The feeling of being out of balance is a common sign that the chakras are blocked, and the mind-body-spirit is vibrating at low-frequency. The technology age has filled almost every moment of our days with benighted political rhetoric, police brutality videos, judicial injustices, useless distractions such as who wore/did/said what, and continual notifications of emails, likes, comments, follows.
The world and a lot of the people in it have a way of making those of us who walk in the light feel heavy. That heaviness on top of the hectic and stressful lives we already lead makes going on retreat a priority.
Let’s talk about what a retreat is. It is a time when you retract from everyday life and seek some sort of refuge. It can be guided or self-guided, silent or sound-ful, spiritual or creative, physical or motionless, or all the above and more. The time can be as short as a day or can last for months or years. A retreat is really what you make of it. How you reach your desired results is entirely up to you. Ultimately, a retreat should be restorative and enlightening – a solution to the things that affect down mind, body, and spirit.
Since my husband and I have an infant daughter, I decided to turn our home into an enchanting, all-inclusive, health and wellness retreat for the three of us (the Who). My husband and I chose to retreat for 72 hours (the When), and we created an itinerary based on our needs at the time. Before creating our list of activities (the What), we asked ourselves these pertinent questions – why am I doing this, and how will I manifest my desired results?
I wanted to indulge in all that is beautiful and peaceful in the world, elevate my spirit, ease my mind, and become balanced in my sacred body temple (the Why). Accomplishing this required a specific type of alchemy. I had to tap into my restorative power and pour into myself. I had to unplug from all other people and technology, eat clean, meditate, engage only in the activities that give me great pleasure, and spend more time in nature (the How). I sent out text messages to my family and closest friends telling them that I would be unavailable for 72 hours so they wouldn’t freak out if they couldn’t get hold of me.
First I smudged the house and placed an assortment of healing crystals in several locations. I also burned moldavite because it has high vibrational energy and is a powerful heart, throat, third-eye, and crown chakra opener. Our days were calm and filled with the lovely sound of Luna cooing and giggling. We remained silent for the first 12 hours, drank matcha and played our singing bowls. We had aroma-therapeutic candles burning during the time we were awake. We cuddled and read books, played chess, took Luna on a couple of walks, and enjoyed a warm bath with a blend of essentials oils. It was tranquil, to say the least.
When our 72 hours were complete, I didn’t want to turn my cell phone back on. I didn’t want to sit at the computer. I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t even want to speak louder than a whisper. I just wanted to stay on my spiritual high.
There are several elements to consider when planning a personalized at-home retreat. It’s not just about retracting from your hectic, everyday life but deciding how you want to feel and what you need to do to achieve that feeling.
Here is a list of steps, activities, and ideas that will help you figure out your who, what, when, where, why and how, and make your at-home retreat a transformative experience.
1. Schedule Your Retreat
Look at your calendar and choose a day (or two, or several!) within the next 3-4 weeks to dedicate to your retreat. Notify your VIPs. If you have children, arrange for them to stay with their grandparents. Tell your spouse/significant other what you’ve planned, and make this time about you and your healing.
2. What Do You Want Out Of This Experience
Why do you need a retreat, and what do you want to feel when it’s all said and done? Set your intentions, and once you do, you will know exactly what activities to focus on.
3. Design a Sacred Space
Pay special attention to every room you plan to occupy during your retreat. This is an event! Be sure to remove any clutter and clean the space before your retreat. Once you’re done with the cleaning, add some sacred elements to space including aroma-therapeutic candles, gemstones, and plants.
4. Silence is Golden
Choose a specific amount of time to remain silent during your retreat. When you are quiet, you’ll be able to hear. Turn off your technology, too. This includes your cell phone, TV, laptop, desktop, etc. If you must have your cell phone on in case of an emergency, ask your loved ones to only contact you if it’s urgent. Your retreat will mean absolutely nothing without a digital detox.
I think it’s safe to say that everyone’s goal during the retreat is to reach a heightened state of awareness and profound peace. Meditation will help you focus your attention and see the true nature of life around you. Meditation will give clarity, calmness, and emotional stability. If you need help, I recommend using guided meditation. This is one out of two exceptions to the no technology rule. Also, burn some incense and pick a mantra to repeat during meditation. Mine was, “I am peaceful, I am powerful, I am protected.”
