Retreating: An Experience Or An Activity?

retreatingI’ve been having a planning day. Sketching out ways of retreating from the world in 2018. Working out where to take people and what each retreat will offer. Alongside my own plans to retreat every now and again.

One of the things I’ve looked at and done, many times, is to go on a retreat. Something that has been offered, usually with all sorts of activities, to help me step away from the world for a while. Retreating into the forest, into silence, off to a meditation camp or angelic workshop. I have enjoyed most of these retreats. But sometimes wondered what all the activities represented. Was I there being active to distract myself from the experiences? Or was I really there to have an experience by itself? Of course, I know that experiences reveal and teach me about myself. But only if I am prepared to look.

Earlier this week I had a discussion about embracing the experience of connecting to the Energy Beings and Spirits of a place. And how some of these experiences had people retreating from the contact and being negative about what had happened. Yet other people might have the same experience and find their life had changed dramatically. It turns on the difference between being open and being closed; between fear and love. I guess that is also the gamble with a retreat event. In my own trips I have at times dismissed activities and at others flung myself into what I was asked to do. Because I have found that too much control of a retreat event can stifle the very thing I am looking for. It can stifle the me who is emerging.

Now when I think about retreating, going away from the world for a while, I bring to mind the experiences I have had. Rather than the activities I have done.

This perspective had definitely influences the retreats I run. I work with my intuitive knowing when I’m planning. I offer very little in the way of a timetable or a multiple choice of all sorts of events and activities. Instead I offer a space for people to come together with a common purpose. That purpose is to explore who they are. Using the mirrors provided by their interactions with others. And drawing on the intuitive guidance I know we all have inside ourselves. Added in to this mix is the opportunity to listen out for and connect with Energy Beings.

I want people to get used to the energy flow of their experiences. To notice what is happening deep below the surface layers. That may mean very little activity (or doing) and a lot more being. I provide the energy for people, retreating from  those surface understandings, to uncover themselves. And hold the sacred energy space to keep them safe. I apply this method to my own personal retreats as well. I need time to pause, reflect, uncover and embrace the deeper aspects of me. So retreating turns into contemplating. My practical way of accessing and acknowledging the wisdom I already contain.

My planning is almost finished. I will be putting my list of retreats together in the next couple of days. I’m looking forward to retreating with companions this year. And re-emerging with my tribe to take up an active spiritual life again. Better spiritually prepared. And loving myself and my wisdom more.

Day 775 of my blogging challenge

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