WORDS: Jo De Rosa
Self-care is a real buzz word at the moment but what is it, and how can you bite off a huge chunk of it all in one go? The answer? Go on retreat. Take two or three days away from your ‘normal’ world and dive into an environment which has been set up to truly get to the heart of the problem; all you need to do is open your mind and be prepared to let go of not only your stress but how you have viewed your life up until this point.
For an age it has been perceived that if you take time for yourself you are selfish, but the new paradigm has cleverly come up with a new term; ‘loving yourself’ (negative connotation) has been replaced by ‘self-love’ (positive new age connotation). See what we did there? The same words have simply been switched around, but now they mean something completely different.
Most can now comprehend that looking after yourself and taking time to relax and tune in is worthy of their day off or holiday time. Even some employers are jumping on the bandwagon and ensuring their workers are looked after by supplying yoga classes or meditation sessions.
Think about it this way; you’re on a plane watching the safety talk, how many times have you watched the stewards tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before your child’s; for what good are you to them if you’re not ok yourself? In this scenario you wouldn’t think twice about how important it is for you to be safe, well and in control of yourself so that you are then capable of looking after others.
And so, when we give from an empty pot we are in danger of becoming bitter and resentful; when everyone else has what they require, but at the detriment of your own needs. Turn this on its tail and fill yourself up first; then there is plenty of energy, space, time, love and everyone can benefit. When you give from a place of abundance and contentment your cup runneth over, which is exactly what happens on return from a retreat.
Whilst on retreat the labels are removed; mother, brother, employee, boss, daughter, celebrity. You’ve had days of time to yourself, looking within, getting to know yourself and who you really are underneath the layers of responsibilities and expectations. Those that have gone before you guide the way, teachers that have done the work already and know exactly how to connect you to your unique personal alignment; a connection that, once discovered, will leave you changed forever.
Then, post retreat, all you have to do is keep this connection topped up; 10 minutes of meditation here and a yoga class there. Make sure to take away tips and techniques that you’ve learnt about how to eat better and keep your energy high. Who knew that 48 hours away could change so much, but it does, so why not make the biggest investment of all and go book yourself on a retreat.
Jo De Rosa is founder and director of Inner Guidance Retreat Centre in Lavenham, Suffolk, UK. Expect gourmet vegan food, luxury rooms, daily meditation, yoga, cacao ceremonies, stunning grounds and all set in unspoilt countryside just a couple of hours from London.