Are you stuck in a rut? Not sure which direction to head? Or maybe you just need to recharge your batteries for a while? If any of these symptoms apply to you, then the retreat experience is just what the doctor ordered.
Opportunities for personal growth, meaningful interactions, and a creative boost are just around the corner…of the globe! Going to a retreat gives you the benefits of travel, a built-in community, and new insights all rolled into one. That’s how a retreat helps you hit the reset button on life.
Traveling: It’s All in Your Head
Instinctively, we know that travel fosters a sense of freedom, adventure, and wonder. Over the ages, many great minds have found creative inspiration from their adventures abroad. But did you know that there is a scientific basis to the creative boost that traveling offers?
Our creative potential is directly linked to neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between neurons. Studies have shown that taking in new experiences creates new neural pathways in the brain. As your senses delight in all of the wonderful new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes on your trip, you’re also giving your brain a healthy workout.
Just think: Every time you hear someone speaking a gorgeous foreign language. Every delectable dish you can’t find at home. Every trilling bird song, every vibrant blossom, every sweet scent on the breeze. All of these things would be pleasant enough for their own sake. But as you revel in the wonder and joy of fresh experiences, you are also rewiring your brain and boosting your creative potential at the same time. How convenient! It’s the perfect excuse to hop on a plane.
Going Deeper with a Retreat
Now we know that traveling all by itself is a great way to reset your mind and gain new insights. But traveling to a retreat takes it one step farther. You step off the hamster wheel of your day-to-day routine, leaving behind any stress or worry you typically carry. Like stepping back from a mural to see the whole picture, this distance helps you see yourself and your life with greater clarity.
Think of it this way–going on a retreat is like embarking on a quest. You set your intention for what you want to accomplish, whether it’s simple relaxation, a more serious healing experience, or a fresh perspective on life’s many questions. Then, you embark upon a journey to accomplish this goal, just like the classic hero’s journey told in many tales all over the globe. A story unfolds in which you encounter various characters and circumstances that enhance your growth and help you achieve your goal.
There is a power in the quest, a kind of magic that occurs when you challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and act upon your intentions. You become the hero of your own story, empowered to find exactly what you’re seeking. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Strength in Numbers
The coming together of like-minded people is another thing that makes an Ocean Soul Retreat so special. While ordinary travel can feel isolating at times, the retreat experience is imbued with a deep sense of community. Because everyone there has chosen the same trip, you are are likely to find others with similar interests. Yet the varied backgrounds of participants make the community rich with cultural diversity and different perspectives.
This is why the people you meet on retreats can end up becoming great teachers. Sometimes you stay in touch with them after the event, or they might even become life-long friends. But more often, these strangers fly into your orbit for just long enough to act as a catalyst for your personal growth. They have a knack for changing the way you see yourself, saying the exact words you need to hear, or inspiring you to pursue your dreams. Even if you never see them again, these contacts can end up affecting your life in profound ways.
Eat, Pray, Love
As we’ve seen, going on a retreat is a great way to refresh your creativity, gain perspective on your dreams, and set your intentions for moving forward after the experience is complete. This is what it means to hit the reset button on your life. Even taking a week or two to pamper yourself, learn new ideas and techniques, and take in new scenery is enough to pull you out of any rut.
You can think of your retreat experience like a mini version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous journey that led her to write Eat, Pray, Love. When you dive into a retreat, you are ripe with potential for fresh and juicy life experiences that can forever change how you eat, pray, and love.