the day arrives.

Try This ...
If you’re experiencing mental ‘resistance’ to getting started with planning your Winter Solstice Retreat, here are some ideas to help you along:

  • Imagine what a successful retreat experience would be for you. Take some notes. Set aside some books. Restring your guitar. Start to gather the ‘kindling’ that will ignite the experience you want to have.

  • If you hear yourself saying, “I can’t do this at my house.”; ask yourself: “What can I do to get as close as I can to creating a space at home to retreat into?” Then think of a few things you would like to do if you had a quiet day, or several hours all to yourself. Write those ideas down and look at them for a minute or two each day. Add new ideas as they emerge.

  • Ask yourself: “What do I need to do to create the space — in my house, in my schedule — so that I can have an enjoyable and beneficial one-day or half-day retreat with myself.

  • Remind yourself that whatever effort you make to gain some quiet time for yourself will be worthwhile. Your mental ‘chitter-chatter’ may be envisioning a made-for-reality-TV retreat, and if it does, tell that ‘voice’ to be quiet; a good practice for when your Winter (Solstice) Retreat begins ...

  • Short Retreats Lead To Better Vacations
    Besides providing time for insight, which tends to bring clarity to the mind, a one- or half-day personal retreat, a time or two during the year, positions you to better enjoy your more extended traditional vacation. Why? Because a bit of insightful ‘house cleaning’ during the year keeps the ‘bats’ from getting too nested in the ‘belfry.’

    So when you do go on vacation that time can be more relaxed and more enjoyable because you won’t have to spend precious vacation time ‘decompressing’ before you can begin to rejuvenate.

    Related Links
    Winter Solstice Retreat: Following Your Energy Inward
    Winter Solstice Retreat Update — Early November

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    IMPORTANT: All information on this Web site is provided for educational use only and not meant to substitute for the advice of a local Oriental Medicine practitioner, biomedical doctor, experienced coach, or martial arts instructor.