A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to lead 7 souls on a retreat focused on lovingkindness. It was a beautiful weekend of connection and solitude, soothing and challenging ourselves, being immersed in beauty and nourished by amazing food.
One person said, “Thank you for holding this exceptionally enlightening and powerful retreat. You gave me something powerful, and I am so much stronger and healthier emotionally and physically because of it.”
I adore leading retreats, and I have been feeling pulled in another direction. This year is my 10th anniversary for the Embracing Balance Retreat, and it was my very first retreat I led after only 2 years of teaching. I loved retreats so much that at certain points in the last 10 years I wanted to run a retreat center. When I dive into something I dive in all the way!
A couple months ago I reached out to the over 100 people who came on the Embracing Balance Retreat to let them know this was going to be the last year. I felt called to do something else, but I was not sure what. Honestly, I am still not entirely sure, and I am excited to live into what emerges.
After this past lovely and inspiring retreat I am ready to take a complete break from leading residential retreats. The last year and half has been intense, and I am learning to listen to what that intensity to trying to teach me. Right now it is telling me to stay in the world. Work with folks in town, do workshops and retreats that keep us engaged in our daily lives rather than taking us away from our lives.
This is not to discount the power of removing ourselves for our world for a period of time. In fact, the retreats I lead often fund my own personal retreats. So thank you for coming on retreat and supporting my time for restoration, awareness and re-filling my bucket so I can come back even more engaged!
Most likely, I will feel pulled to lead retreats again. I am interested in listening to these internal forces that are talking to me, and to see where they lead me.
If you have never been on retreat, I encourage you give yourself this gift (whether residential or daylong). Retreats offer us time to slow down, unplug from the external to tune into the internal, restore and rejuvenate our systems and take the time to tune into how we want to be in the world and where we want to direct our unique gifts.