For those of us in our late thirties, the crazy cliques we once rolled with are mostly dissolved. You’re still friends with many of those people. But people become preoccupied over the years, with kids, spouses, lives. Those friendships, the ones out late on Saturdays, and brunching on Sundays have taken a backseat to other stuff. If this last week has shown us nothing, it’s that we need to hold the ones we love, and like, really tight. All the more reason why, no matter how impossible it may seem, it’s imperative you take time off for a wellness weekend retreat with your friends. At least one time in your life. When the opportunity arose for me to take one, I hesitated initially. My friend, the beautiful, spiritual yogi and meditation teacher was beginning a big new venture; creating and hosting retreats. Her first, Dream Retreat, was a yoga and meditation weekend in upstate New York at the interesting Outlier Inn. When she asked if I’d like to join, I must confess I was unsure. I’ll admit, like many, I don’t love stepping out of my comfort zone. Also, besides the host I wouldn’t know anyone. I ultimately decided to go. Turns out, my apprehension was unfounded. Not only did I get something I didn’t expect out of the experience, I can personally vouch for its effectiveness. You need that wellness weekend retreat. Either with friends, or even more ambitiously, by yourself. Here’s why.
These are the reasons to take a wellness weekend retreat:
1. To recenter, or reconnect with yourself. Dream Retreat was held at the Outlier Inn in Woodridge, NY. A cute, but super quiet town. Too quiet for a loud New Yorker like me. Yet, I eventually found myself not only making peace with it, but enjoying the peace. Sleeping inside a cool communal biodome (other sleeping options were available), and eating fresh farm to table food on a farm. All things I rarely find myself doing. Yet, there was a comfort there. A comfort in knowing I was surrounded by people who were strangers to me on Friday, but friends by Sunday. But even surrounded by strangers, and friends, there’s a feeling of oneness as well. One with nature, your goals, or whatever you’re working on internally. There’s no better way to find a piece of yourself than to separate it from the every day, daily routine. Going with friends could be a bonding session like no other.
2. Trying something new feels good. There is great happiness derived from doing something outside your comfort zone. A weekend wellness retreat may sound silly, or even scary. It may seem impossible that you could ever get away from whatever responsibilities typically keep you home. But once you do it, I promise it will be worth it. When I saw soundbath on my itinerary I’d no clue what to expect. What I got was a spiritual, enlightening, relaxing and even fun experience. Complete with eccentric Gong meditation teacher, and real life nature background. If you get the chance to attend a wellness weekend retreat that has soundbaths, I highly recommend it.
Photo credit: Stephan Schacher Photography
3. You might make new friends. Retreats, much like mine, can be filled with all sorts. Some who have never met, yet instantly forged a connection. Clusters of friends who come together, and those brave enough to attend completely alone. Everyone goes on a wellness weekend retreat for a reason. Mine was friend support initially which turned into something for me too. Whatever each reason may be, ours brought us together that particular weekend. And though the weekend had to come to its usual end, the new friendships don’t. Or at least the Facebook friendships.
photo credit: konakafe
4. It’s good to get out of your house (seriously). Going away can be hard for anyone, even if only for a weekend. But whether a few days out of the house seems unnecessary, or you’re desperate for it, either way it’s a good choice. Plus, coming back home will feel so good.
If you think you’re ready for a wellness weekend retreat, or just ready to go on your next one, check out the Magic in Morocco writing and yoga getaway happening this Thanksgiving 2018. It sounds like the perfect reason to convince your good friends into some new adventures. The ones that are few and far between these days. Don’t worry, life will be here when you get back.