THE MINDFULNESS JOURNAL

How to retreat and become like a child again

How to retreat and become like a child again

Lightening the load

The enormous responsibilities we share often leave us feeling like we are carrying a huge backpack. Shouldering the huge weight of family, professional, educational and personal life can slowly wear us down. We lose our childlike carefree nature becoming overly serious, stressed and possibly even burnt out. Learning how to retreat will counteract the overactivity of the “adulting” life and bring us back to the lightness of being a child.

The retreat smile

I think the adult version of becoming like a child again is to retreat. By removing for a time the external weights of responsibility, you feel again the lightness of your body. Then the busy mind begins to settle down and relax. A slight smile might begin to emerge as you start to take delight in the simple details of your retreat life : how the food is cooked, how the sun shines through a window, and how friends begin to relax as everyone begins to forget why they were so burdened.

Be a child of illusion

In retreat we become a child of illusion. We remember that kind of dreamy quality of life, and at the same time a new kind of energy emerges. We could run or swim all day. Everything seems interesting as emotions shift quickly between laughing and crying, not getting stuck for long in any one place. This light and energetic child looks at everything with fresh curiousity.

“…by day two, the group had relaxed into their practice and there was a palpable shift of energy, a settling. It was accommodating, energising, challenging and comforting all at the same time”
– Julian Calder at the Greek Island retreat

How to retreat

Lately I have been consciously taking a lot of retreat time. Since I have a personal meditation practice with sessions of a set length, I use the sessions to construct a retreat. I adapt the length of the retreat to my busy schedule. The retreat may be 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, 9 hours, or all day. The longer the time, the more breaks there are between sessions. During the breaks I keep it simple, eating clean food, or reading something relevant and helpful to meditation. It is a place of refuge, and I know that I will stay there until the end of the designated time. Knowing how to retreat is the modern way to become a childlike yogi or yogini.

Unbearable lightness of being

Do not become too concerned with the length of your retreat. The main thing is the quality. On our week-long retreats we will teach you how to do a retreat for the maximum benefit to your life. The results are never far off — that unbearable lightness of being is yours to enjoy. Isn’t it time to drop the backpack and fly?

Morocco in September and New Year

There’s still time to join our Morocco countryside retreat 23 – 29 September 2017, or the new year retreat, 28 December – 3 January. The views of the Atlas Mountains and the lake below, the food and like minded people, and of course, daily yoga and meditation will set you up with the support you need. See you there!

Child of illusion

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"Brian Hilliard and Shannon van Staden are leaders in their field when it comes to mindfulness and meditation. Brian is an expert guide - soft spirited, practical, full of empathy, tips and appreciation for the challenges of modern life. Shannon stylishly holds the space and ensures everything runs smoothly. Together they are a dream team on the wellness scene."
– DAISY FINER, Spa and Health Writer

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