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Falling In Love With Your Life: How To Create An At Home 1 Day Retreat



Silent retreats, meditation retreats, group bonding retreats; I love ‘em all! I always found that stepping out of my day-to-day routines and shaking things up by slowing down has been rejuvenating and rewarding. Retreats have helped me to reconnect with myself and the world around me in a slower more mindful way.

Then I got married and had a little less time for them. And then my husband and I opened InSpirit Centre…..and had even less time. And then I became a mom…and I think you can guess what happened next. You’re right…no time! I barely had time to shower and sleep little alone take a whole week or weekend to myself.


Then the pandemic began and the world spun into chaos. If ever there was a time when I needed a retreat, its was during the first few months. So that is how I discovered how to fall in love with my life and create my own serenity out of what I had available to me.


Do you know what I discovered? I actually had everything I needed right at home to create my own beautiful home retreat experience. Do you know what else? So do you!


I’ve created a simple 1-day home retreat that you can create for yourself virtually for free, where you can find serenity and fall in love with your life just as it is.


PREPARATION A Week or More Ahead

Start with choosing a date when you will have a day to yourself. That means no partner, no kids, no work….Just you and your home. I know, I know; this is actually going to be the hardest part of the process. But by planning in advance it can happen. Remember that YOU deserve it. Besides, its just one day, your world won’t fall apart if you choose to invest in yourself.

Once you have your date set, take some time before the date to do a little tidying and to ensure you have everything you need for your home retreat.


Do up your laundry so your outfit is ready to go. Your outfit should be super comfortable, but also something you feel good wearing. So not the PJs with holes and stains. I recommend leggings, yoga pants, or sweatpants. A nice t-shirt and a sweater. Feel good and comfy. Layers will help.


The Day Before

  • Do your grocery shopping.

  • Do up all your food preparation for the day. It should be healthy but also something you love. I recommend preparing 2 meals, and 2 snacks so all you have to do is reheat items during your meditation.

  • Charge your tablet or phone that you will be using to access youtube on the retreat. Put away ALL other electronics or remotes and promise yourself you will keep away from them for the duration of the retreat.

  • Put all your supplies for the day in one place so they are easy to access.

  • Kiss your family buh-bye. Remind them you will be unavailable during your retreat. Stick to this! You need this time, you deserve this time, and everyone will benefit from you taking this time.

  • Go to bed at a decent hour so you are refreshed and ready for your day.

RETREAT SCHEDULE


Wake Up Early

Wake up and get ready for the day the same as you would if you were seeing people. That means shower, do your hair, make up (if you normally would) and put on your nice comfy outfit for the day. Do your best to resist the urge to sleep in because this day is about mindful rejuvenation.


The retreat has officially started! Woo-hoo! Begin by going outside for a walk in your neighbourhood for about 30 minutes. This needs to be without any chosen distractions, so no phone, no music, no chatting with others etc. Stroll quietly and just observe what is around you. Listen to sounds of nature. The wind blowing, the birds chirping. Perhaps you’ll hear the laughter of children or the bark of a dog. Look around. What is beautiful on this walk? Do you see flowers? Birds? How does the sky today? Notice how your body is feeling. What is it telling you? Notice your thoughts but allow them to pass without holding onto them.


Tip: Go for a walk even if the weather isn’t perfect. Just experience whatever mother nature offers.

BREAKFAST

Time for a serene breakfast! Take your prepared breakfast out and make your tea. Arrange your breakfast nicely on your best most beautiful dishes and cup. I recommend starting your day with toast with cream cheese & jam, hard boiled eggs, some fresh in season fruit and a hot cup of your favourite herbal tea.


Set your place at a table. I recommend adding fresh flowers or a candle to the table.


Take your time to eat your food slowly and taste every single bite. Notice the textures and the plays of the different flavours. Really look at your food. Notice the colours and the shapes. Take time to smell the different scents.


When you are finished, tidy up your dishes, wash them by hand. Take your time to really feel the water, soap, and the shape of the dishes. Enjoy the scent of the cleanser. Repeat this for drying your dishes, and then and put them away with a sense of gratitude for having such lovely food and dishes.


MORNING EXERCISES


Home Energy Clearing (approx. 1 hour)

It is now time to clear the energy in your space. There are lots of ways to do this, but the most popular is to burn herbs or incense associated with clearing energy. Some examples would be sage, lavender or patchouli. But you could also use a bell or InSpirit Centre’s protection spray. Pick a scent you like as that is an important part of this process.


Start at your front door, and circle it 3 times counter-clockwise while saying “only those in love and light may enter.” As you do this you will claim your space at the energy that comes in.

Continue through your entire home all the while continuing to focus on the affirmation “only those in love and light may enter.”

Really take your time with this process, stay mindful, and keep focused on clearing out all negativity and inviting only positivity back into your home.

Once you’ve finished, extinguish any coals, and put away these supplies with gratitude for the changed energy in your home.


Inspirational Reading (approx. 45 min.) Snuggle on your couch or favourite chair with your lap blanket. Either use a book of wisdom you already have, or go online to find an inspirational reading that applies to the life stage you are currently in. Visit InSpirit Centre Blog for some great articles. Next close your eyes and imagine yourself adopting a new perspective. Based on the reading what would advice can you give yourself to find more serenity, peacefulness and joy in your daily life? What can you let go of? What do you need to embrace more often?


You may wish to write key points of the reading and your thoughts down.


Tip: Resist the urge to check your social media, email, texts etc. don’t do it, not even for 5 minutes as it is guaranteed to distract you. You deserve this time to yourself, so allow yourself to fully experience it.







Mid Morning Refreshment

Prepare your mid-morning snack to have while doing your home journaling exercise. I recommend cold spring water with ice and cucumber slices, or a couple of fresh strawberries. Serve this in a wine glass, or fancy goblet. Prepare a warmed-up muffin, and some fresh finger veggies with your favourite dip for the snack. Serve this on your beautiful plate.

