Last month, I was getting ready to head off to a retreat with my girlfriend. Unfortunately, she had to cancel just before we were due to take off. A family medical emergency saw her have to dash overseas instead. I was gutted for her and I was also feeling a bit uneasy about going solo.
She and I have been on retreats together before and I’ve loved how we bounce a lot of stuff off each other. When she’s there, I get so much more out of the education sessions, and if we’ve both had a one-on-one coaching or meditation session, we’ll tell each other all about it and debrief. I feel I get much more out of those situations when she’s there.
So, my initial perspective on the change of plans was a little gloomy. But after a bit of mindset work, it changed, in a good way. Going alone gave me something just as valuable as a shared experience: time to think.
The best part was just removing myself from life and getting that elevated helicopter view of everything that’s been going on for me.
I had the space to see things for what they are, not what I think they are. It was like watching a black and white movie with no sound, and I could rewind and see what’s been going on for the past year. I had a few moments of, ‘Ah, what was I doing there, why was I letting that person manipulate me?’
It was like a complete reset for me, even though I’m someone who already does reflection nearly every day. Actually, removing myself from the norm and being alone gave me the opportunity to think and reflect from a distance. It was really powerful and beneficial.
Having the power to step away and think while there were no emails and no texts to distract me showed me where I’ve fallen back into bad habits, particularly doing too much and maybe living a small part of my life on someone else’s terms. It was about regrouping and resetting and getting back into good regular habits.
The secret is you don’t necessarily have to head off to an expensive retreat to do it! Just take yourself away from your norm. Head up into the hills, go for a hike, take a walk along a new beach and just think. Allow the thoughts to come and answer one question.
Am I living the life that I love right now?
If the answer is no, change it. Nobody else will. This is your one life. Make it what you want. Get perspective and do something with it so you love it.