Getting alone with yourself is one of the most important things you can do with your time. Just as you carve out time for the friends and family that you love and want to create space for, you must do the same with yourself. In the stillness and the silence, there are pieces of your being that are given the space to be heard and to grow. If we truly want to embody the cliche of “you must first love yourself before you can love others” there’s only one way to do it. Get to know yourself. Make time for yourself. Listen to your thoughts. The person that you are when no one is listening or watching is your true self, is it who you want to be?
A silent retreat is the perfect way to carve out time for yourself to remove external distractions and just be with yourself. If it feels like it’s calling to you, check out these 5 amazing benefits silent retreats can bring to your life.
You can get in touch with who you are without the needs and voices of other people.
You likely know all too well what it’s like to hear other people’s needs rolling around in your head throughout the day. (especially if you are a mother) Deadlines to meet. Meals to plan. Appointments to schedule. Activities to juggle. Routines to uphold. Rooms to clean…your mind can be a noisy place, but the noise likely revolves around others. What is your voice saying? What is your body asking for? Your mind? Your spirit? A quiet place will allow your internal dialogue to be amplified so you can become attuned to yourself and your needs, and carry that attunement back to noisy everyday life.
Redirect Energy Inward
When we are outwardly silent, the flow of energy that typically comes out of us doesn’t just disappear or go dark. It is redirected. And you have the power to decide where. Along with getting attuned to yourself and your needs, you will also have the space to redirect energy inward. What does redirecting energy inward look like? You have so much good in you, so much light, so many ideas and creative thoughts… what would it look like if you applied energy to them to take them to the next level? Only silence and inward focus can tell.
Improve your focus on the present moment
Being mindful of the present moment will change your life, but it is a hard skill to acquire when you're stuck in the daily grind! Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from the noise and the hustle, to focus on what IS. What is now. What do I feel in this present moment? What is happening around me in this present moment? What do I have to be grateful for in this present moment? You’ll be amazed at all the little things in the present moment that you notice when you create the space to do so. This is a skill that will serve you well during your silent retreat, and upon jumping back into your daily life.
Have you ever heard of your bandwidth being compared to a cup of water? It suggests that you are a vessel that can hold extraordinary amounts of stress, good and bad. Good stress, or eustress, is the type of stress you feel when you’re excited. Your pulse quickens and your hormones surge, but there is no threat or fear. You might feel this type of stress when you ride a roller coaster, compete in a game, or go on a first date. In any case, our bodies can only handle so much stress. As our cup fills with “stress”, we need to find ways to find peace. When the cup gets too full, even something that may seem like a small stresser can cause the whole thing to overflow. Getting away in silence is a great way to make more space in your cup. If you feel like you’re constantly at the brim, consider a silent retreat to lower your “level” and allow more space for good and bad stress.
While we may feel as though spending hours scrolling through social media is relaxing (don’t get me wrong… sometimes it can be!), but we don’t realize that social media is very demanding. Buy the product. Watch me do this. Listen to my story. Don’t you wish you had this? It can leave you feeling stretched and pressed thin, without giving any clear reason as to why. Allowing space to detox will allow you to see just how demanding social media can be, and in turn will help you create healthy boundaries with it upon returning to your daily life. The detox can be so invigorating, you may find yourself wanting to take an extended hiatus.
You don’t need to go to a fancy wellness retreat to engage in your first silent retreat. (although there are several that would be a dream to visit!) You can have a silent retreat by booking an airbnb in a new city, or even somewhere close to home if you want to save on travel expenses. You can have a silent camping retreat if that’s your thing, or a glamping getaway to still enjoy the great outdoors. There is no set way to do or have a silent retreat; the only requirement? Carve out the time and just do the damn thing. You are worth it.