Home Journaling Exercise (approx. 1.5 hours)

Create a relaxing atmosphere, by putting on some relaxation music. I recommend instrumental with nature sounds. Nothing with singing, or a tune you know the words to, so it won’t distract you.

You may wish to have some crystals near by that are associated with expression of emotions and communication. I recommend Lapis Lazuli, Rainbow Moonstone, Sodalite, Rose Quartz or Clear Quartz.


Settle yourself comfortably in a chair or at a table with your journal and favourite pen. Use your lap blanket so you are nice and cozy. Enjoy your mid morning snack while you begin to journal about your home. You can do this any way that works best for you. You can write down stories of your favourite memories in your home or do bullet points for simplicity. Really take your time and think about what you are writing. This isn’t about grammar or sentence structure. Its about reconnecting and feeling all the positive energy your home offers you.


Some Ideas To Journal About:

  • Favourite memories – go room by room. Write them out in detail as if you are telling the story to a stranger.

  • Favourite items – go room by room. What are they? Where did they come from? Why do you like them?

  • What do you love about the actual structure of the rooms? Are the big enough? Good features? Nice windows? Comfy furniture etc.

  • How does your home make you feel? Safe? Protected?

  • What about the people/animals/plants in your space? What do you love about them? What do they do that helps you to feel good about yourself?

Tip: Even if this isn’t your dream home, every space has something positive to offer. It may take some time to figure out what that is, and that’s part of the process of falling in love with your life. Tip: Even if you live alone, you can still journal about the people closest to you.


LUNCH BREAK (approx. 1 hour)

In Europe and other places in the world, lunches are celebrated as a time for relaxation, connection and of course, a delicious meal.


Take your prepared lunch and arrange it lovingly on your beautiful plate. Consider how to arrange it so that it is most pleasing to the eye. I recommend a a fresh crisp salad with your favourite dressing with a roasted chicken breast or salmon. Pour some flavoured sparkling water into a wine glass, and dress it with a piece of fruit on the rim. For dessert (yes, we’re having dessert) a freshly baked cookie or square from a local bakery…or homemade if you had the time in advance.


If the weather permits, take your lovely lunch outside to enjoy. Your backyard, a porch or even nearby park are all excellent options. If going outside isn’t an option, then set your place at a table. Remember to bring your fresh flowers or a candle to the experience.


Take your time to eat your food slowly and taste every single bite. Notice the textures and the plays of the different flavours. Really look at your food. Notice the colours and the shapes. Take time to smell the different scents.


When you are finished, tidy up your dishes, wash them by hand. Take your time to really feel the water, soap, and the shape of the dishes. Enjoy the scent of the cleanser. Repeat this for drying your dishes, and then and put them away with a sense of gratitude for having such lovely dishes and a wonderful meal.


AFTERNOON EXERCISES


Nature Walk (approx. 1 hour)

Its time to connect with nature! Find the closest most natural setting you can. A nearby park or conservation area is perfect. Go for a walk and use all your senses to connect with the natural world around you. What can you see, smell, feel? Experience it all.

Tip: Its worth the walk even if the weather isn’t fabulous. Experience whatever Mother Nature offers.

Meditation (approx. 30 min)

Once your home, lower the lights, and get settled in a comfy chair or lay down on your mat. Take a few minutes to do some slow deep breathing. Allow yourself to really relax. When you’re ready, begin your audio meditation. Youtube is a great place to find some. Check out my InSpirit Centre channel for some options, or Deepak Chopra also has some excellent choices.


Daydreaming & Nap (approx. 1 hour

Once you are finished your meditation, put on your relaxation music and position yourself so you are fully relaxed and can see out the window. It doesn’t matter what the view is, but, if possible, it would be nice if you could see the sky. Allow your mind to wander while you watch the sky just like you did when you were a child. Allow your body and your mind the time to just be quiet. If you feel like drifting off – let yourself do it. Trust your body to know what you need in this moment.

To enhance the experience you may wish to hold onto a vision quest crystal like Labradorite or Blue Calcite.


Afternoon Tea

Prepare your afternoon tea to have while doing your home journaling exercise. I recommend iced herbal tea served in a nice glass. Or a hot herbal tea or hot chocolate if you prefer a hot beverage. For your snack enjoy fresh nuts with fresh fruit, and some popcorn or pretzels. Place it all on your beautiful dishes.





Love Yourself Journaling Exercise (approx. 1.5 hours)

Settle back into your journaling spot. Enjoy your afternoon tea while you begin to journal about yourself. Expect that this exercise is going to be a bit emotionally challenging but persevere because its worth it.


Begin with writing down 10 things you like about yourself. It must be about you only – not about the people in your life. It can be about your looks, your personality or your skills and talents. Then take a little stretch break and then write at least 50 more. (psst…no repeats!) If you get to 50 without too much trouble, stretch it to 100.


Some Ideas To Journal About:

What makes you a great of family member/ friend/ partner /parent / co-worker?

What have you overcome in your life?

What compliments do others say about you?

What makes you feel proud?

Tip: Remember this isn’t bragging or ego. Its about noticing and appreciating all the parts that make you special.

The Retreat Comes To An End

End the day as you began it by going outside for a walk in your neighbourhood for 15 - 30 minutes. Just as before, do it slowly and with intention.


When you return home, let it be with a refreshed heart and mind. See your home and yourself through affectionate eyes because you deserve to able to love yourself and your life. Be proud of the work you accomplished today because you’ve taken the steps needed to fall in love with your life.



Barbara Ford


InSpirit Centre

61 Main St. S. in historic downtown Georgetown

289-891-7711



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