Retreat to self – so many people ask me what this actually means. What do YOU feel when you read retreat to self?
Finding time for ourselves has been deemed a treat (definition: anything that affords particular pleasure or enjoyment). A naughty bit of time you take just for you, which many companies have sabotaged with chocolate bars, alcohol or caffeine. It’s even seeping into our life of movement. The amount of times I’ve heard people leaving a workshop or yoga class saying: “Oh that was such a treat to be able to do that”. Movement is an integral way of maintaining mental, physical and chemical health, with many scientific studies available to all on how to achieve this. It’s sometimes our limited understanding of choice that sees us not participate.
It took me a very long time to realise I needed to retreat to myself to be able to be a better person, wife and mother. Having those moments just for myself enables me to better handle situations that life throws at me. Whilst studying for my 500hr YTT, we had to write a thesis on our given subject. Mine was Thai massage, whereby I offered demonstrations. At the end, I expressed to people that we find receiving experiences such as massage difficult because of our limited self worth. When we don’t feel worthy, we don’t think we should receive things of benefit. Do you love yourself? Do you feel worthy of time to yourself? Or do you find it easy to blame time and money on why you shouldn’t receive that massage, movement class, or simply a coffee on your own with your favourite magazine?
We are always taught to help others, and our natural instinct is to support others, but how can you do all this when you are lacking within yourself. Being in a physical job, I understand I need regular massages and physical manipulation to support me. There were many years where I didn’t have the time or money, but what I was really saying was I didn’t deserve it. My self worth was pretty low due to how I was CHOOSING to engage with life. I was reacting mostly with aggression and fear, which eventually lead to a shoulder/neck injury that plagued me for a very long time. It took the process of understanding mentally to heal physically. Everything within (and around us) is connected and supports each other for balanced health. An interesting aspect from Kinesiology is that the neck and shoulders are associated with the stomach, whatever is going on chemically if imbalanced results in neck pain and some shoulder injuries – HELLO! We are soooooo good at helping others because we want to feel needed and of a helpful nature (as well as wanting the other to feel better), but if we could address the self worth of ourselves first, our help for others would be less demanding on us mentally.
Massages, yoga classes, workshops and retreats are all seen as a luxury, something that is a treat for when you’ve been good. But if we engaged with these said “luxuries” more often, perhaps we wouldn’t fluctuate from bad to good so often? The power of touch and community has been proven time and time again to improve health on every level, and yet, I hear that big-time demon blamed for not engaging with self and others. Not retreating to self.
I Googled the definition of retreat, and one that stood out to me was a place of privacy or safety. This is a place we supposedly call home, but how often do you completely let go and surrender into the ground where your home stands? How many times do you express how you truly feel within your four walls? We bring tension into our homes from outside experiences and life that even our home can feel uncomfortable sometimes.
There are so many ways for you to nurture and look after yourself, it’s simply an act of choice as to how you do it.
Abi is holding a women’s only retreat in Chichester in April and is offering the discounted price for Yoga Leggs customers of £400 (instead of £450).
All details here: https://billetto.co.uk/e/retreat-complete-tickets-230659