Retreat Centers: You have the answers you seek

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    Are you are facing a decision that you feel you can’t possibly make? Perhaps you are at a place in your life in which you know you cannot remain, and yet, you don’t have a clue where it is you should go. Maybe your life feels empty, meaningless, something is missing. Do you often feel depressed, do your moods change according to the company you are in and what is happening around you? Do you find yourself looking for happiness to come through things?

    If you answered yes to any of those questions, it is a sign that the time has come to center yourself and find your way back to your Path as a spiritual being through a spiritual retreat, which is an exercise that you carry out within your normal life in order to receive Knowing, the answer to the unanswered questions in your life, or to help you bring about transformation in your life. A spiritual retreat consists of stepping out of your ordinary reality, opening a time for yourself, in a sacred space, through an intention to receive guidance, wisdom, answers. By the end, you will have greater clarity, new energy, a deep sense of peace. It really is as easy as it sounds!

    Before carrying out the retreat, you need to schedule a time in which you will not be interrupted and find a place where it is easy to feel inspired. You must decide what you want to do on your retreat and establish your intention. The intention is very important: it is what distinguishes the retreat from taking Sunday afternoon off to rest up! The reason for holding the retreat can define your intention, for example: My intention is to understand why I feel this great emptiness in my life and how I can feel better. Write it down, make it look beautiful, energize it with your desire to fulfill it!

    When you are ready to hold your retreat, the first step is to create the sacred space in which you will carry it out. To do so, decorate it, always keeping in mind that you are making the space sacred. Put enthusiasm and creativity into the work of making the space beautiful and sacred. Bring objects that have meaning and connect you to what you hold sacred. When everything is ready, leave the space, wash your hands and face, prepare yourself for this important date.

    When you come back, acknowledge that you are entering sacred space and declare your intention, out loud or mentally. Then, according to your tradition or style, invoke your spiritual guides, the angels, God, your Highest Self, whatever fits your beliefs. Know that these invocations, together with your intention, will bring you what you seek; allow yourself to feel confident that you will receive the Knowing you need.

    Now your task is to open yourself up to receiving that Knowing. Normally, you need to get your mind out of the way for this, which means, simply, that you cannot receive KNOWING by thinking things out logically, by focusing only your intellect on the matter. There are any number of exercises that can lead you to Knowing, engage your senses and challenge yourself to do things you do not normally allow yourself, things you may not even normally consider doing. You can do a meditation or a visualization, you can use paints to invite a sudden insight. You can dance or make music, create a scene with finger puppets, make a collage…infinite possibilities. You can even give yourself a hot bath and take a nap, but always keep in mind that you are doing it in order to fulfill your intention in some way. If you are a rather passive person, go for something active, and if you are always on the go, choose to slow down!

    If you manage to become absorbed by the exercise, you will enter into a state of flow in which you lose your sense of time and of self as something separate from the rest. This is the perfect state in which to receive the Knowing you seek, although it is not the only one that allows it. If you do not manage to find a revelation, then what you have thought and experienced during the time you have taken to open yourself to Knowing will give you the answer you need. Remember, it is possible that the answer IS nothing.

    Once you have understood the messages that the retreat is gifting you with, there is nothing left to do but offer thanks to the energies you invoked for what occurred. Declare your intention fulfilled and state that, together with the space, you will return to your ordinary state, your regular life. Give yourself time, know that you may continue to deepen your understanding of what you learned in the days that follow your retreat. But don’t hesitate to take action around the insights you received through it, because the only part that is missing is integrating the wisdom you gained from your retreat into your normal life!

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