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Top 15 Reasons to Go on a Retreat

Updated: Jun 13

Cover. Reasons to go on a retreat

Table of Contents

About the Author - Lisa Dunford Dickman


Introduction

Searching for reasons to go on a retreat? Not quite sure if a mindful getaway is for you? Look no further, we have the top 15 reasons to go on a retreat below!


I admit it, I am partial to retreats. I work as a life coach who helps women take big, bold steps towards their dreams - even when they don’t know what those dreams are yet. And I lead my Open to the Magic! transformational, sea-to-safari retreats in South Africa. So I’ve seen the benefits first hand!


I helped one client reclaim her right to ask for and receive what she wants most in life. She then went home and purposefully carved out down time and open space in her insanely overcrowded schedule. Last thing I heard she was even planning for a future sabbatical.


I saw another client come face to face with healthy masculine energy in the form of a huge male lion. The lion sauntered confidently to within five feet of my client in the vehicle and looked directly at her. At that moment, I felt something shift within her.

connection is one of the best benefits of a retreat

The client in the image above is a bakery owner and mother of two adult daughters. She went home to re-envision the way she leads both her team and her family.  She stepped into her lion-like, assertive confidence, creating more peace and joy while delegating the workload.


Not only have I witnessed the difference retreats have made for my clients, I’ve also benefited immensely. It’s no exaggeration to say that the life-changing experiences and epiphanies I’ve had on retreat are what’s led to the business I have today! 


So, without further ado…

One benefit of retreats is taking time out for you

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 1: To Take Time For You

When was the last time you took a break and did something just for you? 


No, seriously, when?


Women in midlife have a whole host of responsibilities - work, partners, children, elderly parents… Not to mention that you may be going through your own health and body changes. 


Taking time for yourself is not only well deserved, it can be essential for your own well-being. 


Each of us only has so much to give. If we never refill our reserves, we can end up giving to our loved ones less than our best. Remember the old airplane advice - put on your oxygen mask first, or you will not be able to assist others!

One benefit of retreats is to have an adventure

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 2: To Have an Adventure

Adventure is another amazing reason to go on retreat. Beautiful destinations and nature-oriented settings are defining characteristics of many retreats. 


Retreat destinations can be near to home or far flung. In the past year, colleagues of mine have held retreats in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, on an island in the Galapagos, near Boerne, TX and at the seaside of Calabria, Italy. (Oh, and I held one in South Africa!)


Self-transformation can be an adventure in itself. But increasing self-awareness while in an adventurous or beautiful destination adds a whole new dimension. Two of my friends recently mentioned that they want more travel in their lives. Independently, they both decided that retreats were the perfect fun, supportive and adventure-filled way to do that!

One benefit of retreats is to shake up life's routines

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 3: To Shake Things Up

Do you do the same things day in and day out? How long have you been going through the motions? Shaking things up is one of the top reasons to go on a retreat. 


By stepping away from everyday demands and distractions, you create the distance from which to reevaluate your priorities. 


By trying new things and exploring new directions, you open yourself up to new ideas. 


Fresh experiences awaken your senses, invigorate your spirit and expand your understanding of yourself and the world around you. 

One benefit of retreats is to recharge in nature

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 4: To Recharge in Nature

Reconnecting with the rhythms of the natural world is another of the wonderful reasons to go on a retreat - one of my favorites, in fact! Spending time in nature is my go-to for regulating my nervous system when I’m overwhelmed by the modern world.


Being surrounded by the natural world has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and to improve mental clarity and emotional balance. Taking part in outdoor activities and spending time in the sun and the fresh air can also improve your physical health.


Additionally, nature’s beauty inspires awe, which can ignite your creativity and increase a healthy sense of wonder, passion and enJOYment in your world.


One benefit of retreats is to draw closer to the divine

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 5: To Draw Closer to the Divine

Whether it's through sacred rituals, meditation, contemplative walks in nature or prayer, a retreat provides an excellent environment for spiritual growth and renewal.


A huge variety of spiritual and religious retreats  are available to help you draw closer to the divine. Whatever religion you adhere to, or New Age philosophy you want to explore, there is a retreat available for you.


When enrolled in a sacred container, removed from the pressures of daily obligations, it’s easier to hear that still small voice within. Retreats can help open your heart to receive guidance, insight and inspiration.


Reason To Go on a Retreat – 6: To Align With Your Inner-Self

The opportunity for deep introspection and self-reflection is another great reason to go on retreat!


Transformational retreats, in particular, are designed to help you peel back the layers of societal conditioning so you can reconnect with your authentic self.


Through guided practices and exercises you can identify and challenge limiting beliefs, releasing outdated narratives. The process of self-discovery and liberation can empower you to live more authentically and purposefully in alignment with your core personal values beyond the retreat experience.

One benefit of retreats is to improve your health

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 7: To Improve Your Health

Health and wellness retreats are the fastest growing segment of personal retreats. Yoga, meditation, pilates, tai chi and ecstatic dance are just a few of the movement-oriented retreat offerings out there.


Interested in nutrition? You could go to a culinary wellness retreat or check in to a spa resort that offers nutrition classes in addition to exercise and healthy meals.


Honestly, any retreat at all can have health benefits. By prioritizing self-care and holistic wellness, retreats empower you to cultivate a healthier lifestyle. 


The serene natural settings of many retreats alone provides a therapeutic environment that can boost mental and emotional health.

One benefit of retreats is making new friends

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 8: To Make New Friends

Let’s face it, making friends in midlife can be tough. Retreats create the perfect atmosphere for making genuine connections, whether you're bonding over group activities or sharing deep conversations during quiet moments. 


