Retreat: A Soothing Trip to Maui

Retreat: A Soothing Trip to Maui

Finding harmonious ways to enjoy the body in motion is beneficial physically, but it also does wonders for the mind. Walking can be meditative and peacefully energizing, as can dance or a jog or a yoga practice. Swimming, however, allows me to stretch my limbs and pull myself through the magic buoyancy of water, which I find incredibly soothing and inspiring.


Carr and I just got back from a soothing little retreat together on Maui, an annual pilgrimage of sorts for us that involves a week of morning yoga, journaling, sunning, walking to dinner dates, and swimming in the turquoise sea. It is as dreamy as it sounds, and in its simplicity, it is exactly what I needed.


For me, a retreat is peaceful and expansive. We aren't the kind of travelers who have a packed itinerary every day, and instead we have only a dinner plan and a lot of space to peacefully do what we love and practice being more present with ourselves and what feels good in the moment.


This kind of getaway is deeply grounding, and it provides a space to reset outside of the normal routine, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.



Here are 5 rewarding intentions to guide a retreat:

  • Regulate — Regulation of the nervous system deepens through having time and space to reflect, enjoy, and be present.

  • Relax — Relaxation of the mind and body begin when we can remove ourselves from the normal hustle and habits of daily life.

  • Reset — Resetting the routine and habits, ways of thinking and being, begins with a new place, a fresh intention, and an open mind.

  • Refresh — Refreshing of the entire self, introducing new intentions and practices as well as awakening anew to the nourishment, awe, and wonder of the present moment, plus the answers and guidance we have within us, can come forward and be noticed.

  • Rejuvenate — Rejuvenating mind, soul, and body begins, with each of these intentions deepening and building onto the next, bringing stability, vitality, calm, clarity, ease, confidence, and trust along with them.



Here are a few gifts I brought back from our time away:

  1.  Spend and enjoy more time doing pleasurable things, allowing work to be a smaller, more focused slice of the day, while all around it is life, joy, ease, and little adventures. 

  2. Surrounding ourselves with nature, or simply making a point to spend time every day and as often as possible outside or near nature is grounding, nourishing, and inspiring.

  3. Plan and live each day more in the present moment, seeing how you feel what sounds good or fun or productive or fulfilling at the time, and trust your body and instincts. If you're sleepy, rest. If you're cooped up, go for a walk. If you're burnt out, go for a swim.

  4. Go to sleep early, and wake up with the dawn and the birdsong. There is no better more energizing way to start the day.

  5. Read daily, making quiet time to learn and take in books on topics that inspire and nurture you.

  6. Instead of being constantly productive, take time away to reflect on how things are going and take a bigger picture perspective to check in and realign your systems with your goals and values.

  7. Simplify and streamline everything. When you're away, life is smaller and simpler, with less stuff, less to manage, and less to distract. Spring clean the house and your work space when you get home and feel how fresh life is when its pared down and essentialized.

  8. Give yourself time to touch base with yourself, to journal more, to get more in touch with what matters to you now in this moment and in this season of life and career. Make more space to listen for the guidance you seek.



I cannot even begin to measure or sum up the power of and relief in cultivating a regulated nervous system, and going on a retreat devoted to being in nature, having space to reflect, and living more in the present moment is one way to nurture that.

May these images fill your eyes with peaceful balm and ignite a spark inside you to plan your next retreat getaway. You deserve it, and you will flourish in the experience.







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