Fancy a retreat? It’s not necessary to go to a fancy meditation or yoga retreat in the countryside if you want a few days of silence.
It’s really easy to create your own retreat at home and save yourself some time and money in the process.
There are lots of great health benefits of being silent, and if you aren’t supposed to talk at a silent retreat, what do you need other people for anyway?! Do it on your own and have the most inspiring and nurturing time.
Book a weekend and try these ideas to create your inspiring silent retreat at home:
- Clear your schedule. It’s important that you let everyone know you won’t be available for a day or two; you don’t want people phoning you or dropping by unexpectedly. Think about everyone that might need to communicate with you and inform them. Reschedule any appointments for another time. If you have children, kindly suggest that your partner or parents might like to spend some quality time with them. Book your weekend at least 6 weeks in advance to give you plenty of time to plan – plus it gives you something really special to look forward to.
- Take care of any business before your silent retreat. Whether you need to go shopping, make phone calls, or tie up any business tasks, do it before your retreat. Either get it done, or plan to do it another time.
- Nourish your body. Think about what nutritious food you would like to eat and start planning your meals, snacks and drinks ready for your retreat grocery shop.
- Create your ‘space’. A mindful, silent retreat isn’t going to fare well in a house which is untidy and full of clutter. Spend a few weekends decluttering and consider making a room in the home your zen den. This room will be where you’ll spend a lot of your weekend, so make the space as comfortable and cosy as possible. You might like to buy some new cushions or throws, stock up on candles and incense and load up your iPod with meditation music and nature sounds.
- Decide what you’re going to do. What activities would you like to do over your weekend? Are you going to get caught up on work? Read? Meditate? Write? Colour in? Enjoy nature? Walk? Address your future? Heal from your past? Consider how you want to spend your time and make your activities as pleasurable as possible.
- Create a schedule. Avoid the temptation to just play it by ear. Have a set of activities planned and allow yourself to choose from them. When one becomes too boring, stick with it for a while before moving to another activity. Remember, it’s all about doing what you love, for you. It’s completely OK to do whatever you like. Your schedule is fluid and can change according to your needs.
- Unplug. Can a silent retreat include TV and the internet? Ideally not, but it’s up to you. Consider eliminating all electronic devices and distractions. The point is to spend some quality time with yourself. You’ll learn a lot about yourself by going without your normal distractions for a few days.
- Be patient. If you’re not used to being alone and quiet, it can feel a bit boring to start with. Just allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling and relax. Make sure you have lots of activities planned to help you if you feel a bit bored or restless.
- Make meditation, mindfulness and EFT Tapping a priority. Avoid allowing yourself to just sit around and ruminate. Keep your attention on the task at hand and don’t let your thoughts spiral too much. If you really want a break, this is the best break you can give yourself. In your daily life, your mind is like a washing machine running at full speed – give it some some time to slow spin and settle.
- Use a journal. Make the most of your retreat by capturing your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Don’t let those great insights go to waste.
- Consider getting out of the house. You don’t have to stay shut in a room! Go out for walks, enjoy nature, visit the beach, watch a sunset, walk barefoot or recharge your crystals under a full moon. If staying at home isn’t viable for you, why not camp, book a hotel room or rent a cottage. What type of setting would inspire you?
Silent retreats are a great way to train yourself to be mindful, present, and to give your body a well-deserved rest. Give yourself this gift. It will only take a couple of days and you’ll emerge as good as new!
Have you ever had your own silent retreat at home? Share your story in the comments.