As I sit down to write you, I am feeling so full in my heart–deeply grateful for you and for this community. Grateful for the opportunity to lead and to share with you these teachings from my own discovery and learning.
A little over a week ago, I had the pleasure of receiving 20 beautiful women in Ojai, CA and leading them through my 4-day Yoga’licious Overnight Retreat. It was my fourth year on this beautiful land, and each time I return, I feel blessed…with the chance to bear witness to each woman, reclaiming and re-aligning with the rhythm of her own expression, body, soul, and feminine wisdom.
Every year, I am reminded of how essential it is for ALL women to receive this experience (including you reading this!): to be met by others, to have a mirror/reflection of other women, and to learn how to deeply lean into support in a group setting. Retreats set the stage for powerful transformation, and I especially get to experience this each time I collaborate with a group in discovery, learning, and nurturing space for growth and expansion.
That said, it’s equally important to learn how to create and hold space for ourselves, especially because attending a retreat isn’t always in rhythm with the timing of life. Thankfully, this is something you can easily do from the comfort of your own home.
I am clear–now more than ever before–that it is NOT selfish but rather ESSENTIAL to create retreat time for yourself, especially when attending a retreat in-person isn’t feasible. For your sanity and well being, you need time to slow down and re-align with your own heart, body, mind, and intuition. Otherwise, we slip so easily into living life disconnected, over-committed, feeling metaphorically or literally out of breath…on autopilot.
As Summer winds down and we enter the time of harvest–the part of the cycle where it becomes an invitation for us to slow down, reap, and celebrate the fruits of our labor–it’s the perfect time to create some sacred space.
Today, I’m sharing some ideas for creating your own retreat at home to support you in capturing the essence of a retreat, no matter where you are. My biggest suggestion: make it your own. As you read through the ideas, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Know that the experience you create is for you, and it doesn’t need to look exactly like mine or anyone else’s. You want it to feel sacred to you!
So curl up on your couch, grab your calendar and schedule a time for retreating sometime in the next month, then read my ideas below, and get to planning how you’ll claim this healing space for yourself.
P.S. The mini-retreat at home process is something you can do it at any point of the year, whenever you need to reconnect with your authentic expression. If ever you’re feeling particularly disconnected, you always have this resource to return to.
P.P.S If you’re longing to be held in sacred space and deepen your fluency in retreating, slowing down, and re-aligning to your body and feminine rhythms stay tuned! Beginning in September I plan to introduce a brand new podcast series: real honest conversations right in your living room which I imagine will invoke laughter, inspiration, and practices to further support your learning/discovery… AND along with this special series I’ll be announcing a powerful offering straight from my-heart-to-yours that will be an invitation for more if that is what you are desiring.
How to create your own retreat at home
Remember: Make it your own. Take what resonates and leave the rest. Let yourself create an experience that resonates deeply for you. It doesn’t have to look exactly like mine or anyone else’s.
- First, take out your calendar and schedule a time chunk in the next month that is a self-care/retreat date just for you. Release any pressure you may be putting on yourself about how long it needs to be–for some of you it will be a whole weekend, and for others it will be just a few hours. (I do recommend giving yourself at least 2 hours so your nervous system can begin to unwind.) Regardless of how much time you’re able to set aside, you’ll be receiving enormous benefits simply from setting the intention for self-care through retreat.
- Once the date is on your calendar, prepare to take the time off by letting any family members, friends, or roommates know that you will be taking this time for yourself and will not be available. You will find immense value in minimizing any potential distractions so that you can receive the most out of your time.
- During your retreat, I highly recommend unplugging from devices and technology. Our nervous systems are over-stimulated and our adrenals are fatigued! We can experience a profound shift just by being unplugged for a few hours.
- Set an intention for your retreat time. Setting an intention connects you to your deep “why,” and reminds you of why it’s so essential to take this time and space for yourself. As you set your intention, think about how you want to feel as you experience your retreat time.
- Plan your retreat by deciding which practices feel most nourishing to you—those that you feel will allow you to re-align and soften into your being and your body. You can decide what you’ll do ahead of time or simply block off the retreat time and allow your body wisdom to guide you when the time arrives.
Some of my favorite practices include:
- Essential Silence — being in silence with yourself and disconnecting completely from technology
- Rolling out your yoga mat and doing a yoga video online or allowing your body to move organically on your mat without instruction
- Taking a bath with rose petals, Epsom salt, and essential oils
- Meditation of some kind to bring a moment of pause and reflection
- Journaling — simply allowing your thoughts to come onto the paper
- Being in nature and allowing your body to realign with the rhythms of the Earth
- Using mantras as a way of centering your mind
- Coloring or collaging
- Caring deeply for your body by making a nourishing meal and then savoring it, really tasting each bite and allowing yourself to receive the nourishment
- Reading an inspiring book or listening to an inspirational podcast
- Once you complete your retreat, take a moment to thank and appreciate yourself for taking the time to nurture your own being. Spend a few minutes journaling, bringing awareness to your bodily experience, and jotting down any discoveries you received in this sacred retreat time and space.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. As often as you’d like.