Committing to Self-Care: Reflections on Retreat

As the dust (and chanting) settles on our annual “Restore the Balance” Retreat Day I reflect with pride - as well as some relief - on the months leading up to it. A word springs to mind that beautifully encapsulates not only my (and my co-facilitators) contribution but that of the retreat participants: COMMITMENT.

Gay Hendricks, author of The Big Leap: Conquer your Hidden Fear and Take your Life to the Next Level says

“Commitment gets you started and propels you through the early stages of any game but it’s re-commitment that ignites your reserves when you feel like you’re going to give up”

and that I did feel at a number of points in the lead up to May 27 as the goal of persuading busy women to take time for themselves seemed un-achievable at times.

I am definitely in the early stages of this “game” and have committed whole-heartedly to this new phase of my working life - I know it’s what I came here to do. Recommitting over and over, I now realise, is what has truly ignited reserves within me that I didn’t realise I had. As I work towards a vision for my life in which I share what I know to be an important message, re-commitment is going to be essential and I refuse to give up. The success of this day propelled me even further forward. I believe in the message I have to share and the theme of the day was this: staying calm and balanced is a daily practice, a state of being that is achievable if we commit to following through, to practice.

And “commit” our 15 retreatants did.

 They committed to taking time for themselves (without guilt) amidst busy family and working lives; to being open to receive practices and new ideas that perhaps they’d never heard of; to relaxing and resting when the world is telling them to keep on moving and achieving - not to mention committing to a few strong yoga poses (and a whole heap of lentils) that pushed them to their limits (physically as well as perhaps “intestinally”!!). Some had never even tried yoga but committed to giving it a go. Others committed to reigniting their yoga, pranayama or meditation practice as well as uncovering some unconscious beliefs that they may have been holding onto - all with great humour and truth. Just for a day they committed to their own needs and care, leaving refreshed and renewed to continue their care of others - as women do. Re-commitment will be important as they take new learning into the fray.

 The day left everyone wanting more - including those leading it!! Some comments from the day shared below give you some idea of the impact that stopping and reflecting and committing to self-care  has - how vital it is to retreat from our busy lives….even just for a day:

 “I feel a sense of calm that has been absent from my life for a long time. The day, including the peaceful breaks between sessions, were nourishing for both my heart and body.”

 “I really loved the day. It was just what I needed to quieten my very busy mind. I feel the most calm and centred I have felt in a very long time. Thank you all so very much.”

 “A wonderful combination of skill and talents to bring such a deep dimension to the lives of busy women. THANK YOU.”

 From the bottom of our hearts we thank all those who attended the day, who received so openly and shared so honestly - who give so much to others. We hope to see you next year as we grow in our practice together.