By definition, fellow retreat participants will share at least some interests with you, which can give you a head start in forming new friendships. Plus, being away from the distractions of everyday life allows you to really focus on getting to know each other.  


I’ve widened my circle considerably since starting to attend retreats in the past few years. Many of my closest friends now are women I met on retreat in the Hill Country outside Austin, TX and in Park City, Utah.


Reason To Go on a Retreat – 9: To Rest and Rejuvenate

Tranquil natural retreat surroundings, mindfulness practices and a supportive community all create an ideal setting for restorative rest. And who doesn’t need a rest? 


Day in and day out, modern life bombards us with demands. Unlike typical vacations, which may involve jam-packed itineraries and sightseeing agendas, retreats offer a deliberate focus on self-care. 


Instead of feeling like you need a rest after your vacation, a retreat can leave you feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to return to your daily life with a renewed sense of vitality.

One benefit of retreats is to discover something about yourself

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 10: To Discover Something About Yourself

Increased self-awareness lies at the heart of personal growth. We can’t change what we can’t see! So learning something new about yourself is another one of the key reasons to go on a retreat.


Many habitual thoughts, patterns and beliefs are unconscious. Like a computer operating system, they run in the background without us even knowing it. The practices, exercises and workshops on retreat are designed to facilitate self-reflection and increase awareness.


Only when a pattern is brought to our conscious mind do we have the hope of shifting it. Once we become aware, we can start to choose new behaviors and create a new life!


Reason To Go on a Retreat- 11: To Raise Your Vibration

Self-care is not selfish! Many of the women reaching midlife today were socialized to put everyone before themselves (and considered selfish if they did not).


Mothers especially, even those facing empty nest syndrome, can struggle with feeling like they’re doing something wrong when they take care of their own needs. 


But think about it: don’t your workmates, your significant other, and your children all benefit when you are in a better mood? When you’re well-adjusted and mentally recharged?


Not only that, but on a quantum energetic level, we are all connected. So when you’re raising your own vibration, you’re raising the vibration of the planet. And what could be selfish about that?


One benefit of retreats is self care

Reason To Go on a Retreat - 12: To Heal From Past Wounds

We heal in relationship to others. Being deeply seen and validated by others in the supportive environment of a retreat can be a truly transformative experience. Healing from old wounds is one of the invaluable reasons to go on a retreat. 


Various healing modalities, group discussions, one-on-one sessions and specialized workshops are designed to help you get to the root of old pains and patterns. Practices like yoga, meditation and breathwork help create a calm, safe space for you to feel and release your pent up emotions. 


Ultimately, attending a retreat can aid in healing from an imperfect past and empower you to move toward a future with more emotional well-being and fulfillment. 


One benefit of retreats is to get outside your comfort zone

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 13: To Push Past Your Comfort Zone

As humans, we tend to stick with what we know, even if that is not always in our highest good. It’s remarkably easy to live in comfortable discomfort.


Retreats challenge us to push our edges, to confront our limiting beliefs and go beyond what’s easy and usual. Don’t be surprised if you shed some healthy tears on retreat!

 

By confronting fears head-on, you cultivate resilience, courage, and a deeper sense of self-confidence. What could be better than that as one of the reasons to go on a retreat?


Ultimately, the willingness to stretch beyond familiar boundaries and embrace discomfort can lead to profound growth, empowerment and a renewed zest for life.

One benefit of retreats is to learn new things

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 14: To Learn New Things

Midlife is a great time to try interesting new hobbies and activity-related retreats [can you link to activity section?] can help nurture those interests.


Maybe your hobby is photography, or bird-watching, or hiking  - there’s a retreat for that! Just about any creative or artistic pursuit you can think of has its own retreat offerings.


Over the years, I’ve been on several writing retreats that stimulated my creativity and renewed my commitment to my craft. 


More recently, I attended an “Honest Art” painting retreat in Austin that altered my life trajectory. Not only did I learn a new painting technique, I was inspired to make my art - and to live my life -  much more authentically!


One benefit of retreats is to consciously create your future

Reason To Go on a Retreat – 15: Consciously Create Your Future

We create our lives with each thought, belief and action we take. But are you doing so consciously? Not many of us are.


It’s not until we stop and take time to reflect on our decisions and actions that we can choose to create a new reality. Taking that reflective time tops the list of reasons to go on retreat. 


Retreats invite you to tap into your inner wisdom and align with your inner vision. The nurturing environment offers the perfect backdrop for exploring possibilities, enabling you to consciously create a future of fulfillment, joy and purpose.


Final Thoughts

Enrolling in a retreat for personal growth, well-being or spiritual development offers so many benefits! On retreat you can disconnect from the demands of daily life and reconnect with yourself - and with nature.


Retreats offer a safe environment in which to shake up the status quo and challenge limiting beliefs. Mindfulness, movement and other practices can foster inner healing.


Additionally, the sense of community and shared purpose found on retreat creates meaningful connections and friendships, enriching the journey of self-discovery.


With so many great reasons to go on a retreat, what are you waiting for? Why don’t you book a mindful, rejuvenating getaway today!?


About the Author

Lisa Dunford Dickman is a transformational coach, a traveler, a writer and a retreat leader. She helps soul-centered women take big, bold steps towards their dreams, even when they don’t know what those dreams are - yet! Lisa’s greatest joy is leading her sea-to-safari, “Open to the Magic!” transformational retreats in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.


Lisa has lived in six countries and speaks four languages. (Five if you count Texan!) Before becoming a coach, she roamed the globe for 15 years writing Lonely Planet travel guidebooks. Today Lisa, her husband and their dogs call a riverfront east of Houston home.


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