Go on a mindfulness retreat, without leaving your home by Mahalia @mindfulmahalia
Have you been wishing you could go on a mindfulness, self-love or meditation retreat but like, seriously don’t have the time or money? I feel you! How nice would it be to be able to jump on a plane whenever we want and jet set around the world, carefree? BUT the reality is that most of us can’t! So, I want to help you create your own retreat in three phases. Grow into who you are meant to be (without filling someone else’s back pocket). PHASE 1: PLANNING
Set your intention.This is the most important step to creating your own retreat and has two components. Firstly, ask yourself why do you need a retreat? Do you want to change your life; are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed; are you tired and run down? Write the answer down. Secondly, ask yourself how you want to feel after your at-home retreat? Joyous, confident, worthy? This is your why. Your why keeps you on track. Personally when I went on my retreat my intention was to bring back that 'spark of joy' for life that I’d lost. Set a time frame.This step is to create structure and accountability. Understand that it will take more than one day to start seeing change. A retreat is like a condensed super charged healing experience. What happens in a week on a retreat, might take a few weeks by yourself. I’d recommend committing to 7 days of a retreat and setting aside 1 hour on these days. Each day would have a theme. For example: Day 1 What is your inner voice telling you?
Day 2 Health & well being
Day 3 Relationships & expectations
Day 4 Uncover the past
Day 5 Forgiveness
Day 6 Letting go of guilt
Day 7 Setting intentions for the future If this schedule doesn't work with your lifestyle, can you commit to 1-3 hours on one or two days a week? Just remember that the more time you spend working through the retreat activities, the better you’ll feel at the end! Find a guide (or guides).You can’t and shouldn’t be expected to do this alone! Finding a guide is essential in staying on track for your intentions. Personally, I find guides (freely) on Instagram in the form of motivational coaches and inspirational accounts. I also find guides in my yoga teachers and through audio books. Be careful though, you don't want to follow people that make you feel jealous or unworthy. Find some people whose positive messages resonate with you and uplift you. The goal is to consume as much of their content and good vibes as you can during your retreat. PHASE 2: DOING
DURING RETREAT HOURS
Sound & Smell.Create a space with comforting sound and good smell. You might like to burn incense or a diffuser. Put on some classical music or rain sounds. Ground yourself in your space with smell and sound. This space should bring you joy. Find nature.If possible, sit outside and get some sun or under a tree in your backyard. Use the good vibes of being in nature to help you centre yourself. Meditate.Start of your retreat day with a 20-minute meditation. Choose the same one, or a different one every day! Personally I enjoy this guided one. I also often do a simple mantra meditation in which I repeat the same sounds over and over again in my head, with music in the background. This will allow your brain to slow down and focus on what’s real, rather than the 50 million thoughts about what you have to do later that day. Disconnect.Lock your phone away (if this isn’t possible, at least turn it off and only have it there in case of emergencies). Lose track of time. Set up your retreat in a way that allows you to lose your sense of time. Losing track of time means we are truly living in the moment. If you have to leave your retreat space at a certain time, ask a family member to knock on the door after at an allocated time, set an alarm. Do something Journal.The purpose of journaling is to uncover what is holding you back. You’ll need to ask yourself tough questions and answer them truthfully. Choose 5 questions to answer on each retreat day. Become best friends with yourself and work through how your past experiences and reactions may be controlling your life. There are a heap of journal questions that you can find with a quick Google, however this article gives you a good starting point. You might also like to pick out a tarot or oracle card if you have a deck. These cards serve as great journal prompts. Through this, if you do find that there is trauma in your life that you need to release, I’d recommend seeking help from a professional. Ceremony.Finish up your retreat session with a ceremonious act. Ceremonies close a session so perfectly, and allow you to let go of, accept and find closure on the things you just worked through. Some examples may be:
Burn Ceremony: SAFELY burn a piece of paper, where you’ve written down something you want to let go of.
Affirmation chanting: Repeat out loud to yourself your affirmations. For example, “I am loved. I am enough. I am safe”. Chakra meditation: Although you started with a mediation, ending the session with another mediation can be so helpful. Chakra mediation is a great way to check in with every part of your body to see how it’s feeling after your journaling.
Dancing: Don’t think, just pump some tunes and go crazy!
Bubble bath: Music, glass of wine, candles… treat yourself!
ON ALL DAYS
During your retreat even on off days, I’d recommend incorporating these things on all days to get the most benefit! Think about your diet. Sometimes we can be feeling crap because of the food and stimulants we’ve been putting in our body. Think about cutting back caffeine and alcohol so that your mind is able to function honestly. Eat more greens, blah blah. You know the drill! Move your body. Move your body each day in a way that feels good for you; dancing, running, yoga, sports. The key here is to lose the judgement about your exercise. It isn’t about calories or a competition. It is simply about moving and stretching and getting energy out! Consciously choose an act of self-love. Acts of self-love are simply just listening to your intuition – listening to what you body and mind needs. Do you need to go to bed an hour earlier? How about sit in the sun on your lunch break? Or re-do your budget because you’ve been concerned about money? All of these little things can be acts of self-love. The more you tune into your wants and needs, the better you’ll get at it.
PHASE 3: REVIEW Once your retreat is over, check in with how your feeling towards your intention that you sat at the start. Did you reach your intention? I promise you, if you were able to commit to everything I’ve listed above, you'll come out a changed person on the other side. If you’d like help to create your at-home retreat, get in touch with me. I’m more than happy to chat with you about your plan and how you can take it to the next level! - Mahalia x @mindfulmahalia
“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”– Etty Hillesum