My Personal Retreat: How it Changed My Life


In June 2017 I created my own personal retreat time. I reserved a cabin at a local state park and brought along art supplies and books with my intention to unplug.

I chose a cabin that was quite far away from other people, thereby providing me the perfect opportunity to get away from it all and, yet, have the amenities of a cabin, air conditioning and electricity.

The first day I found myself lying in the bed and reading a book for pleasure. It had been so long since I had been able to simply enjoy such moments of staying present that I ended up reading for over two hours. During this time, the sun began to set and light was streaming through the window, causing me to take note of feeling bliss and contentment.

By the second day I found myself getting into the groove of nature. A quietness was slowly overtaking my body and mind. I found my thoughts slowing down, to the point of sometimes having no thoughts at all. I listened to the birds singing, heard the rustle of the leaves and felt the gentle breeze against my skin. I created a fire and sat mesmerized, lost in meditation, as the flames danced and played. I took a nap in the summer sun, feeling the heat settle into my bones.

The evening of the second day was the new moon. I gathered the stones and crystals I brought with me and set up a grid on the ground. I wrote out intentions for the new moon and put them under a wolf totem figurine in the center of the grid. I felt a connection with Mother Earth and with the crystals. I had an energetic sense that there was so much more than just this moment in time.

On the morning of the third day, I went outside to check on the crystals. It was as if each of them was speaking to me. I sensed an enlightenment in each of them, and I too felt energized. I pulled out my art supplies and started creating on a 30 x 60 canvas with acrylic paints. I began painting without an end result in mind. I simply put the paint where I felt guided. The canvas was too large to complete in one day, so I finished the painting at a later date.

By the third day I found myself so at peace. It was a peace that had been buried so deeply within me that I had forgotten it was even there. I found myself not actively resisting the electrical pulses that are constantly up against me when I am in the city. I merely felt the simple pulse of nature — and the alignment of who I truly am, an energy connected with Source, connected with all that is.

This peace that had awoken in me is something I am able to draw upon when I feel out of sync. It has helped me return to my center, to reconnect to what is.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to have your own personal retreat, start planning one today! Even a one-day retreat can shift your perspective, and the long-term effects can be impactful.

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Heidi Namken
Heidi Namken has been living her purpose for over five years now as a Reiki healer, practicing the energy healing modality full-time since September 2016. In November 2017 Heidi moved into her own office in Sioux Falls and conducts on average 45 sessions a month. Heidi encourages others in the region to share their light and offers to share her office with other holistic entrepreneurs. She is a catalyst for change and recently was featured on a local television station for her move from the corporate world to full-time holistic healing. Visit or discover her on Facebook at


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