5 Ways To Cope With Real Life – Esp After a Retreat!
Have you ever been on retreat or maybe you are just back from one and felt worse than ever.
You had a an incredible time whilst away; feeling healed, refreshed and revitalised but after a few days back at home you end up feeling yucky again thinking is this it?
As you get back to the normal routine your blah returns 🙁
This used to happen to me and even after some amazing breakthroughs, it’s felt as though I’ve been back to square one! I’ve been on lots of different types of retreats but after a week or so being back it’s as if I never went away.
Honestly sharing my experience with friends made me realise that this a common experience many women go through. It’s a common cycle highly conscious women experience with many clients having a similar tale.
Always Value Your Need To Retreat
Firstly, there will be a time for us all in life to honour our need to escape and find sanctuary. We can feel very driven to go on retreat and take refuge from any number of problems that face us. For myself, I often felt lost on my path and was searching for my direction
Perhaps you were motivated to escape from any number of things including
- Being burnt out and fatigued with your current lifestyle
- Feeling broken after a traumatic event such as bereavement
- The desire to create an informed change in your current choices from a career change to ending a relationship
- Wanting to connect to creativity and artistic nature like writing that book, painting or singing your song
The Liberation Of A Retreat
A retreat is more than just a weekend away or holiday. The difference between a holiday and retreat is that it’s a conscious choice to take time out to develop and gain new perspective on ourselves.
Typically this is all conducted under the watchful eye of an expert; someone qualified by experience to lead you through your retreat.
It’s liberating to hand over the responsibility of how our day is structured. Everything from what and when we eat to whom we mix with is taken care of.
Ironically, taking away our decision making power about the fundamentals unlocks our path to freedom…that is until we get back home.
At some point we return home, the place where we started. The breakthrough moments we have had on retreat can quickly fade.
Managing real life after your retreat ‘bubble’ can be disheartening. We put on the same old shoes, take the usual journey and go back to work.
In the past, I have bounced back home full of joyful energy only to see it slowly evaporate into disappointment. Over the years, I have seen a pattern in my own post-retreat behaviour that has made me feel that I’ve been wasting my time.
Having shared this with friends and clients I know that I’m not alone with this experience.
Mind the Mindlessness
Most retreats practice some form of mindfulness that may have attracted you to go away on retreat to begin with. By developing this new level of awareness it becomes obvious just how mindless the world around us operates!
If this is a new practice to you, or you are approaching in a different way, then you will need time to implement the practice back in your ‘real’ world.
Your previous day-to-day routine will need to change to reflect and support your transformation.
Encourage your ego
Breaking an old pattern of behavior seemed wonderful on the shores of the retreat. It’s ideal for kick starting shifts but remember that moving out of our comfort zone disorientates even the most willing of egos.
Back home with your suitcase unpacked and the washing done, it’s easy to waver about seeing through those changes. It’s vital to remember what sparked you to go away on a retreat.
Encourage your ego by setting intentions for your day ahead, making sure you blend your aims with joy.
Dealing with your fear of success
After a retreat, the first key to dealing with fear is acknowledging that it’s going to crop up in one form or another. The second key is to be able to name it for what it is. Ask yourself ‘what are you fearful of?’
For example, maybe you went on retreat to recover from burn-out but are now unsure what you are going to do with your newly discovered energy.
If you have been on a creative retreat such as an intensive writing course then what happens when you complete writing your book?
- Who do you want to read it?
- What needs to be done next so you can make this happen?
With so many retreats acknowledging the mind, body and spirit connection in some way, it’s important you decide how this will play out when you are back. What if you carry on with the eating and fitness regime so you experience your ideal body?
- How will this change the type of attention you receive?
- How will you deal with it?
“You are not anybody; you can only be your body!”
Whilst you have been on retreat you have had insights into what suits your body.
Build in contingency exercise plans and look for ways to make it easy for you to ease into your exercise. (Being realistic, can you fit 5 hours of exercise around your work or home schedule?)
Options might include an app on your phone or watching one of the many free classes on YouTube.
As a veteran of many retreats myself, I know how easy it can be to underestimate how some self-coaching and discipline help integrate all the breakthroughs that you had on your retreat.
If you’re in any way impatient then this is where your resolve will really be tested!
Realising it’s your responsibility to be consistent with yourself can seem rather dull after the dramatic breakthroughs you felt took place whilst you were away.
Retreats are the perfect catalyst for you to plant the seeds of your recovery and recuperation. For your seeds to grow you will need to take the time to nurture them.
Making time and space in your real life for your retreat seeds to grow means being more conscious about how you spend your time. This could mean getting up 10 minutes earlier to fit in your morning meditation and/or being conscious about leaving work on time to break that cycle of over working.
5 Steps to Real Life After A Retreat
- Mindfulness – Understand where you are in your process and observe without judgment your own ‘red’ flags; things that in the past have sabotaged your progress.
- Keep moving your body – Having learnt what suits you, make sure you make it part of your day or week. If you miss a session then do what you can to keep moving your body.
- Be proud of what you have achieved by acknowledging that you took this big step to make changes in your life will reconnect your with your courage on those challenging days.
- Support yourself with kindred spirits- Feeling isolated after the comradery of retreat is common. Decide what sort of support you need around you whether that’s a group, a mentor or further learning.
- Retreat Spark Reminder – remind yourself of what sparked you to go on retreat to begin with…
Stay Smart, Stay Spirited and Stay In Touch for more support, inspiration and motivation
Oh and this might help too – How To Have a Staycation At Work !