Everybody needs a break every now and then. But you don’t actually know how much you need a break until you're on one.
Every year I go somewhere solo, on a little adventure. Like a yoga retreat or city break or even to Thailand and India. But obviously, over the last 18 months, that was near impossible.
So I searched the internet for retreats or little getaways in Ireland and there was nothing that was calling to my heart. Early one morning on my walks, where I get my best brian waves, I thought to myself why don’t I go on my own yoga retreat? Again I searched the internet for an AirBnB and nothing was fitting the bill. The next morning I went on another search and this little gem popped up down in Curracloe in Wexford. I knew instantly this was it.
I’m a firm believer that the right thing will always pop up at the right time and if it's not working out, leave it and come back to it in a more relaxed and calm manner. I knew what I didn't want so that cleared the way for what I did want. I love the Law of Attraction and the Universe always answers.
I had a week to prepare. I organised all the work I could in advance so I could properly switch off and not have to think of any work-related or anything at all for that matter. Then I made a list of everything I needed and wanted to bring with me. All the essentials like clothes and toiletries, girly pampering stuff, face mask, oils and scrubs, everything I would bring to a yoga retreat, a book, crystals, instruments like a drum and singing bowl, oracle cards, journal, candles, incense, blanket, bolster, yoga mat, you get the picture. I also brought watercolours and an artist pad, which I'm so glad I did because it was so to get lost in the creativity and playfulness of it, which is something I never do.
My intention for the 3 days, and this is really important to think about and get clear on before you go, was solitude and to disconnect. That meant no social media, emails, or WhatsApp. I would call Bryan once a day just to check in and let him know I was ok. I also had a rough plan of how and what I would fill my days with, yoga first thing in the morning then breakfast, pack up and go to the beach (I was blessed with the most beautiful 3 days of sunshine and heat), long walk on the beach, come back lunch, nap, paint and journal, evening walk, dinner, yoga, meditation and bed. Basically what I would do on a retreat.
The weekend before I made extra lunches and dinners to freeze and take with me so I didn’t have to cook much or go out to a restaurant or a shop. I packed all of my favourite snacks, teas and treats.
That Monday morning I don’t know if I was super excited or stressed about it but there was something inside me that was longing for this break. I finally backed EVERYTHING, there was a lot of stuff LOL, but I’ll admit it did use it all.
When I arrived I unpacked all my stuff and I just knew I had arrived at the perfect place, a huge big clean, modern studio apartment with everything I needed.
Over the 3 days, I more or less did what I set out to do and it was the most peaceful and healing experience I’ve had to date. As the hours rolled by time became irrelevant, I started to unravel all the layers of tension I was carrying and my face began to soften as the realisation of solitude began to set in, a sense of homecoming.
I learned so much about myself during the trip and I got a whole new lease of life. There were moments that the inner critic would pop up and start nagging me about all the things I should be doing or what I’d have to do when I go home but I just thanked it for its option and carried on with my day. There were lots of insights and inspiration flowing, which happens when you are in a relaxed and calm state. I was buzzing with so much new energy and gentle loving awareness.
The freedom I felt from stepping away from everything was indescribable. It was as if all the parts of me began to be lovingly pieced back together. The things I would normally stress out over and get tied up in knots about were just laughable. I was so happy and content in my own company doing very basic things but that was the whole point. I didn’t have to wear a mask or be a certain title like a yoga teacher, daughter, friend, girlfriend etc, I was just myself.
We get so tied up in playing roles that we become disconnected from who we truly are. This happens so easily because we move and operate at such a rapid speed and are so distracted by technology. I reviewed a lot of areas of my life where I’ve been overextending myself and not enjoying the process and things. Also, the parts of my life that are amazing and so full of joy and love and how I can create and welcome more of that. It really is about choice and how you choose to spend your time. Time is currency, it’s precious and you have a limited amount of it so send it wisely. I would have had a very different experience if I was scrolling on my phone for a few hours a day but I do this at home, and that needs to change.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is fantastic and a great platform for learning, sharing and staying connected with each other but I do feel we need less of it and more connection with myself/ourselves. Like going for a walk and leaving your phone at home, putting it away while you're with friends, having a nighttime ritual screen-free for an hour or two before bed, all of these are simple yet very effective ways to stay more connected to what's most important and that is the present moment. The present moment is the only thing that exists and that matters. All your happiness is here if you accept it, you’re not thinking about the past or the future.
You are fully here now.
So take a deep breath in and out and again, deep breath in and out. Now notice how you feel and how clear your mind is. That is what being in the present moment feels like.
We create our own stress. How we react to things, let certain situations and people affect us plays a huge role in how we experience life. But unless we have an awareness of this we can’t change it. This is why having some downtime away from everything is so important so you can assess how your life is going and what you can do to make the necessary changes to live your best life.
Since coming home I’m much lighter and brighter, it feels like I have more time to do things, I’m happier in myself, I feel excited for what's to come and inspired to create more playfulness and joy in my daily life. My cup is filled and my heart is more open than ever before.
I know for many of you taking 3 days off away from all responsibilities might not be possible but how about a morning or half a day at the weekend where you retreat from everything and spend some time with yourself. Do you think you could give it a try? Honestly, your soul will thank you for it. Set your intention and what you would like to achieve from the experience and just do. Ask yourself “What do I need?” and let your heart speak, the answers will come and the Universe will make it happen for you. There is no right or wrong way but if you would like some guidance send me an email and I can help you make the most of your time away.
I hope this blog has inspired you in some way to take action and go on a journey soon.
Sending you so much love,