Most people nervously smile when they hear the word "retreat." Ah, great for you, they think, but there is no chance in hell I'm ever going to be able to find the time or have the money to go on a retreat.
The good news is that mini-retreats are available to us every day. They can appear as pockets of unscheduled time or transitions. Best of all, mini-retreats are free and we don't need to find that open weekend to head to the mountains (which rarely happens) or book a flight to some remote spot where everyone wears white (which might be hard to justify).
Retreat time is right in front of your nose, and once you start experiencing the sheer relief of the space, stillness, and silence it brings, you're going to want more.
Last week I faced a few hours with a clear calendar — no one to talk to and nowhere to be. Since that rarely happens, I jumped on the chance to seize the moment. I turned off, shut down, and settled in for some delicious time of no to-dos and no agenda. Those precious hours alone during my mini-retreat allowed me to face myself below the static of my busy life. Deep rest provoked powerful insights and answers to some gut-wrenching decisions I had to make. A few hours "away," I decided, just might be worth a few years of therapy.
So, how do you create your own mini-retreat? The first order of business is to acknowledge the importance of rest and recovery in your life. From there, commit to taking full advantage of pockets of unscheduled time that pop up during the day.