Today in my Retreat Coach Training class we talked about virtual retreats. You may ask, "What is a virtual retreat?" And others may ask, "What is a retreat?"
one thing I can assure you is that it is based on peace, not a place.
And, all it involves is your commitment-to-self, a few hours and a
phone. Time to get you and your life back in balance.
is personal and defined by each of us. For many, it's a time to
reflect, renew and restore. A time to treat oneself to time outside of
the routine. Time away from home or work. In essence, time we take
for ourselves to use as we define. By definition, it means "a movement
away from danger or a confrontation, back along the original route."
I say virtual, you may get visions of computers and other tech media.
But I ask you to consider some of the synonyms, e.g., practical,
effective, fundamental and essential ... "being something in
practice." The only tech involved is a phone.
So, a virtual
retreat can be described as a practice of essential time away from the
usual, along an original route. I'd like to suggest the original route
is time that takes you back to the authentic you. Time out of overwhelm and into neutral flow. Time away from stress and into peace of mind. Time for You to just Be.
you still with me? Are you beginning to understand that a retreat is
less about the place and more about the space inside you, that peace of
mind? As such, one does not have to go anywhere to enjoy a retreat.
One just needs to give themselves permission to take the time for
Sometimes the permission to give oneself
the time to retreat is the hardest part of taking a retreat. It's
great to take time for oneself, read a book, take a walk and just Be.
A virtual retreat works very well when we want more than a walk or a
nap. Sometimes putting down the daily burdens and sharing in
collective energy is the life-changing, self-renewal experience we
need. And, a coach-lead retreat with like-minded, like-hearted people
can offer the mind-less structure and accountability we need when our
little voices tell us we don't have the time to take time for ourselves.
HOW DOES A VIRTUAL RETREAT WORK?
The essence of this mini-retreat takes the commitment of a day and a phone line. One commits to 3-4 hours on a given day, e.g., 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The focus for the day may be individual or pre-defined by the coach or group. At the start of the retreat everyone calls into a bridge (conference) line for the first of 3- 4 calls. Then every hour, on the hour you call in again for another 10-15 minutes
to touch base with the coach and the members of your retreat group.
Some retreats are set up as a one-day experience and others occur
regularly on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The first call is
usually a welcome call to welcome everyone to the retreat, explain how
it works, set the intention and arrange for any support you may need
for the day. The next 1-2 calls are for checking in, posing questions,
getting support, accountability and celebration of goals and
experiences already showing up. The last call of the day is to
acknowledge that wherever you are is OK. Time to celebrate and see
what you can do to take the positive experiences into your day, your
life. Chat about how you can take the renewed-self and practices into
your daily experiences.
On each call your coach offers support, suggestions and tools for organization, self-care and nourishment. Like exercise, it usually works better and is more FUN with a partner or group.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A VIRTUAL RETREAT
- Anyone who can only carve out a few hours in a day (stay-at-home moms, mom-preneurs, executives)
- People in overwhelm, needing the support of structure and a coach
- Those needing "permission" to actually set aside time for self or a goal
- Those appreciating the transformational power of collective (group) energy
- Those wanting to learn the benefits of retreat without the cost of gas or airfare
- Those wanting to taste group coaching without a long-term commitment
SOME BENEFITS OF A VIRTUAL RETREAT?
- Spa day - create my at-home spa
- Sacred Space - create my sacred space in and around my home
- Me Time, Be Time - remembering what brings you joy, your authentic self and creating the means to have it
- De-clutter days - clear a closet, email off my computer, the attic
or garage ... or your mind to allow for greater creativity. Receive
the structure and tools to help you make space.
- Creativity Day - write, draw, paint, sew, play ... with purpose
- Journal Journey - explore the benefits and power of journaling while enjoying a day for YOU!
- New Year's Resolutions - work best with support (quarterly gathering to keep you on track)
- The 'New Me' Retreat - these are great for weight loss or getting back into exercise
- Finally get some home repair or creation completed - from making curtains to redecorating a room
Now, begin to imagine a day designed just for you. A day without
computers, with all of your favorite things - the music of your choice,
your favorite (healthy) foods, book or audio book, a bath instead of a
shower, sunshine or time on a chaise lounge. Or, maybe those hours you
needed to clean a closet so that you feel lighter at the end of the
day. Most importantly, imagine how you will be transformed at the end
of those 3-4 hours that you have given yourself permission to dedicate
In October, I will begin offering a quarterly
complimentary mini-retreat for my clients. This will be my gift to
them to help them create success and balance in their lives.
you want to learn more about virtual retreats or keep in touch to join
those I plan, visit my web site. While there, you may want to sign up
for my Conscious Living Wisdom - daily tips & resources to help you
create your personal life balance.
For now, please leave a comment below and share your ideas for virtual retreats.
Peace and joy,
Life Coach Karen
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