You can create your own routine, use a routine you already know, or watch a video that you can follow along with (no technology rule exception number two). You don’t even have to do proper yoga. You can follow your instinct, listen to your body, and stretch in a way that feels good. If you’d prefer to go hiking or dance as your high-vibrational movement, do that! The goal is to get the blood flowing, calm your mind, and have fun.
7. Hydrate, Eat Clean, and Cook
Cooking can be therapeutic, and I’m not talking about cooking any kind of food but the right kind of food. I’m talking about organic, plant-based foods. You should have already stocked up at the grocery store and have your recipes picked out. Use the best, freshest ingredients you love and put on your chef hat. Thank our Earth Mother for providing you with nourishment, and allow your senses to appreciate the smells and tastes as you prepare each meal.
A retreat is one of the best times to detox. Keep mind and body hydrated and flushed with some good alkaline water. Consider having a few cups of your favorite tea, too. Tea warms the soul and adds to the calm. Chamomile Lavender is my favorite.
8. Pamper Yourself
Take a hot bath, give yourself an exfoliating brown sugar scrub, and a honey-cinnamon face mask. Afterward, put on the clothes you feel your best in. Don’t forget to incorporate essential oils, Epsom salts, and flower essences into your spa day. I recommend lavender essential oil for its calming property.
Don’t forget flower essences. Flower essences are infusions made from the flowering part of a plant. Flowers have their own unique energetic vibration pattern and therapeutic properties which offer a beautiful way to heal and experience a deeper spiritual level. If you have a favorite flower, it’s probably due to an intuitive connection, so that’s the essence you should use.
9. Smudge, Gemstones, and Incense
Smudging is listed as number nine, but I strongly encourage you to smudge your entire home to remove negative energy before starting your retreat. Start at your front door and burn a bundled sage stick, then move clockwise around your home. Pay special attention to corners where negative energy can linger. Once you’ve smudged the entire space including yourself, burn a braid of sweetgrass to attract positive energy. For extra healing properties, you may also burn palo santo.
This wellness journey is a sacred ceremony and calls for healing crystals. These healing crystals, also known as gemstones, are an ancient tool used in spiritual practices. They connect us to our Earth Mother because they are an organic material that resonates powerful frequencies and vibrations. This energy binds you to an elevated state of consciousness when you wear them close to your body or place them in your space. I recommend amethyst for meditation.
Moldavite has very high vibrational frequencies, too. When I hold moldavite in the palm of my hand, I begin to feel nauseated, but I can handle burning the incense. If you’re similar to me and don’t want the magical workings to end while you sleep, burn moldavite incense to activate your dream state.
10. Read a Book
Choose a book or two to read during your retreat. Pick a subject or genre that parallels your wellness journey. Cuddle up with your blanket, a cup of tea, and dive into Queen Afua’s Heal Thyself or Deepak Chopra’s You are the Universe.
11. Write it Down
Recording your feelings, thoughts, ideas, and experiences can be extremely healing and restorative. It’s a way or purging yourself of negativity and the stresses weighing on you. Journaling is also a great way to get things into better perspective. Write about all the wonderful things that are happening in your life, your loved ones, goals and accomplishments, and if you can, do this in nature or somewhere cozy like a breakfast nook, porch swing, on a blanket in the backyard, or cuddled on your couch. Keep the momentum going after your retreat is over by writing about your experience.
12. Great Outdoors
Don’t you want to feel well, wild, free? Nature is one of the greatest healers. Grab a snack and go for a hike, a walk at the park, or lay in your backyard. Dance under the sun rays or moonlight. Whatever you choose, you’ll immediately start to feel the restorative vibrations from our Earth Mother.
13. Get creative
What’s the one thing you’ve been eager to dabble in? Maybe it’s painting or photography. Whatever it may be, it’s time to try it!
If you have any retreat experiences you’d like to share or questions to ask, please type them in the comment section below! I’d love to hear from you.
If you are planning a retreat for the future, I wish you plenty of peace and wellness.