Print Posted on 05/19/2017 in Spiritual

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Personal Spiritual Retreat

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Personal Spiritual Retreat

Planning a Personal Spiritual Retreat

If you're like most people today, you always have too much on your agenda...and too little time to do it all.

Every minute of your day is filled with something to do: Getting the kids off to school, dashing into work, beating deadlines, making dinner, cleaning the house, and squeezing in a few minutes with your family before you collapse into bed - only to do it all again tomorrow.

It's no wonder we all feel so burned out!

Where's the time to recharge? Where's the time for us to take a break from everything, sit still, and get in touch with our spiritual side?

A spiritual retreat - be it Christian, yoga, meditation, or wellness - is at the top of many to-do lists.

As our lives get busier and busier, it's more important than ever to make time for such a getaway.

But where do you start? How do you choose a location? What types of goals should you set for your retreat - or is it better not to set any?

You have enough to worry about every day. Planning a personal spiritual retreat shouldn't be one of them!

Read on for our ultimate guide to planning your much-needed spiritual retreat.

What type of spiritual retreat is right for me?

The first question you need to answer is this: What makes you feel at peace and closer to God?

1. The Bible

If you're Christian or Catholic, you likely feel that the Scriptures are God's main way of communicating with you. 

Many retreat centers in the U.S. and around the world are designed to help you feel closer to God through the Bible. They might be located in (or connected to) a monastery or church, or they might be out in an isolated natural setting.

These types of spiritual retreats typically offer prayer rooms, a communal place of worship, and the chance to meet with religious advisors.

You may even have the chance to join nuns or monks in their daily activities, such as during prayer and mealtimes.

2. Yoga/meditation

In recent years, more and more people are turning to yoga, meditation, and other eastern practices in their quest for spiritual enlightenment.

If this type of spirituality calls to you, then a yoga retreat might be exactly what you're looking for.

Don't worry if you're not an advanced student. There are yoga retreats for all skill levels, from expert to beginner.

It's important to research what types of classes are offered at the retreat, as well as any additional activities (writing, surfing, meditation, etc.) that may interest you.

3. Wellness

If you're suffering from job burnout, overcoming a personal crisis, or have a specific health or weight-loss goal, a wellness retreat could be the answer for you.

Pamper your body, mind, soul, and spirit through many types of holistic healing, from massage and skin treatments to detox diets and guided meditation.

4. Nature

Maybe your idea of spirituality stems more from simply being alone, surrounded by nature, and marveling at the beauty of creation.

If that's the case, a secluded personal retreat might help you find the inner peace and balance you're seeking.

What should I do to prepare for my spiritual retreat?

Now that you've chosen which type of retreat is right for you, the next step is to prepare your mind and heart for the experience.

It may seem like a great idea to set lots of personal goals for yourself - reading a lengthy passage, gaining clarity on a particular problem, or setting up multiple meetings with spiritual advisors. 

While there's nothing wrong with any of these things, don't forget that your main reason for a spiritual retreat is to get away from your endless to-do list.

A retreat should not be viewed as work. You should go with the mindset that you're entering a place of rest, reflection, and rejuvenation.

Your ultimate goal should be to take a break from the noise, chaos, and stress of your everyday life to enjoy an uninterrupted connection with a Higher Power.

It's impossible to recharge and replenish our spirituality if our minds are constantly multi-tasking and always on high alert.

Whether you're going away for a night, a long weekend, or an entire month, be prepared to unplug from your work, your electronic devices, and any negative influences in your personal life.

What should I bring on my spiritual retreat?

Now that you're mentally prepared, it's time to get packing.

Here are a few suggested items to bring to help you channel your spirituality:

  • Your Bible, devotional literature, or other inspirational reading material. Avoid newspapers or novels that will suck you in and take you away from the moment.
  • Relaxing music, hymns, or recorded sermons/passages. Leave the hip-hop CDs at home.
  • A notebook and pen to jot down any inspiration that strikes.
  • Food and water, if the place you're going doesn't provide meals. Simple is best; you don't want to be weighed down by rich, heavy food.
  • A yoga mat and comfortable clothing.
  • Your personal journal, if you keep one. If you don't, consider starting one.

What should I do during my spiritual retreat?

If you're going away to a wellness or yoga retreat, your day will already have some planned activities.

Whether your retreat includes specific activities or not, here are four personal things you can do to tap into your spirituality:

  1. Be thankful. Take the time to thank God for all the good things in your life, even the little things you may often overlook.
  2. Give praise. Whether in prayer, song, or private thought, praise God for who he is and his qualities you most admire.
  3. Make confessions. If something has been weighing on your mind, talk to God about it and free yourself of that burden.
  4. Just be. Slow down, clear your mind, and just let yourself be. Go for a hike, sit by a lake, or enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Start making plans!

Now that you know what type of retreat you want to take, we at Retreat Guide would be happy to help you plan your personal spiritual retreat.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Life is short, and time is precious. Don't let another day pass by without making plans to care for your spiritual needs!

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