If you look at Google's search results in the US, when people Google the word "retreat" most people are actually wondering what the heck it is. So we've put together an informative rundown of the concept. If you've come across this website by way of the big magic Google machine, welcome. We hope you find this helpful.
What does the word "retreat" mean? And what does it mean to go on a retreat?
Both a verb and a noun, it can be something you do and somewhere you go. Or even both at once. When we ‘go’ on a retreat we are, essentially, doing just that: retreating. We are withdrawing from our regular life, pausing our routine and recharging our batteries by nourishing what might be a neglected part of ourselves.
What happens on a retreat?
There are all different ways of retreating and all different kinds of retreats to choose from. Some of the most popular are yoga and meditation retreats and these may take place at retreat centers designed specifically around hosting various types of retreats. Duende Retreats are a bit different in that the various locations are hand-picked, chosen because of a special, evocative quality that will offer a unique, enriching experience.
Why would someone want to go on a retreat?
The answer can be summed up in one word: change. Either something has changed your life or you’re seeking to make a change. Maybe you lost your job or you’re looking to change jobs. Maybe you’re going through a divorce or you’ve just sold your business. Maybe you’ve experienced a loss of someone close or you’re interested in instigating real change in your life and you need inspiration, support, a tribe to lift you up. While the specific reason might vary from person to person, change is the constant. A retreat is a wonderful response to change because it’s a departure from the everyday; an opportunity to find stillness, to listen, reflect and try something new in a supportive, safe and non-judgemental environment.
What kinds of people go on a retreat?
All kinds of people go away on a retreat. I’ve met professionals of all ages from all walks of life and an array of different countries: media execs, teachers, marketers, writers, painters, business owners, stay at home moms, university students, bankers, doctors, therapists, politicians, social workers; you name it. As Brene' Brown says, "People, people, people are just people people people."
Do people who go on retreats know each other?
Sometimes folks go among friends but mostly those who attend retreats don’t know one another. Everyone's a stranger and then suddenly, you're not. You'll make friends quickly and often establish new, meaningful and deep connections that last a lifetime. What binds people on a retreat isn’t what they do in their regular 9-5 life back at home. It’s the powerful common thread of a shared adventure. The fact you’ve all chosen to get away on the same particular week and travel to the same place in search of something else is a remarkably bonding force. It's also really fun.
What will my friends and family say?
Going away on a retreat can be a powerful tool for your life and those around you. Just recently I was talking to a woman who said that her mother went away on a retreat last year and came back a changed woman. Her father said he hopes she goes away every year because she’s a better woman for it. So while they might not always like the idea of you being gone or away, if you come home sparkling and brighter than ever, you'll see how quickly your friends and fam will become your biggest cheerleaders. You might even inspire those closest to you to go on a retreat of their own…or come along with you the next time you go.
Speaking from my own personal experience, as both a participant and a facilitator retreats have given me some of my life’s greatest joys. It’s a privilege to witness people experiencing themselves and their gifts in new, unexpected ways. Experiencing and being part of someone's true transformation and growth is what brings me bliss. And what makes attending a retreat so priceless.