Life is all about change. But the most significant change is your personal growth. We’ve all dealt with emotional obstacles, overwhelming challenges and heartbreaking losses. Allow your struggles to become your strengths. Focus on your success, not your failure. At some point in one’s life, though, you will realize that there is a subtle ache of spirit and know that an inner voice needs to be heard. That is when it is time to retreat.
Author, Joan Anderson wrote a previous book called, "A Year by the Sea” in which she experienced an intensive self search exacerbated by several catastrophic events in her life. Her disassociated retreat to the shore was deemed irresponsible and selfish by several of her loved ones. But she discovered that you must surrender everyone else’s expectations even for one hour of personal space. Solitude invokes soul searching to discover your higher purpose in life.
When you disconnect from present dilemmas, the rewards will be life lasting. Anderson suggests that you retreat in two key ways. Firstly, choose a location in nature, either a dappled sunlit woods or perhaps a shore with the eternal and rhythmic splash of waves on the sand. Secondly, go on a "technological fast”…no television, radio, clocks and avoid all forms of email and telephones. This detachment from "the real world” takes courage but is extremely fundamental to allow serenity and introspection. Be aware that there is no time element for body, mind and soul work. Everyone, men and women, must design their own path for making positive changes in life.
Joan has offered women’s weekend retreats for several years at
an isolated seaside setting. Her entire weekend program schedule is succinctly duplicated in this book, including the essential journal activities. The message is clear…learn to thrive not just survive. This book’s information is vital for identifying the milestones on your life’s path and helps you to discover creative ways to deal with unfulfilling situations without the guilt trip.
"The unexamined life is the wasted life” – Plato. Selfhood begins by walking away in order to become whole. Aim for balance and harmony. Devise a set of intentions and clearly establish boundaries for yourself. Strive for a joyous heart every moment.
We are our choices. So remember your new 3 R’s: REINVENT, REJEUVENATE and RECONNECT.
Linda thorn is a therapist, charity event planner, educator and writer.